By Patty Wilber
From last week: an astute epidemiologist and a disease ecologist that read the blog noted that since horses are dead end hosts for West Nile Virus, they cannot reinfect mosquitoes. Only birds can do that. Thus, vaccinating horses doesn’t create herd immunity for this disease; vaccination protects your animal but does not decrease transmission to other horses. The herd immunity concept does apply for many other diseases. For West Nile, I guess we need flock immunity!
Because it has been so warm and dry, The Pecos Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen were able to complete our first project of the year, a month earlier than usual.
We had a LOT of participation and we able to tackle Box Trail with one group while another group worked on Spruce Trail up to the snow and then Red Canyon as well. All the trails had trees. Lots of trees.
The Box Crew started at Red Canyon. Box Trail is the one mile link from the campground to Ox Canyon Trail.
This year we have started a mentorship program for new members and we billed Box as a fine introduction to BCH. Not steep, not rocky and no water crossings this year since it has been so dry. We also figured it would have a lot of down trees since it goes through an old (2006? 2008? I forget) burn area (all burned trees must fall on the trail) and because we did not get to it last year.
The project matched our billing very well, except the down trees were all before the burn area. We kept busy clearing big trees and small trees at what seemed like 200 yards intervals. It was great practice for mounting, dismounting and having horses tied to trees for long stretches.
I took Penny, and she seemed to really enjoy sleeping during the numerous stops because when I would go get her to move on to the next down tree, she could barely wake up enough to unplant her feet! This was partly why I took her instead of any of the others–she is very relaxed on the trail!
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