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Wrangling on the Range #28

Third week of summer Camp

                        WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #28

     It was an overall good week at the Ranch with the kids
summer camp number 3. After Tuesday the weather was sunny and

     Monday, it rained most of the day, but for Kate and myself
teaching the "pony" group we are inside anyway for the first day.
We had 13 children in the pony group this week. Monday went very
well and our usual teaching from leading to sitting in the saddle
and rein holding, all went nice and smooth, the kids did well.

     Tuesday, the photo taking had to be stopped because of rain.
Betty had to re-schedule it for Wednesday. The afternoon was no
rain so we took the pony group for a trail ride.
     In the evening I had arranged for Rick the veterinarian to
come out and "float" Goldie's teeth. I had not seem him for two
years. He arrived right on time at 3:30 pm. We exchanged friendly
greetings. He did not bring his assistant this time. One of the
ladies in the main barn was there to observe this procedure of
"floating" a horse's teeth. Horses eat in a circular manner, the
top jaw is large than the bottom jaw. Over time a horse can
develop sharp edges on teeth. Rick was pleased that Goldie looked
so well, and so muscular. 
     "Look at those muscles in her shoulders and legs, very fine
Keith, I can see you take good care of her. Certainly not fat."
     "Well no, she is a race horse type you know," I answered,
"she does love to run fast when I let her."

     Rick gave Goldie a tranquilizer, then he got out his "mouth
staying open" gadget.
     "This contraption was invented about 200 years ago, and we
still use it," he informed Rachelle (the lady from barn "a") and
     He put his hand in Goldie's mouth and felt her teeth, the
upper ones and lower ones.
     "Yes, it's been two years, and she does have some sharp
edges," he told us.
     Rick then got his long armed diamond tipped electric grinder
and began to file Goldie's teeth. He finished the upper ones on
the right side and then asked if Rachelle and I would like to put
our hand in to feel the difference from the side he'd done to the
side he yet had to do on the uppers. Rachelle was first, and when
she felt the side yet to do she said, "Wow, oh yes, those are
sharp," pulling out her hand and looking at it, thinking her
fingers may have been cut. I did the same. What a difference it
was between the floated upper jaw and the one yet to be done.

     Rick worked away, on the left upper jaw, and it was like
sitting in the dentist's chair; of course teeth are the same
material in horses as well as humans. There was a little to do on
the bottom teeth also. Rick checked Goldie's front teeth, the
meeting of them when closed and they were superb. He then took
her jaw and pulled or pushed sideways the bottom and top teeth;
you could hear this neat correct "crunch" as top moved on bottom.
     "Ah, yes that is exactly what I want to hear. Her teeth are
right in line again now," Rick said with satisfaction.
     "Just walk her around Keith for 15 minutes, and she'll be
out of the sedation."
     Before he left he picked up her feet, looked at the angel
and shoeing job by Jhon, whom he knows.  
     "Her feet look great, Keith," he said.
     "Well I do the trimming. I've read the farrier books, but I
let John do the shoeing, as he does it all the time. I do not
want to make the mistake with any of those nails."
     "Her front tendons down to the fetlock are strong and
pronounced," was Rick's final comment.
     We shook hands and he was off back to town, where 
the "Big Hills" veterinary clinic he works at is located.  

     Wednesday was sunny skies. In the morning Kate and I took
the pony group on a good long trail ride, mainly flat trails, so
not hard on the ponies. Returning to barn "b" just before lunch
the kids had time to make their special "cookies" (a piece of
apple dipped in molasses which is then dipped in oats). They were
put in the fridge and after lunch the children gave them to their
pony - two special cookies each. 
     It looked like rain was coming in from the north, but it
went to the east of us. We were able to then go out and start
teaching the pony group their "pony dance" for the Friday
afternoon "parents and friends show."

     There was a 4 pm trail ride of 15 people. All went smoothly
but Goldie had a hard last 1/4 mile walking slowly, but bit by
bit she is getting back into the grove of it all.

     Thursday was sunny all day. We taught the pony kids how to
"post the trot" - some caught on right away, for others it will
take some time and more riding. Then we headed out once more on a
trail ride, with lots of trotting. The afternoon was busy
teaching them the other half of their "pony dance" for Friday.
     At the end of the day I learned one of the groups went into
the woods to play "hide and seek" to Batty's comment of "I do not
like that game." The leaders did not take the hint. Betty tries
not to be the "harsh dictator" (maybe at times she should be).
One girl came off her horse, which spooked the pony young Quin (a
helper to the leaders) was on and off he came. Batty was furious
over it all, but she has to learn to be more "No, you will not do
this!" when she hears of some ideas of some leaders, who do not
have the years of experience that she has.
     Then going to barn "a" I learned of someone coming off just
before I got there, and as they were entering the barn. No idea
what happened. It is good they have lots of ground wood chips for
a floor in that barn.
     Such things will happen at times when you have 58 kids in
the camp. Fortunately there was no serious injuries. 
     We had a trail ride of 20 at 4 pm. I led on Goldie, and she
was now back in the grove of this summer stuff, went just great
all day.

     Friday was in the 80s F with sunny skies. The groups went
down into the outdoor arena to practice their afternoon show, I
got ready for my lunch hour show of Roy Rogers and the Sons of
the Pioneers. I also, about half way through, stop and do some
kids songs, like "She'll be coming round the mountain" - "Mickey
Mouse Club" - "Yellow Submarine."
     Then it was big show time again for the third week. The
groups did well, the staff of leaders all worked as a smooth
oiled machine.
     I am always the "guard" person - on guard with Goldie in
case of a mishap. This week I had Will (a man in his late 50s or
early 60s) on a horse next to me. He knows what my job is in this
show, I've told him and explained Goldie is very fast when it is
needed. But he's never seen her in action. Goldie knows what she
is there for. She stands quiet with head and neck drooping down
as if (and she maybe) having a cat-nap. As some of the children
were finishing a routine and getting back into line, one of the
small horses moved away from another horse in a "turn and buck-up
slightly" spin, and the girl could not hold on. This is the kind
of thing I'm there for, as who knows what will happen next. I'm
still wearing my fancy spurs etc. from the noon show, as I have
no time to change out of my decorative Roy Rogers gear. With a
sight touch of my spurs into the sides of Goldie (I do know how
to use spurs, which is important) she is instantly awake and into
a flying start to run like the wind to the place of trouble.
Nothing else happened as Goldie and I came up to the girl and her
horse, one of the leaders was near by and helped the young girl
to re-mount. There was no injury of any kind. The ground is very
soft dirt in this arena. I rode back to again stand next to Will.
     "She certainly is fast," Will said to me.
     "Yes, she may look like she's sleeping, but a touch of my
heels and she's coming out of the shoot for the hundred yard
dash," I replied.

     The rest of the day went as we like it to go. We had the
"family ride" - Goldie led with a pace she prefers, so some got
to trot to keep up. It was Paul who asked me to take that pace,
as otherwise it was so slow it would have taken us an hour and a
half instead of 45 minutes. Goldie was happy to oblige.

     Another week of camp was over, time to gather my things and
head home for the Sabbath. Camp four is coming up on Monday.


To be continued

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