Keith Hunt - Wrangling on the Range - Page Thirty- two   Restitution of All Things

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Wrangling on the Range #32

Camp Seven!

                        WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #32

     Sunday was warm and sunny. Went to the horse show where
Audrie was competing. She was entered in 5 jumping classes. It
was painfully slow in organization, but Audrie on Buck had 5
clear rounds. Now we all had decided Buck should just trot and
jump, as he had not done this competition for 2 years (last time
Audrie was here with us). All the others in those classes
practice probably at least 3 times a week, hence they cantered or
loped. Audrie did not place in the 5 classes but we were pleased
that Buck jumped all the fences and had 5 clear rounds.
     It was 6 pm before we were headed to the Ranch and there
were still about 4 classes left to jump. The last class for
jumping was at a hight of 2' 6" - would have liked to have seen
it, but would have been too late as the organizers were so slow
in doing things. Audrie and I watched "The Horse Whisperer" movie
- a very accurate portrayal of a "traumatized" horse and its
rehabilitation. Robert Redford was the main star in that movie,
certainly every horse lover should have that movie.

     Monday. Summer camp #7 got underway. 63 children in this
camp. 11 in the Pony group and Kate and I were by ourselves this
week to teach and guide and look after them, no other leader was
available for us. The children were not as quick in learning as
the other previous 6 groups, but as the week went on they
improved quite a lot.
     After the camp for the day was over, Audrie and I put the
jumps back in my old truck and took them to the outdoor "tire
arena" and set them up once more. Did some "mucking out" chores
and then rested the rest of the evening watching the horse movie
"Big Spender." A nice tale of an abused race horse who never
"made it" in the race horse world. An "inmate" on a horse rehab
farm connected with the horse and saved its life, and turned it
into a "jumper" - so much so that it ended up in the "big
circuit" jumping world. As Audrie had never seen the movie
"Seabiscuit" we also watched that one. Seabiscuit was definitely
one of the greatest Thoroughbred race horses of all time - a
great movie, but they could have left out some of the profanity,
such language did spoil the movie for a Christian. After seeing
it a number of times I know where the profanity comes and I click
the mute button. 
     Oh yes, our helper leader Jess (not with us this week in the
pony division but had to go help another group) had a serious
mishap but her and the horse were not injured. It is a good
lesson for you young (or old) horse people. She did not tighten
the cinch (girth for you English riders) and mounted up; her ...
whatever she was wearing above her belt line got caught over the
saddle horn, in dismounting to fix the cinch, being caught on the
saddle horn pulled the saddle down and under the horses belly.
The horse went crazy and dashed out of the barn, kicking at the
saddle all the way (about 3 hundred yards) to the pasture. The
saddle was trashed. I've seen it happen a few times over my life
time, fortunately in each case neither the rider or the horse
were injured. Be careful that the cinch or girth is tight enough
and watch what you wear in the way of a jacket or jumper, if too
loose it can get caught over the saddle horn of a western saddle.

     Tuesday. Started inside, teaching the pony group. Then
outside for regular "photo shoot." After lunch went down to the
once-upon a-time "ball diamond" and practiced
turning/reversing/circles. A couple of pony kids had some trouble
this day; the next day they were much improved. After camp, went
with Paul to see if we could find a cell-phone one of his leader
girls lost while they were out with their group on a trail ride.
We could not find it. I asked the leaders of that group, why
they did not call the number and it would ring. They answered
they all had their cell-phones on "vibrate" and not "ring." I
told them that I always kept mine on "ring." Apparently 15 and 16
year old teens (maybe younger as well) are notorious for loosing
     In the evening Audrie and I watched  the movie "A Horse for
Danny." Now "Danny" is short for Daniel. Personally I've always
thought of "Danny" as a boy's name, and if I was named Daniel or
Danelle (however spelt) I would not want to be called "Danny" but 
that's my opinion only.
     It's another very fine race horse movie, a fictional one, but very 
nice,  if you can obtain it, it is worth having.

     Wednesday. Still holding sunny and warm. Audrie left at 10
am to get the Greyhound Bus from back to her home in B.C.
the next Province to the West of us. Nothing unusual this day, we
did work out a few problems the children were having when
practicing the pony dance. After camp went to town for "sweet
feed" and "protein hay cubes" I give to Goldie. I stopped at the
somewhat "famous" - "ice-cream" shop for home made ice-
cream - yummmy, it is good. In the evening at the Ranch I took
out a father/daughter/daughter's girl-friend three-some for an
hour trail ride. The friend had ridden before and asked if we
could trot, but as the father/daughter had not ridden before, I
told her we could not, just could not take the chance that either
one of them (father/daughter) would bounce out of the saddle and
hit the ground.
     In the evening I watched the documentary movie "Diana - the
last months of her life" - very well done it was. The mistakes
made ... well I guess no one knew it would all lead up to her
being killed in that car crash in a Paris tunnel.

     Thursday. Weather turned overcast and cold - like a fall
day. This area has to be the strangest place for weather
"quick changes" in all of North America. All groups went on a
morning trail ride. Kate and I told our children to make sure
they brought gloves with them on Friday, as the weather was to be
again rainy and cold.  In the afternoon we practiced the pony
dance routine, then instructed them in parts of the saddle and
how to unsaddle. Oh yes, as we did not have enough molasses on
Wednesday, we made the special "pony treats" today, after Kate
had bought molasses Wednesday evening.
     Andy, a man who takes mandolin lessons from me, invited me
to an evening meal in town. His wife also came. It was a great meal. 
The three of us had "French Onion Soup" and for the main meal I had 
"Veal and Vegetables." It was a nice couple of hours. 
     The rain had set in - back to drizzle and mist. I went back
to the Ranch and watched "The Man from Snowy River" - one of the
great Australian "westerns" made in 1982. It was horse-flesh and
horse riding as in the Westerns of the 1930s and 1940s, fast and
skilled. Most Westerns made after 1982 have very little, if any,
fast skilled horse riding.

     Friday. Rain and mist, and worst still it was cold with it
all. The children went down to practice in the outdoor arena but
just about froze stiff, so they were back much earlier than
usual. I set up my "stuff" inside the covered picnic area to do
my Roy Rogers/Sons of the Pioneers show. I chose this time to
sing along with Roy in many of his solo songs. As my voice is
very much like his, it is as if the songs are a duet of Roy. I
did the usual "kids songs" I do each week, and finished with "A
Four Legged Friend" - "San Fernando Valley" and "Happy Trials."
The recording of this version of Happy Trails is a long version,
with chorus singing and instrumental interlude music. It is a
version hardly found on any Roy Rogers CD. I cannot remember how
I came to have this version, but it is about a 5 minute version
of this song Roy and Dale made famous.
     We had to drop doing the outdoor arena show as it was
raining and very cold for the middle of August. Some of the crazy
weather we get with this "global warming" age, and the weather
people say it will be often crazy, in patterns not the usual.
     Well we did do the "parade" for parents to take photos of
their children on their horse or pony. We did have extended
"visiting time" at barn "A" and so more photos could be taken of
the children standing with their horse or pony. In one week it is
quite something to see how the children get attached to their
horse or pony, some would like to take them home, and we have to
tell them they just do not make very good "house pets." One
little girl I said this to, replied, "No, they would be messing
all over the place."
   I was walking through the barn helping whomever I could, when 
I walked by Rebbeca (Betty's niece), "That was good singing Keith," 
she commented.
   "Well thank you," I answered. It is nice to get a comment like that
now and again for my Friday noon show. 
     We did not have the "family ride" this Friday, so the day's camp was 
finished early.
     The children got their certificate and framed photos.
Despite the rain and cold, they were all happy, and had enjoyed
their week at the Ranch.

     I turned Goldie out on the range with all her friends. She
had been super good all week. Packed up my gear, food and dirty 
clothes, and headed back to the city to do my washing for the week, 
and grocery shopping for next week, the last week, week eight, 
of the summer camp. My, how the 7 weeks have flown by; hard to 
think we have the last week coming up for this year of 2009. 
I believe they say we are to have nice weather, I sure hope it is, 
for it is very pleasant to finish with a last Friday show in sunshine 
and warmth.


One more week of eight to write about, so stay tuned.

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