Tales from the Trail
C S Wilson
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Merriam-Webster.com defines a wrangler as: “a ranch hand who takes care of saddle horses”. In the tourist livery industry, not only does the wrangler take care of saddle horses, but he/she leads out trail rides, mostly working for the love of horses and tips. Whether they worked for a day, a season, or a decade, every wrangler has stories from their time spent on horseback, leading out trail rides. There’s nothing we like better than to sit around and swap ‘war stories’. This book is a collection of short stories from leading out rides in the Rocky Mountains. “I told the guests I knew how much they appreciated the beauty surrounding them and I knew they and their horses were getting tired, but we really, really needed to step up the pace. By that time, the storm had broken over Long’s and had zeroed in on us; though the sun was still shining brightly, the horses caught their first whiff of the coming storm and sped up on their own. I desperately tried to keep an eye on both storms bearing down on us, and in short order, it was much easier to do. With a theatrical crash, the two storms collided. Now the trick became keeping the horses from bolting. Eerily, the sun was still shining brightly, but the forest around us had gone dead silent. The birds and little critters had disappeared. We were in a controlled trot, pivoted backwards in our saddles, watching the two storms battle it out. Halfway to the trees, we began to see lightning arcing between the two storms and hear the rumbling thunder as one storm grumbled at the other.”
stood 14.2 hands tall, and had a white crescent shaped like the silhouette of an Arabian horse between two amazingly soft eyes. When brushed out, her black mane and tail had lots of volume. As Estes and I got to know each other, besides falling absolutely, completely, unconditionally in love with her, I learned she LOVED to stop traffic. There’s not a car, truck, or motorcycle that failed to stop for Estes when we were assigned traffic duty. It didn’t matter which livery we were working with,
something to rattle around to scare it off. From a safe distance, of course. Nothing overtly threatening, just an obnoxious noise to make it decide to dine elsewhere. OK, so it was kind of a wussy plan, but it was late and my brain was still asleep. Decision made, I took a deep breath and opened the door, not wanting to draw the bear's attention just yet, even though the dumpster should have been 30 yards from my door. A good sized bear can move a full dumpster a long way by smacking it around.
out of our sight, I cringed inwardly, already hearing the sounds of squealing tires and screaming horses. I could also see in my mind’s eye the car, horse, and people carnage just waiting to happen when the horses stampeded across the highway. What I actually heard was a whole lot of shod horses skittering across the asphalt. The skittering sound brought a whole new batch of images to my mind of one horse losing his traction and taking out the rest of the herd, and then there would be squealing
the lake, it was pure, perfect sand. I moved forward reverently, afraid to disturb the perfection of the scene. All of the internal cussing going on during the scramble up to the lake melted away and every step up the cursed trail was suddenly worth it. I looked around and saw my guests had their lunches spread out on boulder on the east side of the lake, so I headed back to the horses to grab my lunch and my camera, so I could explore the area. Knowing I was going to break one of the cardinal
hitting the horse in the back of the head with a .38 caliber round, which can still be felt under the skin. The horse lived and was eventually sold at auction, which is how he ended up in Bucky’s herd. What were the odds that the only horse, in a stock trailer full of horses, hit by the bullet’s ricochet was the only horse that had a previous gun encounter? Crazy, isn’t it? River That same Arizona festival weekend, I got my first opportunity to ride an OTTB (off the track Thoroughbred).