Thursday, February 26, 2009


A Day in the Life of a Guide School Student

Before signing up for the course I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do after high school. There are so many options out there! But my love of horses and desire to work in the outdoors led me to the Chilcotin Holidays website about guide school. Before starting university the following year I planned to take a year off and work as a wilderness guide.
My first step in achieving this goal was to enroll in the guide school training program. On my first day I was a bit nervous. There were 8 other people in the course, all from different back-grounds, all different ages, but we all had one thing in common: our desire to work in the wilderness. That afternoon we began with the basics of rounding up the horses, shoeing, and tacking up. After dinner we all went for a ride; it was my first time “bushwhacking”! This was definitely riding off the beaten tail. It was incredible.
The next morning our day began at 6am. Let me tell you – getting out of your cozy, warm sleeping bag in the morning requires real discipline! But once I was out there and could take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air, it was all worth it. We chased the horses from the coral down to the front pastures and then prepared all the materials we would need later on for our guide school: horse shoes, nails, shoeing chaps and other equipment. By this time we could smell the sweet aroma of fresh pancakes coming from the ranch kitchen! By 7am we were gathered together in the dining room, chowing down on a real “loggers’ breakfast”! Pancakes, fried eggs, sausages, granola, fresh fruit salad, yogurt, orange and cranberry juice, coffee, tea, … we had everything my little heart could desire!
After breakfast we spent the next couple hours practicing our ferrier skills. I already had a favourite horse picked out. His name was RA – short for Runaway – a beautiful paint with one blue and one brown eye. We went down to catch the horses and RA seemed to know that I was coming for him.
By around 10am we were starting to feel the warmth of the early morning sun on our backs and were happy to see one of the kitchen staff members coming out with refreshments for us. There’s nothing like a freshly baked muffin and a glass of juice to keep our energy going.
We continued working on the horses’ shoes throughout the rest of the day. And again we headed off after dinner for a rewarding ride after a long days’ “work”. Upon our return to the ranch, just as dusk was setting in, we gathered around the campfire. A couple of the others could play the guitar pretty well and it reminded me of being at summer camp back when I was younger. Tomorrow would bring a new day and we would learn how to put the pack on the horses. I couldn’t wait to get out there and try these things out on a real pack trip! Soon enough I would be out guiding guests through the mountains and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the rest of my summer than at Chilcotin Holidays' Guide School!

Jane, BC, Canada


About Unknown

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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