Day Two High and Wild Adventure

    Day Two of Glenn Stewart's High and Wild Horsemanship Educational Adventure.

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    A High & Wild Adventure

    A an exclusive look into day one at Glenn Stewart's High and Wild.

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Day Two High and Wild Adventure

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BY KELSEY SIMPSON

Gone is the sound of sirens, motorcycles, and cars rushing by. In their place is nothing but melodic birds and the distant sound of the river.

“I am still here”, I thought to myself when I opened my eyes this morning. I looked out my window and sure enough there were the beautiful rugged mountain ranges and tall and voluptuous trees I had been introduced to just the previous day.

Everyone woke and started visiting and filling their coffee cups to kick start the day. The talk around the table was about how much we have already learned and how much we have each grown in this short amount of time in this unique environment. After a quick breakfast, some headed to the kitchen for dish duty while the others were given the task of rounding up the 110 head of horses.

As the horses are getting settled in, Glenn reviews the morning activities with the group. Today is an important day here at The Big Nine Outfitters. It is our task to collect up all the younger horses, many of which have never been touched or halter, much less know how to lead.

Next up was display after display of true horsemanship. With complete and total ease, Glenn walked among the horses in the corral, rubbing on each of them as he passed by, approaching the ones he that needed caught or would benefit from a rub.Watching him maneuver you can see immediately he has a true gift, and a gentle touch working with horses and building their trust.

The first of several colts to be worked with that morning.

The first of several colts to be worked with that morning.

One seemingly overly protective mare and her youngster were very challenging for one of Glenn’s apprentices. Glenn came over to give assistance and advice, and it was soon apparent that the spectators were all in for a real treat. What had been an overly protective untrusting mother was able to soon relax and trusted with ease. The young, defiant colt evolved into a companion who enjoyed human’s presence while licking, chewing and yawning and was rubbing up against Glenn at the end of the session.

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As Glenn continued the work of separating the young horses we were instructed to go and gather our assigned horses, some were easier than others. Hours were spent grooming and rubbing down the horses, and brushing off the thick coat of dust they have collected. When both the horses and the riders were comfortable, the saddling process began. We were told to saddle and unsaddle our horses until we had it down pat and under five minutes.

It was evident how so many of us in the group are changing because of this adventure. Everyone is being stretched out of their comfort zone. The mental and emotional growth, and increase in confidence is exciting to observe and be a part of.

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After the group spent whatever needed time with their horses and confidently achieved the assigned task of tacking, they could head over to continue watching and learning from Glenn.

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The horse himself, Elvis.

One particular colt of interest was a slick bay with a white diamond on his forehead. Glenn shared with us that this colt named Elvis that was handled for just over 3 hours over a 3 day period three years earlier when it was just one month old and hadn’t been seen since.

Every trip back to the mountains Glenn looked for Elvis and finally this year he showed up.

Wanting to see just how much the colt remembered, Glenn started off slowly, but was able to halter Elvis in no time. It is remarkable that these horses come in after a year of not seeing any people, and are mostly calm and willing. Elvis hadn’t been seen in three years, making his previous session with Glenn, his only experience of people.

Soon Glenn was rubbing the colt down and picking up its feet like an old timer. Next was the Australian whip, and after just a few tries Elvis was standing calmly while Glenn cracked the whip above, behind and in front of the three year old. The bright red flag took a little bit longer to get used to but Elvis quickly calmed down. It was clear the solid impression Glenn made on him was remembered.

Glenn working blue tarp was the last triumph for the day for Elvis and like the flag it took some getting used to. However, for a horse that hasn’t had a human hand laid on him for three complete years, he partnered up like a champ. With a good scratch here and there, and the proper handling from Glenn, we were all simply amazed and inspired at being able to witness the importance of these colts having the proper foundation. When done correctly the impact is forever.

I always wondered how much horses remember. Well I guess even after 3 years without human contact they still remember what they learned. The scary part is they must remember anything we do, the good as well as the bad.

After a long day and getting a lot accomplished with the horses we headed into the lodge for another spectacular meal. Tonight, lasagna with garlic toast and Caesar salad. Who knew roughing it in the wilderness could be so hard?

With the sun sinking further and further behind the last ridge of mountain peaks, we said goodbye to another fabulous day filled with laughter, discussions, learning, fun, and of course, horses.

Find out more about Glenn Stewart at his website and his Facebook page. Also check out his educational video on his Youtube Channel.

Evolution of a Hay Shed

Hay Shed, Rona Black Diamond

It might be that only ranchers, farmers and horse people get excited over something like this but we recently erected a new hay shed on our property. And I literally did a *Happy Dance* when it was done! I was so tired of all the wasted hay that happens in inclement weather. I also know my husband and our staff are sick to death of tarping haystacks – usually to no avail anyways. The rains seem to find any and all little openings and seep in, whether we like it or not. Plus, the high winds of these July summer storms have made us wonder, on numerous occasions, if the tarp was about to end up in our neighbor’s yard.

Yeah… way too many tornado warnings for my liking this month!!

Anyways, thanks to our friends at Black Diamond Rona, we now a “big, beautiful hay shed” as our kids call it, to protect the precious investment of square and round bales we must begin to stock before winter sets in. I took a few shots of the building as it was being put up, thanks to Ten Point Construction. This crew of hardworking fellows were very professional, quick in their execution, safety oriented and they did a great clean-up of excess materials when the job was all finished. Plus, a representative from Black Diamond Rona came out to inspect the job site at the very end as well, to make sure we were happy with everything.

We were.

Ten Point Construction

The trusses for our new building arrived back when things weren’t yet so green…

Black Diamond Rona, hay shed trusses

Following the excavation part of the project (done by another company), the main supports of the corners began to go up:

Black Diamond Rona, hay shed

Gradually the walls began to take shape and the roof trusses were readied to be raised on top.

Black Diamond Rona, hay shed

Roof is on!

Black Diamond Rona, hay shed

And as the weather – and specifically the winds – cooperated, the siding started to be installed on the back wall and roof.

Black Diamond Rona, hay shed

Our hay shed was coordinated to match our arena, meaning a few strips of white siding was added at each corner for a finishing touch. Personally, I’ve been adding up all the moldy bales in my head and the damage control this new hay shed is going to help us with is a beautiful thing.

Black Diamond Rona, hay shed

Since it’s been done, the kids and I have gone down every day and had a little party in it <grin.> Of course, my hubby filled it with hay today, so we might not have the same kind of space tomorrow to burn donuts in the kids’ power wheels. But hey, I’m sure we can improvise.

Black Diamond Rona, hay shed

 

A High & Wild Adventure

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BY KELSEY SIMPSON

People often talk of amazing places they have seen or their own adventures to foreign places, but this experience and my own adventure to Glenn Stewart’s High & Wild is one that I will treasure forever. And it is only the first day.

Flying out of Calgary to Fort St. John’s B.C. I had no idea what to expect. The website created an epic picture in my mind of horsemanship and beautiful scenery, and so far it has definitely delivered.

We started the morning off early to drive a quick three hours to a landing strip down the Alaskan highway. We sat at the treeless clearing meeting and greeted each other.

Questions like: “Where are you from?”, “What do you do?” were obvious favorites and then the inevitable, “What kind of horses do you ride?”

Quickly our small red and white airplane landed and loaded the first couple of people and their bags. It was only about an hour until the plane came back to pick up it’s second load of baggage and people.

Sitting with my camera lens pressed to the window of the plane, the view was breathtaking. Pure green with openings of water and some random cutlines here and there. We were headed for the mountains and they were spectacular. The further and further in we flew the harder it was to believe that people actually were out here. There were no highways, no roads, and barely a trail leading us to our destination as we floated high above.

Across the river and at the base of Gary Powell Mountain lies the Big Nine Outfitters Lodge. Truly a little oasis in a mountain range, the lodge is a two story house with the most beautiful mountain ranges for a backdrop. Home of the High & Wild Adventure with Glenn Stewart, the lodge is laid out on over 640 acres of wooded area, streams, rivers, marsh land and open grass.

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The plane touched down just in time to put our bags in our rooms and come back out for lunch. With a quick bite to eat we headed out to the pen of multiple shades and sizes of horses that were really the reason why we were all here.

When you picture wild horses that have lived on their own all year, you might picture (or at least I did) scraggly, flighty, and well, wild! But these horses were quite the contrary. The plump horses obviously wintered well and there were still weanlings suckling from their mothers.

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That is not to say they aren’t wild, because they are but it is very easy to forget that tiny detail.

After a quick head count of the 87 horses the wranglers managed to bring in this year, Glenn gave us a run down of the place. This included an introductory walk around the expansive perimeter of a fence that keeps the wild horses in while they are being used. After a couple of hours we made it all the way around with tips and great stories from Glenn.

We made it back to the corrals just in time to see some elk grazing and a big mother moose wander across to our side of the river. We got an up close encounter with her before she sauntered back across the river to find her calf.

Next was picking out tack to use on our horses for the week ahead. Although we haven’t been assigned one yet, we all point out the horses that look promising and secretly hope we get.

While we had a quick inspection of our saddles and tack, some of the wranglers and Glenn’s daughters came over the hill with 20 more head of horses that had been missed in the initial roundup. Thundering hooves pounded the ground and another herd was brought in.

Their grazing range in the off season spans the whole size of the valley from the mountain peaks we can see poking the skyline on one end to the big towering range off in the distance to the other end. They wander from place to place in their own packs and herds until it is time to round up for another year.

Pushing and shoving around salt licks, the latest batch of wild horses appear to be happy to be back. They run out of the corral and over the hill into the distance just as the sun sinks behind the distance westward mountain.

After a juicy moose roast and a homemade spread for supper, the events of the day begin to sink in.

“Is it really our first day?”

“Did we honestly just all meet this morning?”

These were common comments around the supper table. And it was true. It did feel like we had at least been here for a week when we hadn’t even spent the night and our group really felt like friends even though we had just learned each others name.

Our first day left us in awe of what we accomplished, what we learned, and where we were. I write this from the front porch of the lodge facing the horses grazing around the “yard” and the mountains in the backgrounds and sounds of the river making a quite rushing sound, to truly remind myself where I am and that today wasn’t a dream and that tomorrow promises to be even better!

Here is video of our day or you can find it here.

Check out Glenn Stewart on Facebook or at his website.

Canada’s Greatest Western Town – Round 3

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Round Two of Canada’s Greatest Western Town voting has been completed and tallied with fantastic support for many of the western town nominations! We have eight towns remaining. The only out-of-Alberta contender remaining, but the very worthy Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, barely edged out it’s opponent in Round 2 to face off against an equally western […]

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Prairie Paints

Alivia Boxall, winner of a Sportsmanship Award

It has been a great summer for the Saskatchewan Paint Horse Club.  The club has played host to a number of events, including the Loud & Proud Show on June 15th & 16th. The show was a great success thanks to Stephanie McMillan and a number of generous sponsors. Some of the winners include: Hi […]

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Canadian Pro Rodeo Update

Wild Pony Racers at the Cowtown Pro Rodeo in Maple Creek. Photo by Kate Winquist, taken from The Advance Facebook page.

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Interviews – Dick & Brenda Pieper

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In my career, I have many perks. One of them includes the opportunity to interview people in the horse industry. People who making a difference. People who are famous. People who are exciting. And people who are just amazing with horses. In April 2008, I had the opportunity to visit Pieper Ranch in Marietta, Oklahoma. […]

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Happy Toys, Happy Kids

Stall-(Happy-Toymaker)

We stumbled upon something two years ago at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions in Texas that is guaranteed to become a Webster family tradition. Two years ago in San Angelo, Texas, we observed a medley of tiny corrals, trucks, loading chutes, cake bins and animals in one corner of the main […]

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Thomson Enjoys Profitable Trip North

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From the CPRA office- At this time a year ago, Kyle Thomson was making a decision to end his summer rodeo travel schedule. Now twelve months later, the 36 year-old, saddle bronc rider is making plans for a trip back to the Canadian Finals Rodeo in November. “I’m very happy with it,” says Thomson of […]

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