06/27/2005

The Foxtrotter Mare Yellow Feather From The Monument Valley

In 1994 we visited for the first time the Monument Valley with 12 Missouri Fox Trotters from the Miller-Ranch in Scottsdale/Arizona and 10 guests from Europe. From Ed Black, the biggest stable in the Valley, we hired a guide for a day’s ride through the Valley. They wanted $ 75 per person horse included; we tried to negotiate because we really did not need their horses; we wanted to ride our own Fox Trotters.
It did not matter to Ed; he wanted the $ 75 with or without horse. Since it was only for one day and we wanted to ride in the Valley we accepted unwillingly.
Through this we got to know our guide Nesswood, who is a nephew of Ed Black. At that time Nesswood was riding a Tobiano, a brown-white Mustang; he was always upfront in his usual speed but our Fox Trotters pushed, they were not used to such a slow speed. Finally Nesswood asked whether we wanted to ride a faster speed. What a question. He showed us the direction and said: “Go the speed you want”. At the beginning Nesswood was trotting behind with his Mustang when we were just doing the Flat Foot Walk with our Fox Trotters. As soon as we let our horses go the fox trot, the distance between him became bigger and bigger and we had to wait because we did not know our way. Nesswood let the distance grow and approached us again with a gallop. After 3 hours Nesswood’s riding style changed.
Neither before or also later I have seen an Indian posting. I knew posten only from people riding english.
With a Fox Trotter the 4-beat fox trot is smooth, posten is unknown amongst the Fox Trotters and not necessary. Nesswood either was posting during the trot or came galloping after us. After lunch around 2 p.m. we asked Nesswood for further directions but he ordered: “back to the camp”. It was planed to return to the camp around 6 p.m. But Nesswood found that we had seen all in the Monument Valley National Park what tourist get to see on a tour; we covered a 3-days tour during one day.
One year passed and again we had 10 European guests ready to tour the Monument Valley. This time Ed Black gave us a better deal. We asked again for Nesswood as our guide and we met him, after we already had spent 12 days riding, one evening in our camp for a steak dinner. Nesswood was on time. “Oh”, I said, “You have a new horse”?
“Yes”, he replied, “a Missouri Fox Trotter”.

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