Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Becoming a guide

I arrived at the ranch eager to learn what it takes to become a wilderness guide. The skills I was most looking forward to learning were shoeing and packing a horse and also riding western for the first time.

We began with learning about the area and the different trails and boundaries of the guide territory. I was hard for me to remember many things on the map but I was interested to see all the camps scattered about in all that wilderness.

We shoed our own horses and learned basic farrier skills all in the first few days of being at the ranch. I thought this was a great way to start to get to know my horse to build a bond ready for when we rode into the mountains. This skill is important for a guide to know, for you never know when your horse might lose a shoe.

Learning to pack a horse was next and the knots used to secure everything took some time to remember, but by the time I was in the wilderness I was fine with them.

The first week on the ranch was learning these essential skills and also riding everyday on different trails to get us familiar with the western style. The second week was where all our training was going to be used in a real life situation.

The day had come, the mountains awaited and we headed into the wild like explorers and mountain men before us.

My first ideas of becoming a guide in Canada was reading the stories of the old trappers and these tales inspired me to travel through the forest in this way.

We rode through mountain valleys with unbelievable views and each of us would take in turns to lead. The days of riding would be long, some going on for 9 hours, which was hard, but I enjoyed every minute I was there in that deep wilderness. Each night the horses went into the corral where we gave them oats and hay cubes.

We did some work around the camp in the days we were there and also riding different trails on the way to Leckie camp and Spruce lake.

The time came when we had to head back to the ranch and after a stampede of horses, a chase through the wilderness and other adventures along the way the last day proved to be the most eventful.

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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