Horse Camping at Beaverdam Lake

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     It’s been a while coming, but I finally managed a brief “holiday” – with horses, of course. On the weekend of June 1-3, I met with friends at Beaverdam Lake for a weekend of campfires, camaraderie, and trail riding. Some things don’t change, though – I co-ordinated the trip to include dropping off another horse after the camp-out and I brought the greenest horse I have on the property to ride (for the experience, of course because I would not want to miss a training opportunity…)

     Arriving at the campsite at around 5:00 PM on Friday, I talked briefly with my friends, Mandy and Shawn, about where and how to overnight my mares. Prima, an aged broodmare, had never been on a campout and Sapphire, a four-year-old mare, had never been hauled prior to the 250 km I had just hauled her. She was brand new to everything.

Beaver Dam Lake as seen from our camp site
     After weighing all options (including pens at a facility across the lake), I decided I would high-line both a short distance from my outfit. I’m happy to say they adapted to the high-line right away.

Sapphire and Prima high-lined. Mischa went too!
     The next day, we saddled for a ride. I started before the others so I could test the waters – how Sapphire would react to the new country and how Prima would cope with Sapphire leaving. Prima was not happy but I was occupied with Sapphire, who did not want to leave the camp site. A few well-placed smacks lined her out and we headed away from camp into a meadow at a ground-covering long trot broken by sudden halts when Sapphire tried to head back. How very much like her dam this mare is! I went back ten years to the first rides out I had on Silk . . . and I love them for their grit! When I returned to camp, Mandy, Shawn and Lacey were ready to ride. Prima, still not happy, would have the company of another horse and Mandy’s mom to monitor the situation.

Sapphire and I 
     After the somewhat reluctant start, Sapphire was good on the ride, in part because she had company. Mandy, Shawn and I all rode 2008 offspring of Running With Wolves. The three - Wildwood Sable, Wildwood Cactus and Wildwood Sapphire - are from his first foal crop and all out of daughters of Tamarac. How cool is that!

Me on Sapphire, Shawn on Cactus, Mandy and Sable