We return to Marilyn’s this evening until our departure finally booked for 21st Oct. We have had a very interesting time here at Winning Ways and have learnt a lot from Kelly. She has some lovely animals with which we have become very well acquainted either from feeding, catching and saddling regularly or living in close proximity. We aren’t too sad though as we will be back in 4 days to help out for 2 days whilst a Youth Group take over the place for a weekend. 3 hours each day in 2 groups of beginners so not for the faint hearted.
We have been to the North Ranch again. Last time we went I had to practice an emergency dismount so that I wouldn’t get caught out again as I had done on the trail ride. This became a little bit of a fiasco as I just couldn’t lift myself off and away with my arms only. O was extremely patient but must have wondered what on earth was going on. I’m going to bank on the probable surge of adrenalin to give me that extra momentum as well as perhaps some help from a bucking or rearing horse to assist propulsion! We’ve been chasing bulls up here for 2 consecutive days now. We retrieved George’s 2 yesterday and apart from having the trailer door slammed into my face by a capture on the other side, it seemed to go quite smoothly! This bruise is now accompanying my cut cheek where I managed to walk into a low tree branch the previous day when it was windy so I had my head down and the peak of my cap hid the offending article from my sight until it was ramming my glasses into my face. So I’m now sporting a lovely cut on my right cheek along my glasses frame line and another across the bridge of my nose to go with my swollen cheek bone! And Kelly had suggested a photoshoot, must be something subliminal.
We had a much more sedate ride to the ranch today to collect Kelly’s bull who is more used to trailers so came like a pussy-cat. It was lovely to ride out there in the autumn colours, rounding up the cattle (to accompany the bull to the trailer) and driving them through woods and undergrowth, following where only calves can really fit. Shadow, today’s trusty steed, was not too impressed with my route, stopping several times as if to ask where on earth I was expecting her go when met with a wall of trees but we made it out the other side with all our charges, I think. Roger was on his faithful friend Kosmo. This stalwart loves herding cattle, as does Luvic although he does have to collapse afterwards, preferably more in the house than out.
I heard him last night, sneaking through to the lounge, claws pitter pattering along the lino. Roger’s other pal is Hobo, who has to sit on someone, although totally undemanding once he has achieved his perch.
Mischievous, one of the outside cats and Hannah’s favourite, had managed to get herself stuck up a tree. Fortunately we’d been outside digging up the potatoes, yes even blue ones, when she heard the plaintive meowing so climbed onto the rather dilapidated shed roof to retrieve her. I’d taken the crop inside when Roger came to get me to take a photo of her. It was only after I did so that she said she thought he was going to get a ladder as she was now stuck! I gathered the offending feline from her and she managed to scramble down, only for the damn thing to go straight back up there the next day!
We have been very lucky with the weather, enjoying mainly dry days and although sometimes chilly in the morning, the twice a day trips to open and close gates for horses and cows have been a pleasure, not so sure how that will feel once the weather really starts to deteriorate. We aren’t able to see the sunsets from the house, just the sunrises but did watch the total eclipse of the supermoon yesterday which was really quite spectacular, much more so than the photo would imply. Hopefully, back at Marilyn’s we will see more sunsets and Northern Lights. Kelly’s yard is floodlit so its difficult to tell what is going on in the night sky but our nocturnal requirements mean an exit into the cold and dark at Meeds Ranch so there is a little compensation.
We are looking forward to going back to Marilyn’s but will miss the creature comforts here of a bedroom inside the house and adjacent bathroom along with central heating. The forest horses will long be a favourite as will the silly lambs, the friendly geldings, the moody mares and the sometimes arrogant big boys, Dale, Kosmo and our very patient student Dakota. Some of the animals have been the hardest to leave at all the ranches, they are so much less complicated than humans!