WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #34
Finally we have the kind of weather Alberta should have had in July
and August - very warm and sunny, blue, very light blue cloudless skies.
I do not start teaching the guitar/banjo/mandolin until next Monday,
August 31, then I'm back into the regular routine once more for 10 month, until the end of June 2010.
Thursday: headed for the Ranch for a few days, still some
upset about that pony dying, but having to realize it was out of
my hands per se, and I'm praying that the owners and Tom (their son)
learnt one big lesson, and that they will never do that again to any
horse they introduce to the Ranch. I'm sad when I think of that
poor pony, not asking to be sold, not asking to leave its home,
not asking to be brought to the this Ranch, not asking to be
put in a box stall for three days with only a small flake of hay;
certainly not asking to be emotionally stressed out. My oh my
what a sad ending to its life; I can only pray (literally) that
the family here are having some sleepless night thinking about
their mistake, and promising themselves they will never make that
mistake again. The Lord in His love gave us animals to enjoy,
some to bond with and work with mankind, some for the present
age, just to see, watch, and enjoy from a distance. In the age to
come all animals with be the friend of mankind, the lion and the
lamb together, a little child playing with them, the time when
the lion shall eat straw like the ox. Even today we have a
wonderful blessing having the animals we can bond with and work
with. A few days ago I was telling someone how mighty strong a
horse is. I was telling them about that roping saddle I've made
into a silver saddle and how, with the fancy saddle blanket (like
the ones Gene Autry and Roy Rogers used on their horses in the
movies), it must weigh 50 pounds. How I'm 170 pounds, and so with
a total of 220 pounds at least, Goldie can still fly like the
wind when I open her up. The strength of a horse, quite amazing
really. What a wonderful gift the horse has been to mankind over
the millenniums, and they still are a great gift to us.
The 1 pm ride at the Ranch was an 18 people trail ride. The
boys this week have a special deal; you ride half price if you
bring along some non-perishable food items for the needy and
poor. The idea has worked very well, and they have been having a
Before leading in the 4 pm ride I put Goldie through some
paces, namely long walking backwards, where she arches her neck
and looks very graceful walking backwards; we did the side
stepping. Some quick turns to the right and left; worked some on
teaching to bow and high-stepping. It will be slow progress on
the latter as I'm not able to practice with her 6 days a week.
The 4 pm ride included a young lady from my homeland -
Wales, my birth country (though my parents left when I was 5
years old for Yorkshire, England, where I was educated and raised
till 18 years old, then left for Western Canada). The young lady
and I talked about Wales and the Welsh people. She told me Wales
was still very much a farming country, and how the Welsh language
was being preserved. Most do not know the Welsh are Hebrew/Judah
in origin, coming in the main from Brutus the Trojan, and the
Trojans were from the house of Judah. Brutus and his people
settled the British Isles about 1100 B.C. The Welsh language is
akin to old Hebrew, there are no vowels, a "y" is used; the
language is unpronounceable as is Hebrew. You must learn Welsh
"orally" - being passed down from generation to generation. When
you go to Wales you can buy things like a tea-towel with the
words "Welsh - the Oldest Living Language in Europe." Yes, not
Britain, but Europe! I told the young lady how my Dad was always
known as "Taffy" - Welsh men are called "Taffy" - from the river
Taff in Wales. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table,
were Celtic-Welsh, who fought the Anglo-Saxons, and kept them at
bay until Arthur died, but then it was the will of God that the
Ephraim/Mannessah tribe of Israel was to form the great English
Empire, and so they did.
Wales is known as the "land of song" - all Welshmen sing. It
is not famous as is the Irish music, because the Welsh still sing
in the Welsh language in the main, but it is Wales that is known
as "the land of song" NOT Ireland!
The young lady's name was "Sammyjoe" - she told me she was
named after "Sammyjoe" the police woman on the TV series of
"Dynasty." I never watched even one episode of Dynasty, so had no
idea of anyone called "Sammyjoe."
In the evening I did some trotting/cantering figure eights
with Goldie. It was the first time this year to do them and
Goldie took a few minutes to remember what to do, but it all soon
came back to her. Then I rode over to the tire arena where my
jumps as set up. Goldie knocked down one rail the first time
around. She was uneasy about it all, then I figured the problem,
she wanted me to give her more speed, so I did. With the speed
she desired we then did two clear rounds. I'll never do any
serious jumping with her, will never enter any show-jumping
events, we just do it for the fun of it, so she wants to go
faster than a show-jumping horse goes, okay with me, it's for the
fun of it only, I know she would really like to be on the race
I helped unsaddle and turn out the last ride (a member ride)
at 8:30 pm. It had been a long day for Sandi (the young 22 year
old lady the boys have hired for a while) as she had been working
since 7:30 in the morning. The boys had already called it a day,
and it was Sandi and I who finished up.
I went to the staff kitchen in barn "B" - put my feet up and
watched "High School Musical - the Concert" produced in 2007.
Indeed a high energy song and dance concert, in front of 15
thousand fans. Good to see grade 1 to 12 and Moms and Dads in the
audience. Good to see kids and parents enjoying up-beat music
(with a few slow love songs here and there) that is NOT heavy-
metal screaming and over-amplification of instruments. Blows to
bits the heavy-metal bands. I do enjoy all the "High School
Musical" movies #1 #2 and #3. I must buy them all someday.
Then I watched the movie "Thicker Than Water" - a Hallmark
presentation. It is a nice horse based movie, with two of my
favorite gals staring - Melissa Gilbert and Lindsay Wagner.
Probably hard to find (I found it at WalMart) unless you go to
the Hallmark website.
Friday: lovely warm sunny day. The last day for the
"special" - ride for half price if you bring a non-perishable
food for the needy. The 1 pm ride was two children and four
adults. I led out and did the half Ranch/half Indian Reservation
trail. Before the 4 pm ride I worked Goldie on her tricks and
side-stepping/long walk backing routine. Ah, if I could only work
with her 6 days a week, but not near ready to retire yet from my
music teaching, my students depend on me to be there for them.
Well the one trick Goldie has down pat is the "nose pushing" -
opening and closing gates and the box stall door, she sure loves
doing that, and people get quite the kick out of seeing her do
The 4 pm ride was 6 adults. Some had ridden a little, one
man ... well new for him, and one lady it had been 3 or 4 years
since she'd been on a horse, but she turned out to be an old "dressage"
rider and teacher. We talked about how "dressage" has moved into
some pretty fancy routines in the last 20 years or so, like a
circus horse might do in entertaining the crowd. We did some
trotting going out and coming back. On the trotting out one horse
stumbled and fell on both front knees. I had told the riders to hold
the saddle horn when trotting as most were not that experienced in
riding. I'm sure glad I did, the young lady hung on to that horn and
probably doing so prevented her from going over the horse's head
onto the dirt on the trail. That horse has been on the Ranch for many
years and it's the first time I've seen him stumble, but then any horse can stumble at any given time, especially on open range, mountain trails.
A good seat in the saddle with good western positioned legs is so
important in "out in the wild" trail riding. Open trail riding is not like
riding in a flat smooth arena. Trails are up and down, a dip here
and a dip there, a stone here and a stone there. Some of the
trails on this Ranch have just about everything you can encounter
in open trail riding.
Back at the Ranch, it was 5:30 pm. Sent Goldie out on the
range. Packed my bag and headed home. I did stop at the car wash
and hosed down one of three of Goldie's saddle blankets, with the
pressure hose. I have three blankets like the one used by Roy and
Gene in their movies.
Will have a nice Sabbath and then head out for what is going
to be a busy day at the Ranch on Sunday, as many parents and
children are booked in for the 1 and 4 pm rides, so many that
those time of day rides are full, the boys cannot fit any more in
for those rides, so they are telling me.
To be continued