There must be hundreds of gullies called “sand wash” all over the state of Utah, but the one we investigated yesterday is located southeast of Ouray and drains into the White River.
The area turned out to be lousy with oil wells and related activity. Not all bad, because the horses were exposed to all kinds of scary knocking noises, the sound of gas release from the wells, the sight of flags, wires, big ol' pipes, etc.
We had a fast ride along a dirt road to the White River, where Daisy and the horses cooled off.
This rock formation in the distance reminded us of Stonehendge.
Once we entered Sand Wash, we found some good working terrain,
but not as much as we’d hoped. Unfortunately, the stretches of sand were interrupted by rocks here and there, and sometimes the gulch became almost impassable due to tamarisk (salt cedar) overgrowth.
The clear skies of the morning gave way to complete cloud cover by late afternoon, but the temperatures remained in the 50’s.
Steve used our Polar heart rate monitor on Boss to determine the horses level of conditioning. (All prior checks indicate Mischief, an Arab, has a consistently lower heart rate than Boss, a quarter horse mix .) After a 10 minute canter, mostly on the flat, Boss reaches 130 bpm. After 1 minute stopped, he’s down to 76. After 5 minutes, he’s down to 64. After 6 minutes, he’s at sixty. According to Go the Distance, our favorite source on endurance riding, that’s a good heart rate recovery.
On the way back to the trailer, Daisy found a herd of antelope and chased them over a hill. She was back before long, since they easily outpaced her.
Our total ride was 13 miles, 1000 feet elevation gain and loss.