Appaloosa Journal

NOV 2018

Appaloosa Journal is the official publication of the Appaloosa Horse Club, the international registry for the Appaloosa horse.

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82 Appaloosa Journal November 2018 Rock Slide," and many riders declared that if they had encoun- tered the rocky descent on their own, they would have turned around and headed home. We have such little faith in these great horses! The first scouts approached the steep slope, walking in zig zag formation, creating switchbacks and letting their horses slowly and steadily work their way down the hill. Those who took the slide directly head on had a rougher go. One by one, each horse picked its way down, carefully placing their feet on loose boulders that would give way beneath their weight, forcing them to catch themselves on another loose boulder. Each one made it safely to the bottom, where there was a high embankment, masked by overgrown brush. The sudden drop surprised many of the horses and jostled a few riders, but none were worse for wear and they earned a great story to share. The horses watered in Wolf Creek and enjoyed an easy ride on a two-track along the bottom of the canyon. When opening a gate, some turkeys were startled and took to flight, but the horses stood solidly with nary a spook. The location for lunch was well-chosen with ample trees to tie the horses and luxurious shade. Lucky participants snagged a spot alongside a creek and enjoyed the cool temperatures of the saturated ground. The area smelled earthy and alive and was a welcome refreshment. It was another slow, steady climb out of the canyon, the views changing with every curve, the elevation increasing with every step. Coniferous trees provided occasional shade and were tower- ing subjects along the landscape spotted with wildflowers. The single track evolved into a gravel road until camp drew near. Then the riders were directed across several meadows to camp. It had been another twenty-four-mile ride, but somehow seemed much easier than the day before. The evening presentation consisted of Awards Night. Partici- pants were served steak dinner in celebration of the achievements and both riders and horses were recognized for their milestones. Retiring lead scout, Ron Fowler, was thanked for his years of ser- vice to the club and presented the gift of a new western hat by his scouting team. Thursday With only sixteen miles to cover, Thursday promised to be an easier ride. The column headed out across the same green fields that took them to camp the day previous, then through an area of clear-cut forest. Riders emerged onto a gravel road and followed it to a wooded grove where there was a call for lunch break. It was a peaceful location with ample trees to lean upon and tie the horses. It made for a restful break. A short ride after lunch found the participants at another canyon edge. From this point on, it was all downhill, following switchbacks down a skid trail towards the Salmon River. The views from up top were phenomenal, with mountains in the distance and the Salmon winding in the canyon below. In some areas, the trail steepened, and the footing grew unstable, but the horses were well-seasoned after three days of the same and handled the terrain expertly. After a brief rest overlook- ing camp far below, the riders completed their descent to the river. The herd lined along the shore to drink. Several were enticed by the sand along the shore and took it upon themselves to lie down to roll, much to the chagrin of their riders. It was only a short trek to the Community Corrals after that, where horses were attended to before the mass exodus to the river to swim, bathe or otherwise cool off. ApHC CEO, Steve Taylor, presented historical tidbits on the Appaloosa Horse Club that had been collected in recognition of its 80th birthday and Ron Fowler

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