WolfHorse Outfitters is run by Joe Saenz a Warm Springs Apache. He offers half- and full-day horseback rides as well as multiple-day horseback trips mostly into the Gila Wilderness.
I got to know Joe as an outstanding, experienced guide with an enormous knowledge about nature, the land, history, and Apache culture.
I went on two day rides and on two 6-day horseback trips into the Gila Wilderness. I am only one of many return guests; a fact that is speaking for itself.
Joe is taking up to 4 guests. There is less impact to the land if he keeps the group small. Treating the land in a healthy way is one of Joe's principles. He teaches you how to travel "Apache Style" with a minimum of equipment and a minimum of impact. When we left a camp site you hardly could see that we were there.
Our personal luggage was packed in the saddle bags of our "personal" horse. The food for the group and for the horses was carried by two pack horses. I was surprised how few luggage we needed. Every item should have at least two functions, we learned. For instance the saddle pads and saddle blankets were used as mats to sleep on. Or the drinking bottles worked also very well as hot-water bottles to warm up my sleeping bag. Bring a warm dawn sleeping bag with you in late fall or early spring. The nights can be very cold (below freezing point). We slept under the stars without a tent...wonderful!
Even non-experienced riders feel comfortable on Joe's great, well-trained horses. Joe encourages you to fan out and choose your own way if possible (no nose-to-tail riding).
On the pack trips we were mostly walking (amazingly fast) and a few times trotting. Since the horses are heavy loaded it's not healthy for them to gallop. On the day rides we were free to gallop over the wide meadows. Wow!
The land is just breathtaking! Beside us there was no one else out there. We saw wildlife: deer, elk and small animals like rabbits, squirrels, birds.. On the second Pack Trip we even saw a bear with her two babies!
The food was excellent; good and healthy. For breakfast there was hot chocolate, coffee or tea to drink. To eat there were always fresh fruits, two times burritos with avocado, two times a kind of corn wrappings (I don't remember the name) and once porridge with fresh fruits.
For lunch we usually had a picnic with melon / crackers with dry meat or cheese and honey / nuts / celery with peanut butter / cereal bars / ..
And for dinner Joe cooked "Indian" tacos / spaghetti bolognese with toasted bread / grilled meet with rice, vegetables and mushrooms / beef stew with potatoes and vegetables / and a special dish with meat, mushrooms, vegetables, cactus and cream sauce (yammie) with grilled corn and toasted bred. If you are a vegetarian, just let Joe know in advance. He will make sure that you won't have to starve ;-)
Joe will also show you what is eatable in the Wilderness. We tasted fiddle-heads for instance and cooked pine tea. As an expert in outdoor survival skills Joe is teaching many more things to you.
In the evenings we all sat around the fire, watched the stars and shared our stories.
Joe seems to be a quiet and serious person at the beginning. But when you start to ask questions and making jokes he turns out to be very talkative, open and entertaining with a wonderful sense of humor. We all had a very good time together.
I highly recommend a day ride or a horseback trip with Wolfhorse Outfitters to everyone who loves nature and the luxury of simplicity. Be open to learn.
You will return home with completely recharged batteries, with many delightful memories and with the desire to come back again!
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