You are probably wondering what feducation means? Yup, OK, I made it up… Fun + Education.
Anyway, I received a flyer in my mailbox and I wanted to pass its contents (feducation opportunity) onward to you. Unfortunately, I couldn’t Sherlock Holmes the origin of the flyer so I have to cut, paste and oragami it here for you to look over.
THE LOW DOWN
The classes are called: Mustangs: A Living Legacy and Mountain Horsemanship: Veterinary Care and Horspacking in the Wilderness.
Both of these programs are Adult Extension classes (so, you could get credit for your horsewoman degree …) provided by UC DAVIS – a well known Ag college very close to where I live.
UC DAVIS isn’t your typical Ag college… It is recognized worldwide as a top equine hospital and research facility. Frazzled horse owners and veterinarian across the country consult with the excellent medical staff there all day, every day. The UC DAVIS equine labs test for diseases that no one has heard about and they are constantly striving to go where no equine hospital has ever gone before.
So, I think any program that UC DAVIS provides would raise my bar of expectation. Now, I’m not saying that I have taken any of these Extension courses, I’m just saying that my confidence is high that these programs will be run well and will have a polish (if not a spit-shine…) to them.
WHY CONSIDER THIS TYPE OF THING?
Two years ago, I caught wind of a weekend trip to a Dude Ranch that needed another person to fill out the dance card. (You can read my blogpost about it here.)
The idea was tempting but I quickly pulled out my bag of excuses: I only knew one other person going and really, I didn’t even know her well. I didn’t want to trailer my horse that far so I’d have to use one of their horses – how fun would it be to go without my horse? It was far away… I’d have to make the trip alone. It was kinda spendy and I really didn’t have the time. Blah blah blah.
I had convinced myself, once again, to not take leave of my life for an adventure. So I called the Ranch to tell them to take my name off of the list.
Well, y’know what that Cowboy on the other end of the phone did to me? He talked me into it. Before you know it, I was packed and in my truck – headed to a far away Dude Ranch where my English clothes would stick out like a sore thumb.
And do you know what?
It was one of the best times on a horse I’ve ever had. Swear to God. And, it wasn’t even my horse (that kinda bummed me out that their horse was better than mine…).
So, my point being, if these classes sound good to you – GO!
Mustangs: A Living Legacy
Track wild horses and relive the Old West in the seldom-visited Pizona area of Inyo National Forest. From a central meadow camp, riders track mustangs in their natural pinyon forest habitat. Observe and photograph mustang herds and wildflowers. Learn the social behavior of the horses and their current struggle. Enjoy spectacular sunsets of the Sierra and White Mountains while a cook prepares dinner over an open fire. This program is a special opportunity that combines a superb outdoor adventure and a unique educational experience in exploring the biology, ecology and behavior of a proud and beautiful animal—the North American wild horse.
June 11-14: Sat.-Tues., 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bishop, Calif.: Benton Hot Springs Bed and Breakfast, 55137 Hwy 120.
$750. Includes horse, saddle, meals and instruction. Enroll in section 104OTH800.
Mountain Horsemanship: Veterinary Care and Horsepacking in the Wilderness
This deluxe pack trip covers the essentials of horsepacking in the wilderness—with the Golden Trout Wilderness of the high Sierra as your laboratory. The instructor will discuss equipment, emergency veterinary care, feeding and managing livestock in the backcountry. Past participants have acclaimed it as an outstanding adventure. Lecture and laboratory topics include: wilderness conduct of people; trail riding safety and horse equipment; methods of feeding livestock in the backcountry; management of livestock; preventative medicine; evaluating the normal horse; treating a hurt or sick horse in the wilderness; packing equipment, fitting saddles, making loads, hitches and leading strings of mules; veterinary skills including physical examination, floating teeth, IM IV injections, applying wraps, animal restraint and aging horses; and shoeing.
- Lone Pine, Calif.: Horseshoe Meadows
- July 10-16: Sun.-Sat., 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
- $1,400. Includes horse, saddle, meals and instruction. Enroll in section 111OTH800.
Craig London, D.V.M., co-owner of Rock Creek Pack Station and Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
Janet Roser, Ph.D., professor with the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis.
For more information
Download our brochure for additional information and itinerary. For general information or to enroll, contact UC Davis Extension at (800) 752-0881 or email email@example.com.
I don’t ride Western and I am not a camper or a packer. If the place doesn’t have a nice shower, I’m not going…
However, I’m not sure that is true if I’m having the time of my life. Hindsight is always 20/20 and knowing now what I didn’t know before my Dude Ranch trip, I would have kicked myself all over my cushy abode if I had let myself miss out on that wonderful escapade.
Take it from me, if you see a horse adventure that tickles your fancy, GO before your fancy can’t get you there anymore…
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
I’ve been on both of these trips, and they are AMAZING! I went to Mountain Horsemanship the first year, it’s so amazing, you cross the John Muir Wilderness horseback, with pack mules, and you learn to do everything along the way. At the end of long days of packing, riding, and setting up new camps, we’d have lectures around the campfire with Craig and Janet, and talked horses till we dropped. I left there feeling confident I could pack a mule, and start an IV on a horse (cause they taught us that too), just in case. I learned a zillion knots too, all of which I’ve forgotten now. We rode long days, but went to the most amazing places ever.
The Mustang trip is a bit more cushy, you ride into a base camp (that had makeshift hot showers the year I was there) and day ride out from the camp. Wild Mustang sightings and sometimes interactions each and every day, and more lectures around the fire at night. We had a real chef in camp on that trip too! Craig and Janet remembered me, and put me to work a bit too, which I loved. We also saw native american archeological sites, and petroglyphs, and all the wild horsey babies were on the ground, awww…
I rode the same amazing horse, Milo, both trips. Craig owns the pack station and the horses and mules, and he’s a vet, and takes the best care of his animals. I’d send anyone to Rock Creek Pack Station for a horse trip, UCDavis or not! The UCDavis trips were the ultimate horse vacations though, strongly recommended in case you can’t tell! I met like minded (horse crazy) people, and went places I’d never have gone alone, and learned about it all along the way. Both trips were huge lifetime experiences, just amazing.