Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Zap - still full of fire

ZAPPED - he's 25 1/2 according to the calendar but he races around like the colt that still lives within. He has no trouble out running the youngsters, and he has more wind in him than they do too. Who says old horses have to slow down. The grand old man has 6480 AERC miles, LOTS of Regional and National awards and he loves his mare and being the boss of the herd.
This being the horse that came to me because his owner called us one snowy night and after introducing himself said, I understand you buy problem horses. It seems Zap liked to buck, and his owner wasn't fond of that. That was November 1989. When I first saw Zap he was a steely dapply grey, a wispy Arabian full of snort and fire, he ran with his head held high and his tail flagging in the wind. He was willing to be touched only if he trusted you. Willing to be ridden only if you truly rode him, took him places and yes - let him run and he would buck for sheer joy.
In the beginning I didn't like riding him. Yes he was smooth, yes the miles seemed effortless for him. But he was spooky, flighty and you never knew when that buck was coming. But at the time, I had nothing else to ride. But a day came when that all changed. To make a long story short, while out marking one of our endurance trails, we got caught in a horrendous electrical storm. I headed for the "gorge" as I knew the lightening would strike the ridges. We trotted and loped the gorge for three miles with lightening bolts hitting trees not 20 feet away. I was scared stiff as Zap bounced through the ditches and over the sagebrush dodging lightening bolts in the pouring rain. He could've run off, dumped me, bucked, but he did none of those things. He paid attention and we melded our talents and became a team that day and forever. As we neared the end of the gorge the storm subsided, and we looked liked drowned rats as we made our way to the trailer. The storm was exhilarating, the ride a thrill but there truly was a togetherness and happiness within us.
Over the miles and the years, little has changed. He's still snorty, full of fire and there will never be another like him!
Thanks old buddy - and long may you reign as king of the pasture!
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snow ponies

The white Christmas is still here two days later. Thanks to the wind relocating the snow I have drifts a few feet deep and areas with only a few inches of snow. As I walk around to do my chores I get surprises now and then as I step into a big drift that I didn't notice in the blizzard because I had my head down avoiding snow in my face. My dog, Molly, loves to play in it. and the horses roll in it and play. They are crusted with snow, little icicles hang in their mane. Thunder just wants scratched. They enjoy their warm beet pulp on days like this. I sure am glad that I didn't have to drive to work this morning!! Here is a little video for your further cold day entertainment. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6379897839774587415 Happy winter everyone.
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Taste of Winter

Today it is cold, windy and snow has been coming down sideways. I think most of it just blew right on by! But we all know that December means winter, Christmas, baking and fat food. I have been working inside my house, still making necesary repairs and putting things away since it is simply too cold to ride. I'm not that much of a die hard! Even the cats are hiding in the shed and Molly is sleeping on her cozy bed. No one wants to be out there. I added some music from one of my favorite groups, Third Day, to the blog, crank it up and enjoy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Have Camera Will Ride

Josette took this of Thunder and I near the top of the ridge. I lik the scenery in the background. Down in the V - deep in the canyon and not visible in this pic- lies The Owyhee Reservoir.

This is Lily, Tammy and Joe bringing up some cows. We found them between those two rocky ridges in the background. What a ride! :-)

Oh yes and we saw those deer too, and this time I got their picture! Eight muley's climbed up over the rocks and stopped to study Linda and I. The horses studied them back and after watching them for a minute it was time to get over to the draw that we were supposed to be waiting in for cows.
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Fall Roundup or Work off that TURKEY!

Fall means bring the cows back in - again. They get 6 weeks out on the BLM in the spring and another 6 weeks in the fall. That's a lot of work driving them out and bringing them back in. We'd ridden out to check on them a couple times and they were usually around the salt, laying down, chewing their cud.
Two days after we all filled up on turkey and taters, we are out there riding it all off looking for cows. Joe and Josette both thought they'd be in the salt area. Yeah right, that's be too easy. And when we got there, not a single cow. So we split up to do some brushpopping.
The grass was still plentiful, the rocks had not gotten any smaller, in fact I think they had multiplied. The hills were steep and steeper, nothing easy about this part of the Owyhees. We found eight in the same place Josette and I found them last spring, on a narrow hill top. We took them out a bit different route, easier, if there is such a thing in the Owyhees. We reached a gate just about the same time Joe came up with his six from the opposite direction. This was Blue's first gathering and he was herding them along all by himself. Our goal was to keep them from mixing with the other ranchers cows as we crossed the grassy prairies. Tammy and Josette had gone ahead to "sweep" the trail, but three strays spotted the herd and came racing in. Yes cows can run and these three frolicked and acted like they had found long lost friends when they met our bunch. They hung around for a couple miles then when the three of them were altogether again, we cut them out and they mosied off in the other direction.
The sun was going down as Linda and I topped the saddle ahead of the cows, where we rode down into the draw so we could be block the upper part of the draw from the cows. From there it was less than 1/2 mile downhill to the catch pens and trailers. They were spooking a bit until Ace through some alfalfa out and one cow thought that looked real good. Once she moved in, so did the others. Then it was close the wings of the pen and load them up. It was almost dark. These short days don't give us a lot of time. The horses had worked hard on those steep hillsides, we gave them a short rest and water before loading up and going back to the farm. We celebrated a long but safe day with some good food and good cheer; we'd played hard and worked harder, but dang it was a good day!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I've been offline for awhile (moving!) but not out of the saddle. So although you may not hear from me it doesn't mean that I am not out there doing something. I ride every chance I get! And I grab that chance and milk it for all it's worth, squeezing every bit of daylight possible out of these short days.

Fall offers some nice opportunities for riding, some folks like the cool temps but I always miss summer. The high desert is always interesting no matter what time of year. The cows went back out for the fall and then we made a pack trip out with salt. Since I didn't have the pack horse I entertained myself with the camera and a shadow on the way back down the draw. Since this picture it has rained enough to muddy the trail and make the creek flow. Last fall we had a herd of mule deer above the rocks watching us. All we could see was heads and ears peering out over the rock ledge. Of course I didn't have my camera that day and we haven't seen them since either. But my camera always seeks out picture possibilites.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I'll be out after TG dinner to try and ride off some calories!

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

20,000 Rider miles at Owyhee Canyonlands

Steve Bradley took this photo at Owyhee Canyonlands and presented me with it as a memento of riding 20,000 AERC miles. Pretty cool since I wasn't sure if I'd ever reach that mileage after last years wreck. But here I am with Thunder, riding and having a good time thanks to a lot of help from good friends.
An interesting note is that my first ride was on a blaze faced chestnut in 1977. Now many years later and several horses of various colors, I am surpassing my 20,000 mile mark on a blaze faced chestbut horse. I guess some things never change.
Owyhee Canyonlands is a 5 day multi-day ride put on by Steph & John Teeter in Oreana, ID. The first 3 days were large 50 plus mile loops, the last two days were smaller repeat loops in and out of camp. I had entered days 1, 2 and 4. My favorite trails are the long loops that begin and finish in camp, with out vet checks. These long loops give me more time to explore new lands and they also test your horsemanship more than small loop trails that keep returning to camp. I feel this makes my horse and myself a better team.

Day 1 was the Castle Creek 50, and the trail took Josette and I out through the Browns Creek Canyon to Castle Creek. Thunder was a good boy, no bucks! The trail was fairly rocky with some technical footing here and there but nothing our horses weren't used to negotiating. A lot of people were dreading the beaver pond but since we had crossed roaring whitewater in July our horses thought little of the pond. They did enjoy a good drink of water as they waded through. We were given some magnificent views of the Castle Creek gorge, some awesome rock formations and interesting country even though the desert is pretty dry still after last weeks rain. We trotted past an old homestead cabin and one dugout underground dwelling or cellar. 39 started, 37 finished and I believe our time was 6 hrs and 40 min for the 50 miles. The cold morning kept the temps down, it really didn't feel too warm until about 2 PM, but the weather was great, certainly better than that thunder storm we rode in last Saturday.

The Wild Horse Butte 55 miler was the second day. I rode mostly with Karen Steenhof and Thunder was excellant. Anytime he spotted horses ahead he wanted to hurry and catch up but he was at least behaving himself. We rode through sections of the Snake River Birds of Prey area where we did see one Harrier circling through the sky. The trail went along the edge of the Snake River where Thunder got a drink, circled Wild Horse Butte, and then returning over portions of the Oregon Trail. It was a really nice day, not too hot with a bit of cloud cover. The footing was better than the day before but I thought occasionally Thunder would wince on a rock. We finished the 55 in 6:33, 17th out of 30 starters. We were OK'd to go again the next day but I thought he'd had enough rocks. So we just did two days and had a really good time!
Friday morning I saddled Thunder up and we went out for an enjoyable little ride with Terry McDonald and her friend Kris. Now Terry and I go WAY back and we rode together in the early 80's on the Lost Wagon Train multi-day. So we had a bit of catching up to do. The nice thing about endurance riding is meeting up again with old friends and always making new friends. After our ride I helped at the vet check in camp and pulsed and ran a few errands. There were lots of helpers that enable rides like this to happen. Thanks Steph & John for a good ride!! VIVA 50 mile loop trails!!!!!!
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jennie Lake

Here is Linda and I at the shore of Jennie Lake, 7850 feet elevation, near Jackson Peak. We figure as the end of Sept. gets closer that it is going to be harder to ride in the mountains and we wanted to get in one more ride to a lake if we could. This was a great little ride, not too tough, a lot of climb going up of course but we thought it was pretty easy. The trail follows Bear Creek and is 9.2 miles round trip from the trail head. We parked on road 348 and then rode to the trailhead and then on up to the lake, giving us a few extra miles. The crystal clear waters were so pure we could see the fish swimming around out there. There were a couple people camped and fly fishing. What a gorgeous little spot!
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Silver City or Bust!

Here is a picture of Tammy & I in front of the Idaho Hotel and Bar, built in 1866, in Silver City.

Last weekend we trailered part way up to Silver City then rode up 4 wheel drive and bike tracks into Silver City. The off road route took us by old cabins and mine shafts to Linehan Flat, past Webfoot and to Jordan Creek, then into town. It was like riding through a time machine back into the old west. "Silver" is an old mining town from the late 1800's that once had a population over 10,000. Now only a handful of the old buildings still stand. Some are being restored. One of the gals riding with us, Dani, has a house up there and that's where we stayed. No dirt camping for us! The horses had a big corral with trees, we barbq'd and had a wonderful adventure exploring Silver. We went all around town, checking out the old buildings and the cemetary, taking in the flavor of the old west. Then Sunday morning we traveled out a different path up War Eagle, past a lot of old mines, cabins, tailing piles and topping out with a view that was unmatched anywhere! After that I think it was downhill all the way back to the trailers. What a great ride and adventure! I sure am lucky to have adventurous friends!
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Interesting quote

I found this quote on a runners website. And while reading it, I could relate it to endurance riding. Or even just those long days of trail riding where we might explore 30 miles of country just for kicks and giggles while most people watch TV or play video games.
I always feel as though riding cleanses my soul and the presence of my horse is all I need to enjoy a few moments of time.
Enjoy the quote, perhaps it will have special meaning for you too.

"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense.The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms oftheir being -- a call that asks who they are ..."- David Blaikie

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pink Flamingo

After our wilderness tour of the Sawtooth's it was off to the Pink Flamingo Classic near Cascade, ID. A very nice 2 day event held in a beautiful area of soft wooded trails. Nothing like the rugged Sawtooth's. We just rode the first day since we'd only been back from the Sawtooth's for 3 days.
The first loop found my horse rather full of himself, there's a news flash. Thunder is ALWAYS full of himself! The trail took us by a lovely mirrored pond and offered us some nice views of Cascade Lake and West Mt. The second loop I told my bratty redhead that he could move out a bit, for which he was quite grateful. We passed a few horses on this loop, some destined for both days of riding.
The last loop of 12 miles had some steep up and down with little inbetween. The last couple miles of relative flat dirt road was out of the trees and it was hot! It was a fun ride. We finished the 50 in a bit over 7 hrs and I was happy with that. My horse was sound and healthy and vetted through just fine.
Now it's off to the coast to visit and play!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Riding the Sawtooth Wilderness

Wow! What a week. What I thought was going to be several days of "trail riding", turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime! A friendly hiker took this picture of the 3 of us near the Snowyside Peak Divide on our 4th day of riding.
We first camped at Grand Jean and rode 3 days out of there, taking the Elk Lake trail, Baron Creek Trail, as well as portions of the South Fork Payette and the Trail Creek Lakes Trail. Some of the streams were quite high and swift plus they have logs and holes amid the rocks. Crossing them was quite treacherous. When we had to cross North Fork the second time, we said a couple hail Mary's and yeehawed across the raging water with Thunder in the lead, jumping the log and onto the bank! We left a very confused backpacker sitting on the bank wondering "What the ????"
The deadfall from old burns made for some slow travel if we couldn't simply jump the logs, but the views were gorgeous! Rock slides on talus slopes stopped us from actually reaching Baron Lake unfortunately. Too have continued on the talus slope with little or no trail would have been disastrous with a horse. Very little work has been done on these trails, they work the backpackers but the horses couldn't fit under those logs. :-)
We went on to Stanley for supplies and camped at Tin Cup. We headed out mid afternoon for a ride from Pettit Lake up around Toxaway, over Snowyside Divide, down through the middle of the sawtooths past Twin Lakes, Alice Lake, El Capitan and back to Pettit Lake and made it back to camp by dusk! This was an outrageous ride, not for the faint hearted. We had some wild riding and high adrenaline moments, beautiful views, great days of weather and no I am not really glad to be back home but here I am. :-) Here is a link to pics. http://picasaweb.google.com/zap6000

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Last Saturday, July 5, we went up to Bogus Basin, NE of Boise to ride. The road gets pretty windy and steep for about 13 miles. We dodged bicyclists all the way up to the parking area near Schafer Butte. We rode for several hours, enjoying the pine trees and shaded areas and beautiful vistas from the hill tops. It was a very clear day and you could see forever! It was different riding alongside the ski lifts. We had to backtrack several times because our logging tracks ended and the brush was too thick to try to figure out where to go. One track ended about 100 yards from the cat tracks that we needed to take us back. It was getting late and no way was I turning around. It was 50 very steep yards then it was just uphill, but I led Hollie up. Josette sent Roseanna up behind me. They're tough and I sure didn't feel like trying to figure out how else to get back to Schafer from there if we had to back track again! Luckily we found a couple springs with water for the horses. I couldn't resist a picture with this sign "Last Chance", it just seemed so appropriate. What a great ride, hope we get to do it again!

Friday, July 4, 2008


Today I went solo on Thunder. This is the first time I have gone out totally by myself on him since our wreck in November. We have come so far - its amazing! The last few rides on him I have gone way out ahead of the others with him and he did just fine. Joe had him out by himself and he did well then too. I just needed to get back all the confidence so I could do it. And today when my riding buddy called and canceled, I decided what the heck, and we went anyhow. We had a fine ride, trotted a lot of trails, galloped the hills, walked and even took time to let him scratch and eat a bit of grass. It's great to be back to my old self and really enjoying my horse and God's country. :-) Gives new meaning to "independence" day!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ride to Three Fingers

Yesterday was a beautiful day and my friend, Josette, and I decided to ride out to Board Corral. The route takes us on Kettle Camp Rd, past the Devils Gate, over some hills and rocks down into the gulch and canyon known as Board Corral. I discovered there are no baordsa at Board Corral, it is almost a box canyon. The high cliff walls have caves that we didn't explore, figured we'd find a rattle snake or two. There is a spring with a trough full of water and some green grass on the other side of the fence. Elevation is roughly 3900 feet. We had a snack and some water and decided that we weren't done yet. "Doesn't seem like much of a ride." said my die hard friend. "You want to go ride out towards Three Fingers?" I quickly answered "Sure! I'm game!"
So we traveled on towards Three Fingers Butte, once known as the Prince of The Owyhees - so I'm told. This rough rugged rocky topped Butte stands around 4900 feet. The grass was thick and tall. Thunder thought it was a great pasture. It was a rugged rocky trek to the edge of the rocks that top out the Butte but what a magnificent view! We could see for miles. It was absolutely beautiful as the tall grasses waved in the breeze.
On the way back we watered the horses once again in Board Corral. Here we met up with one of those pesky rattlers on the way in. He was in the grass near the creek where it was cool. Then we found another one when we were almost back to the trailer near Succor Creek Rd. Summer must be getting here if the snakes are out.
What a great ride! We went about 30 miles and sure saw lots of desert and rocks! Years ago when I first saw Three Fingers I never thought I'd get to ride to it. What an awesome experience!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Owyhee Caves

The Owyhees and the vast area known as Succor Creek house many caves, rock formations, old mud cones, lava rock tossed from I-am-not-sure-where, quicksand and several other fascinating things. We can always find somewhere to explore and discover. The possibilites are endless. Sunday, June 8, we decided to revisit Devils Gate, a HUGE rocky canyon, high cliff walls and cave, the description fails to do it justice. Technically it is referred to as a "Gap", probably due to the split or crevice in the cliff walls. The horses do not like it. We joke it's because they don't like the ghosts of fallen rock climbers. Could be? But they are very nervous in there and can't wait to leave.

There is a much smaller cliff wall that angles back in, forming a cave, not far from Devil's Gate. The horses were willing to enter this one. I'm sure the cave has a name but we don't know it. Some call it Little Devils Gate. The picture is a bit far away but it shows how big and tall the walls are. Over a hundred feet of solid rock. Remember, this one is smaller than Devil's Gate. Cattle and wildlife find shelter from storms in this cave, and sometimes it holds water. Since this original post I have discovered a very old pic of this same cave with a horse and rider in the Owyhee Trails book! It's just one of the many cool places we find when we ride. And yes- I know how lucky I am to have such a place to ride and explore!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Adventures with Josette

There are days where life is just an adventure, that was yesterday when Josette and I went riding. Now first you must remember that the two of us have a way of making an adventure from the simplest things. It is the easiest thing for us to do.

It was just another day as we trailered out to the Owyhees to ride. We wanted to ride past Devils Gate out to Board Corral. I thought the sky looked a bit ominous but Josette pointed out that the wind was blowing the storm away from us. OK I said as I heard "rumble rumble" off in the distance. Meanwhile her gelding, Elvis, was protesting going that direction. He was doing purt near everything in his power to say "I am not going that direction". Thunder started trotting up the hill and Elvis came along too. We had to move off the road for a pickup filled with barking dogs, thank goodness theyw ere tied in there. No sooner did we trot half a mile and here comes motorcycles. So we got off the road again and waved and smiled as the boy came by on a bike, the dad came by on a bigger bike, and here came mom on a 4 wheeler. She was frozen stiff on that thing and wasn't going fast enough to keep up. We snickered and made smart remarks as we got back on the dirt road and trotted along.

Then I saw a big flash of lightening. It went horizontal over the hill, nothing downward at all, and it was a couple miles away. Josette said she didn't see it, but she saw the nest one. "OK lets take this trail here and go the other way." The wind had quit blowing and somehow the upper winds were swirling the storm our direction. I think this was when we decided that perhaps Elvis did know best afterall and we should have listened.

So we trotted off and headed down a big gulley that would circle us around back to the trailer. "WOW! Look at that." I said. There on a hillside was an old mud cone, all swirled about with different colors. It was cool. So we had to go check it out for a closer look. There was a huge washout behind it from previous storms and a tunnel through the hill where the water had flowed. The rain, thunder and occasional flashes of lightening ended our fascination with the hill and sent us back to the gulley for protection. There we stood crouched under our horse's necks, attempting to stay dry, while the storm passed over.

In between counting the seconds between lightening flashes and the thunder booms, we spotted some neat rocks in the gulley around us as we waited out the storm. After the danger of lightening was gone we mounted up. Now my saddle has a fleece tushy cush on it that was completely saturated, and so was I once I sat on it. :-)

We rode back to the trailer. The rain was hitting the horses in the face so naturally they wanted to go the other way. Water ran every where, the clay mud was slick and gooey. By the time we got to the trailer the sun was out and it was really beautiful. The curlew was yapping at us, must have had a nearby nest. We had to wait about an hour to drive out so we wouldn't get stuck. That's why you always keep refreshments and food in the horse trailer. There were still a few tricky spots but since I am writing this you know we made it out. :-)

Monday, May 26, 2008


Hi all. Just got back from the Owyhee Fandango ride down at Oreana. Rode 2 days. I rode day 1 on Hollie with Josette and Elvis. Our time was 7:51 for 3 loop trails out of camp. Joe rode Thunder and Linda rode her mare Aire. Joe & Thunder finished 11th and 2nd HW in 5:45. Linda was 13th and a minute behind. It was a great day, it got a bit warm. But never fear - it's Idaho. A thunderstorm moved in to cool things off, soak everything, then the sun came back out again. There were 42 finishers.

The second day I rode Thunder. Linda was on her mare again and Joe was riding Dudley, a Russian Orlov/Arab. This was an awesome trail. We went down through a canyon and into a ranch with beautiful green pastures and a lake. Then we swung out to the Snake River where we waded out and let the horses drink and splash. Then we went back into the ranch on the Oregon Trail for another vet check. We had 17.5 miles back to camp from the ranch for a 55 mile total. We were 12, 13, 14 with a time of 7:03. Not too shabby for two days. Thunder had completed two days, 105 miles, in 12:49, and he looked good! We had considered riding three days but the third days trail was much like the first and I thought we'd done enough. I had a great weekend and awesome ride and was content. :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Video of the horses

The horses were racing around out here this evening. Zap may be the old man but he can still keep up!! Here is a link to the video http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6826448960859670702&hl=en Just click on it and hopefully it will work!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Eagle Extreme

I rode Thunder Sat May 10 on the Eagle Extreme 50. Not sure where we finished, somewhere in the middle. But it was a tough little ride and he did well on the hills. He was a pickle at the start and really wanted to go! This picture was taken about 20+ miles into the ride! Thunder was still strong on the last loop and he is a lot of fun - just shut up & ride for the first few miles!
He sure has grown up into a nice horse. Hard to believe it has been almost 7 yrs since he was just a tiny foal!

Cattle drive

Sat May 3rd we went out to bring the cows in off their BLM allotment. Here is Hollie - I think we can read her mind. Everytime the cows would slow down backt hose ears would go and she'd push them. What a girl!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


This was the weekend for the Owyhee Tough Sucker endurance ride in Oreana, Idaho. I've been riding quite a bit the last 6 weeks and my friends and I decided to go to an endurance ride. Here I am on Rushcreek Hollie with Josette Beaumont and her gelding, Oyhe Elvis. Despite the cold wind blowing off those snowy mountains behind us, we had a great time. This was Elvis's second 50 and Hollie's first 50 in a few years. We were about 7 1/2 hrs and the horses looked great. I was the slow one in this equation.

Thunder was ridden on the 50 by Joe Nebeker (other picture). They Top 10'd and I think he was the second Heavyweight. For sure he was the first rider with a big western saddle and cowboy hat. :-) This was Thunder's second 50 and he thinks he is the toughest horse on Earth! He was ready for another 50 as soon as he was completed. What a horse! They really moved out the last 10 miles and finished in around 6 hrs 40 minutes.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Succor Creek

Andi & I rode today at Succor Crk Canyon, west of Homedale. She had her old endurance gelding, Cas, who is 24 this year and he had a great time. Ears were up as he trotted along, I think he was smiling! The grass is starting to grow and the creek is filling the canyon, flowing fast and furious. I don't recall seeing that much water in there before. Andi spotted a deer on the way out there, lots of birds, cows and some ground squirrels. The other day I heard curlew but I think it was too windy for them today. The two of us don't get to ride together much these days so today was pretty special.

Happy Easter

Easter Sunday we rode all afternoon and never found the Easter Bunny. He was busy somewhere other than the brushy hills and canyons we were riding. But the sun was shining, the howling wind laid down and we had a beautiful ride. Joe was on Thunder, ponying Scout, who was packing 200 pounds of salt back into the cows. They were doing the work, Thunder kept getting Scout's leadrope under his flagging tail. Josette, Linda and I were just along for the ride and the scenery. The snow fields were melting and the creeks starting to run. The salt was unloaded on the hillside and all the cows were present and accounted for in their 1500+ acre allotment. We had our Easter picnic then headed back home.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Training Time

The time has come for Thunder's younger cousin, Z Blue Lightening, aka Blue, to start his training. It actually started last spring but then got put on hold and he just kept eating. Last week he got saddled and bitted and played with a little. Today we saddled and played with stirrups and things that make noise and made him nervous. Then Blue got the bit and we worked with giving to the bit. Yup, someday he will be a grown up horse and he'll get to see his share of the trails too.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Putting the Cows Out

It's the time of year to take the cows from the ranch and send them to the high country in the Eastern Oregon Owyhee range south of Adrian, OR.. If you have never heard of Adrian it is the Capital of Eastern Oregon. (LOL!)

Here is a picture of joe Nebeker on my Arabian gelding, Z Summer Thunder, heading cows up to the gate. This was the first time Thunder had been ridden since our mishap in November. He did fine! We trailer up within about 4 miles of the gate, unload and head them uphill through the canyons, snow, mud and creeks to the hills they will call home for the next 6 weeks. We found some pretty big snow fields with some deep drifts along the way. Thanks to the weather they are going out later than usual but at least they are out. Sunday was a nice day for a long ride! It has been a terribly long winter and we have all had "cabin fever". The four of us had a great time!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Wilson Creek wild horses

I often ride out in the Wilson Creek area of the Owyhees. And while I am aware that some people really dislike the wild horses, I enjoy seeing them. Reminds me of all the old horse stories I read as a kid. Yes I know, some of never grow up. After last summers round up, I sure haven't seen many, but there are a few here and there. Here is a pic that I took Feb 10 of a threesome in the area. I sure miss seeing the old red stud. Maybe before they head for the high country I'll see if this mare has foaled or not.