Sunday, October 13, 2019

Trail Log: 10-12-2019

  • Trail: Steck Park - Boat Ramp to Crazy Lady Creek
  • Miles: 6.88
  • Riders: Self
  • Horses: Jack and J'Lo
  • Dogs: Shade and Hank

Notes: Pretty day on the Snake. The Sumac is on fire with the fall coloring. Shade went the entire distance! It's a steep climb in and out. I was worried but kept checking on her. I swapped horses at Crazy Lady Creek and when I did - I dropped my phone. Climbed to the top of CLC before I realized it so had to go back for it. I really worried about Shade but she didn't want to wait for me at the top and hiked back with me. I figured she wouldn't be able to move this morning. She's stiff - but moving better than I expected and is still climbing the stairs to lay under my desk as I post this. I wish every month was October and dogs never grew old.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Trail Log: 10-8-2019

  • Trail: WRT - ShoePeg - North toward Cambridge
  • Miles: 6.60
  • Riders: Self - Jones - Dusty
  • Horses: Jack - Honor - Raycine
  • Dogs: Hank - Savannah - Dealer

Notes: Put in at Shoepeg and rode north toward Cambridge. Tried to find a place to cross the river to the trail on the other side but failed. The grass was so tall and thick you could not tell what was underneath. You would ride along and drop into a hole like the bottom just fell out from under you. Kind of creepy so opted to stay on the mail trail and ride back the way we came.

Came upon several of those rocks people paint and leave for you to take and move somewhere else. I need to start doing that - it is kind of fun.

Stopped at Mann Creek Cafe on the way home for lunch and split a raspberry cheesecake chimichanga thing to die for.

Trail Log: 10-2-2019

  • Trail: Weiser River Trail - Shoepeg to Midvale
  • Miles: 9.7
  • Riders: Self - Athena
  • Horses: Jack and J'Lo
  • Dogs: Hank (Shade in trailer)

Notes: A much needed break from the pain and sorrow over the last few weeks. Losing grandma at 97 was one thing - but the unexpected loss of my dad was pretty hard to take.

Athena hasn't ridden much since she was a little girl. She rode J'Lo and I rode Jack. We had a blast. It was breathtaking beauty all around. The weather was ideal...fall colors everywhere. We put in at Shoepeg and rode to Midvale, tied the horses to the hitching post and had lunch at The Cabin. A wonderful day we both needed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Trail Log: 9-24-2019

  • Trail: Weiser River Trail
  • Miles: 10.35
  • Riders: Self
  • Horses: Jack and J'Lo
  • Dogs: Hank and Shade (shorter hike)


Took the horses and dogs for a ride on the WRT since I couldn't come up with a better plan. I usually ride Jack in and J out. J is getting to be a pain in the butt to pony. She stops unexpectedly for whatever reason...which wouldn't be that big of a deal. Normally I can dally up and Jack drags her sorry ass along. However, the POS halter I had on her has a totally worthless Velcro fastener. Any tension on it and it pulls right off her face. It didn't take her long to figure that one out. Being her obstinate self - she plants all fours - about jerks my arm off - I dally up real quick and Jack throws his shoulders into it to drag her lard butt down the trail. The halter snaps off leaving her standing in the middle of the trail with a smug look on her face.

Today was not a good day to test my patience. I turn Jack around to gather her up and she  whirls around and takes off for home. Fine, you counterfeit red-headed bitch...Jack and I take off after her. She can't outrun Jack on his worst day - we catch her - gallop alongside her and I reach over and grab a hunk of her forelock. Now what? A nice heading rope would come in handy about now but I don't have one on me. I might have been able to slip the lead rope around her neck had it not been laying in the middle of the trail 100 yards up. I've seen a lot of bulldogging in my life and it looks like things were going that direction...only they have horns. No horns - no rope. Jack hazed her off the trail just so far before I pulled him up. No sense risking falling in a gopher hole or running into wire over it. I pulled up Jack and we let her go.

Jack and I head back up the trail, retrieving her halter. J stays about a quarter of a mile behind us trying to convince Jack to follow her by whining to him. Jack knows that if he whinnies back - I put him to work so he pretty much ignores her. Once we get almost out of sight - she trots after us. I stop and turn around to wait for her and she stops...turns around - and heads for home. Fine - go home you worthless nag. I bet you wouldn't even make good glue. That's it, run all the way home, I hope you fall in a gopher hole and break your leg but you damn well better not scratch up my saddle in the process.

We did this for about a mile. My only real concern was that she would run back to the trailers and somebody would find her and think she had a rider that was hurt somewhere. Jack and I discussed the matter and came up with a plan. If she could see us - she would stop or turn for home. When we were out of site - she would try and follow. I found a good straight stretch where she could see us and took off at a run up the trail - glancing back I could see the further we got from her - the more worried she got and would trot after us. I know this section of trail like the back of my hand. I would dive off the trail into a hole of sorts in some bushes that would put us out of her sight.

Jack and I waited in the bushes as J'Lo came running. I could see her - but she could not see us.  I was relieved to see her saddle was still on straight as she picked up speed. I think I might have a mean streak. I waited until she was directly across from us at a dead run. I jumped out of the bushes, threw my arms up and using my very best Sasquatch meats Satan yell, I commenced to scare the living shit out of her. She literally jumped the width of the road before catching site of Jack. She skid to a stop, whirled around and about knocked us both over trying to get back into her halter. Serves you right. Infuriating beast.

I hard tied the halter and we were back on the trail. It didn't take her more than a few times of balking and Jack about ripping her face off that she figured out she wouldn't be escaping again. Now when I ask for a trot or a lope from Jack - she's right there. She's cantankerous, but she's a fast learner.

I swapped horses at the second gate and headed back to the trail head at a long trot. I didn't get on Jack for biting her on the butt most of the way home.

Disclaimer. I really do like that mare. She's solid as they come. She takes care of my grand-kids. Anybody can ride her. She's an awesome shooting horse. She's amazing in the arena, etc...but she is the worst, most non-leading animal on the planet. I guess it's just something we need to work on.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Trail Log: 9-16-2019

  • Trail: Succor Creek Canyon
  • Miles: 7.15
  • Ave MPH: 3.4
  • Max MPH: 15
  • Riders: Self - Jones - Dusty
  • Horses: Jack - Honor - Diesel
  • Dogs: Hank - Savannah - Dealer (Shade at camp)

I have no words just yet. Heartbroken - sad - lonely and more than a little scared that our radical, bad-ass dad is not here to rescue us from the evils of this world. I inherited your terrible sense of direction and your nose (thanks dad ;) ) and as God is my witness, I will watch over our family, as you did, to my last breath. 

I love you

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Trail Log: 9-12-2019

Trail: Steck Park
Miles: 6.0
Riders: Self - Sharon
Horses: Jack - J'Lo - Elli
Dogs: Shade - Hank - Roland - Sally

Notes: Fall appears to be on it's way. It was cool enough in the morning I brought Shade along for the ride. She was so happy to go and did great. She amazes me for a dog her size, breed and age.

Rode Jack in and J'Lo out. We rode almost to Crazy Lady Creek. The rest of the way in is pretty steep and didn't want to overdo it for Shade.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Trail Log: 8-2019 to 9-7-2019

  • Trail: WRT - Grouse Creek - Lone Pine
  • Miles: 14
  • Riders: Self - Sharon
  • Horses: Jack - J'Lo - Elli
  • Dogs: Hank - Shade

Notes: Been on the go and got behind on posting my trail miles. Combining them in one post as best I can remember. I've been  taking short rides here and there in between working on putting in a shallow irrigation well, shooting practice and our last shoot for the year in Prineville.

I opted to donate the Prineville shoot and compete off Jack. Our times were better than I expected. I probably should have done time only's and competed off J'Lo - but I needed to get an actual shoot under our saddle so we can move forward. Jack did awesome under the pressure of an actual shoot. We only had one wonky run when I asked him for more speed than we were ready for. The first random 5 were spot on - then, turning the rundown barrel we got a little carried away - blew out the barrel - overcompensated - ran over/jumped the #7 target and ended up on the other side of the rundown. Jack didn't panic (can't say the same for his rider who got a little wide-eyed) - plowed through the target and continued on. Pretty proud of my pony.

 I did ride J'Lo for shotgun so she got a couple runs in as well. I don't think I've missed this many balloons since my first shoot but it was worth it.

During my morning walk with the dogs, we came upon a fire under the Lone Pine tree. Somebody had left a camp fire unattended. It was burning fairly deep in the soil/pine needles so I couldn't stomp it out. Called Lauman's and they ran their water truck to it and put it out. Stew and I went back and dug around it to make sure it was out and dragged away some dead, pitchy limbs from under it.

Been a busy, eventful couple of weeks for sure.