Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wildcat Mtn Ride

So I say...

Let's take a day and go to WildCat Mtn and ride.

Well next thing I know, I am rounding up Fred the older experienced pony mule and Siera.

The idea is that Fred will show Siera that things really aren't 'mule monsters'.

This generally works so well in building a 'green' or young mule's confidence. Siera has good confidence but needs exposure.
One of her real dislikes has been mud.

What a perfect day for 'mud' training. Many portions of the WildCat equine trails had muddy areas from a month of heavy rainfalls.
If she had a real issue, I took Fred and stood him in the mud.
She seemed at first to need Fred's experience to overcome the 'mud factor'.

By the end of the ride, she was hesitantly, but willingly ~~ walking through sucking yucky mud.

We had a nice picnic at an isolated spot...well, what do you expect when you go to a State Park in the middle of the week?

Siera hammed it up for the if to say...gosh do I have to do that steep trail???
Up and down hills, past marvelous rock formations, cool mushrooms, gorgeous flowers, and a glimpse of wildlife...[WildCat is a wildlife refuge].

Under the canopy of the forest, it was cool and inviting. In the sun...well, it was hot.
The skies were a perfect blue with fluffy white clouds drifting lazily across....
The thrill of the day was when we came to Billings Creek. It is wide and deep as far as creeks go in the area.
Siera does NOT like water.
Fred took a step in and dropped his head for a drink.

Siera was urged to go in.
To our surprise, she went without much of a fuss.
In fact hubby and Siera played in the creek for a while. Siera got into the deep part of the creek...she got her belly wet!
Fred watched with a ho-hum attitude, while Rich and I were ecstatic!

After a nice ride [and more mud holes], we headed back...and had to cross the creek again.
Siera showed us how much it bothered her...
Some things you just cannot control.
We both told her that it was not polite to pee in the creek.
She wasn't listening.

We made it back to camp to discover that a really nice and large horse trailer had caught on fire while we were riding.
No one was hurt, the owners too had been out riding.
The FD doused it then dragged it into a field.
It was still smoldering when we went by to look.
As we sat on our critters and talked to the 'camp hosts', Siera learned another very important lesson.

Word got around locally that there had been a trailer the locals kept driving into camp and coming to look.
Siera had one reaction to the vehicles...then simply stood quietly while they passed her.

I think it was an extremely wonderful and powerful 'training' ride.
Siera showed good common sense, a grasp of quick learning, and my husband enjoyed his first real ride on her.

[I just hope he doesn't want to keep her for himself...!]


  1. Anonymous9:00 AM

    Really great to hear Siera is doing so good,, Rode on a ride with Barb last year and she had asked if we knew how she was doing ,and I think shortly after that you had contacted her.

  2. What a great ride so many ways!
    We had a Wildcat Mountain ride in Oregon that we use to ride to see early Spring wildflowers. It had much of the same terrain that your ride does.
    I never have know a GOOD mule not to be at first curious and hesitant while learning about new stuff. It means that they are thinking about "it". Nothing worse than being on an animal that can't or doesn't bother to think!
    That trailer fire was tragic. It actually looks very much like out old living-quarter trailer. We sold it because it was no longer practical for us to drag everywhere. Especially since we don't go much anymore. I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt (except for maybe their feelings).
    Anyway, this was a beautiful post, and looked like a very good way to spend the day. Beautiful country ... is it far from where you live?

  3. Yes Siera is doing great! Tell Barb she is awesome..

    MJ~this is about 30 miles [as a crow flies] or 50 minutes by twisted road.

    We love it there.