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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70 Appaloosa Journal November 2018 "Little Western" L Story and photos by Kristen Reiter ocated in the heart of canyon country, this year's Chief Joseph Trail Ride reflected images of the bygone era that was The Old West, a period glorified for its romanticism and adventure. The terrain the trail crossed might well have been a backdrop for a vin- tage cowboy film, starring the likes of John Wayne or Clint East- wood. Each day provided a change in geography, elevation and scenery. Horses would climb from the depths of a canyon to the plateau above, cross the breezy meadows and camp for the night before crawling into the belly of another deep, rock-strewn gorge. The participants possessed various levels of age, horsemanship, trail skills, and life experiences. While each had their own person- al motivations fueling their attendance, this diverse community of individuals had all converged upon the Palouse for the same general purpose — to ride the trail and honor those who had laid footsteps before them. The terrain would prove them gritty and determined. When the trail grew rough, riders navigated terrain that would intimidate many. Those less-traveled trails rewarded participants with spectacular canyon views, memorable riding and tales to share upon their return home. In addition to the ride itself, the evening performances were captivating, educational and emotional. The Nez Perce performed moving, cultural ceremo- nies throughout the week and historical insights were presented by invited guests and trail ride veterans. Through the experiences on the trail and the educational opportunities in camp, the Chief Joseph Trail Ride provides a means to live a small piece of history, to meet descendants of the Nez Perce War and to visualize lands that lie virtually untouched since that time. If you've never participated on a Chief Joseph Trail Ride, you might consider the freshly-mown wheat field just outside of Gran- geville, Idaho, an odd location to send more than 125 horses, their riders and support crew as well as their vehicles, but that is exactly where this year's attendees were directed. While the dried, yellow field might have appeared ordinary, the history that unfolded upon its soil and nearby vicinity is extraordinary. For resting alongside the harvested shafts of amber, edged by lush green grasses and leafy shade trees, lies Tolo Lake — a landmark destination that served as a popular gathering place for the Nez Perce when they lived on the Camas Prairie. It was here in 1877 that Chief Joseph and his band gathered at the beginning of their 1,300-mile flight from the cav- alry, attempting to maintain peace and avoid loss of their freedom. The Chief Joseph Trail Ride has been commemorating this his- torical journey since its inception in 1965. It follows, as closely Gonna Get a It's THE 2018 CHIEF JOSEPH TRAIL RIDE

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