WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #35
August 30th and well above average temperature - sunny and
warm. Got out to the Ranch at 11:30 am and was all ready with
Goldie for the 1 pm ride of about 20 persons. Had a nice
conversation with the man behind me, about his work, city life
and the peace and tranquility of the country-side. He's in the
oil and gas business of the hassal and bustle of places like
Calgary and Houston, Texas (where he must go a few times a year),
as well as having to travel to other Canadian towns.
I set up the pylons into two circles in the outdoor arena
for my figure 8 warm-up routine with Goldie; someone since Friday
had put them into lines, I guess to practice weaving between
The 4 pm ride was upon us, and another 20 or so persons on
that trail ride. We had lots of "member" rides during the day, so
it was a very good day of business all told, and we had many
"volunteer" young ladies and one young man, to ride as
"outriders." The young man was Batty's nephew, who was a leader
in the summer camp and will stay with Diane until the end of the
year. I drove him back to Betty's ranch at about 6 pm.
Betty and I had an interesting talk about the crisis with
hay this year, in Alberta. At the start of the summer they had talked
on the news that Alberta, Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba, were
in a desperate draught situation, the worst in many decades. Part of
those areas had been helped by the rains that did come during the
summer, but according to Betty the hay situation was not good for
Alberta. Not only was it hard to find, in the sense that for every farmer's
hay field there were 10 people wanting to buy it. And so with supply and
demand taking its course, hay was way more expensive this year.
In the this area area it was now up to 112 dollars for one large
round bail, as compared to 70 dollars a year before.
I did not know that Betty had about 20 horses as part of the
herb back at the Ranch, besides all the ones on her ranch. Naturally
as she put it, the owners wanted her horses out of there, as they
were eating up the range grass, for the boys horses, and they were now running the trail riding business. Betty told me she had just managed to
find a pasture to rent for her horses, south of here; it had not be grazed
upon for two years, so it is very lush, and will be good for her horses for
about two months. She is still looking here and there for more
pasture land to rent. She was able to find 18 round bails, which
took her all day (with a friend and her nephew) to haul to her
ranch, it took 3 trips to bring them from the farmer's ranch.
It is not a good situation, one of the worst circumstances
Betty has encountered in the 35 years she has been associated
with the Ranch and the summer camp. And of course this
goes for the farmers and ranchers of the southern prairies of
I will email Deb, about an hour north, the lady who sold me Goldie,
and ask her what the hay situation is like up around her way, she lives
in the heart of the haying business.
To be continued