Sunday, March 21, 2010

Adventures with ELK- pt 1 horse version is somewhat funny, to recap our rides of this trip to the beach.

We arrived late in the day to the Bay Ocean House my friend and PBO owns at Tillamook, Oregon. We went to do a little work for upcoming renters bringing 10 horses. After the 90 minute drive, we unloaded the horses, unpacked the truck and trailer and my friend asked if I wanted to try to ride...A YEA, of course!
It was about an hour and a half till sunset.. My favorite time to ride of all times of the day!

We just rode up the bay, to the first trail to the beach. We then rode around in the was a windy time this we bundled up.
Oh...Found out what my Fleece "Shadow Roll" is really good for..
Waves and ripples...Wa did not shy once, while we traversed the criss/ cross waves and ripply surf!

we really enjoyed riding at that time of day with our horses...Me taking photos at sunset!

.....but the anxiety was increasing for them...I found out as we turned to head up the dune hill....
Wa Mare was rigid- and WOULD NOT MOVE forward

She balked and made faces at me as I squeezed her to go forth and would soon be too dark to ride the grassy path back.
NOPE...not moving...okay, so I let Romeo lead the way...he balked too...but went on EVER-SO-slowly.

This was not the first time my mare had balked at the thought of entering the "SCARY GRASSY TRAIL". Many weirdo things have happened to us there, it being a multi -use trail with Bikes, large coolers held up over peoples heads.. people diving suddenly into the brush, avoiding us, and looking too lurky- hidden away..oh there are so many things! I don't blame her is an unknown and always changing!
We topped the ridge and blamo...we were instantly siting upon ROCK HARD, TREMBLING horses!

 They were transfixed with something in the distance.....

There they were ...a rather large grouping of mature ELK!

And I have come to realize...Elk are not like deer to my horse....I mean, we may ride into leaping, fleeing and skirmishing problems...she looks and sees and ignores.
Not ELK! They smell altogether Dangerous!
So we finally got the horses to moving forward...they were very round and uppity though...
Look at the picture of Wa's ear close up..the break in the trees, near the lft ear...that is the trail we HAD TO  travel home.
We got nearer to that point..I could feel the tension in my mare's back...I said aloud to my friend, " I'm Seriously holding onto my grab strap!"
Then...another friend says sheepishly so, "a, Kacy, look up to your right!" There they were...HUGE-O- ELK herd- looming above us...and one large bull ,with black hood and horns! Just as soon as I saw...Romeo did a complete FREAK.....jump to the left, jump to the right, then head for the hills!
My Mare Heard his sudden moves...and WHOOSH...we were half way to the trailer before I could even get her to register I was asking for stop!
This is one time..I am soooo happy I used my bit!

It totally had me worried that I could not see or hear my friend...not for a long while..I started to go back towards where I thought they may have gotten to..and there they were..her on her horse!
We found a dude to take our photo...WE SURVIVED the ELK!
The horses would not stand for the sunset behind us for the  photo...cause these creatures were looming in the sunset direction..watching us still!
OH...there is so much more to this ELK story.......


  1. What beautiful photos of you riding into the sunset. How scary to come across the elk. Good on you for staying in the saddle!!!

  2. you're right - the problem with elk is they are not afraid of horses. i was able to ride right into a herd of elk and they just looked at me like "what do you want?" it was totally thrilling! they were almost as big as my (little) horse!

    then again, i've heard they can be dangerous - my man and i were on the olympic peninsula's rain forest and there were warnings everywhere to stay away from the elk, they'd been attacking people. scary!


  3. Mark Rashid saying: You can ride as fast as your horse can fun (!) Guess you got to check that out! Glad all was well.

  4. Oh, Kacy! Scary those elk; Gilly probably would have been outa there and left me behind!
    Beautiful pictures!! Looks like you had a fun time on that ride.

  5. Wow, what an amazingly gorgeous beach ride and an unique encounter with those elk. Love the pictures!

  6. Thanks so much for the visit! I have been so busy that I haven't done a lot of blog visiting myself lately, not even to my own!

    I'm so glad you survived the elk. I lived in Ashland when I was in high school and often went to the beaches...beautiful!


  7. fantastic pictures!

    Your elk experience is probably more fun to talk about than it was live through. Horses bring us lots of those times!

  8. The fourth picture is wonderful! I hope you're planning on a print for your friend to frame!
    I once realized that there was a herd of elk standing just above Corky and I, maybe 20 feet away, as we traversed a logging road in the middle of nowhere, Montana. Corky never spotted them, and they just watched us go by. Good thing--he was only three or four at the time, and occasionally left me in the dirt for change when he "turned on a dime"--it was about 8-10 miles home, a rather long walk!

  9. oh, riding on the beach, what fun!! I got to do it once, and it was one of my best rides ever!!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  10. You know what's so funny? Caspian LOVES elk! At least the one that visit him near his pasture. Not sure how he'd feel if we came across them in a different environment...

    Other than your encounter, looks like a great ride! Glad you've been able to enjoy the weather lately! BEAUTIFUL pics!! :)

  11. Horses are so funny! And so keen! Can you imagine if they hadn't been paying attention and you didn't know about the elk until you were right on top of them! Glad you guys made it out without too much trouble. Maybe next time the elk won't be so scary?

    Love the beach photos. Its been so long since I've ridden on the beach; you really made me miss it! What a great ride I'd say, even with the elk!

  12. What an adventure! Sometimes the most adventerous (and sometimes scary) part of a ride is at the end!

    Love the photos. I dream of riding on the sandy beaches sometime soon, for now, I will admire your photographs and enjoy through you and Wa mare :).

    I'm happy to know both of you and horses were all ok after your elk encounter! I could only imagine Ink's reaction!

  13. Hi Kacy -- Never a dull moment for you ! Glad everyone is safe - both human and equine. Enjoy the beach!


  14. Gorgeous photos!!!! The sunset and elk and beach - Kacy, you sure do live the life!! I am glad you all were ok, but it sounds like it was pretty scary for a few minutes! I think it is funny how the horses would not go back to the trail because they KNEW that the elk were there before you knew. I can't wait to read Wa's version of the whole ordeal!

  15. Love the cow elk at sunset photo.

    If my horse didn't have a coronary in that situation, I'm sure I would. He is firmly convinced that a stack of old railroad ties near the outdoor arena has designs on him. I can't imagine what he'd do with a herd of elk.

    Your beach ride looks like a blast!

  16. That silhouette elk photo is absolutely stunning. That one for sure deserves to be blown up and framed.

  17. First let me say they are beautiful pictures of a wonderful ride. And second...yeowwww, mature ELK, I don't blame the horses for being scared. I'm surprised you got them to move at all. Glad no one was unseated during the ride home.

  18. Oh, my, those are HUGE!

    We can do deer. We tolerate llamas, goats, sheep, cattle and hogs...I don't think Gabe would remain in his skin if confronted with ELK!!! Good for Wa for staying in control as long as she did...and good for you for clinging to her!

  19. Such fabulous bay riding shots! And such an adventure with the elk! (I was holding on for dear life...)

  20. I've been to Tillamook and would have loved to ride horse on the beach! I've also seen Elk in Badlands of North Dakota -- it is very interesting and yes the horses get all perked up and tense! Anxious to hear more....

  21. Wow what a ride!! I'm glad everyone was safe and you made it back safe. Elk are so beautiful. You know, we were riding one summer in the woods and I thought we saw a herd of horses in a fence, but upon a closer inspection they turned out to be elk. They blended into the dry summer woods. A couple of the horses turned into statues and my sister's mare tried to spin around but nobody freaked. I was freaked, though, LOL! :)
    Great photos of your ride!

  22. All your pics are lovely as usual, but really like the 4th one.

    Elk! Who'd of thunk the horses would have such a weird reaction to them. We are going to WY this summer. Wonder if we'll see any elk. Now something else to worry about! ;)

  23. Great story, I'm glad neither human nor horse was injured!

  24. Wow, what a fantastic story! AND you got pictures! When I am terrified and holding on to my pommel, there's nooooo way I"m pulling the camera out - you're so brave!

  25. Yeh...what Funder said! Although I appreciate the photos and seeing just what Wa and you saw, I'm impressed that you were able to hold that camera with Wa tense and tight in every equine muscle. She must have felt like a rocket ready to fly!
    I'm just so relieved that you and your friend remained in the saddle. I think I'd need a change of panties after an exciting ride like that one! Eeeek!

    Loved all the photos. Awesome! That last one...enlarge it and frame it. Wow!


  26. Thanks every one!
    I was pretty still when Wa was rock hard scared and it was the top of the trail...I am soooo glad that I did NOT have the camera out later... for the fastest exit in history! Happy pedestrians!
    I will never find out now...but I wonder in part if Wa took on Romeo's fear...I mean, he is afraid of cows and goats too...

    My PBO's husband says- "If you stayed on the horse, is a good ride!" Yea, he has come off many times!

  27. And I thought vultures on the trail were bad! You are an inspiration! Way to hang on, I think I'd be shaking for a week.

  28. Wow! Scary! Exciting! and Beautiful pictures! That was so story


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