03-31-2012, 12:55 PM
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My dad had some while I was growing up, Early years. I rode some then, But never very much. I went thru a lot of sports phases before coming back to horses. I made a lot of trips to alaska fishing and hunting, Motorcycles, Avid skier, drift boats for flyfishing western rivers and rubber rafts for running white water.
My wife grew up with a horse instead of a bike. If she wanted to go to town, over to a friends and pretty much any entertainment, She rode a horse.
As I became more proficient at killing elk, I got tired of hauling them out on my back. The Forest Service closed my favorite hunting area to all wheeled vehicles in 1983 and I decided that I needed horses to again access that area. I mentioned it to my while and while she had rarely ever talked about horses, She said it was OK with her if I got one. Since she never did any of my outdoor sports ( hunting/fishing) I thought she might join me if I got horses. Nope., She rarely will ride with me and hates anything more than a ride around the block. She won't go camping with me and the horses. She flies off to France, Italy or China and plays tourist, while I take the horses and explore someplace.
I quickly learned that I can't just use horses for once a year elk hunt. So I've given up numerous other hobbies so I can spend more time riding the horses. The drift boats for fly fishing, The rubber rafts for white water river trips, the annual trips to Alaska have all gone away and taken a back seat to horses.
I've bred the horses I currently ride, They were foaled here at my place, I raised them from babies, trained them, I trim and shoe them. I don't own any cattle and rarely participate any events other than trail riding or packing. Horses for me are transportation across the mountains of the west. A way to see country that most folks will never see and way to get a wall tent back into wilderness areas and pack game animals out.
A neighbor says I really should join them with my wife on a trip to europe to go see the Castle along the Rhine river, I tell him, he really should spend a week with me riding along the High Line Trail in the Wind River Wilderness looking at the remote peaks and cirques of that wilderness area.
My daughters have been my main riding companions, Recently, my 23 year old daughter was asked by her boy friend what her best memories of growing up were. She told him they were horse trips with her dad. When I heard this, I asked, You've gone to China, Paris, Rome, Athens and Cairo with your mother, All the trips shopping around the world, and you think horse rides, sleeping in tents, riding a wet horse in a rain storm are the most memorible?