Congratulations! Photos?Well, the trail max worked out well today!!
Rode up on top of a mountain, glassed this buck up about two miles back as the crow flies, watched him bed, then rode over to the bowl he was in, tied up the horses, walked about 200 yards, and sure enough he was still bedded under that tree. My wife made a perfect shot at 400 yards, we got the horses, rode up to him, cut him up, put him in the panniers, and rode out. A little over 8 miles round trip, started with 850 ft elevation up in the first mile, then down 1000 ft elevation and back up 750 ft elevation in the next 3ish miles over to the buck, then up 350 ft more elevation to the buck after he was shot, then down 1100 ft and back up 1000 ft in the next 3ish miles, then down 850 ft in the last mile back to the truck.
Most of it was on elk trails, with a small portion just working our way through the terrain to stay concealed from the buck. The pommel bags, saddle bags, rifle scabbard, as well as crossbuck saddle and panniers did great. Before we just had the panniers that threw over the saddle, figured we would get a dedicated set up, and it is much better and way more stable.
The horse I was riding was an old horse that my parents have had for a while, he is 17. He was broke back when he was about 3, then not ridden more than a handful of times until about three weeks ago. My father in law got out here and got to work on him, and it is amazing the difference, the man is truly talented. Though he was slower than my father in laws horses, and needed more breaks, he handled all of it astoundingly well, crawled over all sorts of logs and downed trees, climbed up/down some very steep trails, and kept a very cool head the whole time.
This was only the fourth time or so I have ridden him, and him and I just mesh really well, even though my father in laws other horses have way more training on them, this paint and I get along really well, and I prefer him. He has a ton of heart!