May 19, 2008

The Bear Scare

On Saturday, we rode Buck Ridge from the trailhead located off the Whiterocks road just as it reaches Forest Service Land. We took this ride several times last fall, but this was the first spring attempt. We followed a 2 track up a rocky slope, around the side of a mountain, through a basin and up again to the ridge. From there, we rode through forested trails until we reached too much snow to continue. As we first started into the forest on the ridgetop, Boss started acting spooky, as he does when he smells something strange. Steve spotted several mountain goats about the same time Boss did. Boss whirled and tried to run back the way he’d come. Mischief, traveling behind, saw Boss’s sudden move and decided he was out of there, too. I was able to stop him before he did more than change direction in a hurry. Steve, likewise, got control of Boss before he went far. We thought it was funny that the mountain goats scared Boss so much. He is, after all, a big, strong horse. Em-barrassing!
However, on the way back, in the same area, we saw fresh bear scat. (Black bear, since that’s the only variety that lives in the Uintas.) Boss may very well have smelled bear on the way out and, since he’s never actually seen a bear, assumed the white critters (the goats) were what carried that scary odor. So, maybe he’s not such a ridiculous coward after all. Being scared of bears is okay. After all, according to Stephen Colbert, they’re number one on the Threatdown…
We also saw a couple of elk on the way down the mountain. Overall, a very good ride, which we accomplished in 7 hours with some trotting and a short gallop uphill. The GPS profile showed 5000 feet altitude gain, and about 12 miles. The rocks tore Mischief’s front boot’s gaiter. I replaced that gaiter after we returned home. All of the boot treads showed wear from the rocks, but the hoof protection appears to be very good.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to hear that Boss isn't such a wussy after all. =) By the way, I noticed your pic at the top of your page doesn't quite fit in the borders. I had the same problem, you can fix it by going back and choosing the pic again, but this time choose the option that says stretch to fit or something like that.



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