Ten members and guest arrived at 10:00 Sunday morning, October 29, 2017 for the final horse event of the season. The fall weather was picture perfect, blue sky’s and almost no breeze. The group met at the Johnson Creek parking area and quickly got their stock ready to ride. Terry MacDonald lead out and the group followed the dirt road along the creek through the hills until it intersected with the road that passes through the Emmett Horse Park (Little Ranch).

They were back at the trailers by 12:30 and moved their rigs over to Rob & Linda Adams hobby ranch in Sweet.

Twenty two members and guest spent a very pleasant afternoon enjoying the great food and  each other company. Great stories were told, jokes exchanged and plans made for 2018 events.  As you can see all who attended had a great time and hopefully other members and guest will be able to join the fun during the 2018 season!



24. September 2017 · Comments Off on Stacy Creek Project – Payette National Forest · Categories: Fun Rides, Work Parties and Projects


Stacy Creek, is in the Payette National Forest, about 20 miles north west of Weiser, off upper Mann Creek Road. On Saturday September 23, 2017 Seven members of Squaw Butte and a ranger named Matt from the Weiser ranger district met at the parking area at the intersection of Mann Creek and Adams Creek roads.

The first order of business was to work on the trail bed of the Mann creek & Stacy creek crossing. This crossing had some large rocks and a drop off that were not horse friendly.  After spending some time considering options, the team determined that the best approach was to move two large rocks and a number of smaller ones, creating a trail up the slope that a horse could easily handle.  With rock bars we were able to move the circled rocks to new locations.  As hunting season was in full swing, traffic on Mann Creek Road was busy, so we moved our rigs to the southern end of the trail to ride, see Map.

The original plan was to park at the gravel pit, but when we got there it looked like an RV park so we continued to the trail head. Parking there was limited due to someone putting their hunting camp in the middle of the parking area, but as we had Ranger Matt with us, we parked our rigs all around his camp. P1 first parking location, P2 second!


The trail starts from this location and follows what appears to be a logging road for a bit over 3.5 miles. This section of trail is very pretty and shaded and made perfect fall riding. Once you are down to creek level, the trail turns single track and follows Stacy Creek north to Mann Creek road. This section of the trail is around 3 miles long.  If you combine the roads a loop could be made, but do it when traffic is light.


Shannon and Nancy put on their Sawyer protective gear and removed some blow down that was blocking the trail, and Rob and Matt cleared about 200 feet of Hawthorn bush.  The thorn of this stuff goes right through leather gloves so handling takes care and cutting it is not high on fun thing to do lists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We returned to our trailers a bit before 16:00, and were on the road for home by 16:45. Members attending were: Nancy Smith, Shannon Schantz, Janelle Weeks, Lisa Griffith, Lynn & Peggy Garner and Rob Adams

16. May 2017 · Comments Off on BCHI – Boise Chapter “Saddle Up for St. Jude Ride” · Categories: Current Events, Fun Rides

27. February 2017 · Comments Off on Celebration Park, Snake River Birds of Prey, Murphy ID · Categories: Fun Rides

Fun Ride (Public Event) Sunday February 26, 2017

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17 members and guest started arriving at the Celebration Park trailer overflow area just before 10:00 on a cold and gray Sunday morning. The wind was light and everyone was eager to spend some quality time on the back of a horse. Stock were saddled and gloves, hats and coats were adjusted for warmth and the first group of six riders lead by Laurie Bryan was off down the trail.
The second group of 11 riders were underway a few minutes later and it became apparent quickly that all the horses and one Burro had lots of energy. They pranced and danced around and we all worked to keep the pace along the river road at something less than a cavalry charge. Once out on one of the many trails in the park we all settled down and the group broke up again into smaller groups following different but parallel trails east to the old corrals.
(does that rock have ears and a tail?)
Once we got to the corrals the group all agreed it was too cold to stop for a break and we continued to the river trail and back to the trailers. When comparing GPS’s group #1 rode a bit over 13 miles and Group #2 a bit over 10. Finger food was shared and questions about BCHI and our chapter were answered.
We hope our guest had a good time and that they will check out our website and attend a another event.

30. October 2016 · Comments Off on Succor Creek – Power Line Loop Ride · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

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Long time members of Squaw Butte know Moosely as the little horse that does!  What every is asked of him, be it carrying barbed wire, chain saws, the kitchen for a pack trip or a load of tin cans full of rocks he happily does it.  On October 29, 2016 he had an assignment that he truly enjoyed,  He was asked to take Rachel Pearce on her first horse back ride.  This ride was on one of our favorite fall rides in the BLM managed Succor Creek area of south western Idaho and South eastern Oregon. Rachel is the daughter of Mitch Pearce who is a good friend of  members Rob Adams & Rob Dhuyvetter.  Rachel has been taking an Equine Studies class at her school, and though it would be fun to ride a horse instead of just reading about them in books.  Moosely totally enjoyed the day, he and Rachel got along fine as long as they both agreed that the best place to be was within 50 foot of his buddy Kestrel who was being ridden by her dad.

Rachel picked a great day for her first ride, we caught a break between weather fronts and had almost perfect fall weather, cool without being cold and just a light breeze.  The rain of the previous days kept the dust down, and the rain with the help of some very busy beavers had the creek that flows through the canyon full of waters with some nice ponds to ride by and through.  Nancy smith  lead the ride and members formed into small groups spread over maybe 1/4 mile.  When all were back at the trailer and the stock taken care of, we shared a variety of foods and deserts before heading to our respective homesteads.  It was a great ride to end the Squaw Butte riding season and I am sure everyone is already looking forward to 2017.  Pictures provided by Mitch Pearce and Rob Adams.

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06. March 2016 · Comments Off on Diabetes Ride – Squaw Butte is forming at Team for this Event · Categories: Current Events, Fun Rides

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Lisa & Tom Griffith (lyle_41@msn.com) are forming a team for this years Diabetes Ride which is on Sunday May 16, 2016. This is a fun day for an excellent cause. Contact Lisa for more information and check out the ride website

2016 Ride Brochure       ride flyer 2016        Rosie Flyer

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11. July 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday July 19, Celebrate America’s Mustang · Categories: Current Events, Fun Rides

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It is time for America to come together to celebrate this symbol of the American spirit to help ensure that it will survive and thrive today and for generations to come. Through education we will be able to better understand the needs of the mustang. Through interaction and personal contact we can see and experience their beauty and spirit. Through competition we can fully realize their talents and understand why they played such a critical role in creating the America we know today. America’s Mustang

The America’s Mustang Campaign is focused on raising awareness, providing education, and increasing the placement of wild horses and burros into private care. The campaign involves a series of events and activities organized to help educate the public on how we can all take action to preserve our mustangs and our lands that support them. The national effort will better educate Americans about who Mustangs are, where they are located, what resources they need, and how they can impact the resources they share with other species.

Get Involved: Idaho Celebration

BLM Idaho in partnership with the Idaho Mustang Club invites you to bring your horse and join us on July 19th for an America’s Mustang trail ride through the Hardtrigger Wild Horse Herd Management Area. This is a great opportunity to celebrate America’s Mustang and visit the horses in the areas where they roam on the range!

Ready to ride at 9:00 a.m.
Bring water for your horses
Idaho Mustang will provide the hot dogs, please bring a side dish!
Bring your own beverage and chairs

RSVPs are welcomed: Becky 208-463-0656 or email: idahomustang@hotmail.com

Directions from Nampa: Take Hwy 45 until you cross the Snake River. Follow the signs on to Givens Hot Springs, which is Hwy 78 toward Marsing. Go about 6 miles until you see the Wilson/Murphy fire station on the right hand side (red building). Across from the fire station are signs to the Wilson Creek Feedlot, follow that road past the two cattle guards to the parking lot for the Wilson Creek Trailhead, signs will be posted at all major turns.

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02. May 2015 · Comments Off on Wilson Creek – BCHI meets Just Horsin’ Around · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

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This was our third and last get to know Back Country Horsemen, public fun ride for the 2015 riding season. We had encouraged members to bring friends to the first two rides and did again for this ride. Friend introducing friends to BCHI had been our most successful method of getting active new members. Lou Ann trying to get the word out wider posted the ride on the Just Horsin’ Around web site. It was successful as eight of our twelve guest came from that posting.

When I arrived at the trail head parking lot, a number of trailers I didn’t recognize were already parked. I said to my guest Rose, looks like another group is holding a ride. After unloading my stock, I spoke to a couple of woman saddling up horses at the trailer next to us. I said “What group are you a member of?” Oh, we are here for the Back Country Horsemen ride we saw posted. “oh”. I said, and then “Welcome” and introduced myself. I quick tour of the other trailer had the same results. Soon trailers, I did know started showing up, including Lou Ann. I made her go around and greet all the guest she invited

After all had saddled up, we held a greeting and safety meeting and broke up in to two groups. The first group lead by Terry and Laurie left first for Wilson Creek canyon and the second group followed about fifteen minutes later.

Highlights of the ride was Shannon demonstrating a new technique for creek crossing, Chick’s new Arab gelding, a rattle snake suggesting we take a slightly different route, one that didn’t go quite so close to him, and the exploration of some canyons I had not ridden before on the east side of the road.

The Potluck afterwards featured taco’s and SOAPS (Sin on a pretzel stick)

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24. March 2015 · Comments Off on SBBCHI Succor Creek Annual Fun Ride and Public Outreach · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides · Tags: , , , ,

Get Your Backside in the Saddle

The Outfitter

The Outfitter

If this keeps up we might need a bigger parking area. New faces, including the two legged and four legged kind, participated in the SBBCHI annual Succor Creek fun ride. In an attempt to stimulate interest in new membership, the fun ride has been opened up to the public. Over 20 riders managed to get their butts in the saddle on an early Sunday morning for a stunning ride through the Owyhee desert.

Amongst the riders were a few members who had recently undergone joint surgery of one kind or another; myself included. I’d had a total knee replacement, Bill Conger had a double total knee replacement and Phil was recovering from shoulder surgery. I figured between the three of us, we had enough artificial parts to build one outstanding bionic Squaw Butte member!

RearViewWe split the large group into several smaller groups. Smaller groups are often more manageable with less impact on the terrain. The natural varied paces of the horses usually determine the groups traveling dynamic; the Passo’s, Walkers and Rob’s mustang taking the lead. My horse will walk at whatever pace I ask him too and that is normally in the back of the herd. I can better keep an eye on everyone (not that anyone needs keeping an eye on – but it makes me feel better) and snap pictures without interrupting the flow.

We left the trailers at approximately 10:30 AM. Light jackets against the morning spring breeze were sufficient for comfort.  Several of the members were well on their way as I waited for the last foot to stick a stirrup. I resisted the urge to call out: “Move ‘em up….head ‘em out!”

If it weren’t for Lou Ann – I’d be the most directionally challenged of the bunch. Lou makes me look like an orienteering master! Less than a mile up the road we met Lou Ann coming in from the wrong direction. Well…it wasn’t wrong, exactly, even if it was not the ideal way to enter Succor Creek from Meridian. The important thing was she got there, not how she got there.

A young cowboy, a guest of a member, bailed off his horse, slid into Lou’s driver’s seat and backed her rig off the road. He jumped out, dashed to the back of the trailer, unloaded Lou’s gelding and saddled him before the rest of us could say “Bob’s your uncle.” Turns out 25 year-old Warren works for a Montana outfitter. He all but threw Lou into the saddle and we were off once again. Sort of like an equine pit-stop.

The Chick's

The Chick’s

My small group caught up with the Chicks at the gate leading to what I call the “On Top:” an ATV road running north and south above the campground and below the old Indian Cave.  Chick and Lorraine lost Sammy, Chick’s beautiful Arabian grey of natural causes earlier in the month. Lorraine was riding an up and coming bay Arab/Quarter cross, Casanova. This was Casanova’s first ride outside the training arena. Casanova was a bit nervous. Not uncommon for a young horse amongst a large group of riders. Chick and Lorraine would switch saddles and do a little Pirelli while the rest of us went on. It is against my nature to leave a member behind, but Chick felt Casanova needed some alone time to get beyond the skittishness magnified by the group.

Dripping sweat and labored lungs brought us to the apex of the first of several steep climbs encountered on the ride. I barely got out the words, “Everyone check your cinches,” when I caught sight of Warren methodically going from rider to rider checking cinches and tightening as needed. This must be what it’s like in the days of Lord’s and Ladies of the manner. “Oh, George…I wish to ride today. Prepare the Black for western discipline.” A meticulously groomed and gleaming black stallion magically appears in the outer courtyard awaiting your riding pleasure. Upon returning home, you toss the reins to the always dutiful George and your horse is miraculously returned to his paddock, freeing you to enjoy mint julips on the terrace with Captain Butler and….

I glanced back often hoping to catch sight of the Chick’s. I reached a vantage point that allowed a glimpse of two tiny riders in the bottom of the canyon. Both riders aboard and clipping along at a good pace. No need to fret any longer.

A string of bandits

We followed the trail across the On Top to a gate leading down to the “Hole in the Wall.” Roger dismounts to open the gate. All riders get through ahead of a barrage of ATV’s; one after another filtered through the gate – 14 in all. I thought this might be where we’d lose our young Cowboy. A curvy girl peering from behind goggles did a double take from the back passenger seat of a Yamaha four wheeler. Warren damn near lost his seat as he pushed the front of his felt hat off his forehead. “Well hello! Looks to me like that little gal ‘d be a site happier on the back of this horse than the back o’ that four whiller!”  From the sheer velocity of her head whipping around and lingering glance, I believe he might be right. The boy was not lacking in confidence.

We met the larger group on their way back to camp. Janine and Lou Ann turned back with the others. I wanted to show Marina, Rogers’s granddaughter, the Hole in the Wall. Linda, Devon, Mildred, Roger, Marina and Warren and I continued to the Hole in the Wall. In a normal water year, a waterfall pours over the top of the rim rock pooling in the center of the crescent shaped rock formation. It was not a normal water year. The Hole in the Wall was bone dry; as dry as I’d ever seen it.

Mildred

Mildred

We rested the horses, snapped a few pictures and mounted for the ride back to camp. I marveled as Mildred popped into the saddle. I remarked to Warren, “I sure hope at 80 some years old I can still get my butt into the saddle like that.” While secretly thinking: Who am I kidding – I wish I could get my butt into the saddle like that today! Mildred is my idol and inspiration. I handed her a can of Beanee Weenee’s.  She scrunched up her nose. “You expect me to eat these nasty things?” No Mildred, I’m pretty sure those things would kill you – that can is at least 15 years old. We’ll be lucky if it doesn’t explode before I snap a picture.

Marina put her horse’s feet to work as he danced and fought the bit. This was one 10 year old who wasn’t letting her horse get away with bad habits. The horse jigged to be up with his buddy, Rogers big bay gelding. I stopped asking Marina if she was doing ok when I watched her collect the horse and make him do everything but what he wanted until he stopped misbehaving. Well done, Marina.

We arrived back at camp just as Rob took the last of the burgers and hotdogs off the grill. Some might call it late – I call it perfect timing. As always, the spread of food was impressive.Potluck

I passed Bill coming back from watering his horse. The conversation went something like this:

Bill: Does your knee pop when you ride?

Me: Not when I ride – but when I walk sometimes. It doesn’t hurt, just feels weird.

Bill: Mine feel like they are loose and shifting around, especially when I’m on the tractor.

Me: Come to think of it, mine do that when I’m on the tractor too. And it did start to do it about the last ½ mile of our ride today.

Bill: I don’t like it. It bugs me.

Me: Do you think it’s normal? *Please tell me you think it’s         normal.*

Bill: God, I hope so.

 

The haul back home over one of the roughest, tire popping, gravel roads in Oregon affords ample time to contemplate on the success of another Backcountry Horseman outing. We met some wonderful prospective new members we hope to see more of in the future. We reflect on the sadness of our four legged partners we have lost and look forward with hope in the new mounts that will fill the empty hoof prints they left behind. We glean inspiration from Mildred’s agile horsemanship.  Determination from the likes of Phil and Bill’s tenacity; Hope in the future from Marina’s youth.

No matter the age of the rider or the number of plastic parts they might boast, you just can’t keep a good Backcountry Horseman’s butt out of the saddle.

BootsClick for full set of Pictures on Picasa

 

25. February 2015 · Comments Off on Snake River Birds of Prey Ride · Categories: Fun Rides

???In February, Squaw Butte has an annual event, a fun ride between the cliffs and the river where in the past Indians spent the winter and today hawks and falcons soar.
DSCN5583 This year 16 members and friends meet at 10:00 in the Celebration park trail parking area. It was a sunny day with at time a brisk breeze blowing.DSCN5593 With Laurie, Linda and Janine leading the way we headed east along the river to the trail head. From there we had the choice of a number of different routes, making each ride here unique. IMG_3390 After about five miles of wandering through house size bolder and bowls of sand we stopped at an old coral for a lunch break. This gave everyone a chance to stretch their legs after winter month of not riding. With their heavy winter coats the horses enjoyed the break, getting a chance to cool down. IMG_3392 From the coral the group looped south and rode a river trail back to the trailers. It total the group rode ten miles in a bit over three hours. ?????????

09. February 2015 · Comments Off on Just a Trail Horse :~) · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

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Unconsciously my chin lowers slightly, followed by an imperceptible movement of downcast eyes in answer; “Oh, yeah – he’s just a trail horse.”

“Just a trail horse.” How many times have I been set back by that simple statement? The same statement heard time and again that sets my blood to boil. The same statement I am ashamed to admit has come from my own lips.

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26. October 2014 · Comments Off on Wilson Corral – October 2014 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

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Wilson Corral Trail Report – Oct 2014
USFS TR 135 trail discription

Nancy & Shannon’s Adventure

Our adventure started early Saturday morning, we left Shannon’s house by 7:30 am, and thought how great we are actually leaving on time. We were so proud of ourselves. Then we get to the cutoff for Sagehen and had to decide which fork to take. That should have been the first clue that things were not gonna turn out good. From the directions posted it said take the 2nd fork. So we did, and boy howdy we had no idea what we were in for. Not only was the road skinny for a horse trailer and no pullouts,but from the rain the night before the black mud was like grease in spots. Once we almost lost traction on a very curvy hill. So needless to say we have calluses from holding the steering wheel and finger prints in the dash .. When we finally reached the expected meet up place we found lots of hunters and no place to turn around, and no Rob either.. We asked the hunters if they had seen Robs rig and they assured us they had not. So we thought well we may as well get the heck out of there, besides how many more gray hairs could Shannon sprout.. ?? The hunters moved vehicles so we could get turned around and we went back 3rd fork which was like a freeway compared to 2nd fork. We came straight back to the Eagle foot hills and rode there just to unwind a little and say we had rode this day.. So make sure you don’t take 2nd fork with a trailer and especially if it has rained.  (The route they took was the middle option, the directions suggest 3rd fork, the blue option)

20. October 2014 · Comments Off on Succor Creek Power Line Loop Ride · Categories: Fun Rides

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On October 12, seven members of Squaw Butte had a great fall ride in the the north eastern corner of the Succor Creek BLM management area. Succor Creek Loop Ride

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27. September 2014 · Comments Off on Bucks Basin Ride – Council Mountain · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides, Horse Camping

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On September 14 a small but enthusiastic group of 4 riders set out into the Payette National Forest to clear trail and explore the Bucks Basin area. Once at the trail head, the lower trail was well defined and in good shape. There were only two areas that required some minor deadfall cleanup. Further up the trail the path became less defined as it passed through a meadow and cattle loafing area. Due to the lack of a visible trail, the group did a bit of “bush whacking” up a rocky slope in search of the trail. Once above the meadow, a few scattered cairn and trial markers guided us to the summit above Lake Basin. The views were fantastic and we spotted a small group of mule deer near the top. After a relaxing lunch in Lake Basin, the group struck back for camp. The weather was dry and pleasant and all rider and mount performed well.

MATTHEW DOPERALSKI

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02. August 2014 · Comments Off on Sawtooth Pack Trip – July 2014 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides, Horse Camping

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Five members of Squaw Butte spend seven day exploring the Sawtooth wilderness.  Pictures of the trip are available on the website.

Rob’s account of the trip           The Chicks Pack Trip Account

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06. May 2014 · Comments Off on Backcountry Skills Clinic Encourages local 4-H Participation · Categories: Fun Rides, Training Events · Tags: , , ,

SawCaseSquaw Butte teamed up with Boise and Gem County 4-H groups to kick off the weekend for their annual Backcountry Skills clinic. Normally open to the public, the chapter decided on something different this year by focusing on the younger generation of future backcountry horsemen and women.

Saturday was filled with an informative presentation by the always popular Dr. Hardy, DVM and packing demonstrations by our local chapter experts, Rob Adams and Phil Ryan.

Pre-ride safety meeting

Pre-ride safety meeting

Threatening weather conditions did little to dampen participation for Sunday’s trail ride at the Emmett Horse Park. Rob Adams started the morning with a pre-safety meeting complete with helmet checks. Anyone going on the ride was required to wear a helmet. Some of us are still getting over the visual of Chick wearing something besides his trade-mark cowboy hat. However, rules are there for safety and safety trumps style. Fashion sense aside, Chick was a trooper sporting his plastic bubble head…two sizes too small.

The large group split up into 3 smaller groups for safety and minimal impact on the environment. Rob, Phil Ryan and Linda Erickson each led a group on a moderate, 3 hour ride over Emmett’s rolling hills.

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“Captain” Phil leading the pack

Back at base-camp, lunch was served: Sloppy Joes, chips, potato salad and brownies to die for. All in all, a pretty decent day in the saddle.  Good food, fair weather and a fun group of kids to share it with.

 

Didn't take long for everyone to trade in their helmets for a dinner plate.

Didn’t take long for everyone to trade in their helmets for a dinner plate.

 

 

Back at home, I downloaded the few pictures I took. I noticed right off that I didn’t take as many as I normally do. I think I know why. There are some things that just ain’t right… and Chick in that plastic bubble head…well, that’ just ain’t right.

 

Click here for full set of pictures!

14. April 2014 · Comments Off on China Ditch – Owyhee Front · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

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China Ditch

Sometime after 1864 Chinese laborers constructed an impressive rock wall and ditch on each side of lower Reynolds Creek. It will still acquaint you with the kind of countryside that has been protected in the new Owyhee Canyon lands wilderness bill. This is a non-motorized hiking area that’s also open to mountain biking and horseback riding. The area is managed by the BLM.

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Riding the ditch wall?

Enjoying the Pot Luck after the ride

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Celebration Park

A new stop on the way to the Triple Crown?

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February marks the beginning of trail riding season for many of us in the Squaw Butte Chapter. We are fortunate to live in a part of the country where diverse terrain and climate allow for adequate riding weather year round.  Deep snow and cold may linger in mountains surrounding arid high deserts of sand and sage suitable for horse and rider.

Celebration Park was again the chosen site for this year’s first of the season fun ride. It is easy to understand why ancient civilizations made this area their home for thousands of years. A natural fortress of rock cliffs borders an edge of the Park with the Snake River flowing with life through the center, spanned by the Guffey railroad bridge, built in 1897, marking one of few Snake River crossings.

Six SBBCHI members saddled ready to ride by 11:00AM on a beautiful February morning – beautiful despite being a Monday! The ride was originally planned for the previous Saturday but Mother Nature had plans of her own – plans of driving wind and rain not conducive to trail riding.

Our group meandered through the desert floor littered with large boulders adorned with petroglyphs dating back thousands of years. We skirted Halverson Lake, crossed a marsh fed by a small spring and tethered to the remains of an old corral for lunch.

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The dilapidated corral is in dire need of repair. Loose barbed wire, rotted rails and a few sound posts are all that remain. We talked about fixing the corral up last year. Unfortunately, the corrals are not part of the park. They are owned by a California rancher and nobody seems to know how to get hold of him. It is not easy for a group of folks who seem to have the “fix it” gene imbedded in their DNA to see such a thing go unattended. I would not be surprised to find the corral in better repair come next year’s fun ride.

We looped around back toward the trailers along a trail hugging the Snake River. Janine and little Hilary had left before lunch so Janine could return in time for work. Rob and Teri rode on ahead while Bill and I took up the rear, chatting  about the best way to cook rattle snake and rock chuck. Bill rode Billy Bob, a large, loveable mule whose personality is reminiscent of Eeyore. I asked Bill if he thought Billy Bob could run. Bill replied he thought so. He has seen Billy Bob run in the pasture and he sure looked pretty. I don’t think my mule, Annie, can run very fast, I commented. She runs real stiff legged. Ruth, the mule Festus rode in Gunsmoke – was the only mule I’d seen that could outrun a horse. An observation that was about to change.Web_Bill_DSCN3034

I had been turned around in my saddle most of the way back talking Bill’s ear off and taking pictures. Thank goodness I’d put my camera away and was facing forward when somebody opened the starting gates. One second I’m strolling along on my mustang, König, the next – I’m pulling with all my might trying to initiate a one rein stop on a runaway mustang. Billy Bob shoots past me at  exactly the speed of 1,126 ft/s. How do I know this? I heard it. 1,126 ft/s is the speed required to break the sound barrier and that is exactly what Billy Bob sounded like as he thundered past me…then past Teri and finally Rob with König and I at a close second. König is not a saddle horse. He has been a pack horse his entire life. I was riding him today only because my horse, Jack, has a respiratory infection. Had I cranked on Jack’s head as hard as I cranked on that mustangs I’d have pulled him over! I finally get König to stop about the same time Bill hit the dirt. I think Billy Bob scared himself. He ran wild-eyed back to me and König with his very best, “WTH?” mule expression. Eeyore my ASS! (pun intended.)

Thankfully, Bill was not seriously hurt although I imagine the next couple of days would find Bill discovering soreness in places he didn’t know he had.

I pulled away from Celebration Park with a conviction of working on König’s brakes in the days to come and one more reason for the heartfelt prayers that Jack would heal quickly.

Back home I came across a documentary on the great Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. Slew was purchased for the unbelievably low price of $16,000.00. It was said by some that he was not a pretty horse in the sense of what a race horse was supposed to look like. Some said he looked more like a mule than a horse. I pulled up a picture of Seattle Slew and placed it alongside one of Billy Bob….damn if there wasn’t an uncanny resemblance.  I know where I’d place my $2.00 bet.

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12. August 2013 · Comments Off on Rating Trails – How difficult is it? · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

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From time to time members ask me about how a trail should be rated. Rating mean
different things depending on if you’re hiking or riding a mountain bike. On horse back it
means something else. Also, the perception of how difficult a trail should be rated is
influenced by the experience of the one rating it. Time of year or weather conditions – a
trails difficulty can change drastically. A level 3 or 4 trail can easily turn into something
altogether more technically with the addition of snow, rain, wind, high water… etc

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26. March 2013 · Comments Off on Fire Lookouts of Southwestern Idaho · Categories: Current Events, Fun Rides

Southwestern Idaho’s Boise and Payette National forests have a long history of fires and fire lookouts.  Many of these lookouts are no longer used, but many are still in service.  All of them have great views and make interesting ride destinations.  There used to be hundreds of active fire lookouts in Idaho, now only a handful are staffed. Some still stand tall but idle. A few have been restored as alluring backcountry rentals. Others are slowly melting back into the mountains. Whatever their condition, lookouts are icons of the state, historic reminders of decades of fire fighting in Idaho.   Eyes of the Forest – Idaho’s Fire Lookouts (IPTV)  “Fire lookouts began as a matter of convenience. A likely tree and likely spot on a mountain top or a ridge top. They would put a ladder, either a wooden rung ladder or maybe they’d drive large spikes in the tree and climb it. In Idaho there were probably a hundred of these tree lookouts in the beginning. They went from there to more of them. A lot were built during the Civilian Conservation Corps era of the 1930s. The earliest cabins were cupola type cabins where you’d live on the ground floor and then a small cab upstairs or maybe just a tent camp. And they went from there to live-in style pole towers. They’d cut the poles on the mountain, sometimes 100 feet tall towers and they were livable towers. And that was the ideal set up because that way the lookout on duty could go about his daily activities and scan the horizon every ten minutes or so all day and night if necessary.”

Tripod Peak Lookout

Tripod Peak Lookout

Tripod Peak Lookout was established in 1921 with a 6′ wooden tower topped by a live-in cab, a 6′ L-4 tower was added in the 1930’s, with a concrete base added in 1956. The present 2-story R-6 flat cab, built in 1977, has been staffed by the Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association.  Elevation 8086′
Miners Peak Lookout

Miners Peak Lookout

Miners Peak Lookout was established in 1948 with a gable-roofed L-4 cab salvaged from Krassel Knob and Teapot Dome lookouts, the present 2-story log hip-roofed cab, built in 1989?, is staffed in the summer.  Elevation 7810′
Peck Mountain

Peck Mountain

Peck Mountain was established in 1919, a 30′ tree w/ cab and frame cabin living quarters were built. A 45′ steel Aermotor tower, built in 1935, was removed in 2007. An accompanying R-4 ground cab was used for living quarters. The site is listed on the National Historic Lookout Register.  Elevation 5200′
Gold Fork Lookout

Gold Fork Lookout

Gold Fork Lookout established in the 1920s with a 6×6′ log platform atop a rock 1.5 miles east at 8165′ and a log cabin in a meadow 1 mile southwest, an L-4 cab was constructed in 1933. It was moved to 2 miles east of Cascade for private use in 1988.  Elevation 7790′

 

To see other lookout and their locations visit the South Western Idaho Firelookout.com map!

Fire Lookout Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. February 2013 · Comments Off on CELEBRATION PARK Fun Ride! · Categories: Fun Rides

  The fact that it’s technically not quite spring didn’t stop members of the Back Country Horseman of Idaho from celebrating what we hope is the end of one of the longest cold snaps in this part of the country.  Approximately 20 riders saddled up for a beautiful, sunny ride on the trails in Celebration Park: Idaho’s first, and only, archeological park. http://www.canyonco.org/ImportedFiles/Parks,-Rec,-WWays/Celebration-Park-Brochure.aspx

  Celebration Park is an excellent early season ride. Regardless of the weather, the terrain is usually safe and easy on stock, many of which are being saddled for the first time since late fall. Members broke into several smaller groups to make the loop from the parks entrance to Halverson Lakes and back along the Snake River.

  Horsemen and women were not the only folks enjoying a weekend in the park. We met several hikers, explorers, campers and fishermen scattered along the 10 mile loop. Each may have been celebrating in their own way, but most had one thing in common, a cheerful attitude and smile that extended from ear to ear. I guess the Back Country Horsemen aren’t the only folks happy to see the end of broken pipes, frozen spigots and iced over stock tanks for another season. Celebration Park Fun Ride

                                       “Just how do you stuff an elephant into a Safeway bag?”

“Hey Laurie, how do you stuff an elephant into a Safeway bag?” Is this a rhetorical question, Lorraine? I really have no idea how, or why, anyone would want to stuff an elephant into a Safeway bag. I’ve learned a lot since joining the Squaw Butte Back Country Horseman – I’ve learned how to freeze-dry just about anything, how to be a better steward of our natural resources and the benefits of low impact camping. I’ve learned wilderness first aid for both human and horse and how to more safely handle a chainsaw. I have learned proper weight distribution is essential when packing stock and the value of mastering the diamond hitch. Most importantly, I’ve learned that all of this, and more, is an ongoing and ever-changing process. I have not, however, learned how to stuff an elephant into a bag of any kind.

October 7th was on the schedule as a fun ride with an undetermined destination. Rob and Linda would be back east attending their sons’ wedding. Since Rob usually handles this sort of thing, coordination for the fun ride was to fall on me in his absence. I chose Succor Creek State Natural Area.

http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_13.php

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

12. July 2012 · Comments Off on Beat the Heat and head north for the WRT Poker Ride! · Categories: Fun Rides, Ride Ideas

  It does not look like we have any trail projects on the calendar for the weekend of the 28th, so I thought I would share this poker ride flyer coming up the end of the month. If you have never been on a section of the Weiser River Trail, you are missing a great ride. The WRT is an old Railroad track that has been converted into a non-motorized trail for horses, hikers and bikers.

I’ve not been on this particular section of the trail personally, but I hear it is beautiful. The flyer says they are encouraging camping for the weekend and all proceeds go to the Friends of the Weiser River Trail: the folks who maintain the trail.

Beat the heat and head north! Hope to see you there…

Poker Ride Flyer

The Jump Creek 10

It turned out to be a beautiful day for the chapter’s fun ride in Owyhee’s Jump Creek Canyon.  Ten members of the Back Country Horseman of Idaho met at the trailhead ready to ride by 11:00 AM.

  My old, brittle pair of roping reins I won at an auction had finally given up the ghost and broke in two. Roger lent me a nice pair of marine-rope reins he had made and offered to repair my old set. I declined the repair offer – the reins were not worth fixing.

 Janine noticed I had acquired a rather annoying cough. Concerned for my health, she poured me a shot …I mean a measure of spirits she concocted; strictly for medicinal purposes, of course. Who am I to question?  Janine, after-all, is a medical professional! For fear my “cough” could be contracted by others in the group –Janine passed the bottle amongst those concerned for their health as well.

 Rob brought rides for Heather and Caius. Heather rode Willow and Caius rode Kestrel, a tough little mustang that could almost walk out from under Caius’s long legs. Rob rode his colt, Payette. Rob was NOT wearing his bright, lime-green jacket this trip. I sort of missed staring at the back of that eye-popping jacket. Roger rode a nicely put together bay gelding. Janine rode her big paint Two-Ton. The Chicks, Lorraine and Chuck, each rode flea-bitten Arabian’s. I rode my quarter-horse buckskin colt, Jack, and towed Annie, my mule. Shade followed along chasing ground squirrels and jack-rabbits.

Group

As such, the group of 10 riders, 9 horses and 2 mules set out for a fun ride in the sun and sand. Janine and I had scouted the area a couple weekends before. Without a definite destination in mind, we turned south west on an old ATV trail we thought might lead to Sands Basin. The road traverses up and down fairly steep, rolling hills – leveling out on large, flat plains overlooking scenic rock formations, sage and sand.

  A little past mid-day, the group broke for lunch atop a ridge overlooking Jump Creek Canyon. You could scarcely make out a strip of creek winding through a narrow section of the canyon below. The four legged’s also took advantage of the well earned rest and grazed contently alongside their two legged counterparts.

Lunch

  After lunch, riders took to the trail on rested mounts. We met up with a couple of hikers who were also enjoying a day in the sun. The hikers pointed to their truck perched atop a high bluff overlooking the canyon, a half mile away. The road leading to the truck dead-ended for motor traffic, but Janine and I knew from our previous visit that a foot trail veered off to the left and led back to our trailers. We opted not to continue on the road believed to be the route to Sands Basin. This was the first real ride for many of the horses since last fall and we did not want to over-stress them.

  Along the way, we picked up what little trash was found on the ride back to the trailers. I have an unwritten rule I have lived by since I was old enough to venture into the wilds alone, this I learned from my dad: “Always leave the area cleaner than you found it.” This usually means packing out more trash than I carry in.

  ChickBack at the trailers, Janine discovered a broken taillight on her trailer. Chick, aka Mr. Boy Scout – carry everything but the kitchen sink in his front pockets, just happened to have a spare tail light that fit. He assured us he carried the spare part in his tack room- not in his front pocket.

I reluctantly returned the borrowed reins with promise that Roger would make me a set. The group quickly un-tacked and funneled their way out of the large, graveled Jump Creek parking lot toward home. That is, all except Janine and I. Our weekend adventure was just getting started.

 As I bade farewell to the others, I could not help reflect on the day and notice how not one person let out so much as a single cough the entire ride.

The Celebration Park fun ride was cancelled over the weekend due to pending storms and high winds. Janine, being retired from the US Postal service, was not about to let a little rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of ominous winds stop her.  As for me, well, I guess I’m just stubborn. I’ve been called the “Hell or high water girl.” Once my mind is set on something, I’m going to do it come hell or high water. Janine and I loaded our animals, campers and a healthy dose of stubbornness, and headed to Jump Creek to try and get a ride in before the storm hit.

The plan was to meet at Jump Creek at noon on Friday. We would check out the area for the upcoming fun ride in March. Later, we would head for Celebration Park and camp for the night. If the weatherman happened to be wrong, we would ride Celebration Park on Saturday. Ride or not, it would give us both a chance to get the wrinkles ironed out of our campers before the upcoming projects season.

We parked in the large graveled area next to the trailhead designated for horseback riding. We chose a trail that looked like it might wind around toward scenic Jump Creek Falls. The trail was faint and almost non-existent in many spots, in others, it disappeared altogether. At times, neither Janine nor I could tell if we were actually on a trail. We opted to follow along a creek bottom that wound its way up a narrow gorge. The further we rode the more convinced we became that this might not be the best route for our group’s fun ride in March.  We turned around in search of a different route. We chose an ATV/jeep road that starts at the bottom of the sage covered hills just west from where we parked. The route looked more rider- friendly. Pointing our horses due west – we set out to explore this new course.

The road follows the lay of rolling hills that peak out at scenic vista’s and overlooks of ornate rock formations. The road splits off in several different directions. We split off left in hopes the trail would lead toward Jump Creek Falls. The route we took did indeed intersect a hiking trail that looped back to the falls. One particular spot in the trail did not look entirely kosher for horse traffic. We weren’t even sure if horses were allowed on this part of the trail. Deciding against the risk, we cut down the side of the mountain to avoid breaking any park rules or equine ankles.

Janine waited at the bottom while I continued to descend. Three-fourths of the way down my saddle had slipped enough forward that I was sitting entirely on my horse’s neck. I slid off and led the rest of the way down. Mental note to self: invest in crupper.

 We rode the horses to water at a spot accessible from within the camping area. On the way out, we noticed we were being filmed. The gentleman filmographer was quite taken by Janine’s paint horse, One Shot. I believe he was also quite taken by Janine as he made several efforts at small talk directed toward her as we made our way back to the trailers. As we began to un-tack, Janine’s personal paparazzi made his way over in a large, extended cab diesel.

 It turns out the retired DEA agent is an avid Everytrail.com subscriber and was putting together a U-tube film for the site. Whether it was Janine’s paint horse, or Janine herself that caught his eye – he did provide invaluable input into the surrounding area for our fun ride in March. Had we continued straight instead of forking off to the left, we would have ended up in an area called Sands Basin, an area inhabited by a small band of mustangs.

Next stop: Celebration Park. An easy 35 mile drive from Jump Creek put us at Celebration Park. We circled our trailers around an existing fire-ring in an attempt to create a wind block. With two horses and a mule high-lined between us, we called it a night. Mother Nature, however, was just getting started.

Fierce winds blew away any hope of riding the next morning. Over a quick cup of coffee for Janine and tea for me, we discussed the best route to take the group on the March fun ride. It makes the most sense to stay on the road toward Sands Basin. The road is well marked and looks to be safe regardless of the weather. I also like the rolling terrain for spring fresh horses that might need something else to think about besides acting like they haven’t been ridden since last summer.

I bade farewell to Janine and headed for home. Other than trying to keep from being blown off the freeway, it was a great weekend. I think the group will enjoy the area.

A typical equestrian ride on a not-so-typical winter day turns into an unexpected adventure for two members of the Squaw Butte chapter. A day that started out rather benign and somewhat boring, quickly turned into something a bit more wild and western. Read on for an account from each rider, in their own perspective of the events to unfold.

Rob at 4 mile

The Winter Wreck, by Rob Adams

Many movies get the audience hooked by zooming in on the lead character in some dangerous situation and then flash back to a scene 24 hours earlier.   Here is such a scene, starring Rob Adams.

High on a ridge in the 4 Mile wild horse area lays a young horse on his side in a gully, feet pointing up slope.  Rob’s left leg is trapped under the horse by the saddle and saddle bags.  Flash ahead to two hours ago…

With the total lack of snow below 5500 feet, winter riding ranges have been expanded this year.  I have been riding my colt, Payette, most weekends and Sunday. January 8th looked to be another nice day, so I put out the word to a couple riding buddies that I was thinking about riding 4 Mile Creek.  Two passed, but Laurie Bryan was game. We would meet at 11:00 at the bridge, just before the Y.  After tacking up, we started on the loop route we often ride.  The ground, for the most part, was frozen or dry and the stock had no problem with footing.  There were a few cows still in the area, but we were looking for the mustang bands. We watched for fresh hoof prints, stud piles and other signs that might indicate wild horses in the area. Read the rest of Rob’s tale here

Jack

Wrecks and Wild Horses, by Laurie Bryan

As usual, Jack and I followed a good 30 yards behind the last rider on the trail. On this particular cool day in January, the only other rider on the trial besides me was fellow Squaw Butte member, Rob Adams. I don’t mind picking up the rear most of the time. Doing so gives me a pretty good perspective from which to take pictures and keep an eye on things just in case, you know…we are attacked by cougars or serial killers.
Rob chose the Wild Horse Management area, just north of Emmett on 4 mile road, hoping that we would get a glimpse of a band of mustangs that roam this part of the desert. Rob was familiar with the area; however, this was to be my first trip. I was excited to finally have the chance to see Mustangs in the wild.
Rob rode his bay Mustang, Payette. The four year old was doing well for a green broke colt. He plodded along, picking his way through dense lava fields that covered 90% of the area, with familiarity born of a desert horse.  Jack, on the other hand, was not born of the desert. I purchased Jack from a breeder as a young colt.  Until I started him two years ago, he was pasture bred and born.  Jack carefully picked his way through the rocky terrain with ease.  His hard, black hooves held up as well as any horse of the high desert.
The day was unusually warm for the first week of January, topping out at thirty nine degrees. Although there was no snow on the ground, spots of white frost covered areas made slick and hard with nightly freeze.  Overcast sky’s provided little lighting opportunity for an interesting photo of the surrounding area. Once you’ve seen one sage brush…you’ve pretty much seen them all.  Staring at the back of Rob’s reflective lime green jacket, I sighed at the high-probability that we might not get much of anything of interest in the way of photographs. So far, we had not come across any wild horses either. The most eye-catching thing about the day thus far was that blinding, neon-lime-green jacket. Could the day get any more uneventful? I resolved to enjoy the ride regardless. After all, not every ride can be filled with adventure and photo ops. Read the rest of Laurie’s tale here:

4 mile desert scene

08. May 2011 · Comments Off on AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE ASSOCIATION & SQUAW BUTTE RIDE · Categories: Fun Rides

Saturday May 7th turned out to be an awesome day for our possible-First Annual AQHA/SBBCH Joint Ride at Wilson Creek in Owyhee County.  Temperature was perfect– in the high 50s or low 60s—overcast, but nary a drop of rain.  Sandwiched in between a down pour Friday night and Saturday night, and high winds on Sunday, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

We had eleven riders participating, and five or so cooks and organizers holding down camp, making sure all was ready for the riders upon our return.  Two AQHA members attended, Margaret Berggren and Robbin Schindele, and two guests, Rebecca McClellan and Lynda Clark.

We took two groups on the ride, so riders could pick between a longer, more technical trek through Hard Trigger Canyon, or a shorter, more gentle ride along Wilson Creek.  Both rides offered plenty of creek (pronounced ‘crik’ in Owyhee County) crossings, and by the time we were done with the ride I think most horses were well versed in water crossings.  The scenery on the Hard Trigger ride was pure Owyhee County splendor; grassy lowlands along the creek bottoms, steep climbs up rocky side hills, high mesas with snowy mountains in the distance, and the chance of seeing wild horses roaming free (we had to settle for black cows and red cows, and their little calves peering at us from their hillside perches.  My horse wondered where are the black and white cows he was used to seeing??).  Hard Trigger Canyon was amazing.  It’s a short canyon whittled out of lava rock by a rushing creek just big enough that the horses don’t know whether to wade it or jump it.  The more athletic (translated flighty) horses insisted on jumping at every opportunity.  The canyon walls offer an array of sights and oddities to behold,  such as spires and interesting rock formations, as well as ‘caves’ that are actually lava bubbles formed however many  thousands of years ago.

Then we were out of the canyon and began our ascent back up to the plateaus and were lunchward bound.  Cheeseburgers and Brats were starting to sound pretty darned good, and I wished we would hurry up a bit so we wouldn’t be late for lunch!  But we were not a hurrying group, and we ambled along in the general direction I thought we should be going.  Everybody I talk to says “There’s so many trails out there, you can’t get lost!”  Well, I was.  If it hadn’t been for our illustrious ride leaders, I’d still be roaming around out there looking for burgers and brats!

Lunch was a splendid affair!  Barbequed burgers, chicken burgers, brats hot off the grill,  with all the fixings; salads, chips, cookies, muffins, whatever you wanted to drink, and a nice lady in a bikini (translated Wranglers, Carharts and a big floppy cowboy hat) to serve the cookies.  Definitely worth getting almost lost for! And of course stories to tell of our ride, tall tales from the other group about their ride, new people to meet and acquaintances to renew.

It was a great ride, a great day, and a great way to kick off the long summer riding season stretching out before us.  If you missed it, you missed a good time, but we hope to see you next time!

07. May 2011 · Comments Off on The Hard Trigger Ride · Categories: Fun Rides

What’s that all about? Hard Trigger? I saw a sign for Wilson Creek. I don’t get the Hard Trigger business. But then, the problem is that I only show up to skim the cream off the top of the jar. My friend Janine supplies the horses, the tack, the trailer, the gas, the feed, and the 24/365 care. I show up to sit on the horse for a while. Pretty cool gig, eh?

Janine, recently retired yet full of youthful exuberance, is a model member of Squaw Butte Back Country Horsemen. Not only did she sign herself up and take on some administrative duties, but she got me—an anti-social, non-joiner—to sign up. So, I still don’t go to meetings and I don’t participate in anything but the fun stuff; i.e., the RIDES. But I’m a dues-paying member and I got some calendars sold. Apparently that gets my boot in the door without being stomped on.

So there I was, early the Saturday morning before Mother’s Day, at Janine’s place just in time to slam the trailer door shut behind the caballo’s arses. Off we went for the Owyhee foothills. The journey thus far was uneventful. But in short order a mini-hell broke loose behind our parked trailer where my head-in-the-clouds mount stood impatiently awaiting the ride. While I was gagging over fistfuls of winter fur that blew off the curry comb, a rider from the trailer beside us mounted up and raced his steed up the hill igniting One Shot’s excitable nature. He pranced and he danced while I struggled to aim the saddle at the appropriate spot on his moving backside.

Meanwhile, Janine was busily engaged with mule-tack lessons. Proud new owner of two mules, she’s eager to glean wise bits of advice from other mule owners. I was about to attempt the bridling process with Mr. One Shot when a beautiful, saddled but unbridled, buckskin quarter horse darted past the back of our trailer, hotly pursued by a phalanx of mounted and non-mounted cowboys. This put Mr. One Shot beside himself. The runaway bronc was not one of Squaw Butte’s horses, nor, by the way, was the thoughtless rider from the trailer beside us. But it was a busy day there in the parking lot with two independent horse groups assembled for excitement.

Unsure of just how wild Mr. One Shot’s behavior might become, I began walking him about, hoping to settle his nerves and avoid a breakaway experience like that of the buckskin bronc. In short order, I decided I’d have a better chance of survival from atop this kegged dynamite. That was premature, as my saddle was still loose. Rob Adams came to my rescue, gentleman that he is. At last we were off.

SBBCH split into two groups of five riders. I have no idea where group A went. But they sure looked good as they rode off into the sagebrush. Ours was a lovely ride through BLM land where wild horses are often seen, but on this day we saw only doe-eyed beef. We scaled the side of a steep hill under ominous, but fortunately unproductive clouds. Cresting the top of a broad plateau we ambled about long enough for me to get slightly disoriented. When we reached Wilson Creek we passed through a gate and headed back toward the parking lot through a short but fascinating canyon of lava hoodoos. Caves dotted the rock formations where eons ago, large air bubbles had sponged the hardening rock.

I’m just returning to the horse world after nearly a 40-year hiatus, so there’s much for me to learn.  Of course, as we left the trail head, my hot-headed mount was prancing and dancing like a three-year old. Aside from the fact that I must constantly check him with the reins to keep his nose out of the rear of the horse in front, my girlhood romanticism revels in his high-stepping enthusiasm. But when Phil Ryan grumbled that he needed to rid his cowpony of its steady-all-day-jog, I listened and thought about what he said. It’s true. A mincing, prancing horse is nothing but trouble on a trail ride, where careful hoof placement reigns supreme.

Then there were the innumerable stream crossings as we rode through the canyon. Again, the schoolgirl in me thrilled to the unexpected leaps, dashes, and gyrations that took One Shot over each water crossing. But this, too, is detrimental behavior on the trail. If I needed proof, there is the black and blue mark above my groin where I lost a stirrup when One Shot lost his footing during one of his airborne leaps. I was utterly embarrassed to have lost my seat so easily. But the point holds. A trail horse needs some common sense. So does a trail rider. These trail rides are an awesome opportunity to glean wisdom from knowledgeable horsemen in the group.

And then, back at the trail head, there’s hot food, and wild stories to share. Even an old recluse like me enjoys the camaraderie.

12. October 2010 · Comments Off on Directions to Little Sage Hen Basin · Categories: Fun Rides

Directions to Sage Hen Meadows  trailer parking area: For riding TR-131 South (Tripod Peak Trail to lookout)
From Horseshoe Bend, travel 33 miles North on Hwy 55.
Turn left toward Sage Hen Reservoir at Cougar Mountain Lodge (SF Road 644 to 626).
Stay on 626 (not 626H and not 626P).
Travel approx. 7 miles on the windy dirt road until you reach a small meadow on the right for horse trailer parking.
The trail head is about ½ mile East of the trailer parking area.
The trail is fairly easy with nice soil footing (not rocky). It is a worthwhile, scenic ride through the trees and meadows to the lookout.
From Meridian, plan on 1:45 to 2 hours travel time.

Thanks, Lou Ann

16. August 2010 · Comments Off on Kennelly Creek Trails – Payette NF · Categories: Fun Rides, Horse Camping, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

Kennally Creek Campground

Travel 10 miles south of McCall on Hwy 55 then 19 miles east on Paddy Flat Road (#388). There are eleven units/nine trailer units with drinking water from one centrally located hand pump, tables, fire pits, charcoal grills, handicapped accessible toilet, hitching rails and unloading ramp, pack in/pack out. Good trail access with no trailhead fee. There is a host at Paddy Flat Guard Station. Contact the McCall Ranger District at (208) 634-0400 for the most current information. There is a designated horse camping area, and a great overflow (no fee) area about 300 yards up the road from the campground.  Three trails are available from this trailhead.  Kennally Creek trail is a mostly level ride through big trees with a number of creek crossing that takes you to some small lakes if your willing to ride nine miles one way.  The needles trail is a pretty steady climb with some loose rocky sections but is rewarded with some great views at the summit.  The Black Mare trail starts with a short climb, followed by a very nice ride through big trees to Bill’s Lake.  From the lake the trail climbs quickly up the end of the canyon to a saddle.  The trail head is at 5600 feet, the saddle is at 7,900 feet and the last 1,500 is in less than a mile.  The view when you get to the top is of the South Fork of the salmon river canyon, and it is spectacular. This is an end of the road trail head and camp ground, with very little traffic and very nice facilities.  Loop pack trips are possible from this trail head, with a number of lakes and creeks to camp by.  We saw very little sign of game, it had rained a couple of days before we started riding and the only tracks we saw on the trails were our horses.

Bull Trout Lake, Stanley Basin
Latitude: 44.2988 Longitude: -115.2532
Elevation: 6955 ft (2120 m)

Squaw Butte and High Desert chapters of Backcountry Horseman of Idaho will be spending the 4th of July weekend in the Stanley basin camping at the trail head near the Bull Trout Lake camp ground. Directions from Emmett are posted on the SBBCH website or at http://www.sbbchidaho.org/Directions_toBull_Trout_Lake.pdf. Pictures from previous trips are at http://picasaweb.google.com/sbbchidaho2007/BullTroutLake#

The chapters will be camping in the meadow near the trail heads on the south side of the access road. Horse water is near, and it is a short walk to the FS bathroom and a fresh water hand pump. This is a no fee area of the campground. Members will start arriving either Thursday night or Friday morning. Friday is get your camp set up and fun ride or fishing day. There are a number of trails that are available from Bull Trout Lake. On Saturday for those members interested a work party will be formed to work on removing down fall from the Gates Creek Trail [148]. For members not interested in the work party, a ride on the Pass Creek trail [148] towards the Cats lakes by Red Mountain or Dead Man Creek [147] is an option.

Map of Bull Trout Lake trails:  http://sbbchidaho.org/pdf/bull_trout_lake_trails.jpg

Meals:Breakfasts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be communal with members providing fixing like eggs, juice, melon etc. Dinners will be pot luck on Friday and Saturday night. Members should plan on providing one dish for one of the two dinners. Lunches are up to the members to provide for themselves.

Stock: There are good locations for setting up portable corrals as well as high lines. There is good access to water for you stock on the north side of the meadow. The trails in this area have some small bridge crossing. It is a good place to do bridge 101 if your stock has little experience with bridges.

On Sunday for members interested and assuming the trails are open for use (snow above 8,000 feet) an optional ride out of the Iron Creek Trail head to Sawtooth Lake is possible before making the drive home. http://sbbchidaho.org/pdf/Iron Creek Area.pdf  The trail to Sawtooth Lake is full of spectacular mountain scenery and is one of the most popular in the SRA. Bring your camera.

17. April 2009 · Comments Off on Jubilee Park – New Place to ride in Canyon County · Categories: Fun Rides

Canyon County’s newest park is located at the west terminus of Missouri Avenue.  Bring your horse and ride “Jubilee Park”
http://sbbchidaho.org/pdf/jubilee_park.pdf

16. September 2008 · Comments Off on Diamond Basin Ride · Categories: Fun Rides

Ride Date:  September 27, 2008
Ride Time: 10:30

Directions to Trail Head:
(from: Linda Forrester)

After passing Dan’s Ferry Service on the river, proceed on thru Murphy on Highway 45 to the Silver City Road. (I can’t remember for sure just how far it is from Murphy to the Silver City Road, but I think it is 5-6 miles to the south of Murphy)  Turn right on the Silver City Road and go approximately 6 miles. (Your are still on the pavement on the main road.  This turnoff is on a big  turn of the road to the left.)  Turn to the right (North) onto a dirt road that takes you back to the corrals.  We always parked at the corrals and started our circle ride from there.  Linda W. knows the ride directions for the circle better than I do.  This was one of her riding spots!

(from: Linda W.)

You start at the corrals and you can go west on the road up the hill and just stay on it clear up to the top or you can take the trail to the south that will take you out and around the road and you still end up at the same gate! it’s way more fun!

Go left at the top of the big hill and bare left. The gates are all closed up there due to the cows in the area. Go down to the first cabin. Nettleton’s have restored the cabin and there is a note on the door telling of the history. Good lunch spot!

Then you proceed to the west through the gate and turn to the north across the little creek run off. Just keep going on that trail and follow it to the second cabins. Then on up the hill still heading north west.

*There will be a road on the right before the cabins that is the short cut.  It will take you back to the main road.  Or you can keep going  about another mile and see a road to the right that will take you up and then just stay on that road it will keep going north. You will go over the big hill and head back to the east. Through milk springs and back down to the road.

If your interested in a nice ride up West mountain with interesting trails and nice views I can recommend that you make a loop ride out of the Wilson Corral trail [TR135] and the Gabes Peak trail [TR136]. Truck / Trailer parking can be either at the Wilson Corral trail head or Rammage Meadows camp ground where the Gabes Peak trail head is located. I recommend you ride up [TR135] and down [TR136] but either way works nicely.   The Gabes Peak trail has some climbs that make it slow going up.

Wilson Corral trail follows a creek in tall timber for the first couple of miles and then crosses a string of meadows ending up north west of the Radar Dome on Snow Bank mountain. In the meadows the trail gets quite indistinct, as cattle summers graze this area. You will see trees marked, and rock carrions. Continue up the meadows until you can not go any higher without dropping down into a small valley, around 7400 feet.

Look to your right and you will see a small meadow down through the trees and a rocky hillside between you and the radar dome. The trail heads down the hill through the trees into the north end of this meadow. You really don’t want to cross the rocky slope as the going is dangerous on very loose rocks. A nice place to give your horses a drink is located in this meadow.

From here the trail heads south and is easy to follow. You continue south along this grassy valley until you come to a line shack. At this shack, the Gabe’s Peak trail branches off to the right. The trail go left of some large rocks and works it’s way along a south facing slope into a series of meadows along a ridge. Stay in these meadows and on the crest of the ridge and you will have little trouble following the trail. The trail leaves this ridge on the north side and works its way through some large timber coming out on an old logging road. Follow this road to Rammage Meadows. Robbin, his grandson Al, and I rode this loop trail easily on a Saturday leaving the trail head around 10:00 and being back at camp in time for cocktails. This assumes that trail maintenance has been performed prior to making this ride, else it will take a bit longer.

25. July 2008 · Comments Off on Lightning Ridge · Categories: Fun Rides, Work Parties and Projects

The Lightning Ridge trail is a 13.5 mile ride between Deadwood Reservoir and Forest Service road NF-611 (Lightning ridge road) in Garden valley.  Linda Hays and I rode some of this trail from the west, Garden Valley end.  The one lane road to the trail head is in very good shape, and the parking for trailers is limited, so this is not a good chapter ride.  But for small groups, of not more then maybe 4 trailers this trail offers one of Idaho’s best ridge rides.  This is not a ride for people or horses that don’t like to climb and are not comfortable riding on a hill side, as this trail has both.  It also has some wonderful granite rock formations and great views of Scott Mountain, Onion Valley, Garden Valley and the surrounding mountains.  During our ride the wild flowers were doing their best to cover the hillsides.  The west end of this trail is dry, not crossing any streams and the section we rode did not have a lot of shade.  On our trail scale of 1 to 5 with one being a flat dirt road and 5 being OMG, this is a 3.5

06. May 2008 · 3 comments · Categories: Fun Rides

Sunday May 4th

We rode the lower 5 miles of the trail today.The trail has a good surface, gravel, but is probably soft enough for non-shod with tough feet. There is a few narrow openings for people and horses to get around locked gates. 2 miles in there is a wooden bridge to cross over a cattle access to the river. A dead beaver (still pretty ripe) and a deer carcass (not ripe), lots of rock chucks, geese, goslings, ducks (no ducklings), lizards, and birds. Only snake we saw was taken directly over us by a hawk. Good thing he didn’t drop it, it would not have been a good deal. We turned around at a gate that was closed but not locked so can go through it.

Think parking will be limited if we park by the dam, maybe 6 or 7 rigs with trailers. We made arrangements with Dillon to park in the field across the road from the dam, the company he works for owns the ground on both sides of the road. There are heifers in the field so will have to be careful about the gate, but there is lots of room.

The directions on the web site say to turn right at Unity lane, but people need to continue going straight on Weiser river road, over a small bridge over the canal to get to Galloway dam.

It was a very enjoyable ride, along the river all the way.

02. May 2008 · Comments Off on Memorial Weekend Horse Camping – Big Willow Creek May 24-25 · Categories: Fun Rides, Horse Camping

I am planning on driving up to Big Willow Creek to camp on Friday night, camping Friday & Saturday, doing the Saturday ride in the wild horse area, and the Sunday ride at Sheep creek. This is a very flexible trip due to it’s short distance from Emmett. Members can camp and ride, or just day ride. Members who choose to day ride on Saturday, should also plan on sharing the pot luck dinner,  before heading back to the homestead. Rides on both Saturday and Sunday will start at 10:00

Information: http://www.sbbchidaho.org/pdf/0805MemorialWeekendHorseCampingTrip.pdf

Directions to Big Willow Creek: http://www.sbbchidaho.org/Directions_to_the_4_Mile_Horse_Management_Area.pdf

Directions to Sheep Creek: http://www.sbbchidaho.org/Directions_to_sheep_creek_camping.pdf

01. May 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Fun Rides

Our Saturday April 26th ride to the Wilson Creek / Hard Trigger area was one of the better I have been on in this area. The canyon that trail [w100] passes through and water crossings were a perfect spring tuneup. Great weather also.  Last year the BLM did a major improvement of the parking area at Wilson Creek, including installing bathrooms, this is now first rate facility.  They also added a number of trail signs so it is much easier to navigate the array of great trails in the area.