6 Dutch Oven Recipes

From a feature article in the April 2017 issue of The Trail Rider Magazine, "6 Dutch Oven Recipes" is an interview about the Dutch oven recipes that we use in the camp cookhouse and over the open fire. Love the photo of Clara R., which was mis-identified as Bobbi.  

Adventure Is Out There

Blue Sky Sage is one of the featured "horse camps" in this article from the 2017 Spring Edition of CHROME - Life As Unique As The Horse, a feature magazine published by the American Paint Horse Association.

Experiential Travel - Interview

 Blue Sky Sage Horseback Adventures and "Experiential Travel" - Inteview with Bobbi Wade on TravelDew

 Bobbi's Top 10 Reasons to Go On a Women Only Horseback Vacation in Wyoming With Blue Sky Sage:


1.The wilderness and the horses create an environment that gives women the opportunity to focus just on themselves for awhile, to take care of "self" in all the ways that get put on the back burner the rest of the year.




 2. A horseback vacation is a great way to mark a transition in your life. "Transition trips" as I call them, are to celebrate a life change, like a milestone birthday, the "my nest is finally empty" trip, an adult daughter/mother time together, a "divorce is final" gift to self or something similar.





3. There is a unique camaraderie that you can only find in a group of women who have the common interest in horses and wilderness.




 4. It's a wonderful way to reconnect with your youth, if you grew up riding and had to give it up as an adult because of family or career responsibilities.


5. Fine linens and tennis courts work for some, but this is a vacation where all-day rides, well-mannered horses and the view from the saddle create the perfect oasis. "Less is more" in the remote setting, yet
we have everything in place for you to be comfortable, well-fed, and safe.



 6. This is the time to eat, drink, laugh and RIDE! The challenge of riding off the trails in the aspen foothills, and high desert wilderness leads to improved horsemanship skills, which we promote and teach throughout your ride week.


 7. We offer the antithesis of a "nose to tail" trail ride. Every day on out horseback is active for each rider, with opportunity to get off the trail and challenge yourself a little, in a safe and controlled manner. Scheduled weeks are available for novice/intermediate skill levels, or if you are an advanced rider, there are trips that are faster paced and more challenging.



8. More often than not, people discover something about themselves that they had no idea was there. Women often find a piece of their "power" that was hidden or hadn't yet been discovered. Sometimes it's the catalyst for a life change, such as leaving an abusive relationship, a dead end job or letting go of something painful in your life.



 9. You will truly be "off the grid" because there is no internet, and sparse cell phone service out here. And at night, you can actually see the Milky Way and "hear" absolute quiet. 





10. You will be riding with us, Mike and Bobbi. One or both of us guide every ride outselves, every day so you are assured the experience and expertise of our 38+ years as professional guides and horsemen are shared throughout your vacation. 


 Girls Ride Out! Women Only Horseback Riding Vacation

In Depth with Bobbi Wade About Experiential Travel

Bobbi Wade - Owner of Blue Sky Sage

Song For Blue Sky Sage

1: "Oh, what were their names,
     on the high chaparral,
The horses that lived in that
     hilltop corral?
By the Little Sandy River, a
     place you would like
If you happened to visit with
     Bobbi and Mike.

Well, there's Outlaw and Matty,
     JB to name a few,
Hidalgo, the Rose,
     and Little Buckaroo
Painted Valley is a legend
     it's shocking to say
No electrified fence keeps that 
     horse from his hay

2: Tell me what were their names,
     on the high chaparral,
The folks who cam to visit
     that hilltop corral?
And why did they come there, I'll
     give you the gist,
To learn from the Horse, not some
     damn Plato-ist

There's Virginia and Terry and Linda
     and Paul
We flew from the East Coast, it was
     a long haul
Bob and Sallie from Denver drove up
     in their truck
We try to help each other, that's
     all of our luck

3: Tell me what were their names,
     on the high chaparral,
Who lived in their teepee by the
     hilltop corral?
If you ride out some days here
     with Bobbi and Mike
Then the face in your mirror may be
     someone you like
One more time, say the names on
     the high chaparral,
Of the horses who rode from that 
     hilltop corral,
As you fall off to sleep in your
     warm woolen cap
Whisper, thank you, my master, who
     gave me that FWAP."

Lyrics by Virginia Kopelman / sung to the tune of "Wildwood Flower" (aka "Reuben James")
©Virginia Kopelman, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0. International.



"Wild Wyoming"

Why We Need to Vacation

I just read a great article in the November/December 2009 issue of Via: AAA Traveler's Companion titled

"One nation in need of a vacation: Taking Time Off Isn't Lasy. It's Essential." by Steve Rushin.  Rushin drives home the point that as Americans, we don't take nearly all the vacation we are allotted and we need to take every day we can get.

Notes from Three Dimensional Horsemanship, 2008


September 2008


Three Key Elements of Horsemanship:
    * Timing
    * Balance
    * Feel
All three are displayed in the "art" of bridling a horse.

Warrior Stance:
   1. Feet apart
   2. Good posture (not slouched)
   3. Eyes forward (Body follows chin)
   4. Chin tucked in
   5. See 2 inches of your boot toe when you look down over your knee
   6. Weight Distributed 50/50 left to right
   7. Weight 60% on butt and 30% in stirrups

For the trot, practice reaching up onto the top shelf for the highest can you can barely reach.
Don't bounce or bang your horse's loins.  He'll either start tuning you completely out and not giving you his attention OR he'll do something to let you know it hurts.

DAY 2:

Ride with intent.  Every step that your horse takes should be guided by you.  That is horsemanship.

Create little games. (E.g., The Glove Game; or take ten steps on an imaginary dotted line, turn right and take six steps west, then stop and back up, etc.)  In the latter example, the dotted line = intentional.
            Chris' Note:  Results First/ Change Second theory demonstrated in the Glove Game.

The feet communicate with you.  Always watch the horse's feet; where they are, where he is balanced, where he is before you ask something of him, what they are doing.  Keep the feet busy specifically doing what you guide him to do; the jobs you create for him.  When he is nervous, you may want to give his feet something to do so he doesn't blow up.

At a stand still, the horse carries about 60% of his weight on his front feet; about 40% on back.  However, at a run, he carries 70% on back and 30% on front.

DAY 3:
Be prepared when you expect something of your horse to:
   1. Ask
   2. Tell
   3. Promise

--Be clear with yourself when you start; use clear intent, focus and energy on your part

--Think of your Timing, Feel, and Balance

-- If you do not get the desired response from the horse, you will need to raise your energy with each subsequent step

--"Give"as soon as you get a response; that is praise to the horse

--Don't start something if you don't have the time, temperament, or energy to follow through

In the Rope Exercise, we learned to be sure there is a little "feel" between you and the horse.  That way you can "give" when you feel his response.  AND there is ideally the "feel" between you and your horse constantly.  This could be in a rein or a rope, your legs, seat, etc.

DAY 4:

When about to canter, probably will need to "tell" not "ask".  More energy.

Be in rhythm with every beat of your horse's foot.  (It is the beat (like music); the rhythm of his "dance")

Game-to get in touch with 1) where your horse's feet are and 2) the beat or rhythm of his gates:  Say "Now" when your horse's front left foot leaves the ground, etc.

"Hoka Hey" (This is completely phonetic!)  Lakota concept for "Be in the moment and present when you ride.  Pay attention.  So many things can happen in the split second of inattention.  Be careful not to be distracted and off balance.

Ray Hunt:  Horses and Life, it's all the same to me.  (paraphrased)

Chris' notes:
    * Tolerance for disrespect
    * Setting things up so you are well-served and you serve well
    * Boundaries clear (to you and to others)
    * Do the things which will lower your own stress
    * And make it easier for you (and/or others) to do the right thing; hard to do the wrong thing

DAY 5:

Dennis Reis Videos

Ray Hunt Videos

Core/ Center/ Chi, the 3D center of your, and your horse's, balance:

We're referring to the center of your body's weight.  In your lower abdomen for women, a little higher for men.  For the horse.  Go down the girth and into his body.

You essentially have three choices when riding:
    * Your chi ahead of your horse's; you are pulling your horse along and out there ahead of him in a less balanced position (e.g., easier to loose balance and fall)

    * Your chi aligned or above your horse's  (more common bareback??)

    *Your chi a little behind your horse's chi, you are pushing your horse and guiding him from a more secure and balanced position. This is the best position.


Living Her Cowgirl Dream

By Judi Montemayor

High Wild, & Lonesome….mmmmm, sounds interesting, but I wonder exactly what does it mean?  Well, now I know, first hand, and it is a feeling.  And one I will never forget.

My story begins at a very early age, about four years old.  I remember wanting to be a cowgirl even at that age.  I watched our local TV host, Sally Star, in her fancy cowgirl outfit and with her beautiful palomino horse as she scripted through her show for young’uns.  I had my own little cowgirl outfit, boots, hat, and even a stick pony to ride.  I was hooked.  As life went on, I migrated toward people who either had horses or had access to horses, for I was never fortunate enough to have my own.  The more I rode, the more free I felt inside.  I loved the smell and touch of horses, and the powerful feeling of being on the back of an animal so beautiful as it galloped through the fields.  It freed my soul and lifted my spirits…

Here I am fifty-some years later and that little cowgirl is still deep in my thoughts.  For years I had entertained the idea of going on a cattle drive out West.  It was a dream just out of my reach, I thought.  When I met Joe, the love of my life, the dream surfaced again.  One day during the winter of 2002, we were discussing our upcoming vacation plans.  He suggested we go on a cattle drive out West.  I was stunned, but on the Internet in no time, looking for a suitable location.  We had looked at a few locations and had talked to some outfitters, but when we spoke with Bobbi Wade from High Wild & Lonesome Cowboy Adventures we knew we had the right adventure outfit.  Joe had only ridden a few times in his life so lessons were definitely in his future.  We both took weekly lessons for eight months, then in August we headed out to Wyoming to live my dream.  Instead of a cattle drive, we chose to ride the Pony Express Trail.  We soon learned what ‘big sky’ really meant.

A real cowgirl, Bobbi Wade, picked us up at the hotel and we drove out to a Cowboy camp, which was to be our home for a week.  As soon as I met Bobbi, I liked her . . .  capable, full of knowledge of the West and a real horsewoman.  It wasn’t long before the congested roads were only a memory.  As we headed out camp, my excitement began to build.  I looked intently out the window of the old Chevy Suburban at the vastness of the countryside and the ranches, scattered here and there.  After an enlightening two-hour drive we turned onto a dirt road and up to a gate.  By this time it was almost impossible to contain my excitement.  Bobbi opened the gate and drove us down the dusty road.  It was green on one side of the road, the other side was sage brush as far as you could see.  As we drove into the camp area it became apparent why it was so green on the one side…the side that held the Sweetwater River.  Then, there it was!  Our range teepees, what a sight!  There were five or six of them nestled among the lush green willows, grass, and the river.  Here we were “out in the middle of nowhere” as us Easterners would say, and it was beautiful!  The ‘big sky’ was everywhere and you could see, literally, for miles, definitely God’s country.  We eagerly unpacked and started our horse orientation with Mike Wade, a real cowboy!  I met the horses we were going to befriend for a week, in the corral.  Gorgeous Quarter horses…I couldn’t wait….WOW…I was going to ride like a cowgirl all week long.  I brought my attention back to Mike and the orientation.  For a couple hours, Mike educated us about tacking up the horse, handling the horse and pretty much how a horse should be treated.  Mike and Bobbi are incredible with horses and people.  As the week went on we learned more and more about riding, horses, and the history of the territory.

Each day we awoke, as the sun rose over the vastness of the countryside, to the aroma of coffee brewing.  After eating a great breakfast prepared by the camp cook Amanda Roufs, we headed up the hill to tack up the horses.  Each day we rode about 20 miles and came home to camp exhausted and covered with dust…a dust that only the West knows.  My best description is brown baby powder.  I always wondered how the cowboys in the old black and white movies could sleep outside in all that dirt…well, now I know!  When I got back to camp I was so tired I would just fall asleep in the teepee with my boots on!  It was all I could do to get up to take a shower before dinner.  But, I was never happier!  I was a cowgirl in Wyoming with a ‘real’ horse to ride!  Dreams really do come true. High, Wild & Lonesome did it for me.

Bringin' It All Together

Ross Johnson, 2005 Ride Review

Our June, 2005 HWL Adventure was unique right from the start. The members of our party were all strangers to one another, coming together in a cowboy camp in Wyoming for the first time. Our diverse group of four riders hailed from both coasts of the United States as well as Europe. The common elements were that we were all experienced riders and each was embarking on their second adventure with Mike and Bobbi. 

Ours was the distinction of being the first guests of the season and also the privilege of assisting with the chore of getting the High Wild & Lonesome cavvy legged up for the weeks of extensive riding ahead. This meant that we were not only guests, but also a crew with a mission. That mission required long days in the saddle along with a few cowboy skills we’d yet to acquire. With complete faith in Mike Wade, our trail guide and wrangler boss, we embraced the challenges that faced us, both as individuals and a working crew.

The concept was simple… move horses. That meant ride, pony or herd across landscape ranging from the flats of the Green River flood plain to the steep talus and scree-littered slopes of the mesas that rose and fell for miles to the east of our camp. Riding while leading another horse through open and varied terrain replete with sagebrush, dry washes and ground burrows, was one of those new cowboy skills we were anxious to try or hand at, and Mike wasted no time in setting us to the tasks. Before the first day was done, we had ponied and herded a small caballo band several miles from the Wade’s ranch grounds to our cowboy camp. For me, it was one of the most exhilarating and satisfying experiences of the week. Our party of strangers quickly fell into the crew mentality and from that point forward a rich sense of camaraderie was part of all of our shared experiences.

The temperature was at times less than tropical and there were jokes about morning frost on the teepee, but everyone seemed well equipped mentally and physically to deal with the mood swings of the early June weather. The generous good humor, warm fire and ample food and coffee cancelled out the occasional chilly wind. In mock cowboy-boss severity, Mike announced that there’d be a five dollar fine for complaining, yet complaining was probably the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. 

The week fell into a rhythm interrupted by a single day in Pinedale. It was an enjoyable visit to the busy little community, but by late afternoon I found myself missing the solitude of the high open country, the constancy of the wind and the spectacular views. I think it was at that point that I became aware of how complete my addiction had become. The almost celebratory mood in camp, with our bucket-roping contests and campfire songs, coupled with the challenges of managing two horses through rugged and sometimes intimidating terrain, produced a sense of group confidence and accomplishment… maybe even a kindrence with the cowboys and explorers that had worked and wandered the very same land.

The last day was somewhat of a reverse of the first. We moved the cavvy from our cowboy camp back to Mike and Bobbi’s ranch grounds. Almost as though testing the skills, confidence and cowboy resolve we’d developed over the preceding days, the Wyoming weather came at us with a sudden drop in temperature, a hard wind, rain and a brief episode of hail. Through periods of high wind gusts and driven rain, we completed the last few miles to the ranch. A warm wood stove and good ranch meal were the rewards for our perseverance.

This trip combined some of the challenging realities and the simple pleasures of cowboy life. When I think about my own reasons for riding and for seeking out experiences in the West, this week stands out as a time like no other for bringing it all together.           

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