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Sweet Summer Days

7-15-14, Valley Falls, OR - Thereís an old saying, ďA man should make the most of a tough situationĒ.  So, while I have to contend with beautiful weather and wonderful country, I try to lighten things up (ha ha) by going fishing and riding in the mountains. Next month, Jacquie and I are going on a horse packing trip up into a Wilderness area. Iím excited about the trip.  In the meantime, Iíve been enjoying life.


A few days ago, a friend and I rode up into the hills on a ranch behind us.  Monty, the chestnut quarter horse is still pretty green and needed a challenging trip to help round out a few edges. After climbing up a 500 foot high ridge line, we worked our way across an ancient, rock strewn caldera. It didnít take him long to learn how to set his feet on the rocky ground. An afternoon in the hills provided the same training value as ten day down on the flats.

With daytime temperatures in the 90ís, a favorite trick of ours is to load up the car with picnic food and fishing poles and drive to a lake or stream in the late afternoon. If the fish arenít biting is still nice to put a chair in the stream and cool the bare feet while cooling down the insides with a frosty beer.

At least a couple of times a week, Jacquie and I head to a river, lake or pond to fish, picnic and cool down.  This picture was taken at the Chewaucan River, about 20 miles from the house.

Today, I decided to extend the training of my quarterhorse by giving him a job to do.  My friends Garen and Candace had a few hundred head of cattle that had to be moved off one section of National Forest and on to another. One thing a horse really likes to do is to dominate a cow. Monty is pretty green (heís only been ridden about 20 times) but he took to the task like a fish to water.  He especially liked chasing strays. The only time I had a problem with him was when we came to water or mud. Rather than wading through, he wanted to jump a little stream like he was Evel Knevel jumping across the Snake River canyon (we have to work on that).

Gathering and pushing a couple of hundred cow/calf pairs in the woods is difficult with only three riders and three dogs.  Fortunately, there were some old cows in the lead that knew where were going.

All in all, this was a damn good day/

All the horses were sweated up and pooped out by the time we were done.  Monty enjoyed being one of the guys and squeaked in a nap while the cowhands relaxed in the shade with a cool beer.

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