Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

A Horse named Willy – A coincidental meeting


Here at the Chilcotin Holiday ranch, it is best to be prepared for any and every situation that may arise spontaneously out of thin air. Needless to say, on one overcast weekday, that spontaneous situation occurred.

As always, the ranch is an abyss of opportunity ready to be snatched by the most eager bystander. It just so happened I was happily enjoying a wonderful Chilcotin morning around the ranch when the guide school were in dire need; they needed someone to shoe a horse. Without hesitation, I heeded the call to participate and came to the aid of my comrades. This being the first time shoeing, I was a perfect candidate to accomplish this task. With a fellow guide, we chose the horse that needed shoeing, a horse named Willy.

Willy is a beautifully large black horse, majestic almost, but, most undoubtedly a valiant steed, in my observation anyway. As with any noble steed, a suitable pair of horse shoes is a must have. We inspected the hooves which needed shoeing and started the tedious task of rasping and nipping the hoof to fit the shoe. Willy was not too impressed and a battle for superiority began; farrier versus valiant steed.

We continued to struggle, but persevere with the shoeing, knowing that our efforts would make Willy a king among the mountainous trails. We shaped our horse shoe perfectly and drove the nails successfully into the hoof as well as filing the nails flush with the hoof. Once again, Willy wasn’t over the moon with this, but tolerated our presence and was relieved when we finished.

Upon reflection, I was happy with what I achieved and learnt. I was also happy with the well fought respect I gained from Willy. Once finished, I looked him in the eye, as did he with me and we parted ways to our respective futures.

Later on that day, I received news that I would be going on the infamous River Ride. With a skip in my step and the anticipation of the ride on my mind, I went over to the barn to seek out my riding equipment and to see which horse I would ride. After inquiring of which horse I would be riding, I was given a few words, “You’ll be riding Willy.” I looked over my shoulder and saw him, the valiant black steed I had shoed earlier.

The story is not finished, but in no way will I give it justice if I continue. So, with wisdom, I conclude the first part of the story with a few lessons in mind; opportunity is always around the corner, learning how to shoe a horse is a battle of respect and there is no coincidence, only a horse named Willy.

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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