Howdy 'n Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy the ride! You can contact me at gtyyup at wildblue dot net. See ya on down the trail!
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Searching for the Wild Ones~Part 2

The adventure continues from Searching for the Wild Ones~Part 1...


The way our "Judy Creek" territory lays, we set up our camp in the middle of the territory and ride up going south, and ride down going north. As I mentioned before, it's either up or down! But, we ride out one direction in the morning and come back to camp for lunch and a break, and then ride out the other direction in the afternoon. It works out really well, and we do that all three days (Thurs-Sat).





There's a lot of this happening after a sandwich for lunch.





But, we've got horses to find!!! So, let's hit the trail again. When we spotted the bachelor boys, they were north of camp. Heading out to the south, we follow the gravel forest service road for about a mile then take off cross country.



Debbie P. and My Man following me.







Debbie C. (new rider on day 2) and Kris are ahead. Ha...Kris
is always ahead! She rides a TN Walker.

We carry GPS units, but really we just mark way points when we locate horses. After riding in the same area for 6 years, we know the area by heart. We follow trails that horses make and search locations that we know they frequent...such as watering holes.

After crossing through this clear cut, we spread out abreast about 30 yards apart and head down hill toward the watering hole. It didn't take but 2-3 minutes and a band was spotted. We also carry 2-way radios and those are really helpful.





My Man and Coyote viewing the situation.



This is a band that we recognize...and, believe it or not, some of the horses even have names! The stallion is Dreamsicle, the bay mare is Rosebud, and the yearling colt is Rosebud's from last year and his name is Slider (as last year he was doing the prettiest sliding stops while he was playing).

Then, it seems Dreamsicle has picked up a new mare (the black bay) and each of the mares have fillies from this year.



Dreamsicle with his band.

Members of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition frequent the Herd Management Area quite often and horses with unique markings tend to get names. The majority of the horses are pretty plain in color (browns and bays). But, it's nice to be able to identify horses year after year, know which horse you're talking about, and to see how the bands restructure themselves.

Another observation you may have made is that the horses don't seem very frightened...and you're right. They see humans on a VERY regular basis. They are accustomed to us, but that can make them all the more dangerous. We've had two year olds just want to walk right up to us because they are so curious at that age. At that point, we make sure they don't get too close...they need to stay wild to live in the wild.





I don't know if these are mushrooms or fungus...or what...
but, we found them close to the water hole and it looks
like one of the horses tried a taste test on them.
But, it doesn't appear that it was edible as they
spit out the pieces!


We really enjoy the trip up to the Ochoco's every year. It's an actual vacation for us! The whole family gets to come along...

Cowboy enjoying a nice spot.
BTW, yes, that is Certified Weed Free hay
as it is now required on all public lands (BLM and Forest Service).





Abby prefers tearing up the hay for her spot!


Cowboy and Abby stay at camp while we ride out. They are both just getting too old for that kind of trail riding anymore. Cindy Sue came with us most of the time.

Food is the other great part of the trip. We each take a meal and cook for everyone. It works out perfect and sure saves on bringing so much stuff. And, that means more "kick-back" time too!

As we are eating our dinner on Thursday evening...we got company!!









Evening grazing...so peaceful.



Two fillies and Slider the yearling.
We didn't name the fillies, but I would call them CUTE!





Dreamsicle isn't missing any meals either...doesn't he look great?!?

Remember me mentioning that we put up a hot wire fence around camp? Well, this is why. And, it really does work! The bachelor boys were visiting us on Friday morning when we got up.

The final day arrives all too soon. Saturday at 4:30, everyone heads down to base camp. A BBQ is provided andeveryone's documentation is turned in...photos, GPS way points etc. This year's total count...80 (give or take a couple). So, it looks like there will be a gather of these wonderful horses. Please let me know if you are interested in adopting, as I live only 50 miles from the Burns Wild Horse Corrals where they will be processed. I can get stats and photos of all the horses that are gathered.

We stay Saturday night and drive home on Sunday. It's a great time...always an adventure! Thanks for coming along for the ride!



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15 comments:

Andrea said...

That was so neat! You are so lucky to be able to participate in such a neat event!! I would have LOVED to have gone with you and to see those wild horses so up close. Those two fillies are adorable!! I love their crazy manes!! Thanks for the video too!! They all look fat and happy!!

South Valley Girl said...

Here's a great YouTube video I just received today - for all of you who rescue horses...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8iSYMkFO2A

Sometimes we redeem ourselves as a species. This was one of those times.

SVG

Cowgirl Rae said...

The weather couldn't have been better, we had a T-storm here saturday, did it come your way?
I would have loved to help, maybe next year. Are you planning on being at the Mustang Extravganza? I was thinking of trying the challenge trail course, on my mustang of course.
Thanks for sharing on your blog.

Kathleen Coy said...

Wow, Dreamsicle is GORGEOUS!!! And those babies are so cute! :-)

Paint Girl said...

That sounds like so much fun! I would love to have done that! The horses are beautiful, and I think the babies are so cute!

Justaplainsam said...

Wow! That sounds like a great weekend!

Reddunappy said...

That sounds like such a neat trip! So how many do they figure are out there in that area? The tree cover looks like it would make them a lot harder to find.

gtyyup said...

Andrea-Yes, we all feel good about being able to help the Forest Service and helping out when we can. It's been a good thing for the area to raise Mustang awareness.

South Valley Girl-Thanks for posting that video! I cried through the whole thing!

Cowgirl Rae-Yes, you should try to come next year. We really need some trail-savvy riders with good horses because of the terrain. No, I probably won't make Wild Trails. We're right in the middle of irrigation at that time and it's too hard to leave My Man to do his full time job and change irrigation too. You should do the trail challenge...good luck!!

Reddunappy-There are approximately 80 wild horses in the area, 20 above maximum. It's a pretty small area. Yes, it's thick tree cover and flying over doesn't do a thing for counting...it has to be done horseback.

lisa said...

Those fillies are very cute!! You have a great job!!

Celeste said...

What a great post - I can almost smell that great outdoors and wide open spaces, just perfect.
Those two little fillies are adorable :)

Andrea said...

Beautiful! If you're serious about needing help next year, I'd LOVE to come! As long as it's not in the middle of haying. When do you usually go?

gtyyup said...

Andrea~This year it was June 27-29. It's always in June...either the middle or later part. Love to have you help out! Don't let me forget about you next year...we start getting our paperwork in around 1st of May. Remind me!!

Patches said...

Oh my goodness! What an amazing adventure! That sounds like a perfect long weekend!

Andrea said...

Cool, I'll get in touch with you the end of April then! I just got it set on my calendar to remind me. :) I really hope it works out that I can go.

C-ingspots said...

Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with us. I would love to do stuff like that!! Beautiful, healthy horses and awesome wilderness riding - what more could a person ask for?? Love to hear about this kind of thing. I am glad to hear that people like you are helping out with the Mustangs. They really are looking good. I would love to try gentling a mustang someday. It's always been a dream of mine. I just can't imagine how I would pick out of so many choices. I'd want to show up a few days in advance and just hang out and observe them. Maybe one would pick me. Awesome Karen - thanks!!

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