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!

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