Horseback Riding Along Pacific Creek in the Tetons

by - June 28, 2018

The first morning in the Tetons we drove out to Swift Creek Outfitters along Pacific Creek just east of Jackson Lake Lodge. Because they maintain over 100 horses, reservations were not required and we were able to drive up and have no wait to register and hit the trail. We did the 1 Hour Cowboy Creek Crossing Riding, and we all ended up a little wet, some more than others. Dee Dee's horse stopped at the final crossing to splash its belly and stomped around in the water for a few moments. I would have loved a two hour ride, but since our boys had never been on a horse before, we decided on the starter trail.

Our horses names were Coco, Brutus, Doc Holliday, Dixie Cup, Scout, KC, and Patsy Cline. The trailguide's horse was Bam Bam. There was a wrangler whose sole job was pairing horses with riders based on size and temperament of the horse (and maybe person too?). I rode Doc Holliday who was voted best horse by the wranglers in the previous year. He was quite a gentlemen and was happy to hold back and munch on grass so I could then get a little trot out of him to catch up to the group. Mom and Dad were behind me, and while Mom loved my tactic as she knows how to post, dad was a little beat up in the saddle. Sorry, Dad! Joe was on a huge beast of a horse who liked to be in front. Dad was on a very old and very slow Brutus. He was often lagging far behind, and Dad really didn't seem to mind.

In relating to the boys my horseback riding experiences as a child, I mentioned that trail horses could be gassy... I know. I know. I'm a grown up and that's inappropriate, but I was a child. It's what I noticed, and it was hilarious to me. So I told my kids about this and how the horses relieve themselves as they walk, and Wookie decked himself out. He was not going to smell it. He was not going to touch it. He was barely even going to see it. And in truth, Wookie did not smell or touch a single horse.

Here's my disclaimer: I shot the trail photos over my shoulder while riding a horse. Take them for what they are. I had my fancy camera, but I left off the lens cap (as recommended by the wranglers) and the lens got a little splashed and dirty.

The horses choose the order they walk in. Some are bff's and will walk with their noses completely up in their friend's tail as a way of bug control. Doc Holliday was right up on Dixie Cup most of the ride. Scoops started out second to last in the line on Scout. The two were a perfect match as they were both intent to making their way to the front of the line. This somewhat upset the others, and Joe's horse KC was not at all pleased when Scout slipped in front of him after a creek crossing. There wasn't really that much drama, but the guide did mention a few times that Scout was determined. Really though, if you know Scoops, you know he was 100% behind the illicit trail breaking.

The water actually got pretty deep in places. The horses were actively leaning into the current as it lapped their bellies and they crossed at a 45 degree angle. I didn't get a picture of this because I was hanging on for dear life. I didn't want to do anything to cause Doc to lose balance on the rocky creek bottom and send me on a chilly swim.

In case my flock of chickens, run with hermit crabs and house of cats hasn't clued you in yet, I have a thing for animals. I'd say I have a very strong nurturing vein in general. At my house, some days it seems my title is "Person who keeps all the things alive." I have a strong affection for all the living creatures of the fur, feather, skin and leaf persuasion. So of course I loved this morning. I would do trailriding every day of the trip if I could. 

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