BCHC Mid Valley Unit

President's Monthly Message


April, 2019

Jim Westmoreland

It's a new day! Every morning we have the opportunity to start over, to begin again and decide if it is going to be a good day. I think to many times during our day, we let people or circumstances decide for us what kind of a day we are going to have. I really truly believe its always our choice to have a bad one or a good one. Being around positive and happy people helps me get through those personal cloudy or rainy days. Lets make good choices and have a good or even Great Day!

This week my wife and I decided to go riding up at Peoria Flats, as we call it. It is on the south side of the Melones Reservoir and one of our favorite riding places during the winter and spring months, as we wait for the high country to open. It was beautiful! All green, with tall green grass that constantly tempted my horse to sneak a quick bite if I got distracted. The Valley Oak trees have almost totally leafed out. One plant that grows in abundance in that area is the poison oak. Although I don't seem to be sensitive to the toxic oil on its shiny leaves, many people are. My friends and I have spent many hours trimming this bush back off the trail, but it is a vigorous plant and is in a state of constant invasion. If you don't know what is looks like, go with someone who that does to avoid the discomfort it can cause. Many wild flowers were in bloom. There were arroyo lupine, vetch, fiddleneck, daisy, and my wife's personal favorite, the California poppy, were all in their glory. We rode through patch after patch and we were continually impressed with beauty of those flowers. We came upon some hikers and inquired if they had seen any wildlife. They responded that wild turkeys were the extent of the wild life. We have observed in the area, coyotes, deer, snakes, redtail hawks osprey, crows, turkey vultures, skunks, Jack rabbits, cottontails, and even a golden eagle. I have seen tacks of raccoons, but, they being nocturnal, are probably not going to be seen while riding. I have also seen many species of birds. If a person looks hard enough these animals and others can be seen. Peoria Flats is also a good place to condition your stock for the back country. It has good trails that also have elevation change to really work your animals. It has been my experience that if I ride these areas in the winter and spring my stock are ready for the high sierra. Have fun conditioning your stock for the back country and remember that horses learn from the release of pressure.

P.S. A shout out to Stephanie Scott for being chosen "Top Hand of the Year" for Mid-Valley Unit. Thank you Stephanie for all the service you give to all of us!!

Jim Westmoreland

(Our President writes a message every month for the newsletter.)

Backcountry Horsemen of California - Mid Valley Unit
PO Box 1709
Modesto CA 95353-1709

Questions about the Mid Valley Unit? Ask Dennise Davis,
Questions about the web site? Ask Ted Pack,

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