Saturday, September 11, 2010

Riding Old Selam

Karen's Horse Tails

The Old Selam endurance ride near Centerville, ID, just North of Idaho City, is one of my all time favorite rides. The ride always delivers good footing, hills, scenery and creeks. Plus I love Idaho City, another old mining boomtown with many historic buildings. It’s always fun to take some time and check it out. I usually see something I haven’t paid attention to like the pictured jail, or as the sign calls it “Pest House”. Hard to believe these tiny towns had populations of around 3000 in their prime during the gold rush.

The ride camp is on Oscar Baumhoff’s property on the banks of Henry Creek, a mining hot bed in the 1860’s. This has been home to the ride since 1996. The ride was first held in 1976, when camp was near one of the old barns at the Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise, which closed in 1973. I first rode it in 1979, and we took a tour of the old prison which is now a museum and all the houses have since been restored.
“What an odd place for a ride?” is perhaps what you are pondering, and you might be thinking that I misspelled the name too. The ride name, Old Selam, is no mistake. Selam was a cart horse used at the prison. In his day he was a fine carriage and riding horse. But in 1901 the aging grey gelding was used as an escape vehicle; not once but twice!

...full story at

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