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Friday, July 29, 2011

Coleman river trail

It has been so hot here this summer. We have had August in July. Mid to upper 90's with 90 something percent humidity. It has been killing me. Mainly because I am an outside person and it is too hot to be outside. I was having outside withdrawls so I rousted my poor husband out of bed early to go on a hike. Not only is he a couch potato he also is not a morning person. I lured him in by finding a trail on the internet that was in an area he remembered going as a kid. I didn't tell him the last write up I found on the area was in 98, certainly the trail was still there as it was national forest and wilderness area.So off we headed to an area in remote Rabun co. Ga . an area known for the movie "Deliverance" and the Foxfire books. Lush green forests and rocky cold mountain streams..

We found the road from my description . It was still a one lane dirt road. There was a beautiful old homestead in the middle of the national forest looked like it was still occupied.I expected to see a old guy in coveralls playing the banjo on the front porch. As we ascended the narrow winding dirt road a beautiful rumbling stream appeared along side it. We rolled down the windows and the temperature said it was 73 degrees.

The stream was beautiful. Noisy waterfalls where the water squeezed between huge moss covered boulders,and still, reflective pools where the water took a moment to rest before continuing its descent down the rock covered mountain. The description said the trail head was 2 miles in on the right before the bridge. We found it. There was a small pull out big enough for one car and it was occupied. There was nowhere else to park on the narrow road and nowhere to turn around so dissappointed we drove on up. The stream leveled out as we came to the top of the ridge and there were a couple of nice camp grounds on the shoals and somewhere to turn around.Hoping to get to hike we headed back down. Low and behold when we got there the spot was empty. So we began our hike. The description said .9 miles in..
The hike began with a nice stretch of level trail along a nice stream. Then there was about a 200meter climb. As I hopped from tree root to rock I wondered if this was why there were no new write ups on the trail. I was also wondering if the .9mi was straight up. The trail leveled out at the top and started a slight incline. You could see glimpses of the stream down below but mostly you could hear the roaring as it cascaded down the mountain. There were "trails" (More like slide marks) down to the bottom where people had gone down to view the falls. I would have loved to and will some day when I am more prepared, with hiking boots and jeans and enough power to climb back up. We finally caught up with the top of the stream and it was beautiful.

Deep cold pools of crystal clear water beneath swift cascading currents. Surely hiding some elusive native trout. We continued on the trail passing fungi,flowers,and lush green ferns. There were small rivulets of water crossing the trail in steep narrow ravines covered by vegetation and spanned by rickety bridges.

After hiking for about an hour (.9 mi. my butt) with no end to the trail in sight we decided to turn around. The heat was beginning to catch up to us and in this forest the wind couldn't reach you and the humidity was so high my glasses and camera lense kept fogging up.
In conclusion, it was a great adventure to be repeated in the fall with trout pole in hand and jeans and climbing boots.
Coleman River Trail, not for the faint of heart but worth the climb.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Horse Show Saturday

Bounty and I have our first ever breed show tommorrow. I am very nervous. This is his second show and will consist of a 2hr ride in the trailer before the show,showing against others of his breed and age and then a 2hr. ride home. Wish us luck!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Story of Bosco

Bosco aka "Exclusive Mister" is a beautiful APHA horse that lived with us for about 6 years.He came to us fat,aggressive, and unmanageable. When he was a weanling he was sold at a production sale for a little over $10,000. From what I was able to find out he was bought as a future herd sire/halter horse. His first owners took their breeding program in a different direction. This left a beautiful 2 yo colt to be sold to the highest bidder for $1500. That is when "Bosco" came to Ga. The new owners were inexperienced horse people who were going to train Bosco themselves in their free time. They put him in my husbands family cow pasture and promptly forgot about him. As Bosco got older he became a handfull. With nothing to do but chase cows and eat grass he became aggressive. He would come at people in the pasture.Not being horse people my husbands family made things worse by striking back at him. It was a game to Bosco but very dangerous to the humans as he was now a good 16 hands. The last straw was when Bosco was attacking a cow that was down and then came after one of the uncles. They caught him and put him in a barn. He was fed in the barn the cheapest high protein sweet feed available with some hay and water occassionally. How he didn't founder or colic I don't know. He escaped one day and ended up in our pasture. The uncles were going to shoot him and the owners couldn't do anything with him so he was given to me. I Ended up with a 16 hand, beautiful, aggressive stallion still wearing a halter that was to small for him in my pasture.

I started tryng to gain his trust so we could remove the halter that probably hadn't been off in years. It had started to deform his nose. I knew how dangerous a stallion could be so I was careful and went slowly. I finally was able to cut off the halter and get a new one on and off of him with no problem. His aggression was less with room to run and a proper diet. He was still a nipper so you couldn't turn your back on him. It was obvious if we were going to get him gentled he was going to have to be gelded and go to a trainer. We backed a stock trailer to gate wondering how we were going to load him without someone getting hurt. I went into the pasture and my husband opened the stock trailer. I left the pasture gate opened because the trailer was blocking the gate. Bosco began dancing around and acting up. I was about to give up when low and behold he loaded himself on the trailer and stood there ready to go. We backed the trailer to a box stall at the trainers facility and poured poor Bosco off of the trailer into the stall. Let the rodeo begin.

The trainer started Bosco and as we all figured he was a handful. He was now 6 yo and still a stallion. We had a Vet out to see about gelding him and found out he was a true cryptorchid. What that means is that one testicle is retained within the abdominal cavity. It also means his testosterone is higher due to the fact it is always kept warm which explained his aggressive behavior. It also means a normally cheap easy vet procedure cannot be done. We had to schedule with the local veterinary college to have the testicle laproscopically removed so instead of costing $150 it cost $1500 dollars.This was on top of the $500 dollars a month I was spending for board and training. Oh well its only money and poor old Bosco deserved a break after all he had been through.

It took Bosco a while to recover from his years of testosterone overdose but he turned out to be a really nice horse. He spent 2yrs with the trainer before I brought him home. He was happy to be out of a stall and turned out to pasture with other horses.

We rode him in a few shows and on trails around the farm. He will go anywhere and do anything.(He doesn't like to get his feet wet). We ran out of time to ride him and I hated to waste all of the training we had paid for. I tried to get a lesson program started at the farm so he could be use along with my other fat sassy horses. But my instructor has such a busy life it was hard to keep things going. So we made the hard decision to find Bosco another home . He is now with a family who loves him and who I hope will take good care of him. We miss you Bosco.