WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #70
It was a reasonably pleasant day Friday the 7th of May. I
arrived at the Ranch and walked into the main barn to see 7
ponies already tacked up. Bob, Sandi, and Bob's girlfriend
Moreen, were standing nearby.
"Hi to you all," said to them. And they greeted me with a
warm "good day Keith."
"I see you must have some children coming today, as you have
those ponies tacked up."
"Well, yes and no, Bob," replied, "we have them tacked up
because we are riding them."
"You bought them from dan I was told."
"Yes," Moreen answered.
"So, they need to be ridden? I would think anything coming
from Dan would be ready to go."
"He only used then as lead-around ponies, not trail riding
ponies," Bob informed me.
"Okay, now I see why you have to ride them."
"But Keith, we are having 5 girls and two adults coming at
2 p.m., for a trail ride," said Sandi.
"Well, I'll get Goldie ready, and lead out," I replied.
And so with that I started by routine with my horse. As she
was eating her mash I came back to barn "A" to see more helpers,
ready to all ride out the ponies. And so they did.
Goldie was all tacked up and I had brought her over to her
box-stall in the main barn. Everyone came back from their pony
ride except Bob. After 20 minutes or so had gone by, everyone
was wondering where bob had got to.
"Did you not all stick together," I asked.
"At first we did, but then Bob left us and went another
route," said Moreen.
The 2 pm riders had arrived. They booked in - did the paper
work - the two adults did. I said to the girls, "Well this must
be a birthday party, right."
"Yes it is," they all said at about the same time. And I
asked who was having the birthday. And of course one of the girls
put up her hand and told me it was her birthday party.
Three of the girls were riders, were taking regular riding
We were on our way, in the snow and mud, but all happy and
having great fun as they chatted away. Half way around I told the
girls about the summer camp, which they do not know about. I told
them what we did for 5 days - Monday to Friday, and they all
seemed very interested and the three who were horse riders,
thought they would love to come to the camp. Later I told the two
adult ladies to go to Betty's website and learn all about the summer
Naturally the three girls who rode horses wanted to trot,
and now and gain they would ask me if they could.
"Well girls, when we get down into the valley on the
straightaway I'll see what the conditions are like, and maybe,
Then about every 100 yards they would ask if we were in the
We did finally get there, into the valley, and the conditions seemed
not too bad.
"Now, for the two girls who have not being having riding
lessons," I started to explain, and went on, "I want you to take
the reins in one hand, the hand you do NOT write with, and the
strong hand, the one you do write with, on the saddle horn. The
trot is going to bounce, and I did not want anyone falling off
We arrived at a nice safe part of the trail, "Are you ready,
strong hand on the saddle horn ... and 'trot'"
As soon as Goldie heard the word "trot" she was trotting -
I've voice trained her. All the other ponies just immediately
followed Goldie, and away we were .... oh the laughs and happy
voices behind me, as I looked around, the girls were having great
I did two more trotting times with them, and then I had to
explain that on the last half mile to the barn we only did a
walk, so the ponies and horses would never get into the habit of
wanting to run back to the barn. I explained how horses love to
go home, and they would all run back if allowed.
Everyone was back after an enjoyable ride, smiles and
Arriving back, Paul was in the barn, he was busy giving a
riding lesson to two young adults. We exchanged greetings, and he
and they were off out on the trail.
I remembered it was the day that Steve from the USA was here
to put on his clinic for 4 days. And then the question in my mind
as to why there were names on the box-stalls (where I put Goldie
when in the main barn) was answered. People would be bringing in
their horses to stay at the Ranch as they participated in the
Bob was back, not saying too much. Then I overheard Moreen
saying, "How's your back honey?"
"What happened Bob?" I inquired.
"Oh that pony I was on dumped me twice on the trail, and the
second time I hit a tree."
What happened was the pony literally bucked and the saddle
went over its head with Bob following. The second time it was
down hill and Bob went over the pony's head into a tree.
It is amazing how a horse or pony can buck off the saddle
and cinch right over its neck, head, and feet, and not get
tangled up. I had it happen to me way back, when I was about 20
years old at the Ranch in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I would have
never believes it possible, if it had not happened to me. An "ex"
rodeo pony did that very thing on me - bucked the saddle and
cinch right off its head and feet, as clean as a whistle as they
say; I was standing there with a saddle under at my feet, cinch
still done up, and the pony (about 14 hands) was going in the
opposite direction to where I was facing. He did it so fast, it
was all over before I knew it.
I was fortunate that there was no anything around for me to
get thrown into. I just stood there amazed at what had just
happened. Bob was not so lucky. It would be hot baths for a
number of days for him to heal his bruised back.
One lady and her horse (with her Dad) did get to the Ranch
before I left and I helped them settle the horse into its box-
stall. I inquired from them about the horse. It was a mare, 3
years old, a Pinto or Paint, and had no training, except of
course it was very rideable. So they thought the clinic with
Steve would be a good place to start. I told them it sure was,
and Steve knew his stuff, and they would find the clinic super
I've heard from Betty, and indeed they had a very fine
clinic, and everyone was pleased.
Said my goodbye to my horse, to the staff, and I was
To be continued