Click on Cover to View the Digital Edition

Regional, Monthly All-Breed Horse Magazine • Since 1993
Idaho • Montana • Nevada • Oregon • Utah • Washington • Wyoming

Physical Address:

1595 N First St

Hamilton, MT 59840

Mailing Address:

PO Box 995

Hamilton MT 59840

Toll Free: 888-747-1000

Local: 406-363-4085

info@rockymountainrider.com

   HOME         ARTICLES         CALENDAR         MARKETPLACE         EXTRA NEWS         COMPANY INFO         ADVERTISE         CONTACT US

 

Subscribe to our free e-Newsletter!

 

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat

with Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

 

July 2013 issue  

 

     One summer, over twenty years ago, I joined the local ladies riding group for their regular Wednesday ride. The ride was on easy terrain through pine forests and aspen groves. My mule, Piper, was four, and I was a lot younger then, too, which meant my brain was more agile than it is now. I still have no idea how I arrived at the trailhead having forgotten to bring a bridle.

     Never fear! That mule could be ridden without a bit! Even though he stood sixteen-two and weighed at least 1,300 pounds, and that it would take some muscle power on my part to turn him and to stop him, I believed he would direct rein off the halter.

     (No, I couldn’t have borrowed a bridle from somebody else — no one had one that fit. That mule’s head measured 48” from the corner of his mouth over his poll to the other corner of his mouth.)

     The day was perfect. Warm sunshine that wasn’t too hot. A breeze fluttering the aspen leaves, the moving shadows dappling across my cheeks. Dried pine needles and sarvisberry blossoms perfumed the air.

     In a group of ten riders, I was fourth. The mule’s ears were rocking back and forth as he leisurely followed the horse ahead of him.

     All of a sudden, Piper exploded and it took me a couple of seconds to realize what was going on. He was being attacked by little black wasps! The horses ahead must have disturbed the nest, and by the time we reached it, those flying needles were hellbent on stinging the first belly they could find.

     The girls behind me were shouting, “Wasps! Wasps!” and quickly turning their horses around.

     I was engaged in gripping the saddle with my knees as tightly as I could and trying to pull the mule’s nose up with the lead rope rein. I finally got him off to the side and past the wasps.

     I had forgotten all about this incident until a couple of years ago when one of the women on that ride reminded me of the time my “mule took off bucking when he was attacked by wasps.”

             ------------------------

 

     Early this spring, we found six small wasp nests that had been started in the back of the horse trailer. They were easy to knock down and stomp. I have to be careful with wasps; the last time I was stung, a lump the size of a small loaf of bread swelled up on my leg.

     Rick is ever-vigilant about destroying any wasp nests built under the eaves of the house, underneath the flatbed trailer, and in the box scraper on the tractor. If I have to tackle a wasp nest, I prefer blasting it from fifteen feet away using a can that states “kills on contact” in big letters.

     However, in the big scope of wasp management, not everyone prefers the “rapid death” plan. In this issue, our staff writer Dorinda Troutman researched wasps and includes information about easy-to-make, non-poison wasp traps.

     You’ll also read Chuck Miller’s tale of his encounter with the hornets along the Big Creek trail.

             ------------------------

Happy riding…and watch out for wasps!

    

             ------------------------

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

Back to Articles Page

 

 

 

Rocky Mountain Rider Magazine • Montana Owned & Operated 
PO Box 995 • Hamilton, MT 59840 • 888-747-1000  •  406-363-4085 • info@rockymountainrider.com