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Would you like to see what I see?
I help people see for a living. I have a real job that I love to go to every day. But I do have a vice...exploring the natural wonders of the SouthWest with friends and family is my passion (I'm no golfer). While I grew up around horses, I didn't get the chance until 2006 to have them around again. As a family, we started from scratch, developing our little herd into what we have today. It isn't a passing fancy and they aren't just pets that sit idle in corrals. Our animals get handled daily, and are ridden regularly. They are highly experienced and well trained. Offering these trips to you is a way to cost-share the expense of maintaining these animals for me; and a way to give you the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the back country without having to come up with your own livestock. Here is your chance to come along with me on the trail. I hope you'll join me around the campfire some evening in one of those special places, weary from a good day's ride, and listen to the soothing sounds of cowbell against the night. --DrGooch
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What I provide:
A horse or mule matched to you. I can handle from 1 to 4 people depending on the trip and the individual needs of the participants. I will not risk a poor animal/person fit, so the number we can take depends on the individual riders, their weight, and their natural inclination for this activity. I will see to the animals' care on overnighters and wilderness trips, but will be glad to teach you and use your help according to your desires and aptitudes.
Food and Water. Depends on the trip: On Wilderness Experiences, main meals and some snacks will be provided. Often, the first days of the trip, we eat fire grilled steak and baked potatoes. Towards the end, we eat Mountain house freeze dried meals. You and I will finalize our menu plans before departure on any trip. Some trip locations have a favorite restaurant we will visit on the way in or out of our ride.
Shelter. We use back packing tents and tarps for overnighters and Wilderness Experiences. I can provide you with a tent, or you may bring your own depending on the trip and the size of the tent.
What you will provide:
Proper foot wear, and clothing. We will discuss the nature of our trip and what you can expect for weather. I will have guidelines for you that will cover most contingencies. If you come grossly unprepared in a way that jeopardizes our safety, the trip will be cancelled without refund.
On time arrival. Many of these trips require a very early start to handle the logistics of getting the stock to the trail head, saddled, packed and complete the trip. Late starts can actually jeopardize the safety of some trips (usually the overnighters).
A signed copy of my liability waiver. This is high adventure without a safety net--we won't have cell service on most of these trips. You must assume all risks inherent with the use of stock in the back country. That said, I will be extremely fair with you as you are with me. I have spent nearly every weekend the last three years taking inexperienced riders into these places, starting with my own wife, children, siblings, parents, students and neighbors. I am confident in my animals and your ability to ride them. Bumps, bruises, and sore muscles are par for the course, but coming home safely is the only option available.
Payment. I require 25% non-refundable deposit to book our trip, and the balance at the trail head. Once we are in the saddle, no refunds will be given for inclement weather. (Sometimes the best rides are in the snow and rain...just sayin')
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