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Re: [RC] [RC] Cougar Rock Now & Then - Crysta Turnage

I was one of the riders that had my horse back off the rock this year.  We did Cougar Rock last year and it was a total non-issue for my guy.  I use Easyboots over shoes on the fronts and had no problems with traction or slipping.  We are at about 5:15 or so on the video.  The issue was, when my horse got to the point on the rock where he needed to turn right and go up the small ledge, three horses went by on the bypass trail below.  In my opinion, I think having the two different trail options is probably the most dangerous thing.  Having the horses go past below you while you are negotiating the rock is a distraction to the horse and cause some confusion for my guy.  He tried to turn and go down that direction to where they were.  Since I wasn't allowing him to turn like that, he responded by backing up.  You can see me kicking him forward but he just backed right up.  Needless to say my heart was in my throat!  The video doesn't show it but he spun around at the bottom and I was hanging off his neck for a bit.  Once I got back on correctly, I turned him around and the second time he did the rock just fine, with no horses going past below.
Would I do Cougar Rock again?  Yes, to me it is a part of the original historic trail and it just doesn't seem "right" to purposefully miss it.  That's just my opinion though.  It's not just about the picture for me, heck I haven't even bought LAST year's pictures yet even though the proofs look wonderful.  It's about honoring the trail.
~ Crysta & Sinatra, who got the picture AND the buckle this year!

On 8/1/07, Barbara McCrary <bigcreekranch@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
As I remember, the actually traveling distance is probably not more than a couple of hundred feet, if that.  But it is quite steep.  I have not been on it for about 20 years, and I have heard that the protruding rocks that give the horses' feet traction are wearing ever more smooth over the years.  I'm with Patty on fear of drop-offs.  I can't think of anything more scary than the horse stopping and trying to turn or back down.
I must say that the video made it look quite easy in most cases.  There were a couple of horses that were uncooperative, thus making it more dangerous for themselves and the riders, but most of the horses went fine.  If I were to do it again, I'd want to make sure my horse understood that there was no option for quitting and trying to turn or back down.
----- Original Message -----
From: Patty P
Cc: * *
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:04 AM
Subject: Re: [RC] Cougar Rock Now & Then

Being here in Arizona we have lots of steep rocky climbs and descents. The cougar rock video did not LOOK like it was tough at all, but I know it must be from all the talk and hoopla about it. For someone who has never been on it, I have a feeling I might be in for a surprise. :) I am a chicken when it comes to drop offs anyway...HATE them...I am learning a lot by reading all your posts. I particularly liked the one where she said she just trotted the cliff part of the trail to get it over with, while others were walking along in the dark...I would definitely be trotting! The sooner I get past a drop off the better! LOL... This cougar rock, I am guessing, must look and be much scarier in real life than it is in the video.  And it does seem that the danger is when a horse does not cooperate and wants to back down, is this true? 

[RC] Cougar Rock Now & Then, heidi larson
Re: [RC] Cougar Rock Now & Then, Patty P
Re: [RC] Cougar Rock Now & Then, Barbara McCrary