Doreen had always wanted our young Wylie to attempt to be a pack horse, among his other endorsements. Since I (Bob) was going out west to check the horses, I decided to bring along my trusted Warzone and young Wylie to tag along. I do not have a pack saddle, nor have ever had the experience of using one myself, but I was determined to try this with him. Saturday morning dawned so bright and warm but already by the time I went to saddle them the bugs were horrible, especially the horse flies. I put Wylie’s own saddle on him with saddle bags, then took two other sets of saddle bags and rain jackets and tied then securely onto the saddle. He just stood there looking at me curiously wondering what this is all about. I made sure to rub both horses thorougly down with a new product, which really worked , to keep the horse flies from making them go insane. I then mounted up on Warzone and using an extra long cotton lead shank off we went.
Wylie was great he would be just right behind Warzone and or right up along my right knee, always on the proper side. He followed docily along, through everything we had to go through, except when he went around a tree wrong and came up to me a looked at me as if to say, now what. I laughed and just grapped the front of the shank and off we went. The next incident was when I did not notice that he had stopped to do his thing. Warzone just kept going and the next thing I knew I was almost pulled backward out of my saddle. Note to self: “pay attention”. Wylie finished and then walked up to me so that I could get that dangly thing out his way.
The eight of small herds that we did find were in the heavy timber, trying to avoid the onslaught of insects. We did come across one that was on a hillside in the wind. Wylie upon seeing them, ran out in front, postured himself and arched his neck at these interlopers. I had to laugh again at his antics.
I met one fellow slowly motoring along on his quad, also out to take pictures. We stopped and talked about the horses. The foal crop is good with around 80% of the foals surviving so far. The grass is thick and the horses are in great shape. He mentioned an older stallion with a badly busted leg from a stallion fight. He is in a location you could not get to even if you wanted to try to help. The location and discription sounded like one we had called “Hombre”. That hurt knowing that he may be the one, he has been a special one to me and I still hate to see any of them suffer.
We went on for 16 miles altogether with my great little pack horse. More and more campers and atv’s were still moving in at that hour on Saturday and the massive clear cutting done by the logging compainies have destroyed a lot of our more pristine trails. I decided that it would be time to go home and maybe we will try this again on week day when the woods are quieter.
I also want to thank all of you who sent such kind words to us in regards to “Ginger”. Thank you. This is also my first time at trying to post a blog so have patience with me.