Sunday, August 14, 2022

Day Three In Horse Camp

The horses were a little restless on this night.  That means I was awake listening for bells, but only since it was a full moon.  Cattle bed down at night and sleep.  They don't wander around in the dark unless there is a full moon to provide some light.  Of course there WAS an almost full moon, but thankfully, no ringing could be heard.  

There was however, lots of pine cones falling along with a few trees.  The fire devastation makes for lots of tall trees with all the limbs burned off.  Those are very dangerous because depending on how long the trunk burned, they can fall on you at any time.  The campground didn't suffer too bad, but the trails into the mountains can be scary.  You make very sure you and your horse do not bump a dead tree or step close to the trunk where it can cave in from the roots being burned out.  Fun, right???

Breakfast was not one, but TWO cups of coffee to get us going.  Apparently I'm in a little better shape than I thought because I'm still not stiff or sore.  Definitely weird.  Mia on the other hand was exhausted!!  She laid down every chance she got.

We decided to ride just in the small valley, taking the roads and trail around in a big circle.  A river runs through this campground (with some amazing fish to catch) which offers a couple of spots to work on that water crossing with Mia.

No use going out early ... we stayed in camp and entertained the chipmunks for a couple of hours.  These two guys were on a huge rock right behind me.  There's a second one under the green branch at the top.  Very curious little guys they were.  

They were probably more interested in Cooper.  They came down off the rock and within two feet on the ground, looking for a handout I'm sure.  Surprisingly, Cooper stayed in his bed as I walked around cleaning up and gathering stuff from my truck.  He was so good I can't believe he's my dog.

At long last we saddled up and headed out.  Mia was still pretty nervous and tense.  If you pay attention, you can feel it in their body and see it in their ears.  Shaggs wasn't any too keen on riding her after that bucking display she put on and it wasn't my place.  We again took turns ponying her along the trails.  

Three year olds have no patience and she began biting Mindy on the butt.  Just lightly of course because she didn't want her teeth kicked out!!  I scouted out the best trails to the river's edge so we could give the water entry another shot.  

I told Shaggs to just wait on her.  You walk your horse into the water and you just wait for the other horse to follow.  Eventually they will snort, take a step or two, smell everything and then walk right in.  It's the same for loading horses in a trailer, crossing a bridge ... anything you want them to do.  You just wait on them.  Spurring, hitting and any other method just makes them more afraid.  Looky here ... she's IN the water!!!

I was also keeping an eye out for fishermen.  There's nothing like jumping out at a horse from the water and sending them into a bucking fit.  Luckily on this day there were no humans around.  Mia did great and in no time was 6" deep in the water, getting a drink (which shows she wasn't so nervous any more) and figuring out how to walk on the rocks.  Yup there's a lot to walking in water.

Just a note here ... I'm happy to say my phone held a charge for three full days before I had to use my portable charger.  There would be more pictures of us riding, but it's hard to hold a phone when you've got reins in one hand and a lead rope in the other.  

After that great water experience, it was time to quit.  You always quit on a good note when working with horses.  Stop when they do what you want.  They will always remember that next time.  Push or slam them, and they will remember THAT the next time and you literally have to start all over again.  

We headed back to camp and had some lunch ... another BLT burrito which I almost swallowed whole.  The food eating schedule was not the same as at my house.  That's a good thing because I lost 3 pounds.  YAY!!!  Not that it will stay that way.

Mia rested up again!!  She's so funny ... she spends a lot of time laying down.  Every horse has their own personality!!

Mindy just headed for the food!!  She and I have a lot in common!!

Not only did Mia learn some things on this trip, but so did I.  Here's one ... when you make coffee in the morning, you make an extra pot of water and pour it in a thermos.  This hot water lasts all day and night, giving you some nice warm water to wash your face with in the morning.  It's not my thermos, so I had to use cold bottled water.  Brrrrrrr ...

That whole morning routine of teeth brushing, face washing and makeup goes right out the window when your bathroom counter is the front seat of your truck.  You're not going to believe this ... I didn't wear any makeup!  I know, right????  That's a miracle in itself.  I have to say it did help ... that's probably why there were no bears in camp.  I scared them all off!!!

With everyone fed, including this little guy, we talked the evening away until bedtime.  

It was a really good horse day, and though I was covered in dirt from head to toe, I crawled into my tiny bedroom and crashed.  You've got to love those chair cushions!!!  

Tomorrow .... more riding.


  1. I love the pictures by the water. Beautiful.

  2. After reading your discussion of horse personalities and nervousness, it really makes me appreciate how much training horses need in the Cavalry!

    1. Can you imagine having a hundred to train and ride? I think they came a few at a time and there were always dependable horses around to help out. Young ones look to the older horses for guidance, so that makes it a little easier.

  3. I would have brought the trailer and lived in comfort :) Sounds like Cooper is enjoying the outside world which is good. Interesting that Mia likes to lay down to rest. Wouldn't be good to step out of the saloon and find your horse laid out on the ground sleeping.

    1. I have to admit, I've never seen one lay down as much as Mia did. My trailer wouldn't fit. It was way too tall for the overhanging trees.

  4. You gals really know how to take care of your horses. Always so nice to see.
    It sounds like a great camping trip. Your
    truck worked out alright after all.... surely
    much better than laying on the ground in a sleeping bag.
    Ok for kids, they like it.🤗
    Linda a.

    1. It was a great trip and my bedroom truck was perfect. Sleeping on the ground in bear country is never restful. It's probably what still gives me nightmares to this day.

    2. It amazes me that people are brave enough to tent-camp in bear country! How do they sleep? At least the Sierra Nevadas aren't grizzly country.

    3. We did it a lot when we were kids. Bears walked around camp (we saw their tracks in the morning) but never bothered us. Believe me, I'd never do it again. Too many close encounters, although I don't think we are on their menu. We don't smell that good I guess.