September 3, 2010

Mountain Panorama

We thought you might enjoy a video view of Gilbert Basin. I'm riding Mischief, my son Eric is riding Boss, and Steve is taking the video and narrating.
Since this is a short post, I'll take the opportunity to answer a couple of questions that might be of general interest.
Betsy and Jabblog wondered if Eric could still walk after 3 days on horseback with no preparation. 
Answer: Eric did surprisingly well! He's in great shape from all of his hiking, climbing and biking, so maybe that's the explanation. In his situation, I would have been waddling for weeks!
To read  Eric's version of the trip, click here.
Robert asked about any special horse care required on such a trip, and the equine mpg.
Answer: An experienced trail horse drinks at almost every stream crossing. An inexperienced one may turn down water from a strange source at first, but he soon learns to take water where he can get it. Horses need a minimum of an hour of grazing, morning and evening. We use a single hobble to tie Boss (the boss horse) to a drag log so he can move around but won't go too far. Usually we'll hobble at least one of the others. With their herd instinct, horses prefer to stay in a group, so there's little danger that one will wander off alone. The boss horse is the ringleader, but with him contained, the rest will remain close. At night, we tie them on a highline, a sturdy rope with metal loops and tree savers (broad nylon bands to minimize bark damage) to go around the trees. We use bells so we'll hear if they become upset or, heaven forbid, escape and run away!  We check their feet before and after riding, groom them a little, and put boots on their hooves for very rocky trails. I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but really it doesn't take much time.
We've done similar excursions on foot with backpacks, but it's a lot easier (especially as we get older) with the horses carrying the gear.
How many miles to the gallon? Since Robert is a hydrologist, I assume he meant mpg of water.  Well, horses drink about 10 gallons per day when working. We went 12-16 miles per day on this trip. So, a max of just over 1.5 mpg.
Without packs on an easy, alluvial trail, horses can travel 20 miles per day with no problem, which improves the mpg a bit. They eat 10-15 pounds of grass/hay per day, so that's up to .5 pounds per mile.
Jabblog asked about Daisy.  Yes, Daisy does her own walking the entire way.  We've never had to carry her or put boots on her feet.  In fact, since she roams about and goes on brief chases after game here and there, she probably travels twice the distance that the horses go.


  1. Thanks Janie for answering our questions... And thanks for the gorgeous video.. What fabulous views you have.

    Have a great weekend.

  2. So interesting to know, and so amazingly beautiful!

  3. Beautiful shots of wonderful country, as ever.
    Your narrator has a very pleasant speaking voice.

  4. This is wonderful Janie. Nice to hear Steve's voice so calming. And great answers. Although I had to chuckle about the mpg.

  5. Steve has a wonderful voice for narration. I liked that you posted the facts about the ride and the animals, Janie. It's so interesting to learn something that is commonplace to you and Steve but foreign to me.

  6. Janie: A neat video and a fun look at the trail ride. Enjoyed all the photos below.

  7. Wow, great scenery and great narration. Now there's a western voice! Can't believe my name made it on the front cover, too!

  8. Hello, Janie.

    As for riding a horse in the wonderful scene, you are happy.

    From Japan.
    Thank you.

  9. Great video and post. Isn't the great outdoors, the greatest!!!!!

  10. Janie what a wonderful adventure you had with your son. The country is beautiful. The trails seem to be quite warn, are they game trails or is the area widely used(hmmm...seems not likely)maybe an old trail?
    Thank you for taking us along and I have enjoyed catching up on your summer adventures.

  11. I enjoyed the video and the information you provided. Your blog is very educational.

  12. The video was a nice treat, thanks to Steve and his wonderful narration.
    I also enjoyed reading you informative answers, Janie..I learned a lot.

  13. Beautiful video and what a pleasant narration.
    "Mama" you look fantastic on horseback in the middle of that amazing landscape.



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