WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #8
It was an overcast day, but for April, a nice day. Being a
Friday the Ranch was not busy with people coming for a trail
ride. Only one lady and her niece out this afternoon. They had
bought a membership (which I've questioned how they are now
selling memberships) but had never ridden on the Ranch, so did
not know any of the trails. This is far from the way Dan did
business, but Dan has moved on, and I guess some of the old ways
are coming back. It blows me away that you can sell a membership
(which allows people to ride on their own, providing there are
two people riding [and that's because the insurance company
demands it] to people you have no idea how good a rider they are,
and do not know the trails. I will say that Dan ran it as it
should be for the safety of all. Someone wanting a membership had
to first go out with one of his staff to "pass a riding test" [to
make sure they were decent riders] and to get to know some of the
trails. It would seem that both of these terms have been thrown
out the window, now that the owners are in charge again. I fear
that sooner or later, not doing it the way Dan did it, will
eventually lead to a serious accident.
I had Goldie saddled up and was going out about the same
time the two ladies were leaving.
The owner of the Ranch told them, "Go down there, through the gate,
over yonder, and where those horses are, come back that way. That's an hour
ride, go on further and it's an hour and a half ride."
I could tell the ladies really had no idea what he was
telling them. I guess not, they had not ridden on this Ranch
"I'll lead them out, and get them on their way," I said.
He never actually replied with anything like, "That would be nice
Keith, thanks." He is a nice guy, so it could be just his nature,
does not say a lot, but overall is friendly.
Proceeding along, I found out the older lady was British,
been over here for 11 years. Her niece was British and
worked for an Airline, which had given her 4 days stay over.
So they both thought an hours horse-back ride in the foothills of the
Rockies would be nice.
I led them through the two main gates of that particular
trail ride. "Well now if you just follow the trail you'll come to
where the owner was telling you, where those horses are," I instructed
them, adding, "I'll go back and meet you over where those horses
are, so you can now ride on your own."
I did not expect them to find the trail into the range where
the horses were, simply because you have to turn off at the right
spot, which is not marked, and unless you know where to turn,
you'd never find it.
But I figured they will not get lost, but will only end up
doing the one hour and a half trail, as that is usually what
happens, for that distance trail is just keeping on the path you
are on without knowing how to turn into the other range, the one
Al was trying to tell them to take.
I rode back and had Goldie doing a lope or canter now then
again. I arrived at the range and gate where the two ladies would
have come to if they had known the turn off. No sight of them. I
proceeded calling out "Hello" every few seconds. No reply at all.
I thought to myself, well they have either turned back or have
kept going, so they will end up doing the hour and a half trail.
I said to Goldie, "Well girl we'd better turn around, they are
As I came across the range with the horses grazing, and
looked North, sure enough the two ladies were in sight, they had
indeed missed the right turn off and ended up doing the hour and
a half trail.
There was a wire fence they needed to come through, so I
head for it, as wire fences are a pain to take done, cross and
put back up. I waited there for them.
"You did the hour and a half ride," I said when they came up
to me, "but that's okay for unless you know the trail, you would
never know when to turn right to the range the owner was telling you
We headed back to the barn. Tom and Bob were there to greet
them, ask them if they had a nice ride. They said they did, and
it seems indeed they did enjoy themselves.
We turned out the horses and sent them all down on to the
range. Goldie was wondering if she was going to be turned out
with her buddies. I was going to keep her in and do a few
training things with her, but said, "Okay girl, I know you want
to joint the others on the range, so I'll do our training stuff
I told the boys I would be out on Sunday but only till 3 p.m
as I needed to go practice in the "musical" I'm in, coming up
"What musical is that Keith," John asked.
"Oh, the lady [Rita] at the Music School that teaches voice,
well her and her husband put on a musical once a year, and this
time it is a 'spoof'[comedy] on the 'Sound of Music.' When Rita
was telling me about it three months ago, she said, 'Now Ralph
[her husband] would sure like Roy Rogers in the musical.' Ralph
had seem me on TV about 4 years ago doing my Roy Rogers acts.
'Now if Ralph can write me into the show some how, then I'll do a
couple of numbers and spin my ropes, do my Roy Rogers thing,' I
I told the lads it sounded like it would be a fun show, and
this was the first time on Sunday, in the practice, that I would
see it and needed to there at 4 p.m.
I'm doing a couples of numbers, with yodelling, and rope
spinning, in the show - "Rhythm on the Range" and "Dear Hearts
and Gentle People." I also invited some of the young "tap
dancers" in the Dance School [at the Community Center where the
Music School is also located] to join me in parts of each song. I
figured some tap dancing would be fun to have in parts. They were
eager to say yes, and have been practicing. Next Friday afternoon
is the "dress" rehearsal
It was nice driving back home and seeing along the way, all
the new born calves on the cattle ranches that run alongside the
To be continued