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CNelson

Deadwood To Foresthill

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If I put up pretty pictures will somebody please come be my riding buddy? I struck out alone with my horse today and honestly it was a bad idea. I know lots of folks to ride with around here but they are either hard core 100 mile top ten finisher Endurance riders or go out for an hour walk trail riders (okay maybe a smidge futher but you get the idea). I’m working my horse up to doing a 25 or 30 mile ride and right now need people of that variety to ride with.

Anywho, to the story and pictures. I talked hubby into dropping me off in a place along the Tevis (Western States) trail so I could do a 13 mile section. Now mind you I picked the second worst canyon to go through and the one after it. TOUGH 13 miles. I felt it would be a good test to see where my horse and I are at in our training. We drove out past any cell reception and then another 7 miles out a dirt road. Now, I’ve been concerned about my trailer not getting enough air circulation as it always seems warm in there during the summer so I never thought my horse would be getting COVERED in dust as we drove down this road. Turns out I was oh so very wrong. I still feel horrible about this and really don’t plan to ever do this to my poor horsey again. Picture- notice the hand print.

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So I unloaded my dust covered horse, cleaned him up, strapped everything I thought we would need to him, and climbed aboard.

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The trail was beautiful and we were having a wonderful time just cruising through the forest enjoying the view.

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Somewhere after I took that photo is where I realized I really shouldn’t be out here alone. Not that I didn’t know that already I was just trying to tell myself it was going to be ok as there really isn’t anybody great to ride with. We’re happily speed walking down this hill when I hear a noise that no rider ever wants to hear that close to their horse. My horse stutter stepped and started to lower his head. At that point I have to admit I yanked him hard which I never do and thankfully he got the message and backed up quickly. Yup, you guessed it. Rattlesnake. BIG Rattlesnake. As we backed up it moved off the trail into a bush and I jumped off to check my horse. I couldn’t find a scratch on him and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief though I was still scared somehow I missed it. I must have checked him 20 times. The snake was far enough off the trail I felt somewhat comfortable but still ran just because I was all amped up and scared. Lol.

Now the problem is I was in the MIDDLE of nowhere with no help to be reached. If something had happened with that snake I would have been totally SOL. I had left hubby about a ½ hour before this happened and was MILES from civilization. This whole ride I didn’t see one person and from that point it was nearly two hours moving pretty good till I hit Michigan Bluff where humans exist that could’ve helped me. Sigh. I guess even if somebody had been with me they wouldn’t have been able to do much either but oh well. I did have a snake bite kit but I don’t think it is really going to do THAT much that a horse is gunna live for a rigurous two hour ride and then an min hour wait form that point for a vet. Anyway, I’ll stop ranting now but I love riding out there but it just isn’t safe.

More pictures.

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I felt so so bad when we hit this bridge and creek. My poor horse was licking and all eager but there was no way to get down to the water. It took us hiking up the other side on the canyon before we hit the next water. Mind you we dropped from 4,400 feet down to around 1800 ft where this creek was and then climbed back to aprox 3,400 ft. where we found water before entering the next canyon. Poor poor horsey.

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Edited by Cat2

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I got off and hiked the uphill sides of the canyons. I figured I could use the exercise and he could use a break from me. We stoped here momentarily for me to get a drink and give the critter some carrots. I thought he was cute enjoying his carrot. Don?t mind the off towlette tied to his bridle. The bugs were horrid- it was my last resort.

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Lastly we met up with hubby at the bottom on the second canyon we went through. This canyon was steeper but thankfully shorter.

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The End. Will someone please come be my riding buddy?

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Nice pictures! Glad you and your horse are OK (I hate snakes of any kind)

Good luck with finding a riding buddy, not to be negative or discouraging but I finally gave up on a riding buddy, can't tell you how many people told me they wanted to ride and always backed out for some reason (often at the last minute)....just saying the more you ride alone, the more you may like it! Riding alone does have some great advantages! Yes it can be dangerous, but so many other things we do alone can be dangerous too. Wish I lived nearby I"d be glad to ride with ya.

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Wish I had your scenery for riding in. Beautiful!!

I thought "I'd love to come ride with you" until you said something about a rattlesnake... I flipped out when my dad pointed out we had a small garter snake in our back steps that I almost stepped on, so made hubby relocate it. Didn't kill it since they do help with the mice population.

I ride all the time around home by myself, but there are people all around in the nieghborhood. I quit hauling to the trails on the other side of the lake a few years ago to ride by myself though. Just lost my confidence and got to worrying that if something happened, no one would know where I was in 15 miles worth of trails.

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Cat;

As you know, that trail is a very beautiful area, and the good thing is, the "nutballs" on bikes and motorbikes, don't use it as it is too rough. When my Wife and I were up there a while ago, we found the water access also to be iffy, and very steep. Nice pics, and hope you can find a like able and reliable buddy. :smilie:

Edited by siseley

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Lovely trail. I'd love to come up there to ride some time. Alas, maybe next summer--I have all of June and July off from work.

You're more than welcome to come down here to SoCal for a ride. My trail riding club(s) rides are usually 10-20 miles long and I ride alone a lot too.

I see rattlesnakes on the trail quite often. I ride slow enough (usually 4 mph) to be able to spot them on the trail in enough time to get off my horse at a distance (15' or so) and throw rocks or sticks at them to get them to move well off the trail before I pass.

If your horse were to be bitten on the leg, hand walk her to the nearest place to be trailered out. It's not usually a dire emergency unless your horse has an allergic reaction or is bitten on the nose and can't breathe through the swelling. Having a short length of garden hose (10" or so), sanded smooth on one end, inserted gently into a nostril will open it up so the horse can breathe through the swelling. A person getting bitten is an extremely serious matter--avoid this at all costs. If a person were bitten out on the trail, I would get that person to medical help asap, bringing them out on horseback to the closest place a truck could reach if they were able to stay in the saddle, or keeping them calm and resting while summoning help if they were not able to sit on a horse.

You might be able to find some trail riding groups in your area. You could start with the Backcountry Horsemen: http://www.bchcalifornia.org/local-units.html

I think they have an unit in your area.

Happy trails! Look forward to seeing more of your photos.

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Where are you? Up near Tahoe or Auburn?

Have you been on any shorter endurance rides in northern CA?

I belong to a trail riding & camping club in the Placerville area. In the spring,summer, fall we have a weekend camping trip and the ride usually is two hours out, lunch, two hours back. But that is at a walk. There are members in the club that go for longer rides with other club members. We meet on the First Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm the Denny's Restaurant @ 99 Fair Lane Placerville (just off HWY 50). Next months camp out at Point Reyes.

Other CA & NV clubs that do distance riding:

California State Horsemen's Association (Pacific Southwest & West Regions)

www.californiastatehorsemen.com

California State Horsemen's Association promotes organized endurance rides and distance riding horsemanship. CSHA also has regional endurance programs that also provide education, mentors and awards. All California residents are eligible for membership.

Gold Country Endurance Riders (Northern California: West Region)

www.gcer.org

GCER started in 1980 in Auburn, California. Membership includes endurance riders, social riders and non-riders. Gold Country members enjoy camp-outs and many social rides throughout the year. Annually GCER puts on the Gold Country 30/50 Endurance Ride.

Nevada All State Trail Riders (Nevada: West and Pacific Southwest Regions)

www.nastr.org

The Nevada All-State Trail Riders, Inc. (NASTR) was organized in 1968 for the purpose of preserving historical trails in Nevada by sponsoring and promoting horse back riding on these trails. In 1991, NASTR purchased and built a mile of the Tahoe Rim Trail, and formed an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service in 1993 to provide maintenance on the Jones Creek/Whites Creek trail in the Mount Rose Wilderness. NASTR has celebrated every National Trails Day, the first Saturday in June, by working on this trail.

Good Luck!

HTTY!

Edited by dondie

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Wonderful pictures. It looks like a lovely ride. I ride alone, but only where I have cell coverage. We've ridden past a rattlesnake, and my horse didn't even seem to notice, and I actually thought it was kind of cool It was far enough not to be able to strike without moving though.

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All I can say is "DARN" you sound like my kind of riding partner. To bad we don't live closer together.

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