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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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Friday, July 2, 2010

8th Annual Wild Horse Census~Big Summit HMA Oregon

Men don't like taking orders from a 
woman, even though she might be the boss.
~Kerry Smith 1889~

Another great Wild Horse Census of the Big Summit Herd Management Area in the Ochoco National Forest west of Prineville Oregon has come and gone. Five days and four nights...it's just not enough. We had enough food, water and supplies to last us for at least another four days!!

My organization, Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, has been a part of this census since 2003. On the very first one, my Old Man Toby was lame and the only other option was Coyote, then a 3 year old mustang! He was perfect...just like he's always been. In fact, this is the first time I didn't ride a mustang for the census. Colt got the honors this year!


Colt Likes Campin'!
Colt had no problems high lining; "Just give me the food Mom!"

Also this year it was all girls! We had an absolutely wonderful time. My buddy Kris and I hadn't seen each other since last year's census. Debbie and I hadn't seen each other since last November. And a new member Judy, is a hoot (as well as a great cook). We never ran out of conversation to say the least!


What Does Your GPS Read?
"So, what does your GPS read?"
The above photo is just classic. Deb, Kris and I are like identical triplets when it comes to camping and trail riding...give us a map and a GPS and we'll go anywhere! There's been times where we weren't quite sure where we were...but we were never lost ;~) Over the years and the miles of trails, we've had many an adventure.

Shortly before this photo we saw a black bear. Probably an adolescent, and it just ambled off into the brush...but I couldn't get my camera out fast enough. I'm going to start carrying my old Fuji on my hip for occasions like that one (I can operate it with one hand).


Just Rode Down
We had just rode down this hill.

The photo doesn't make that hill look very steep, but we had to switch back all the way down. In our territory for the census, it's either up or down. After the third day, we had some pretty tired ponies.


Meadow at Fisher Creek
The upper meadow on Fisher Creek.

This meadow is one of my favorite spots in the Ochoco's. It's not visited by many people; just wild horses, some grazing sheep with their herder and the wildlife...gorgeous, peaceful...a place you would like to lay down the blanket and spend the afternoon.


Best Ridin' Buddy
My best ridin' buddy.
Kris is riding Kachina on this trip. We've been riding together for over 15 years. The days that we get up at the crack of dawn and ride 25 miles are past...we've matured, slightly. Sleeping in a lil' bit and having cocktails in the late afternoon and relaxing has its merit ;~)


Takin' a Break
Colt rode in the two-rein the whole weekend. He did great!

I guess I didn't do too bad either for not ever doing it before. But I realized that Colt is better using one hand than I thought he'd be...and it really makes you work on perfecting the leg cues and develop the neck reining with softer cues...I liked it!

Oh yea...the wild horses you ask? It was a lil' bit disappointing from previous years with Dreamsicle, O'Neil and the mares and foals hanging around camp. But we didn't get skunked!

In our whole territory, we only had one resident...an older lone stallion named Lonesome Joe. I don't have my photo issue fixed yet, but I did get a bit of a video of Ol' Lonesome Joe.


When we first saw him, he was way down at the bottom of our territory. The next morning, we saw him up across the road from our camp. He was too shy to come visiting though.

The unofficial count at this time is approximately 71 horses (stallions, mares, young, and foals). The frustrating part is that there are about 40 horses in one area and since it's breeding season, the stallions are battling it out...with a few injuries. Unfortunately when this happens, the lil' ones get in the way. One foal got a broken leg. The foal was taken to the vet in town, but it was too bad to try to mend and had to be put down. We can't stop what Mother Nature instills in the wild horses, but we all think that if Dreamsicle and his band had not been captured last winter and then released back into the wild, the situation probably would not exist. But that's just our theory.


Colt & I in Ochoco Creek
Colt and I standing in Ochoco Creek.


Let's Get Everyone Wet!
And Colt loved playin' in the water!

He loved playing in the water and didn't want to get out! Now, he didn't like crossing the 2 foot wide lil' creeks, but these larger ones were his thing! We don't have creeks here without going up into the mountains, but by day 3, he realized they weren't going to eat him and was crossing the creeks a whole bunch better.

Well, one parting shot...we played the board game "Cowgirls" the last evening...it was a great time!

Playing "Cowgirls" the Card Game
The girls playing "Cowgirls."

After the game ended, we selectively picked questions out of the deck...Oh...that was fun!

FYI, the wild flower photos from this past Wordless Wednesday were from the Ochoco's. There were many more up there, but I didn't take the time to get down off my horse every time I saw a flower...but I wanted to!

Thanks for coming along for the trip...we're always looking for good riders and horses for this event, so let me know if you're interested for next year!

17 comments:

Mikey said...

Soooo beautiful!! Loved all these pictures. Man, I wish I was up there. It's 112 out and I have to go make sure misters are working. I'd rather be there. I swear, I could almost smell it... you are SO blessed!!

jane augenstein said...

Beautiful pictures, you and Colt look great!!! He's one handsome boy! Looks like you had a great time with your friends, thanks for taking me along! :-)

Shirley said...

I so wish I could come along one of these years. Maybe when I get Chickory or Velvet going well under saddle; I don't think I'd want to take a stallion there.

wendy said...

What a fun trip for you...I want to do a trail ride so badly.
I am just learning leg cues with my riding lessons. Man, by the time I get off the horse my legs feel like a wet noodle.
This ol'cowgirl has a lot to learn.
Pretty scenery and sounded like a FUN time

Reddunappy said...

What a great trip! It would be so fun to do that! I wish I was just a tad bit closer to you! I have driven down to Redmond,for a horse show, but not all the way down to Burns and beyond.
Such beautiful country.
And you and Colt are really photogenic! You Cowgirl you!! Love it! I need a pair of chinks! I have a freind that makes them, just dont know if I can afford them, LOL LOL.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Awesome! I would love to do something like that with some other riders. I will definitely have to make a mental note and see if I could fit that in next year...or do you have to be from that area?

Ed said...

Now that looks like a fun time, great shots..:-)

Oregon Equestrian said...

Great photo tour of the Ochocos!

Linda said...

Awesome...and once again I'm just really, really jealous!

summersmom said...

I would love to come over next year, it is such a long drive though and I don't have a trailer. Summer would love it. We packed into Nash Lake the first summer I had her and she loved every minute of it!

Vaquerogirl said...

Beautiful country you get to ride through!
Colt looks great and so do you BTW!

Merri said...

wow, beautiful place for a ride!
- The Equestrian Vagabond

mugwump said...

Oh...I wish, I wish.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Thanks for the ride :-).

CTG Ponies said...

The scenery is gorgeous! I could just imagine a blanket and nap in the meadow. I'm considering a smaller camera that I can operate with one hand for trail rides. Way too hard with the DSLR.

gowestferalwoman said...

Oh that looks like so much fun! And the weather was perfect!

gtyyup said...

BEC~no, you don't have to be local. Mark your calendar for next year the later part of June (we don't have the dates yet)...we always need good riders, and we'd love to have you!

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