I have been in on few back country hunts all with horses, I am not a horse person other than when it comes to packing in to go hunting, a few years back we went into the Thorofare in Wyoming's Bridger Tetons. On the way in we approached a river crossing and up to this point my horse had been....we'll say ok. As long as the pack string was moving along he did well, whenever we stopped he would get antsy, not want to hold still and shaking his head around. I did my best as a novice to keep him in line. Well now here we are at this river crossing and the river has split into 2 separate streams and my cousins are all in front of me and we probably have 12-14 horses in our string, not enough room to let them all drink at the same time, so there are two sets of horses drinking and the trail was pretty steep going down towards the river and it had washed out over the years so it was about 3 foot deep and only a few feet wide where I was at, my horse wanted to go forward, but couldn't because all the other horses had stopped in front of me to drink so then the bastard starts shaking his head and trying to back up the trail, I jerked the reins a few times to try and "whip him into shape" The son of a bitch rears up on his hind legs and proceeded to do a 360! At one point I thought about jumping off, it then felt like he was going to go over backwards, but the bank was steep enough that he hit his ass on it and kept him upright, he came around and back to all fours, my cousin's buddy was right in front of me and had witnessed the whole show and he thought that I had done that **** on purpose! I later joked with him "yeah, that's how I roll, I am like roy rogers, just seeing what he could do" In reality I about **** my pants! I have never been so sore in my whole life than that ride into the mountains, I was all tensed up and ready for the next rodeo at every bend and some of that country is damn steep so I was especially tense during those moments. I rode a different mild mannered horse out with no issues and my cousins who are damn good with horses, one of them rode that nag and didn't have any problems after they let him know who was boss, but those damn things can tell if you are a horseman or not and if you give them an inch they take a mile....my biggest problem is in that steep ****, I don't know when to lay down the law, because I was trying when that damn thing acted up and I damn sure wouldn't want to try that when you are above a 1000' drop off, so I kind of agree with the author on horses, I love that they get me into some damn good elk country and see some country that I never otherwise would have, but I don't know that I will ever be comfortable on them.
I have hunted via horse back three times now, once as a drop camp which I prefer where an outfitter takes us in and drops us off and I can hump my own **** around and then get a ride back out and twice with my cousins where the horses are there the whole time and we hunt with them. I have a blast with my family up there hunting, and I really do appreciate all the work they can do, but they also create alot of work, running off when they get a chance, hobbled or not hobbled, seems like sometimes its harder work when they are there! I am doing another drop camp this fall in the Bob Marshall in Montana, so I will be riding a pony in, and I pray that I will get a good one!
Good luck to y'all this fall no matter which side of the fence you are on as far as horses go!
I will go on seeing them as a necessary evil to get to where I want to go!