Welcome to our ranch near Canada's west coast in Beautiful British Columbia's West Chilcotin mountain region. Where calling the vet means hollering back at the house to bring your kit, new friendships are formed from the back of a horse and true fun for a five year old is getting a machete for Christmas. Where 'cutting the dinks off' has a totally different meaning than what first comes to mind, Muck Boots are a household name, a hand shake still means something and the coffee is always on.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Rodeo Weekend, Moving Cows and Colt Starting

Yep, it's been busy.  But just generally, and all good.  Healthy and happy family, green grass and sunshine,....what more can you really ask for?
Ha.  More time, that's what.  
Beginning of the Parade.  
Photo Credit to Lorna J.  

So our rodeo went well.  Unfortunately, both contestant numbers and spectator numbers were way down from what we expected, but there is a variety of reasons for that (such as other rodeos being organized for that weekend).  And nothing to be done about it either.  I think we will be lucky to 'break even' on our costs this year, and will probably make some changes for next year.  But the concession was truly amazing!  Just having hot running water to keep things clean and tidy is so great.  I'm sorry I don't have any photos to put up tonight as Eli is away and has my phone.  I am super proud of what the community pulled together with that unit, and in such a short time. Cutting, welding, plumbing, electrical, appliance clean and hook up, shelving and painting all happened almost at once.....  I know that every single community struggles to find volunteers, and we certainly do too!  But at the end of the day, it gets done, and done well.  

One of the local guys putting on a fine ride!  
Photo Credit to Lorna J.  

So the rodeo kept us busy until Monday afternoon (cleaning and returning food etc).  Dad and I also flew with my brother Monday morning to look for the trail riding horses out on range.  Of course they were standing right in the middle of where dad had been riding and looking for them the day before.  Murphy's Law right?   Time to start shoeing for the trail ride season.  Ack!  It could drop a few degrees!!   We checked on the whereabouts of the various groups of cows as well, and so far, there is no obvious sign of our bear 'friend'.
It had been arranged earlier to help our neighbor Fritz move his cattle up onto the summer range.  Because it was so hot, we gathered up at Six Mile Monday night for an early start on Tuesday.  Our friend Evan Howarth joined us.  (I talked about him briefly on an earlier post.)  

Dusty spot on the trail!  

We were up around 3 and after one of mum's great breakfasts (have to say it's a bit too early to really enjoy eating!) we saddled up and made out way to the cows by 5.  These cows are pretty used to having their own way and doing their own thing, but we worked them fairly aggressively at first and after the first few dips and dives off the trail, they lined out well.  A good dog is worth their weight in diamonds, I don't care what anyone says.  We mothered them up well and then dropped them well in to their summer range around 10am.       

I think my camera got a bit dusty!  But the view is incredible and the cows are quite delighted with themselves.  

And last, but certainly not least, I got to ride with Evan this morning 'for fun' and as usual, it was an amazing learning experience.  We spent some time with my newest horse Kenny and started 'Crow Bait', the 2 year old that broke mums wrist. 

Here I'm petting Crow Bait's neck to tell him how amazing he is.  He did so great and never made a false move while I was on his back.  I guess we will have to change his name....  Cody is riding Kenny who is learning to work off a soft feel.  Yes, that is a tarp on the ground, and yes, we ride over it all the time.  
I used to wonder about cowboys with their ropes tied on when I couldn't see any use for it.  So let me explain....it is tied in a special way and, in this application, is an excellent "Oh Shit handle!"  (Please excuse the barn talk.)  I have a dog collar on the other side, also works excellent.  So if things go south, so to speak, and get a bit exciting, you can grab on tight and have a good chance of staying in the middle and on top!  Both the boys have them on their saddles, but with a different name of course. 

Remember, this is his very first ride.  He has never even carried a saddle before today!  

 A two handed rub for a well deserving young horse who came a long way in a hurry!  

 Working with and riding a young horse for the first time is an experience I find very difficult to describe.  Exhilarating, humbling, inspiring, enlightening, and so much more.  And certainly exhausting but so much fun too!  I'm too tired to write much more on it tonight, but I would enjoy going in to greater detail on another post.  There is also a short video of Evan that I would like to share with you as well. 
But not tonight.......   

Take care folks!

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