My sister and brother-in-law had a cattle ranch in Beaver Valley, in the Cariboo, where I spent summer holidays for three years.
The first day that I was to ride, Al would just watch…no help. He wanted to be sure that I could handle it if anything happened while I was out riding. From there on, he would saddle both horses if I was going to ride with him.
The cattle roamed the free range, and periodically would come into the home coral where the salt block was set up for them. This day we were going out to check on a cow that was due to calve. He hadn’t seen it around and wanted to be sure it was okay.
Well, we found the cow and a little calf in a herd of about thirty cattle, and he wanted to take the two of them home to look after them. Have you ever tried to drive one cow with it’s calf from a herd? He put a rope around the calves neck and told me to ‘take off’…the calf bawled and the cow became very alert! Then Al put the calf across my legs and we headed for home with the cow following right along behind us!
I’m skipping ahead a few years to when we took our three boys up to the ranch. They got to ride a couple of horses in a fenced off area, and they loved it.
Al was going out to check on some cows, and said I should go with him. On our way ‘home’ we were in sight of the house for at least a quarter of a mile, so the kids could see us coming. Al suggested that we race! We road full out! He won, of course, but I was right there with him. The boys were flabbergasted…they didn’t know that their mom could ride a horse, and not like that! I think they showed a little more respect after seeing me in that ride!