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Coon Bluff & Salt River Horses, AZ
mini location map2020-07-16
13 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Coon Bluff & Salt River Horses, AZ 
Coon Bluff & Salt River Horses, AZ
Hiking2.20 Miles 418 AEG
Hiking2.20 Miles   1 Hour   9 Mns   2.06 mph
418 ft AEG      5 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After another 4 hours wasted on the phone with Verizon (a total of over 30 hours since July 2) I hadn't had time to get everything prepared for a longer hike (iced drink mix in the Nalgene bottles and ice in the bladder) but I really needed a fresh mind-set.

So, what better way than to head straight for the Salt River and see what the horses were up to today? Being so late (2:30 pm) the temp was already 112 when I set off and although I had all my dampened cooling gear on the walk through the Coon Bluff Rec Site was a blast of heat on the exposed part of my face, I'm sure due to the sun's reflection off the light-colored sand. Once I hit the shadows past the rec site I felt fine... except for the slogging in the soft sand again.

Upon my first sighting of the horses standing in the sun on the other shore it brought to mind what I'm sure many people would appear like in the same circumstance... with a hang-dog look of resignation. With almost no movement, hardly even one wisp of a tail I didn't expect any action worth filming but I could hear more horses on my side of the river so I moved on for greener pastures so-to-speak, although there was absolutely NO green grass anywhere... heck, not even grass, just a crackly faded yellow look of the driest hay you'd ever seen.

A bit farther on I saw a few small groups of horses in the shade while feeding off almost already denuded trees. I wander about slowly and quietly so as not to spook any of them and here comes a foal hopping by due to an injured right rear leg, or possibly something in the hoof.
(I emailed the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group the location and a photo with its leg in an unnatural pose.)

And moments later another horse stops barely a dozen feet away to take a quick dirt-bath. The dirt-bath turned out to be much shorter than either of us (the horse and myself) expected due to the horse rolling into a fire-ring of rocks.
Nothing more happening here on shore so I started back and found a few horses were back in the river again so of course that meant shooting more video. By being just patient enough I caught a few bits which left me wondering what the horses were up to.

When I saw a horse pawing along the bottom of the river over and over I fully expected it to dip its head into the water to snap up whatever it may have scraped loose but no, it just kept moving. Later on, seen at the end of the video it will be seen pulling eelgrass up from the bottom.

Next up, just behind the above-mentioned horse was a gray which seemed to be doing one of the following:
- Braying like a donkey, only silently
- Yawning over and over and over again
- Attempting to belch after a foul-tasting meal

Both of the above as well as the injured foal and the dirt-bath are included in the video:
Salt River Wild Horses (1:23 video)
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