[at-l] Horse Plaque---

bluetrail at aol.com bluetrail at aol.com
Thu Jan 14 16:23:15 CST 2010

In the 70's I vacationed 5 different years at a very small dude ranch along the Greys River (about 70 miles southwest of Jackson Hole).  We took some horseback pack trips out of the ranch, and I quickly figured out on the first trip that the not very pretty, lanky Appaloosa I was riding knew a heck of a lot more about mountain trails that I did.  On several steep spots I just loosened the reins, closed my eyes, and said, "Apple, you handle it."  I'd have been more interference than help.  That rangy, ring-eyed App sure looked gorgeous to me by the time that trip was over.   

She never spooked at anything--not at the sheepherders, not at their sheep, not at their camp or dog, not at the moose that cut in front of us on a trail.  

Joan--riding on memory lane

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Lite <liteshoe at gmail.com>
To: giniajim <jplynch at crosslink.net>; at-l <at-l at backcountry.net>; bluetrail at aol.com
Sent: Thu, Jan 14, 2010 3:42 pm
Subject: Re: [at-l] Horse Plaque---

Perhaps the best thing, when there is uncertainty upon meeting a horse,
is to engage the rider in conversation and ask what they think would ease their horse' mind. A terrified horse in not safe for rider or foot traffic. Or itself, in some steep/sketchy situations.

Usually, a cooperative spirit goes a long way. However, if you get a tense scared rider who doesn't feel in control of the situation and fears getting hurt, you may a sharper response from them than they might intend otherwise. Fear can make folks snappy.
I'm not excusing rudeness, just pointing out common situations from decades of observation. Sometimes the kindest thing for the scared rider (and, thus the horse) is to allow them to direct your movements.

And, as Joan wisely said, don't wave stuff around or get big. Sometimes I've taken my pack off, so the terrified animal could relax and see I was just another person.
I know that that sort of accommodation might irritate some hikers, but so be it. On legal mixed-use trails, we might as well figure out how to co-exist.

>Message: 3
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 14:41:09 -0500
From: "giniajim" <jplynch at crosslink.net>
>Subject: Re: [at-l] Horse Plaque---
To: <at-l at backcountry.net>,     <bluetrail at aol.com>

>Joan, thanks for the detail about a group hikers move off the trail *on the same side*; that's a nuance that I hadn't heard before.  Now a question: if the trail is on a hill, and the hikers can as easily move off the trail to one side or the other, which is preferred, to go to the uphill side, or the downhill side?  I've got my own opinion, but I've never heard anything definitive.

 ----- Original Message -----
  >From: bluetrail at aol.com
 To: at-l at backcountry.net
 Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 2:31 PM
 Subject: Re: [at-l] Horse Plaque---

"The Ordinary Adventurer" 
A new backpacking adventure book

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