WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #84
CHILDREN'S CAMP 2010
Nearly 60 children in the camp this week. When I saw the
children in the pony group (13 of them), they seemed small, not
very tall, but being all about the same height, it gave that
illusion, of a small in stature group.
After the first day, I was surprised how they had caught on
and how much we had covered.
Tuesday I put Goldie in her trailer at 10 am with her special
mash, and did not take her out till noon.
The kids did pretty well on the trail ride considering it was
only the second day. We sang 3 of those "repeat after me" songs. This
group hit it off right away and sang loud and strong.
After camp I worked more on one of Betty's horses - a mare -
Palomino - about 8 years old. Going slow - never been broke, but
friendly. Got the saddle blanket and saddle up on her - but did not
cinch up, will so in a few days.
FRIDAY: Was rain - no usual Friday program. I did do the noon
"Sons of the Pioneers" show. We had the usual "parade" and then the
parents were invited to barn "B" and the pony group did their "pony
dance" routine. The parents and children had visiting time with the
horses and ponies.
The day and camp 7 was over.
SUNDAY: It was sunny - one of the rare sunny days this summer. I
arrived at the Ranch about 2 pm. Put Goldie in her trailer with
her feed. Then saddled her up and hit the trail for about an hour -
trotting - then lope - then walk - and repeating. I spent the rest
of the afternoon cleaning out the horse trailer, and then put my
feet up for the evening.
It was, according to the weather man, to be a warm sunny week,
and about time. The camp was a full once again - 60 children.
Tuesday, the sun went in and the fog and drizzle rain was in
for the whole day.
Wednesday was a good fine dry sunny day. Thursday...well the smoke
from the forest fires in B.C. to our west, came upon us - it was a low
haze mist, but all the camp groups did well cinsidering the misty fog.
Kate was away this day with a meeting of the "school bus drivers" - to
start getting ready for the school term opening. Kate drives a school
bus from September to June.
I took the pony kids through their pony dance drill for Friday's
show. They had trouble turning, so I told them to use the English
"tight reign" on the ponies for turning, and then they did much better.
We had our usual long Thursday trail ride with lots of trotting -
they loved that.
FRIDAY: The great B.C. fire smoke was hanging low and it was cold for
August 20. During my noon show the sun came out through the haze. The
afternoon outdoors show went smoothly and the audience of adults was
enthusiastic. The "family ride" went well with more pony children in
the group than the other 7 previous camps.
At the end of the 8th camp we always have our "staff party" and
this year we did some fun games on horseback, like a team relay of an
egg in a spoon; the team to do it the fastest, without of course dropping
the egg, wins. We had some really good fun horseback games and all had
a super time.
Betty gave us a great evening meal at the Ranch Lodge - home made
everything.....very nice indeed. And of course all the young teenage
staff had fun and laughs among themselves - a very fine group of teens
this year, all working together as needed, no complaining about what
jobs they were assigned to do on any day or week of the camps.
Although it was the rainiest summer in decades, all went well for
the "Summer Camp." And with this I'm ending the diary of wrangling on the range.
It has been a whole year - the end of the 2011 summer camp.
It was Sunday September 4th 2011. The owner's wife came
into the upper barn (barn "B") and was very upset and said she was
offended by my "Diary of Wranging on the Range" and I should start
to pack my things and move off their Ranch.
I told her I was sorry if anything offender her, and I certainly did not
plan to offend anyone. She said I should take the whole "diary" off the Internet.
A little later Tim (Bob's brother) came and said he'd like a word with
me, I told him I knew what it was about and would start to pack
my things and leave, but no I would not be taking down one word
from the "diary." He shook my hand, thanked me for all the help
I'd given them, but it was out of his hands and the owners the Ranch
.... well they wanted me off.
One thing my conscious is clear of, in the 8 years with the Ranch,
I've never said one negative word about the Ranch or the family
of owners, to any person coming to trail ride, just the opposite in
fact, I've encouraged them to come back and ride again. Yes I've
heard what Dan had to say from his perspective working for the
owners for 17 years before taking over the trail riding side when
the present owner retired. I've heard the negative side of this and
that from Dan at times, and he did not speak about it that often.
He was now in charge and he would move on as they say. I've worked
with Dan and seen how he changed many things, some things I
personally think for the better. Dan was by no means perfect but as
a horseman and running a clean horse barn, I cannot fault him,
and the horses always looked super well after any winter, bad or
good for snow and cold.
It has been no secret to Bob that I liked the way some physical
things were done by Dan over the way the owners did things,
when they ran the barn.
But I accepted, if maybe reluctantly at heart, some of the physical
ways as to how some physical things of the barn were going back
to the old way when run by the owner family in the years before
Dan ran it and took over the trail riding side of the Ranch.
I certainly never expressed my views to the public, in any way
whatsoever. My talk to the public was always and ever in the
positive, with encouragement to come back again; good horses
and nice trails. My talk to the public was heard many times by
the barn staff, the outriders, and by Bob and Tim. I worked hard
at trying to make the Ranch of trail-riding a good positive
experience for the public and the members, working in all
physical aspects, mucking out and keeping the barn clean and
neat as best I could, when I could.
Everyone will have different opinions on many things, and neither
opinion will be right or wrong, it is a matter of what you like
or what you want to do, with no right nor wrong. I have given
my opinion at the Ranch when asked by those in charge; they
asked for my opinion and I gave my honoest answer.
Then there is most definately on some issues where there is a
right and wrong way of doing things. The right way has stood
the test of time and safety to persons and horses. Hence in this
Diary I have been open in giving what is the correct and right
ways of doing things with horses. Those right ways have come
from experience since I was 16 and gathered by hands on
practicality, seeing the wrong and right ways in literal action.
I do not speak just from mere "book work" at some horse
school or college.
It is sad, but people far too often, get stuck in a rut, have no
vision, cannot see how they could improve things. They cannot
look in the mirror of life and continue to learn, be corrected,
grow in ways that would improve themselves and their business.
Hence they tend to get very defencive and offended when shown
their faults or the wrong ways they may have, that have become
such a habit they cannot see them for what they are - wrong
ways in doing things, that are wrong as opposed by the only
way that is correct and right.
I trust that readers of this "diary" will not be stuck in a rut.
Nothing here written was written to offend anyone, yet when
any book is written on just about any subject (past Presidents
and Prime Ministers writing their memoirs where names are
named, events given etc.) will and does often cause offense
to someone in the light of the memoir written. Such is part of
this life with people, places, events and jobs.
I've said it before and will say it again to you "cowboy" western
Unless you are a FIVE STAR riding ranch, the regular cowboy
riding ranch is looked upon by the rest of the horse world as
the scum at the bottom of the barrel. It is because such western
riding stables have been run by not so nice a people, and have
been dirty, smelly places, where the public is walking among
horse poop, or seeing it all around them. So to you "western"
riding stables I say you need to brake that image. Make sure
your horses look good and healthy, have a clean barn, have
friendly expert staff. I still maintain Dan did the right thing.
He brought in 8 inches of wood-chips for the barn floor.
It was a fresh clean smell. The horse urine was no problem.
Dan and his staff picked up the horse poop every hour.
And such a barn floor lasted a whole year. Now for me that
is the way to do it. And some people need to change
their mind-set and "get with it" as they say. Old ways of
doing things are not automatically the best way.
WHERE MY HORSE AND I ARE GOING NEXT MAY (2012 -
after the winter pasture) is a wonderful boarding stable,
as clean as fresh washed dishes, a heated inside barn,
a show jumping corral, nice trails, a cross country course,
a small town that people ride their horses into at times.
I have a wonderful and beautiful horse and she deserves the
very best. So getting thrown off this Ranch is really a blessing.
I served this Ranch well, but the Lord has said it is time to
move on to better things.
Again it is my hope that people can read this "diary" without
offense and move on in life. Truth is not always easy to take,
depends on your attitude, but if taken correctly, it will be as
Jesus said to us, "The truth shall make you free."
To be continued with other educational horse articles.