WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #45
I arrived at noon this Friday of the middle of September. It
was still summer weather, warm and sunny, with a lovely smell of
pine trees in the air. On going to the main barn and saying hello
to John, Sandi and Rachelle, I found out there was a 1 pm ride, a
lady and a Grandfather and his grand-daughter. I got busy with
Goldie, in barn "B" - brushing her down, combing out her tail and
mane, and today it was time to rub her hoofs, sole and frog of
the foot, with the "forever been around" Absorbine foot cream, a
dark brown color and the consistency of vaseline.
On went her saddle and bridal (after of course she had her
special mash, which after 5 days she devoured with relish), and
off I rode to barn "A."
All three person had arrived. The lady, I seemed to know the
face, but could not remember from where. We were all up, the
little girl was riding a palomino pony. She was excited,
and followed me with a big smile on her face. Away we started.
"Is this your first time out here?" turning around and
talking to the little girl.
"Yes, it is, and this is the first time I've guided my pony
all by myself."
"Do you like that?" asked the grandfather.
"I sure do, this is fun, and this pony is so good and so nice,"
answered the girl.
A little later on as we rode, I found out it was the little
girl's birthday, today, Friday.
"Wow, that is neat, that it is your birthday today," I told
her, "and last Friday it was my birthday."
"Yes, and I'm having a birthday party tomorrow."
"Are you having friends over," I inquired.
"Indeed, about 10 of them."
"You should have a fine time with that many coming over," I
assured her. How old are you today?
"I'm 9 years old," was her reply to me.
I took the three of them down through the north valley. We
were talking about this and that. The grandfather asked every so
often if his grand-daughter (Jen was her name - probably short
for Jennifer) was enjoying. She would smile and with a happy
voice say she was having a wonderful time.
"I'd like to take this pony home with me," she once told us.
"Well, I don't think it would fit in your bedroom that
easy," I told her.
She sighed and said, "Now that is very true."
As we were about half way on the trail ride, I asked the
lady at the back what her name was.
"I'm Barbara," she called out, "Keith, you took a friend of
mine and myself on a private guided trail ride three years ago."
"Oh, that is why I knew I had seen your face somewhere, but
could not remember."
I talked about our "membership" plan we have at the Ranch.
The only difference from three years ago is that the insurance
company now demands members do not ride alone, there must be
another person, either another member, or a staff person. It is
naturally for safety reasons.
Barbara and the Grandfather, being one behind the other,
talked between themselves on various topics.
I've mentioned before, this trail is one of my favorites as
it has a little of everything in an hour long ride, open valley,
up and down a few hills, riding through the tree line; a nice
ride that I never get tired of. It is the first part and ending
part of the two hour trail ride that goes out to the "race track"
as I call it, where I like to open up Goldie. It has been a
number of weeks now, since I took Goldie there. Maybe in the next
week or so I'll get the chance to do it with her, before I head
for Branson, in the USA, to observe the Feast of Tabernacles, and
have a visit (or two) in the Roy Rogers Museum. I'm looking
forward to the whole 10 days I'll spend down there, and I'll
certainly have more than one visit in the Roy Rogers Museum. I'll
probably never visit Branson again in my lifetime, so a few
visits at least to that Museum is a must, while I'm there.
The hour was soon up, and we were back at the main barn.
While we had been away, another 3 pm ride of 8 persons (two
children) had booked. There was about 1/2 an hour to spare, so I
did a little teaching of the tricks I'm trying to get Goldie to
learn. I also walked her backwards about 60 feet this time. She
is now doing a very nice slow and smooth walk backwards. And I
did a side step with her, which she is also now (that I've had
time over the summer) doing very neatly and with ease.
Marilyn, the friend of Betty, came down into the barn, while
I was working Goldie backwards.
"Keith, what is your email address," she shouted out to me.
"It's email@example.com," I answered her.
"I will send you the photo," she shouted back.
At first I did not remember what photo she was talking
about, then it popped into my mind, yes, the photo last Friday,
on my birthday, where the girls were kissing me on the cheek.
"It is real cute," Marilyn once again shouting out to me.
"Well, thank you very much," I responded.
The 3 pm ride were ready, the staff had put them up on their
horses and ponies and away we went. I took this ride to the west
and the Indian Reservation. Rachelle came along as outrider and
gate opener and closer. The little ponies were behind me and the
children did real well all the way around. Rachelle talked to the
adults and answered their questions.
All went smoothly and once more before you knew it we were
back at barn "A."
Just before arriving back, I noticed Betty's quad not very
far from the barn on the roadway. Calling out to Rachelle I said,
"What happened to the quad Rachelle? Did you run out of gas?"
"Yes, I guess so. Sandi and I were going out to mend some
fences, and that is as far as we got, it gave out."
"Well, I'll put some gas in for you. I'll get some and bring
it out on Sunday."
"Thanks Keith that would be great."
I unsaddled Goldie, put her out with her friends in the back
corral, ready to be sent out on the range. I took my red plastic
gas can from the my old truck. I was saying goodbye to Tom who
had come to take over from Bob (who had gone off to a wedding
reception for the evening), and I casually said I'd get some gas
for the quad.
"Oh Keith, just go get some from the tank, up at my house.
You'll see one side marked as Diesel, the other one is the
"Great Tom, I'll do that, thanks."
I was soon down putting gas in the quad. It did not take
very much and it was full. I thought perhaps the problem was not
running out of gas after all. I thought for a moment, ah, maybe
the choke needed to be pulled out for a while, and the girls did
not do that.
It started fine and I drove it back to the main barn. I could not
tell the girls about the choke as they were out with private
guided lessons. I'll see them on Sunday. They will not get a
chance to mend fences now until after the week-end.
I was away and heading home at 5 pm. It is the Feast of
Trumpets this Sabbath, a double Sabbath, or "high" Sabbath as it
is sometimes called when a "Feast Sabbath" falls on the weekly
It will be a wonderful day, this Sabbath, and God willing,
I'll be back at the Ranch on Sunday.
To be continued