Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Back to Nature

I bought a woodlot in 2000. It is a perfect mix of old wood and more juvenile trees. The long game was always to maintain the woodlot, to promote growth and to create a sustainable area to “play” in. Patience is thankfully a skill that I possess and for the last 16 years I have been tending to the land and preparing the trees. Unlike other business ventures that I've had a hand in over my lifetime, this project is a labour of love. The woodlot provides a place for me to be amongst the trees, to be hands on with each and every process and is somewhere I can enjoy connecting with nature.

After 16 years of planning and maintenance, it is now time to fall my first trees (a momentous occasion for me!). Initially as I began thinking about how I would go about this process, I thought too of the damage that I had seen skidders do to the landscape on my property previously. Even years later, the compacted soil and the exposed bedrock can still be seen, the tire tracks remaining on the land like scars. To me, the idea of having heavy machinery running for hours everyday in the woodlot is in direct opposition to the natural ecology of the place. The noise of a chainsaw screaming seems to take away from the energy and the calmness that I find in the quite spaces. I have spent hours researching and have sought out the most sensitive and effective methods to ensure that the mark I leave on my land is as respectful as possible. And that is exactly how I ended up at Chilcotin Holidays taking a week long course in Horse Logging.

For me the idea of working with horses was a little unnerving in the beginning. My first experience with a horse was, let's just say less than enjoyable. I remember as a small child with my father, being struck by a horse and ever since then the only interactions I've had with horses have been from a large distance. But after being introduced to each of the 34 horses on the property and learning day by day how to work with them (sometimes I feel like the horses are more in charge of the whole process than I am!) I am now much more comfortable working along side them on the slopes surrounding the ranch.

Learning about the horse logging process from the ground up so to speak, means we are covering every aspect of the time honoured tradition from horse handling skills, harnessing teams of horses, and the skill needed to drive them effectively. At the end of my week at Chilcotin, I have learnt not only the in's and outs's of the horse logging trade, but have a new found respect for these amazing horses and have overcome the trepidation and fear that I had on my arrival at the ranch. Seeing these beautiful horses at work in the Chilcotin Mountains, moving with the landscape, I am more sure than ever that I have made the right decision and am very much looking forward to using my newly gained knowledge and skills in my woodlot at home.

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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