Davidson Canyon

"The Movie"

Nine riders met Saturday October 7th at approximately 7:30 A.M. for a beautiful ride through Saguaro National Park East. Renee Hahne led and Stuart Scibetta rode drag.  We left the Broadway entrance at 8:00 AM.  The trails, which included Shantz and Wentworth Trails, were well marked and well groomed and were easy to follow.  We enjoyed beautiful views of the Catalinas and the Rincons while experiencing a variety of vegetation and landscapes.  For the most part the horses were cooperative and there were no major issues. The riders who live on the east side are fortunate to have such an inviting area to ride so close at hand. I really enjoyed the trails and am looking forward to exploring the area more completely.                                                                                Write-up by Bill Braskamp




​Pictures by Carolyn Pferdeort and Letha Simmons

Empirita Canyons Ride

April 1, 2017

See the ride that DeDe described as the most beautiful ride she has ever been on with TSC!  It was a gorgeous treat.

When Jean and I were pre-riding the trail I told her I was planning on bringing my Go Pro camera and doing another movie of the ride like I did of the Happy Camp - Picket Post Ride Steve and Carolyn led in the Spring.  She said that was cool and maybe next time I should add some music.  I thought that would be nice and I'd see what I could do, never having done that before.  Not sure what kind of music she had in mind, but I looked around for some equine related type music but couldn't find anything that fit the mood.  So, I picked some songs kind of perky country-western that I liked and went with it.  Was fun learning to add that to the movie track; I'll work on expanding my music library for potential future trail movies.  Comments are more than welcome what you think of the movie. Enjoy! - Dan Simmons

Mother Nature cooperated with us on April 1 for the Empirita Canyons ride.  25 riders came wearing multiple warm layers after hearing that the forecast called for cool and possibly windy.  Lucky for us there was a nice mixture of sun and clouds and the winds stayed low until the very end of the ride.  We started out along typical ranch paths and roads and had a view of the broad landscape and beauty of southern Arizona.  Shortly we dropped down into a canyon wash and traveled southeast to a very lush lunch spot.  The ride leaders picked the perfect area to rest and it’s not often that we get to let our horses drink from clean, fresh spring water.  We learned from Dan, Bill, and Letha that this was the beginning of Wakefield Canyon and soon we were riding through the most picturesque part of the ride.  Wakefield Canyon walls are steep and colorful.  At one point the walls narrowed with just enough room to ride through - quite a sight here in SoAz.  It was at about this point that a beautiful owl with a mostly white chest flew over us and gave quite a thrill to both the front and the back of the group.  It has to be a good omen to have an owl grace us with its presence.  Dan and Rhythm set a good pace and even with this large a group there were no issues.  Good horsemanship everyone!!  Thank you Dan, Bill, and Letha for carving out such a nice trail in this vast ranch land.  

Write-up by Barb Heller

It was too dark to take pictures during the ride, but the eating was sweet before the ride!

​I couldn’t have asked for better riding companions, trails, or weather - yes, even in monsoon season! - on my first trip with the Tucson Saddle Club.
Tuesday: 7/11 - set up camp day.
Wednesday:  7/12 - Ride on your own day.  Two groups rode out today - the first group of four riders left camp at 8:30 am heading to the Schultz Tank. It was a beautiful sunny morning and everyone enjoyed the shady ride through the forest, lush ferns and good company.  We were back in camp before the afternoon monsoon rain. The second group rode out at 3:30 pm under a friendly-enough sky, but that quickly changed and they were caught in rain twice and hail once! This did not
deter the hearty group of riders - they persevered and returned to camp late afternoon under a sunny sky. That evening, we all enjoyed a “campfire-less campfire” evening of snacks and great conversation.
Thursday,:  7/13 - Nine riders left camp at 8:30 am on the Sandy Seep Trail. Another awesome day in Flagstaff!
Perfect temps, friendly bicyclists, and great conversation between friends old and new. We covered 9.6 miles in
3 hours and were again back in camp before the monsoon opened up.
Friday:  7/14 - Seven riders headed out at 8:30 am on a loop ride to the Schultz Tank. 7.24 miles were covered in
2 hours, 25 minutes for an average of 3 mph. We enjoyed a relaxing break at Schultz Tank. Lots of good conversation
and laughs shared between us. Light sprinkles caught up with us on our way back to camp, but they only added to our perfectly peaceful forest ride.
Saturday: 7/15 - Poker Ride. Seven riders headed out at 8:30 am via the Deer Hill Trail. 11.2 miles were covered
in 3 hours 47 minutes. Despite the obvious devastation to the forest from the Schultz Fire 7 years ago, our ride
showed us beautiful views and the promise of new growth to the area.  Once back at camp, we took a break to settle our mounts before gathering again to determine who won the poker hand. Congrats to Steve P., who took the winning prize of a gift certificate to Boot Barn.
Sunday: 7/16 - This was a break camp day for some and a hiking day for others. Six campers hiked the Fat Man’s
Loop Trail. They covered 2.6 miles in 1 hour, 22 minutes and had an elevation gain of 690 ft. All agreed this trail
is better hiked and is not a good option for horses/mules.  

As a new member, my sincere thanks to all for their friendship and trail savvy! I look forward to many more rides with the TSC.                                                                                                                                               Write up by Sheri Gingerich​


The ability to share our wonderful rides here on the web site and in the newsletter with the those who weren't able to attend a ride, or those who are considering going on our rides and want to see what they've been missing, is totally dependent on those who have gone on them submitting pictures they have taken, and volunteering to do the write-ups on them, both to the club Newsletter EditorAND to the Webmaster of the website via email.  Pictures must be in jpeg format and attached (not embedded in the text body) of the email!  Ride reports are typically posted in the next newsletter they are received before the deadline.  On the website, they are posted as soon as possible after received and maintained for about a year.  Typically, at the September start-up after the summer break, the previous year's Fall rides are deleted, and at the beginning of the year, the previous year's Spring rides are deleted.  Please help us continue to support this tradition of sharing the fun and scenery we have on our rides by submitting your pictures and write ups to BOTH​ the newsletter editor Linda Dahl attscnews@hotmail.com and the Webmaster Dan Simmons at sgtsimmons1@dakotacom.net .

(Note: The sparsity of ride reports posted from this fall is due to the lack of ride reports and pictures being submitted to the Webmaster.  Submitting them only to the newsletter editor does not ensure they reach the Webmaster!  Please submit them to both of us.  Thank you.)

March 24-26, 2017​

On December 2nd, Jean led 18 riders and one hiker on the most beautiful ride I've ever been on with TSC.  We began the ride from the Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead riding in cool weather with a wonderful cloud cover.  We rode single file through the lower Sonoran vegetation to the Davidson Canyon Wash.  The we dropped down into the wash to ride under the I-10 bridges.  Now I personally had been putting some concerned thinking time in to this path not knowing if my horse had this kind of adventure before, but he walked along like there wasn't tons of cement, steel, cars, and people (maybe a few horses in horse trailers) above him.  In fact, all the horses were complete pros traveling under the bridges.  The excitement came in response of several horses who used to running in washes.  The walk to the gates at the Kentucky Derby is tame in comparison.  They were ready to be off to the races!  The riders expertly contained their horse's enthusiasm.  As we moved down the riparian area, a magical area of beautiful Fall leaves was revealed that one would never know about driving along I-10.  Tall trees ringed by full bushes had beautiful orange and yellow leaves with large sagauros interspersed.  Beautiful rocks of gray and mauve formed the walls that rimmed the canyon which complimented the pale gray sand of  the wash.  Amazingly it was so quiet in the wash.  Only when we were near the bridges did we hear traffic.  We returned along the same route, but there was so much to look at it seemed like a different path.  I met new people, had great conversations, and was proud of my horse.  I even picked up the lone hiker and took him home wit home.  It sounds a lot more exciting than it was since he's my husband!  Another fabulous TSC ride. Write-up by DeDe Havens

(Note): I asked Jean to assist me with the Davidson Canyon Ride and she readily agreed.  Then I had a health issue that kept me from riding as she was about to pre-ride the trail (I am healthy now!).  She found another ride partner (Dan) and thank you to both of you.  I was able to attend the ride and be back in the saddle!  We rode just under 6.5 miles in two hours of riding time and were stopped for 18 minutes.  Our moving average speed was 3.2 miles per hour. - Steve Pferdeort

It was a pretty warm evening June 9 for the presidents ride, but 11 desert dwellers showed up anyway. Leaders Carolyn and Jean were ready for the arriving guests, and there was plenty of parking. After getting parked and settled, most of us were given the tour of the beautiful Mule Power grounds. There are lots of horse and owner amenities there and we can see why it is so popular. Carolyn had her signature “bales” of cake waiting, and we all enjoyed cake and ice cream during the social hour before the ride. When the depart time came, we hadn’t gone but a few
hundred feet when one of our riders was rather unceremoniously launched into the night sky, and came face to face with the sand in the wash. After remounting and getting settled, the ride went off into the evening. Some horses started off a little antsy, but the deep sand soon took that silliness out of them and all behaved for the rest of the ride. The trail took us to what used to be known as the bird sanctuary (I don’t know if it’s still called that) and some nice treed trails. As the night continued, the temperature came to a very pleasant level and lots of chatter could be heard amongst the riders. The ride back to the trailers was pleasant and uneventful and everyone returned safely. Many thanks to Carolyn and Jean for putting on this ride and to Steve for the following statistics: we rode 6.8 miles, were moving for 2 hours and 8 minutes, and were stopped for 27 minutes. It was a fun time, and we look forward to seeing our club members on the next ride!!                                                                                   Write up by 
Dave Cummings​


Pictures by Barb Heller, Nancy Mueller, and Lorelei Redmond 

Davidson Canyon Ride

​December 2, 2017


Ride Reports

Moon Over Mule Power

President's Moonlight Ride

​June 9, 2017

July 11 - 16, 2017​

​I have never been horse camping before and had no equipment. When I heard that there were a few corrals available, I thought why not try it. I bought a cot, sleeping bag, and lantern to sleep in the back of my two-horse trailer.  We got set up on Friday and enjoyed a relaxing lunch and afternoon. Friday night was a potluck with LOTS of delicious food, friends and conversation. After the potluck, I thought I would get a good night sleep. Wrong. I froze because I had forgotten to shut the ceiling vents in my trailer and couldn’t reach them without a stool which was outside my trailer. After only about 1 hour sleep and thawing out on Saturday morning, 21 riders set out for a beautiful 5-1/2 hr ride with a stop for lunch. The hills were golden with yellow wildflowers. Saturday night some went into town to a restaurant and others ate dinner at their trailers. Saturday night I slept much better because the vents were closed and people took pity on me and gave me extra blankets. Sunday’s 5-hour ride was also very beautiful in a much different way. There was varied terrain, riding through two tunnels under the highway, many water crossings, climbing over logs, dodging tree limbs, etc. Bill Braskamp was overheard saying that the scenery was so beautiful that it left him speechless (an unusual condition for Bill). I totally enjoyed myself and learned what to do differently the next time I horse camp. A huge thank you to Bill and Sharon Braskamp and Gary and Deb Ledford for feeding me all weekend and generally taking care of me. Also thank you to Steve and Carolyn Pferdeort for arranging a great place to ride. Unfortunately Steve got sick Saturday night and couldn’t ride on Sunday. ~ Write-up by Linda Dahl​


​October 7, 2017




Dan's first attempt at a Go-Pro movie (Letha gave me this camera for a Christmas present the year before last; I finally got around to starting to figure it out and decided to try and use it on a ride).  I'm riding my moving horse most of the time, so there is some movement, but not too bad actually.  This might be the next best thing to being there and give you a better perception of the ride(s), which were really awesome!  Thank you Steve and Carolyn!!


Webmaster note: The video of this ride was the first time a Go Pro video was made of one of our rides.  Lessons were learned and improvements planned for the videos; music has been suggested.  If you liked this enhanced feature of a ride report, let us know; talk to a Board member or contact the Webmaster and give us input.  As an update; several movies were made and posted of 2017's Tierra Bella Ride; check them out by clicking on the Tierra Bella tab under Ride Reports on the Nav bar.