NHCalvery, the beauty that I enjoy, is that I can ride in the woods or the desert. I just have to wait for the snow to melt before I can get up into the high country where the trees are. For example Alta Ski resort ( 45 miles away) reported that they got 47" of snow on April 6th and got 89" snow in between April 1st and April 6th. So it will be a few months before I can those kind of areas.
So we go to the desert areas of the state to ride. Goblin Valley, where these photos were taken is about a 4 hour trailer from my home. We drove down Friday evening, spent the night, rode all day saturday and come home late Saturday.
As far as shoes. I ride barefoot, but my horses would have more traction if I had shoes on. The barefoot horse, kinda slips and slides on the slick rock. Steel horse shoes bite into the sandstone and help the horses. And I'm sure Borium would do even better. This differs from Granite rock where the steel shoes slip and slide on the much harder granite and a soft product like an aluminum shoe or barefoot has better traction. I guess that is why you folks add Borium or Dril tec to bite into the harder rocks you have in your area.
As long as we stay in the sandy bottom, where the flash floods have deposited the sandy granular material, It's pretty good footing. But when climb up the side to get around an obsticle, that's when the barefoot horse starts slipping on the slick rock.
You get trapped in the wash and just have to go forward or backwards
Once you enter into the canyon, You really don't have much options for cross country travel. You are pretty confined to follow the path that the waters have eroded.
Yes Kevin live in the same area. But I suspect you don't see a lot of his rides, because he is working cattle, whereas, I'm just out for a joy ride.