Friday, May 1, 2015

Chilcotin Holidays

Story of a horse guide school student

Day 2 – Horse Guide Training



Today we spent the morning learning to trim hoofs and then practicing on our assigned horses. My horse Tepee had particularly bad hoofs and I didn’t end up finishing even the 2 front hoofs we were supposed to have prepared in time to shoe tomorrow. This is a hard part of being a horse guide, but feels good when you get it right eventually.





In the afternoon we practiced packing with a packing saddle and a wooden horse. There are so many different knots to remember that I think I will need to do them 100 times more before I can remember all of them and I can do them automatically.



Just before dinner we walked up to the hay corral in the upper paddock where the horses spend the night. We had to unroll one of the round bales for the herd to eat. It is difficult to explain why, but rolling hay is quickly becoming a highlight. There is something strangely satisfying about tipping over a 1200 pond chunk of hay and then watching it roll down a hill.



After dinner we finished getting our horses ready for our ride and this time the plan was to practice leading a packhorse while we rode, another part of being a horse guide. Tepee and I ended up with a horse named Lorna. She wasn’t actually carrying anything; she just came along for the ride. It takes a lot of coordination when you have to manage your riding horse with one hand on your pack horse with the other one and still remember to shift your weight in the appropriate direction on slopes as well as follow any other directions your lead horse guide might have.






Lorna and Tepee and I were doing pretty well until we came to a section of trail with a very steep downhill then a creek crossing and then a very steep uphill. We managed to do the steep downhill in one piece and then Tepee and I crossed the river and had charged half way up the steep uphill before I realized that Lorna was not coming with us. I didn’t want to try to stop Tepee in the middle of climbing the hill because of his momentum and so I let go of the rope attached to Lorna. I turned around when we got to the top to see where she was. She stopped to take a drink in the creek and that is why she didn’t follow us the steep side. There is probably a “you can lead a horse to water” joke in there somewhere but I’m too drained after today to invent it. I had another great day learning how to be a horse guide, and I'm looking forward to some more.



Kyla 26 from Victoria



Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

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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