What an adventure. I think we have recuperated enough to recap some of “the walk”. In short, we hiked the mountain to bring Cannon back to the main ranch for some further training. He is Ida’s 4 yo gelding, grandson to our daughter’s horse, Estes, and friendly enough – as long as you don’t have a halter in your hand (hence, the need for more training). The day was beautiful and we found the horses on the nearest pasture from the quarry, and as usual, they came to greet us.
After passing out the dried waffle treats, the horses all settled down to grazing, and thinking we were on a roll, here, Bill started the walk-down with Cannon.
I led with Jesse until the herd got the idea that we were all moving together. They lined up very nicely and followed in a line until we got to a steep, snowy slope that we decided was just tooooo much. We broke into two groups then and scouted along the ridge until the horses recognized a trail down and we headed through the trees. Many times we had to stop and consult them for directions, as the regular trails were not passable with the snow, but they soon got the idea and were very helpful.
Dutch, looking when Washoe says, "Go left."I wish we had more pictures of the terrain, but there was no way I could hang onto a camera and negotiate the trail leading a horse. Jesse saved me from many falls when my feet would slide off a rock under the snow going down the steep parts, and I would grab for her mane to keep from falling; such a patient horse! Then she would let me ‘tail-up’ to get back up the next steep hill. Once, I even had to turn her loose to slide down the hill and she waited for me at the top of the next slope. In the mean time...
Okay, in the mean time Juanita has some homework to do, so I’m gunna finish this entry.
In the mean time, we were trudging cross country (you know, I have a friend in Arizona who has told me that he NEVER has to “trudge” in Arizona, “trudging” is a snow-step) until we reached a point where the horses seemed to realize “OH! I know where we are heading now!” and off they went down to the river. If I started heading in a “less than optimal” direction, they would veer off until I came to my senses and started following them.
There was a LOT of down and up involved!We finally reached the last plateau before the river after a 2 ½ mile stroll in the wilderness. The horses spread out to graze a bit, until we led them down to the river-road and started the last ¼ mile walk to Ida’s trailer, where she had set up a catch pen.
Cannon went straight into the pen and loaded into the trailer like the whole thing was his idea. Dork. If he had let us catch him, it would have been a 1 ½ mile walk on a dry road , with no damn trudging involved.
The horses that accompanied us on the journey got a final treat (hay and grain) to keep them occupied while the truck and trailer went out of the gate hauling the young horse to his next series of lessons, hopefully involving some “standing for haltering” training.
Maybe Cannon is just a big shot that feels he needs an "entourage" for traveling. Dork.
Juanita (& Bill)