25. The Finale?!

Looking towards the bottom end

Looking towards the bottom end

The weather was due to break on Friday with 4 days of rain forecast so Gaylene wanted all the lawns cut and there are a lot! We wanted to muck out all the pens as we presumed that rain soaked dung weighed considerably more than the semi-dry poo we’d been dealing with up until then. The mucking out and feeding was finished by 10am when we started with Roger on the sit-on mower and me using the push-along to do the edges. Gaylene was extremely keen for this task to be completed, however long it took, and we could take the time back later. It transpired that the new owners were due to visit on Monday so as she is still in negotiations with them about her own role as property manager, including some pens and paddocks, she still wants to be in good terms with them.

Much of the grass was still damp from dew and the sprinkler system so the cuttings were not picking up very well. We decided to break after a while and saddled up Dunner for a lovely ride, grabbed some lunch and then went back to the lawns, finishing just in time for evening feed. We had told the boys in the morning that we would be eating early as we were going round to Johanna’s for a farewell drink at 6.30. At 5.30, just as we were preparing the meal, she told us that she was cooking for them over at the new ranch as they needed to finish the roof before the rain started. We decided to leave our meal until after we returned and sat out to enjoy our veranda for what might be the last time (in nice weather).

Johanna's entrance

Johanna’s entrance

We had a lovely evening with Johanna and met her sister who is a dog behaviourist therapist(!) makes them behave, although it would appear that most of her work is with or needs to be with the owners. She would like to branch into equine therapy as there are many similarities and commented on how common it seems to be that horse owners can be very strict with their horses, demanding respect, for their space and the horse has to learn patience, wait to be ‘invited’ and generally show obedience whilst these owner’s dogs run riot. Must admit that we have witnessed some of that here, but not with Sammy.

Johanna is a nutritional therapist and quite anti-wheat, particularly GM so she was not phased by my gluten-free requirements and had made some flat breads from coconut flour which were absolutely delicious, particularly with the yoghurty dip. Her housekeeper for the main house is a keen winemaker so we imbibed a bottle of her tayberry wine followed by a screw top bottle of white wine which her previous ‘guests’ had impaled with a cork screw and then abandoned, unstarted. We rolled back under beautiful clear starry skies at 10.30 for our evening meal!



It rained from about 2am onwards, solidly; waterproofs and wellies to the fore, we ventured out to feed the soggy horses. In 2 months, this was the first ‘bad’ weather in which we had worked despite being warned beforehand that Vancouver is a very wet place, we’ve been so lucky. Once the horses were seen to and we appreciated having mucked out the pens the previous day, I set to trying to get Kate’s room prepared which had involved cleaning the carpet but now trying to make it more respectable then dismantling a bed in the main house to bring across piece by piece and reassemble in the little bedroom.  A task I was quite proud of completing successfully whilst Roger carried out more electric fence repairs.

On her way out Gaylene had shouted across for us to put Lokota’s rain coat on. A little late we thought as it had been raining for over 8 hours but… heyho. On entering the tack room we were faced with a wall of bags of coats, light snow coats, cold weather coats, show coats, anti-fly coats, no rain coats. Eventually we found one which may serve the purpose merely from the fact that it didn’t appear to have an alternative function and felt a bit waterproof. We took it over to where he was as happy as usual in his pen to find him sopping wet and covered in mud and dust where he’d been having a great roll on the ground. It didn’t really seem a good idea to put a coat on a wet and dirty horse so we left it. Later when I mentioned to Gaylene about our abortive attempts and why she informed me that we would have had to wash and dry him before putting on the coat. As usual, the ‘just’ put on his raincoat was never going to have been a quick job even if she didn’t know how dirty he was.

By mid morning it had stopped raining, although the skies threatened to resume at any moment. Tracy had asked and we had happily acceded to look after Waylon whilst she was away for the week. He was having a great time with Rio, his new buddy and brother from a different mother, but we still thought and wanted to give him some exercise and a clean. Despite earlier offers, she had not suggested we ride him, just lunge or let him run free in the arena. We opted for the latter and relished in watching him charge up and down the outside arena 2 or 3 times before he came over to us and didn’t seem to want to do any more. I expected a much longer ‘session’ so had not had my camera ready to capture his flight. There was no encouraging him to do more and we really didn’t want to smack his bottom as we’ve seen others do so took him back in for a shower and a brush. He looked lovely by the time we’d finished, his red/brown coat glowing, even in the dull light. We took him back to his paddock where he promptly lay down and rolled in the now, mud, and stood up looking like he hadn’t been clean for a month. Heyho.

Log house pond

Log house pond

Kate arrived just as we were putting Waylon back and seemed really bright and cheerful as she emerged from her car with 2 cats!! I think this may have been the eliciting factor in Gaylene inviting us to move to the log house. She had suggested that we pack up everything in preparation for our departure but we decided it would be too much hassle as we’d have to unpack and repack so had only taken what we needed, expecting to still spend some time in the cabin. By the time the litter tray was in the bathroom and the cats were all over the work surface I felt much more affinity to the log house and relief to be there. We just needed to remember to keep our bedroom door closed.IMAG1716


Gaylene had arranged for our evening meal together, a BBQ outside under the covered patio with the heaters on, particularly for Johanna, who we were delighted to have been invited, and who, having lived in California for the past 10+ years, found Vancouver distinctly chilly. The boys rolled up just as we were serving and took the steaks that Gaylene had wanted for herself. She had bought salmon especially for us although didn’t really like it herself. After the meal and the boys departure we moved inside for a dessert of lightly stewed blueberries over vanilla pod ice cream, amazingly nice. Gaylene then presented Roger and me with a super album of the photo shoot and also loaded up all the other photos onto a memory stick for us whilst thanking us for all our hard work. The photos are on this site under the ‘photo albums’ drop down menu at the top of the page if you’re interested. I’m afraid that there are rather a lot but they are lovely.2015-08-26 12.01.11

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2 Responses to 25. The Finale?!

  1. Jill says:

    Looking good guys, love the stetsons, seems like you have had a very ‘bumpy journey’ with this one but it all adds to the experience. Love the photos. When do you move on to the next place? Carry on enjoying it and onwards and upwards to the next adventure xx

    • Gill Smith says:

      We are at our next ranch in Saskatchewan, arrived last night, but I’m a bit behind with the blog. The internet is slower here and we are with 8 other helpers, all under 30 so are vieing for wifi time!
      It is already a breath of fresh-air xx

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