WRANGLING ON THE RANGE #9
I arrived at the Ranch, about noon, and found a good number
of horses already saddle for the day.
"Hi Tom, how are you," I said as Tom walked into the barn.
"I'm good Keith, how are you."
"Oh, just very fine. Looks like you have many people coming
out to ride today."
"Actually no, not at the moment, the phone just has not been
ringing. We got the horses and ponies ready in case it turns out
to be a busy day.
"Well, with the nice sunny weather I would have thought many
would have been calling you to book trail rides."
"We do have a small group of members coming later, as well
as a small group for an hours guided ride. If you would like to
take them that would be great."
"Sure thing, no problem." I replied.
I brought Goldie in, gave her the special mash, brushed her
down with the "shedding tool" as she is now loosing her winter
coat. Soon she will be sleek and deep gold again (goes motley
gold and white over the winter) and look like a million bucks.
I'll soon take the scissors and cut off the long hair at her
fetlocks. I trimmed under her chin and throat the other day when
I was out. I also did the long hair coming out of her ears. You
should never cut the hair out that is in the ear, only the long
hair that sticks out and looks unsightly. The hair inside the ear
is for protection, which any good horse grooming book will tell
Yes, it will be nice to see Goldie once more looking her
gorgeous best, probably about the middle of May.
I did a little more training on the side-step with her, and
then decided I take her on the trail for an hour until the group
arrived at 1 p.m. (the one that I was to guide).
I arrived back at the barn, and Tom said, "Keith, we have
two ladies just arrived and would like to go for a two hour ride,
would you be willing to take them, I'll get someone else to guide
the group coming for an hour."
"Yes, sure thing, no problem," I answered.
The two ladies came into the barn and within a few minutes
Tom and Bob had them mounted up in the saddle on their horses.
The one lady was named Daniel, the other was Tina (said as
Teena), both about in their middle or late 20s.
After I was introduced to them, we all started out. "Are you
both from here," I enquired.
"Well I am now," answered Daniel, "But we are both from Nova
Scotia. I've lived here now for 5 years."
"Is Tina also living now here," I shouted back to
"No, I'm still in Nova Scotia. I work for an Airline
company, as a flight attendant, and I have a 4 day stop-over."
"Tina and I have known each other from childhood," Daniel
said, "and she has her own horse back home."
Tina then spoke up and said, "Well I actually have two horses
and a pony. My one horse is 29 years old."
"Now that is mighty old, the average horse does not get to
see its 30th birthday," I replied, "and how old is your other
horse and pony?"
"My riding horse is about 10 years old, and the pony, not
really sure, we rescued it from the auction ring, and all anyone
knew was it was not that old."
"My 29 year old mare," continued Tina, "has a real attitude,
"I guess at that age some horses get pretty cranky," I
Both ladies laughed, and said, "No, it's not age, she's
always been that way."
"They certainly all have their own personalities, so your
telling me that is her's."
"That is her personality indeed," both ladies agreeing.
"I lived in New Brunswick for about 4 years," I informed the
ladies, "and I did the famous "Cabot" trail and twice spent a
holiday in Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. Certainly is a lovely
The name Nova Scotia means "New Scotland" and was settled by
indeed many from Scotland, hence its name. New Brunswick is next
to Nova Scotia. That whole section of Canada is called the
"Maratime Provinces" and naturally (as New England in the USA)
was settled first by the British (the English, Welsh, Irish, and
We rode on for a while, as I told them some of the history
of the Ranch. Over the decades the three generations of
had cleared some of it to make pasture land and horse
grazing ranges, as well as riding trails. It's always been a
horse ranch in the main, but they had about 50 head of cattle, as
well, long-horn cattle. Tom using them in the "movies" that are
shot in this part, when the movie calls for cattle in the scene.
"Tina, would sure like to see the best scenery Keith,"
Daniel spoke up.
"Oh, well that is the other way. So look, I'll take you only
part way on this trail, and then we'll double back and go up one
of the hills that will give you a terrific view of the Canadian
Rockies," I suggested.
"That would be super, thanks," replied Daniel.
As we were heading back to the barn, I told the ladies that
the horses would think we were going into the bran, and would
naturally want to go that way, but we needed to keep their heads
and legs going straight passed the barn. All went well, and soon
the horses realized the ride was not over.
We had a good steady climb up the hill, certainly very good
exercise for the horses. As we reached the top and turned the
horse to face the West, there was the breath-taking view of the
Ranch below and a super view of the Rockies to the West
and to the South-west. Tina took her camera out and I took three
photos of them both with the Rockies in the background.
It's always an interesting ride down the hill, as the trail
moves back and forth, North to South, and South to North, cutting
between the trees, not the same trail as we went up the hill.
Tina was right up to date with her riding, having her own
horse at home, whereas Daniel said it had been 10 years or so
since she had been on the back of a horse. As we came down onto the
flat, I told Tina she could hang back some, and then lope up to
us. We did that about 3 or 4 times, so Tina could have some fun
cantering or loping.
We arrived back at the barn, both ladies telling Tom and
Bob they had had a great trail ride.
Within half an hour the others out riding came in, and the
day was pretty well over. We unsaddled the horses and turned them
out on to the range.
The weather is supposed to get cold and somewhat snowy again
as this week progresses. Ah, that's April for you in the foot-
hills. So it could well be I may not be out at the Ranch for a week
To be continued