WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #19
The phone rang on a lovely warm summer day, Thursday June
4th. "Keith, this is John," I heard. John is the farrier who
was to call me to make arrangements to shoe Goldie all around.
"I'm out that way today Keith, so I'll shoe Goldie. Jane has
her in for me."
"That's fine, whatever is best for you," I replied.
The weather changed drastically overnight, and Friday was
the pits. Way below normal, rain and in some areas even snow. I
had to go out to the Ranch as it was a staff meeting in the early
evening, for the summer camp. New people would be there and some
training would be done.
Betty led the group around the barn (two barns) area where
the horses and ponies would be during the camp. It was as the
Aussie fellows say "a walk about."
Certain things are done a certain way on this Ranch in the
summer camp, and all need to know the basic rules, and why things
are done the way they are. A little teaching was done on
Haltering, Tying up, and Saddling. Some are teens, and must
"volunteer" (no pay) for the first year. They have to have some
experience with horses, but many have not worked with a mass
production of horses and ponies in a camp setting before, so it
can be a different ball game for them. Training is done a few
more times before the camp opens the first week of July.
Jane was there. Jane I've mentioned before has worked in the
summer camp for about the last 10 years, so she is kinda the
right hand person to Betty. Jane is the University basketball
gal, about 6'2" - was raised in a "church school" so is very nice
and level headed as we say.
"Keith," said Jane, "Goldie has got her shoes on."
"Yes John called me and said he would be out to shoe her.
Did it go well?"
Jane did not answer for a second or two, and looked ....
well I knew ...
"Actually John had a great deal of trouble. Goldie did not
want to hold her feet up and wanted to lean on him, just not co-
operative at all. John thought and said it was going to be a
piece of cake to shoe her. He was sure wrong."
"Well I'm some surprised," I answered.
"Yes ... I told John, 'It's because Keith is not here,
that's she's acting up.'"
John got the job done but Jane said he finally had to nose
twitch her. Now she must have been very bad to have to nose
twitch her, but I guess without me there she was going to be as
bad as she could be.
In one sense this should not shock me, she acted this way,
and in another sense I can take some comfort from the fact she
did not want anyone to do anything to her without me being there.
I'm the only one since she was 5 years old (she was 5 when I
bought her) that has looked after her, and I've always been there
when she was shod. I've told you I do all the trimming of her
feet. She's my horse and I've done everything for her. I just did
not realize she and I have become so close that without me
standing there, she was not wanting anyone to mess with her feet,
and it has been John who has shod her the last three times
(but I've been with there, standing at by her face). People get
surprised some with Goldie, she can be very self-willed. Most of
the time she is nice and calm and loves attention, but again I
now have to remember I've always been there by her side or
mounted up on her, when people want to give her attention.
I did think she would behave for John, so I'm taken back
some, by her mis-behavior for him. Then again I could take some
comfort in knowing she does not want anyone to mess with her when
I'm not there. It's like she's saying, "Keith I know, he's my
master and friend, but you ... I really do not want anything to
do with you when my master is not here. How do I know you're not
out to hurt me big time."
So, we are always learning when it comes to horses. Never
take anything for granted is the safe way to go. I'm sure John
was shocked. He sure earned his $100 that day. I'll have to give
him a little more for all his trouble. I guess he and I will know
from now on I have to be with Goldie when he shoes her.
I will not be out at the Ranch this Sunday, as it is my
students Concert Recital in the afternoon at the Community Center
(where the Music School is that I teach for). Actually Michelle
(who is part owner of the Music School) has some of her piano
students also in the concert show. It should be a fine show for
all the parents and friends who come. We have a nice pot-luck
I may go out to the Ranch on Wednesday, the weather they say
is to get back to normal by then. I hope so, it's been pretty
abnormal for the whole year so far.
To be continued