Showing posts from June, 2011

In which Fiddle's behavior changes, and I share some training stories

This blog has always been a recording-place where I can keep track of (among other things) ongoing training issues, setbacks and triumphs.  Not a brag-sheet as much as a progress report.

Through the progress report process, though, I am able to see more clearly how much progress has been made in the never-ending process of training.   Since Fiddle was such a reprobate at the beginning of our relationship, her progress is the most amazing to note!

Here's something, for example, that has become completely routine:
Fee didn't come to me with any trail-building experience.  I started slowly with her, gradually adding different Implements of Destruction onto her saddle, gradually teaching her the skills she needs to be a good trail-building horse:

tolerate all types of weird tools strapped to saddle and stuffed into pack bagsallow me to mount/dismount on either side in tight quarters on iffy terraincarry flapping evil flagging ribbons clipped to mane and tack allow other horses in…

In which I spend nine days in the wilderness and take a few pictures

The Renegade ridecamp is held in a popular camping and recreation area.  It's beautiful, well-kept, and just remote enough to appeal to people who want to "get away from it all" without having to hike for a week into the backcountry.  
That means that the "parade" past my rig each morning was always worth getting out of bed to watch: (The jeepers were very well-behaved this year, as they almost always are; last year we had some big problems with jeepers pulling down our ribbons and scratching out the lime marks on the trails, but this year we were back to peaceful co-existance).

Several backcountry horse groups met up for day rides and overnights while we were in camp.  They are great people, and we like sharing trails with them
 (even if they do go r-e-e-e-e-eally slowly most of the time!)

It's "blooming time" in the mountains for many of the flowers:

Yarrow and Wild Garlic (Onion??) Outstanding in the field!  This field of flowers was …

In which I relate our adventures in trail building (and rebuilding)

Jim and I started hauling ourselves, our horses, and our trail tools up to the Renegade Camp for a week of working in 2005.  The next year, we took the AERC-sponsored Trail Master class along with a bunch of friends, and we really started taking trail-building seriously.
 This year, we had some major obstacles.  
The chasm in the road (above) was caused by spring flooding that destroyed a culvert.  
The road with the bulldozer-sized hole in it is, unfortunately, the major access point to 25 miles of the 50-mile loop that Gail has used for this ride for more than 10 years.  Without a good road that trucks (and emergency vehicles and vets) can travel, the entire southwest branch of the trail was off-limits to us this year.  We anticipate that the road will be fixed eventually...hopefully before fire season...but that wasn't going to help us this year.  We went out Saturday morning to scout the trail. There were lots of blowdowns this year...and they continued to blow down until the nigh…