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Horseback Riding at the Yaha Tinda
in the Rocky Mountains!

†††† Man, that was one awesome weekend! The weather was the best, sunny, 28 degrees, nice breeze, no bugs, just gorgeous horseback riding weather. We headed southwest of Sundre to the Yaha Tinda ranch in the Rocky Mountains and enjoyed 3 days of riding and viewing the scenery.
†††† Our six curly horses performed flawlessly. 2 green riders rode Charmer and Snippy and our beloved curlies looked after their charges expertly.

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†† ††Palladin had his first mountain riding exposure and I am so thrilled with my boy. Debbie rode Snippy who was such a sweetheart, never rushing. Darcy rode Charmer who guided her up and down the mountains she thought she would never survive. Amanda rode her Dandee, who was happiest in the lead. Franzi rode our Sheza Seleena who was amazing for a youngster and Jeanette rode Oakley who was, Oakley!
††† We head out around 5 PM on Friday and arrive at camp around midnight.Park the trailer, unload the horses and pitch the tents.Next morning the girls find and awesome spot along the river so I go to check it out.Turns out the fellow camped there is an old friend who invites to camp beside them.We move camp and saddle up to ride around noon.
†††† First thing we cross the Bighorn River.No problem for any of our fantastic Curly horses.Hereís Jeanette on Oakley.And a pic of our camp right beside the Red Deer River.
†††† Franzi on Seleena, she just loves this little girl.Then Darcy on Charmer.Darcy did not ride much before this ride, so it was a big step for her to be riding in the mountains, but Charmer looked after her.
††† Debbie on Snippy, who she totally trusted and thanked a hundred times during the ride for everything that she did for Deb.
Our first stop along the trip to the Outpost Camp at the British Columbia border.First is Deb and Snippy, then Amanda on Dandee.
Jeanette on Oakley and me, Deanna, on Palladin.
Time for a drink, we had ridden about 3 hours.Seleena, then Oakleyís head and Dandee.
Seleena posing in the river, then Deb getting onSnippy while Franzi takes a drink from the fresh mountain water.

Tipper cools off in the river.Deb and two of her best friends, Tipper and Snippy!

Deb was mad.She set her camera to take a picture of us as a group and it didnít work!Guess what Deb.It worked!1Nice shot of Charmer and Darcy.

Look at the view!Love this area of the Rocky Mountains.
Franzi closes the gate when we leave the ranch.Deb and Snippy.
another picture perfect spot, Franzi and Seleena then Jeanette on Oakley.
We reach the outpost almost 4 hours later and take a break and enjoy the breath taking view.
Then itís back in the saddle again to head down the trails back to camp.

Franzi with maybe just a little smile!.Thereís a wagon pulled by mules in the second picture, but they were riding into the sun so itís hard to see.
Darcy is starting to get a bit but sore, so takes a break on Charmer, who could care less.Franzi puts her legs up on Seleena also.
Thatís Amanda sitting on Dandeeís but!And off we go to home.
We get back home close to dark, had to trot most of the way.Give the horses another drink.
Sunday we head out with our goal to climb the Chinamanís Hat mountain.We have to cross the prairie meadow and head to the forest.


Cool picture that Debbie got, eh!The falls of the Bighorn river.
Thatís Deb leading the way on Snippy up through the clear-cut area.
We stop for our second break on the climb.Still a long way to go and the hard part is a ways ahead.
A bit steep here, but all the horses do it no problem.Stop for another break.
Between these two pictures was some real hard climbing.Pall almost quit on me once, but he dug in and made it all the way.A lot to ask of him as this is his first real trip.I was soooo proud of him to lead us all up the mountain.There are a lot of switch backs it is so steep to go up, lots of logs to cross (Snippy jumped a few of them), and some real negotiating with turns and roots and drops everywhere.Then we reach the first summit!And it is breath taking.
I donít think you can see how sweaty the horses were, but they were in need of a break at this point.Pall was happy to take 5.

Looking back down towards camp.Deb and Snippy.
Franzi takes in the beauty with Seleena.
then we cross the final ridge to our destination.This ridge is pretty steep and narrow also, but all is well with our Curlys!
Thatís Deb and Snippy in the lead, then Pall looking for the rest of the group.Snippy was extremely slow and steady, never excited about anything, perfect mount for Deb.
Charmer, then Snippy posing on top of the mountain!
Dandee then Seleena.
Oakley and Jeanette.

We all take an hour break, even poor Tipper, who was pretty played out.††

Tipper wasnít the only one!

Franzi goes to the top with Brian and sees some sheep on the hill beside us.
Franzi and Charmer proudly pose on top of the Hat.She loved Charmer and how sure footed he was.
then itís time to come back down, which only takes us half as long.
Tried to get some action shots coming down the mountain, but hard as we had to keep moving.
Back out on the meadow and lots of BIG smiles!
Franzi trusts Seleena so much she hooks the reins on the horn and just goes along for the ride 

Heading back across the meadow.Jeanette is still smiling!!Donít think she stopped the entire trip.
Deb caught the neat picture on the left of Oakley in the fading sunlight.
Back by the canyon for the falls.Thatís me and pall rambling along with the tumbling tumbleweed!
Gorgeous moonlit night again.It reflects on the river and through the trees.


Sit around the fire, tell some stories.And one story was Deb, Franzi and Jeanette headed out along the river, in the dark, to get firewood so we could have our own fire.And on their way back Deb encountered a brown stripped, big thing in the bush, that was coming towards her and grunting!She screamed and fell over backwards yelling the entire time.Franzi and Jeanette were behind her and ready to run, until I started laughing so hard I thought I would die!Sorry girls, couldnít resist.

Next morning we head across the mighty Red Deer river and our horses were awesome again!!Pall acted like he had done it a million times before.This pic is Seleena, Oakleythen Charmer.
I couldnít get pics of our first crossing, but it was up past the horses bellies.Amanda got her feet wet, but most of us put our feet up on the saddle.First pic here is Deb and Snippy, next is Seleena, Oakley and Charmer.
and we are across!!Super riding gang!Heading out to Eagle Lake today.This is our last ride of this trip.
Nice wide trails for this journey, some climbing, but not like yesterday.Quiet babbling brook for us to water our mounts.

Oakley and Seleena coming down the trail.This meadow is huge and we usually see lots of wildlife down here, but not this trip, itís too hot.They are all up in the higher ground.
Thatís Deb trotting along on Snippy, having the time of her life.She even cantered a few times, which we were told was a ďvaroumph, varoumph, varoumph!!Ē


Getting the camera out.Franzi and Seleena.

And we arrive at the lake!!Tipper takes a swim and I unpack our lunch, which Pall wants some of (and gets some apple).
Dandee and Amanda.Jeanette and Oakley. 

Debbie tells Snippy to stay, which she does, while Deb takes a picture of her new found friend.Then Deb has some trail mix.
We take a 20 minute break here and enjoy the scenery.

Pretty Pall posing for the camera.Amanda tries to get Dandee to stand for his pic, but he wants to go home.
Jeanette and Oakley, Deb and Snippy.

And my favorite boy again (Itís okay Major, you are still my first love!)Then Seleena.


Head for the ridge to get home.Stop for a drink along the way.Itís a tough climb ahead of us again.

Back through the meadow.Still smiling!!

Pall says itís a long way down there!When we first started across the ridge he hesitated for a second, but I just gently told him it was okay and away he went.What more can you ask for?I like the second pic.

This shot gives a bit better perspective of how high and steep this ridge is.††† Not for the faint of heart!


And another good perspective shot.Dandee on top looking down and Charmer on the left is only half way up this switchback.Then we are on the downhill slide and coming through what felt and looked like a rain forest.The air was so fresh and everything spring green in colour.Very serene and peaceful.

Pall and wait to take pictures.Deb leads the way while Franzi and Jeanette very thoughtfully stay behind to make sure she is safe.
Glance of camp from half way down.Nice shot of the valley.
The last mile to camp and then itís time to pack up and head for home.
Seleena is the last one to get on board and she looks for space in the trailer.
And thatís it!The weekend has flown by and Jeanette, Franzi and I want to stay for a month!But itís back to the stables until next time we can make new memories.

On top of the Chinamanís Hat in the Rocky Mountains.

Left to Right:

Jeanette from Denmark on SS Annieís Oakley, Franzi from Germany on SS Sheza Seleena, Amanda from Thorsby on her boy Dandee, Darcy from Thorsby on Prince Charming II (Charmer), Debbie from Ontario on Snippy and me, Deanna on the most gorgeous Curly horse in the world Ė Palladin!!