Before we’d ridden our horses far down the road, an old rancher came by in his truck and admonished us for “running his cows” every weekend. Since we hadn’t been to the area since spring, and on that occasion, all we’d seen were antelopes, we couldn’t possibly have been running his cows. And we told him so. After that, he chilled out and griped a little about ranching and how his cows didn’t seem to want to stay on the meadow. He even talked some politics (sounded like an Obama fan!) before wishing us a good ride and moving on.
We headed on up the hill, trotting and cantering much of the way. Steve checked Boss using the heart monitor he straps under the saddle. Boss’s heart rate went up to 180 after 20 minutes of running uphill. Ten minutes after stopping, it was down to 72. Not bad.
Nearly to the communication towers, Daisy was delighted to find elk innards in the middle of the two-track. Apparently some hunters had shot and gutted the animal right there. Wow, that was some delicious stuff. Daisy tried to haul the critter’s heart along with her, but couldn’t quite manage the load. She was very disappointed to leave her special treat behind.
Views from the top, about 8500 feet, were very nice. You can see Red Mountain, north of Vernal, in the distance.
We got off and walked on the steeper stretches coming down. Here’s Mischief dawdling. He doesn’t much like loose rock.
Daisy scared a group of cows on the way down (all she did was a halfhearted chase for a few yards, b ut that was enough.) They headed off in the direction the rancher didn’t want them to go. So, Steve and Boss ran to cut them off and turn them back. Boss is a pretty good cow horse. He seems to know where he needs to be to turn the cows.
We arrived back at the trailer at sunset.
The ride was 18 miles, 3200 feet elevation gain and loss, done in about 4 hours.