WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #62
It was November 29th that I had been to the Ranch last. The
weather had come in from the arctic and was -30 or so. It had
been just one horrible snowy cold few weeks, seemed much longer,
but it was now December 18th, Friday, and a few plus degrees,
instead of minus. It was time for me to head to the Ranch and see
how Goldie was doing.
I arrived about 1 pm and the horses were in the corral at
the back of the main barn, so I knew something was going on for
I got Goldie's halter and walked out. She saw me right away.
I walked over to her rubbing her neck and face. "Well how are you
girl? It's been a while I know, just been terrible weather." I
then started to look her over as I always do, to check that she's
not injured or cut.
Looking up under her back legs: "Oh Goldie, what have you
done girl. What barbed wire or something have you tangled with!!"
Up in what we would call the "groin" area, up by her teats
on her back left leg, was raw frozen pieces of flesh. It could
well have been some barbed wire she had gotten herself into,
maybe some that was in a snow drift. She is not the kind of horse
to go too close to a barbed wire fence. Well whatever had caught
her under the top of her left leg ... my heart was pounding. It
had probably been good that the temperature had been so low, the
cold had helped to stop the bleeding and frozen the skin and open
I always pray that the Lord will set some angels over her.
You never know what can happen when horses live out on the range.
Betty had already had one get caught in barbed wire. Paul had found
Kasper recently injured in barbed wire. Now it was my horse Goldie,
"Come on in girl, I have your special mash to give you, and
I'll have a closer look at your injury."
She was indeed happy to have her feed and was walking okay,
no limping; walked just fine.
I had remembered Betty said I could put Goldie on the leased
land that was very close to me, and where she had 5 of her
older horses. I needed to have Goldie closer to me now, until
Spring time. I called Betty on her cell-phone.
"Hi Betty ... Keith here. Can I still put Goldie on the
least land. Somehow she has cut herself up under her top left
leg. I need to get her off the range out here."
Yes, of course," she replied, "I'm in town and with my
truck and trailer going to do something, which has now been
cancelled. So why do I not come out, I've got Dave with me, and
let's get Goldie , out on that land near where you live."
"Oh that would be swell," I answered with some relief in my
"Fine, then I'll be there in about 45 minutes."
Bob was working in the barn today. Sandi was there also. I
told them what had happened to Goldie, and asked Bob if
Applejack could go with Goldie on the leased land near me. "I'm
not sure Keith, he's one of our most quiet reliable horses for
novices, and we may need him before March."
"Yes, your right Bob, he is super good for a novice rider.
Betty had mentioned that her pony Terry could go with Goldie,
they had buddied up a few summers ago. I'll do that, I'll ask if
Terry can come with Goldie."
Terry is a little pony that has been around on the Ranch for
a number of years. I think Betty bought him from the Ranch a few
years back, but not really sure if that was so. It was about 4 years
ago, when Dan was in charge, that one day little Terry came in from
the range with his left eye pushed to one side. He must have caught
it with a tree branch or whatever. I was at the Ranch that day when
Terry came in with the herd. There was no way of putting the eye right,
so the vet had to take it out. Little Terry now has only his right eye. He's
such a great little pony, Betty uses him for the summer class of
"Pony Power" kids, they are 6 and 7 year old children, and Terry
is such a sweet reliable calm easy pony, ideal for 6 and 7 year
Before Betty arrived Bob was giving a work-out to Feather
and Moose (Moose is the huge 17 hands part shire horse - very
sweet nature - a big suck as we say) in harness. Bob and Tom had
trained them to harness this last year. They are both brown and
white, pinto/paint, so they look good together in harness. Both
horses know me well.
"Hey Keith, come along with Sandi and I, I'll let you drive
the guys," Bob shouted to me.
"Yes, I will indeed, that would be fun." And so we set off.
It had been some time since driving horses for me. Bob was
opening the range gate, and said, "How long is it since you drove
a team Keith?"
"Bob, I don't like to think about it, for then I'm reminded
how old I am. But like riding a bicycle, you never forget, it
comes back to you."
It was enjoyable to drive a team once more. If the weather
holds good the boys should have a number of wagon rides in the
next two weeks. Last year they lost a fair bit of money at this
time of the year, as the -30 weather was during the last two
weeks of December, and all the wagon rides had to be cancelled.
Betty and Dave (who works for her quite a lot) was there
when we got back with Feather and Moose and the wagon.
"Keith, we have some special spray for such injuries as
Goldie has. I think we may have a can of it here," Betty told me.
And indeed she found it in the first aid box (it's there for
the summer camp time).
"We'll head for my place, pick up Terry, and I have some
other special liquid we'll put on Goldie's cuts," Betty suggested
And that is what we did. I was pleasantly surprised that
Goldie let me sponge on this ointment in water. She stood nice
and still in the trailer and let me sponge her torn flesh,
without any fuss or kicking her leg up. I think she knew I was
trying to help her.
We loaded up little Terry, who was happy to see Goldie once
more, and headed out for the leased range. I had been out there
with Betty before, as she wanted to introduce me to the owners,
who live right there, very nice people indeed, about middle age,
but retired. They both had had very good jobs over the years and
were able to retire early.
As we moved Goldie and Terry into the pasture, the other
horses of course came running up from the bottom of the hill, to
see us and get a treat or two. Goldie and Terry settled down
right away to eating, and Terry stayed near Goldie as he had done
before. We all talked for a while, about what we were doing over
the December holidays. Betty is off to Ontario to visit a brother
and other family members. I'm off to visit my Dad on the 25th to
the 31st, out in Kelowna, B.C. The couple who own the property,
are off to Vancouver, B.C. but not till the end of December. Dave
.... he's looking after Betty's place and horses while she's
Everything looked fine, Goldie and Terry were settled. It
was the end of a day that horse persons never like to see, when a
horse is found injured. But I praise the Lord that it was not a
whole lot worse. Time, a little anti-septic spray now and again,
and things will heal. I'm so thankful, as Betty knows, that
Goldie is close to me until March. I will go out to see her and
the others every second day. I'll give them all a little sweet-
feed; they will enjoy me showing up I'm sure.
To be continued