WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #69
It was one of those perfect picture-post-card mornings as I
drove towards the Rockies this May 2nd. Sunny and mild with those
here and there puffy white clouds above, and the snow-capped
Rockies glistening in the sun.
Before going to the Ranch I dropped in on the trade show, where
Betty had a booth, to advertize the "Summer Camp." The Trade Show
was large than ever, with the new additional building they had built
in the last year. Betty and her helper/friend Dave were there, as well as Sheana, who works with us at the camp.
I'd stopped on the way out to visit with Betty's horses (the
home where Goldie had spent the winter) and I told her they were
"How is everything coming along with the camp, getting
people registering," I asked Betty.
"Oh yes, Keith, about 200 already," she replied.
"If you make up some posters, I'll put some in the Community
Center and up in the Music School." I suggested to her.
"I will do that. One of the bus stops is at the Community
Center," she replied.
The children come out to the Camp at the Ranch via two
school buses. One that takes a North route, and the other takes the
South route, but they both end up at the Community Center, ten
minutes from where I live.
I asked Betty if she was getting her staff lined up. She said that
Kate (my helper in the pony group) of course would be back; Jane
also (the 6'2" star University Basketball player); her nephew Michael
would also be back. But Paul (who lives in one of the Ranch's houses)
would not as he wanted to get into more personal horse work as a living.
And many of the others from years before would be back also.
It was time to head out to the Ranch. Betty had emailed me a
few days ago to say how much snow they had received from our
recent snow-storm - a mighty lot indeed, which was needed to
bring the range grasses up to full plump healthy growth. And the
closer I got to the Ranch the more snow there was. It would be a
slow warm up according to the weather people, which is super good
as then the snow melts deep into the ground. When I arrived all
the ranges looked nice and white with snow, and with the rain
they say we are to have Monday evening and Tuesday, it should be
a wonderful start for great Spring grass.
It had been a couple of weeks since I last saw Goldie. She
was in the back corral with the other horses, and lifted her head
up as soon as she heard my voice.
"Well girl you are looking good, yes I know you haven't seen
me for a few weeks, but let's go in, you know what I have for
you." I was really happy to be with her again. And of course
she was happy to receive her special mash.
While she was eating I walked over to barn "B" - said hello
to Bob and his brother Tim, and to Moreen, Bob's girlfriend.
And today there was Loren.
"Good to see you Loren," I said, "How was your first year at
Olds Horse College?" I asked.
"Oh, I've loved it," she answered.
"Are you finished now till September?" I questioned.
"Yes, we have just finished."
"Do you think you will work for Betty's summer camp?"
"Yes, I probably will do so."
Loren was in the process of leaving for a trail ride, so we
said we'd talk another time.
Sandi came into the barn and we talked a little, about Steve
coming up from Washington State next Friday to put on his horse
clinic. It will be the third year the Ranch has brought Steve in.
Last year they had a good registration for his clinic. Sandi is
putting her horse in this year.
"You don't keep your horse at the Ranch," I put as a part
question to Sandi.
"No, my horse is at my parents ranch, south of here. I
was raised on the ranch, and grew up there," was Sandi's reply.
"So you went to High School in that area also then."
"Yes, I lived in that area all my life until I went to
College . So living and working here is kinda like being at home,
only many more horses, and all that happens on this Ranch."
"Yes, I've thought you fit in well here," was my reply to
There was only one 2:30 guided ride, the rest were all member
rides for this afternoon. The guided ride was Mom and Dad
and their two daughters - one 7 year old and one 8 year old. The
Dad was on "Dopey" and the little 7 year old on a pony, tail-tied
I talked to the Dad about the summer camp, that his girls
would probably enjoy. He and they seemed to think they would
It was a trail-ride in the snow and mud, but all had a good
Before leaving Bob showed me on the Internet the real
cowboy hand guns he was hoping to bring in through a company.
Last summer Bob and Tom obtained their "license" for both rifle and
hand guns. You have to study both books on rifles and hand guns,
then take the exam. They said it was pretty easy as it turned out to be
an "open book" exam. Then you have to have a few people as "reference" - whom the authorities do call and talk to; then a background check with
the police. So obtaining your firearm license in Canada is certainly
nothing like just going in and buying guns in the USA.
Looks like real nice chrome cowboy six-shooter guns that
Bob is wanting. I'll look forward to seeing them if they come,
and trying one out on the targets he wants to set up.
It was a nice day in many ways today. Told Bob and the girls that
I'd see them next Friday, weather being good. And with Goldie turned
out with the rest of the herd to the range, I was on my way home.
To be continued