Day Two High and Wild Adventure

Logo

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.

web3

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.

web2

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.

web4

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.

July/August Sneak Peek

This issue is about to hit the stands. Here’s a sneak peak of what you’re about to receive in your mailbox. (If you’re not a subscriber, you’re really missing out – subscribe here, and in the meantime look for it on your local newsstand.

JULYcover2014Our cover. Brought together by our own Dainya Sapergia, art direction by Kendra Roberts and featuring Niki Flundra and her fabulous trick horse, Ace. This talented duo will be performing at this year’s edition of the Calgary Stampede and succinctly represented on the cover, our feature piece on the Greatest Show on Earth.

spTannerByrne

Photo by Dainya Sapergia Western Lifestyle Photography

Within the Calgary Stampede feature, regular contributor Ted Stovin of Everything Cowboy takes a critical look at the rise of stand-alone rodeos such as the Calgary Stampede and the American.

spwinston

Photo by Deanna Kristensen Photography

Still within the genre, Deanna Kristensen’s interview with with this issue’s chosen maverick, produced some candid thoughts from one of the most influential rodeo producers of all time, Winston Bruce.

spshelters

Photo by Jenn Webster

Owner of the Rona store in Black Diamond, Alberta and shelter expert, Robbie McKay offers exclusive inside tips on building one.

spstemcell

Photo by Ingrid Schulz

Dr. Mike Scott, of Moore Equine, helps us decipher the real story behind stem cell therapy.

Photo by Dainya Sapergia Western Lifestyle Photography.

Photo by Dainya Sapergia Western Lifestyle Photography

Deanna Kristensen tackles the controversy behind this year’s government-driven cull of Alberta’s wild horses.

spwilljamesOne of our favourite photographers, and a true western folk herself, Mary Williams Hyde illustrates our Getaways guide to the Will James Round Up Ranch Rodeo in Hardin, Montana, with her spectacular photographs of the event.

spobie

Photo by Dainya Sapergia Western Lifestyle Photography

They say she’s an old cowboy soul in a young body. Extreme cowboy competitor, Obbie Schlom tells us about her favourite gear in this issue’s edition of Freeze Frame.

Photo by Rod Honig.

Photo by Rod Honig

Vaquero aficionado, Rod Honig takes us through a historical tour of the origin of the spur. 

spscarfslideThese nifty scarf slides by Tom Balding are just one of seven new pieces of western gear featured in our regular Magnificent Seven western product profiles.

Photo by Dainya Sapergia Western Lifestyle Photography.

Photo by Dainya Sapergia Western Lifestyle Photography

Cutting horse trainer Dustin Gonnet continues our cerebral tour through the year of a cutting horse prospect with this issue’s discussion of keeping the minds of his three-year-olds in futurity training fresh and sharp for the aged event season just around the corner.

spkirstyKirsty White discloses her own, personal favourite barrel bloodlines in our Bloodline Buzz column.

spbakoncaesar

Photo by Krista Kay Photography

A Texas-inspired recipe for rib rubs.

Amanda Brumley talks about the success of executing the runaway success of such shows as Reining By The Bay, a full recap of show scenes from the late spring, a horse called Red Hot Jade who’s taking the cow horse world by storm – just a few more hot items in the issue.

Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

Photo by Krista Kay Photography

You might think of enjoying our Wild West cocktail of the month, the Bakon Vodka Caesar, as you peruse it.

American Mustang

AM-Horses-in-Pen-JumpingThe subject of the management of wild horses remains a hot topic in mainstream media on both sides of the border. Here in Alberta, the provincial government’s decision to issue permits for the capture of 200 wild horses has triggered outrage and protests. In the past few days, Jann Arden added her voice and celebrity to the drive against the cull when she took to the skies with a local rancher and veterinarian to conduct her own count of the horses (the provincial government puts the population at just under 1,000, while opponents state this is an exaggerated figure).

Down south, the problem is magnified with over 32,000 wild horses roaming the rangeland, and upwards of 50,000 held in Bureau of Land and Management government holding facilities. The new film, American Mustang, examines this issue in what is described as “an artful blend of exquisite nature documentary and character-driven narrative.”

The film premiered last November to critical accolades at the Denver Film Festival, where one reviewer wrote, “His (Director Monty Miranda) breathtaking images, shot in 3-D on the open ranges of eight western states, bring us a deep appreciation for the life of the mustang running free and are juxtaposed by the Bureau of Land Management round-ups and the captivity that is often their heartbreaking reality.”

The film stars Luke and Jim Neubert, the sons of California-based cowboy and clinician Bryan Neubert, as well as Julia Putnam, Allison Eastwood (daughter of Clint), and is narrated by long-time mustang activist, Daryl Hannah. The film is the brainchild of its producer, Ellie Phipps Price, who wanted to create a film that would stir action by bringing the state of the American Mustang to the attention of the general public. Price does more than just wear the t-shirt – she has been an active and dedicated steward of wild horses for decades. In 2009, Ellie adopted 172 mustangs and has since created a sanctuary for wild horses on 2,000 acres of property in Northern California.

Looking for Wild Horse Lovers

Children's writing  Voice For The Horse Foundation

The Voice For The Horse Foundation is hosting their first children’s writing competition this fall. The subject – wild horses! With curriculums for two different age categories – 12 and under  and 13-18 years of age, the writing competition offers a wide array of subject matter that will in fact intrigue the minds of all wild horse lovers alike.

The competition officially began Oct 1 and runs through until Jan. 31, 2012.

The writing competition was inspired by Atticus, the wild stallion from Deadman Valley, British Columbia, who was captured in the winter of 2011 and rescued by CritterAid / Project Equus in the Interior of B.C. To create further awareness for the wild horse populations and the preservation of them across North America, Voice For The Horse contacted Saving America’s Mustang, where founder Madeleine Pickens responded with great enthusiasm for the project. Theresa Nolet from CritterAid / Project Equus has also equally embraced the program and its effort to bring about equine awareness to communities across the continent, to those both in and outside of the horse industry.

The grand prize for the writing competition is a trip for two to The International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) the oldest wild horse and burro organization in the United States, that has been innovative in the field of wild horse and burro protection. ISPMB is pleased that they are able to sponsor an experience of a lifetime at their ranch next year for the winner of the 1st Annual VFTH Children’s Writing Competition! Under the leadership of their first president, Velma Johnston, affectionately known as Wild Horse Annie, ISPMB and Annie were responsible for the passage of federal legislation in 1971 that gave protection to wild horses and burros on public lands from death and harassment.

The competition provides a unique and free learning opportunity with the hope that children will have the ability to share their love for horses across North America through their writing.

For more information, please visit www.voiceforthehorse.com  

Welfare Cowboy

A group of horse people in Colorado led by a rancher and veterinarian, have developed what is likely to be a controversial solution to the issue of feral, wild and “excess” horses in the United States. The concept behind Welfare Cowboy has a simple premise: use the excess horses of the continent to feed the poor and hungry of the world.

Welfare Cowboy is challenging the Free-Roaming Wild Horse & Burro Act 1971 (WHBA) claim of “wild,” which calls for the preservation of wild horses.

As printed on the Welfare Cowboy blog:

“Having firsthand experience with having to accommodate excessive feral horses, Charles W. Sylvester initiated “Welfare Cowboy” on December 15, 2010.
“Mr. Sylvester took a bigger view of the matter, thinking there should be a better way to help the horses, help the people, and spread the base of benefits. So in continuing his passion of helping those in need, Chuck thought this would be a beautiful way for feral horses to serve more than the handful of people who just “looked at them;” his idea would provide essential protein and feed starving families worldwide.
“He also figured this would save a huge part of the economic base of the many states that now house feral horses.
1) Welfare Cowboy would help BLM gather, then harvest and process (into hamburger or canned) the excess feral horses.
2) The canned hamburger could then be shipped to hungry children in need of protein, and starving people in areas of crisis such as Haiti, Japan and more.

3) Welfare Cowboy would also take donations of domestic horses and wild game.”

 

It will be interesting to see how this develops. In the meantime, thoughts?