By Akasha Spino-Bybee

Call for 'horse ride' heats up Main Street


Akasha Spino-Bybee

A LOT AT STAKE: A call for civil disobedience in a letter to the editor invited equestrians to bring their horses to this lot in Goldendale Friday night-which took the lot's owner greatly by surprise. She says she'll block the lot off to stop it if necessary.

A letter to the editor published in The Sentinel two weeks ago called for an act of civil disobedience colorfully referred to as a "Cowboy Ride."

Michael Kitchen, author of the letter, asked local equestrians to bring their horses and trailers to Main Street this Friday in hopes of beginning an annual Cowboy Ride. What he didn't realize, apparently, is that this has impacted a business next door to his.

"I've been in Goldendale for at least 40 years," says Pat Farrer, owner of Pat's Place, the affected business. "A lady recently came in and asked if she could put up a hitching post for horses in my lot [between her business and Kicthen's]. Then, people were asking to put up a water trough and some hay and I said, 'You've got to be kidding me.'"

Farrer, who states that she is not a "horsey girl," does not believe that horses should be allowed to roam the business district. She enjoys manicuring the front of her business and wants to keep it protected.

"I try to make it look pretty outside of my business, and horses are not a part of the theme," she says. "I would like the town to look nice and not go back to the old west. At the time, I had no idea what these requests were pertaining to. It appeared to me that Michael Kitchen, owner of the Windy Ridge Saloon, wanted to have a marshmallow roast in my lot. In the moment, he was saying so much that it was hard to grasp what he was saying. As I recall, nothing he said was about horses."

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It was all about horses in his letter, however. In it he wrote, "Recent events have finally moved me to ask the citizens of this beautiful area to rally together to revive and take our village back from the current regime...I think starting with the discontent of the horses downtown, it would be a wonderful opportunity to exercise our right of civil disobedience. I declare Friday, August 7, the first Cowboy Ride in Goldendale. . .I ask all able-bodied horse lovers to trailer their horses to town that evening for a fun frolic on horseback. . .I ask you to fill the downtown with them; we will provide enough tie ups as needed. . .If you gardeners need manure, bring shovels and a box. Horse owners, try and bring your pile home. I will run my trailer around 5 a.m. on Saturdays and be the pooper-scooper patrol."

The letter started some Facebook traffic, with comments from people saying they were looking forward to bringing their horses to town.

"When Kitchen's letter came out, I was at the beach and my friend sent it to me," says Farrer. "I thought, 'That is so not going to work.' So I posted on Facebook telling everyone not to bring their horses and trailers. This is my lot, and I have no intention of letting this go on. I'm considering contacting the police and seeing what I can do about this because people aren't going to pick up after their horses, and I don't care to drive in it."

Farrer says Kitchen's requested only to hold a marshmallow fire in her lot, though he made it clear to others that the lot was to be used for horses.

"I was appalled by it. I don't know exactly what I am going to do about it but I'll probably try to block off the lot," says Farrer.


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