Vasquez Rocks was the first place I had ever taken Jake to for a trail ride, away from my home and it turned out to be an exceptionally hot day that June, we were prepared for heat but not to this degree. It climbed over 100 degrees that day.
I set out with another rider, a gal I had rode trail with for years, we both had our trusty trail doggies. At that time I had Reba, a black border collie with white markings that had no more interest in herding horses, let alone sheep or cows. She was just perfect and so smart.
We headed out around 9 am but the heat caught up to us midway through the ride, it got so bad that Reba decided to climb under some brush, cuz there aint much more out there in the dry desert, just dry old brush that does not offer much shade. She decided not to come out from beneath the bush, Reba was trying so desperately to escape the heat from. It wasn’t working. We were not close to our truck and trailers, I was starting to panic, I feared she was having a heat stroke and would not survive. I didn’t know what to do, we offered her water and waited, but she would not budge. She just laid there panting. Reba was miserable. I was scared.
It was getting hotter by the minute, I had to make a decision. Finally I told my girlfriend, “Lift Reba up here in the saddle with me, set her on Jake”. I had no idea how he would react, a dog on his back plus my weight. My friend gently picked up all 45 plus pounds of Reba and set her up in the saddle with me, right across my lap. Guess what Jake did? He stood there, quiet as could be, just as if he had done this a 1000 times before. He could have cared less. We were able to ride off with no problems.
We had about a 45 minute ride ahead of us, and had to climb back up over a ridge to get back to our trailer, I held Reba and Jake did all the work. He just climbed over the ridge quiet and calm as a good trail horse should.
Yep, that’s when I feel in love with Jake, I mean I really admired Jake before that but this was our first big ride together and I had only had him about 6 weeks. For the last 11 years he has been as solid as the day I got him. Not to say a good horse can’t have a bad day, cuz they can, but I will tell you this. I would rather have a bad day on a good horse than a bad day, on a bad horse. If you are trail riding, or plan on trail riding invest in a good quiet horse, they are worth their weight in gold. I have been fortunate to ride the trails for many years, had many good rides, had 1 really bad and several others that weren’t so hot. One day I will share with you, what I feel makes a good trail horse, but not today, I will save that tale for later.
So that’s our story, that’s how I fell in love with Jake, I have loved and adored him ever since despite his quirky ways. I think Reba fell in love with him too.
Here is a photo of us on another ride, this was not the day we carried Reba out on Jakes back, this day we were at Fraiser Park California, another wonderful place to ride. It is home to beautiful pine trees, streams and much kinder weather.
Hope you enjoyed this tale for the trail, see you next time, until then, happy, healthy trails.