Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Women in Logging

What motivates a 27 year old female to take a week out of her life, make an 8 plus hour trek from her home to the remote South Chilcotin Mountain Park and jump behind a horse dragging a 1000 kg log down the side of a mountain?

Not too many women would be thrilled with an anniversary gift of 7 days in the wilderness, driving horses, falling trees, swinging axes and running chainsaws, but as soon as I knew I was coming to Chilcotin Holidays for a horse logging course I was thrilled. Since I've arrived, I've notice that the ranch owner here has quite a few sayings; one of them being “The Ranch is run by capable, self reliant, independent women and men who are secure enough to work alongside them”. This kind of ethos definitely appeals to me, and apparently to my husband too, who was in fact the person who suggested I come to learn the history and skill involved in horse logging.

After studying plumbing, I found it difficult to break into the trade and so in the search for meaningful work, I began assisting an arbarist in my local area. Ever since then I have begun to develop a real interest in forestry management and now dream of one day being able to own my own property and manage it in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Learning to ride when I was 4 years old, I have always had an infinity with horses and looking around the pristine landscape of Victoria, I can imagine no better way to connect my interest in forestry and horses than to learn the time honoured tradition of horse logging.

In a industry still dominated by men, it has been fantastic to learn to the skills and intricacies of logging from both the male and female staff at Chilcotin Holidays. It seems that here, the women are just as knowledgeable and empowered as the men; even the horses share the load equally between the mares and the geldings.

We have learnt everything about horse logging, from forestry management skills and regulations to actually setting up the horse and necessary equipment. I could never have imagined at the start of the week just exactly how much I would learn and how this course would prepare me to start logging in my own backyard. I am confident now that with the skills I have built over the past week, I am ready to take the next step towards making my dream a reality and am more than excited to embark on my new adventure!

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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