Buck-It! Let's go Riding
I Felt Like the Man from Snowy River
The most thrilling ride I’ve ever had was with a friend of mine who owned a Guide Territory. He was an ex-bronc rider who’d been riding his whole life and ran about 30 head of horses. In the summer time the herd would roam the territory grazing and in the early fall, Jim would bring them into the camp.
I just happen to be at camp on this particular day when it was time to bring the horses in. Jim asked if I wanted to go along for the ride and I could hardly contain my excited as the words bust out of my mouth, “hell ya!” Throughout the summer he checked on the herd regularly so he had a pretty good idea of where they would be. We headed out to the corrals where he always kept a few of his best seasoned horses and we saddled up. We rode for quite a few hours at a steady jog until we entered this meadow. It was beautiful, small, tall grass surrounded by trees and to the right a bare hill. Jim said it was a good place to rest and wait so we dismounted, loosened out cinches and had a rest. The next step happened so quickly, I remember hearing a bell; at least one of the horses always had a bell on to make it easier to find them and the next thing I remember was Jim jumping up and yelling cinch up, and get out in front of them. Run as fast as you can down the trail back to camp. Don’t slow up or they’ll start ducking off. I cinched up and as I was mounting you could hear the thundering hooves and all of a sudden there they were, running full bore down the side of the hill, a cloud of dust following them.
I baled on my horse and started running………we jumped over trees, ran through streams. We dodged, ducked, jumped and leaped. We ran up banks, down hills and through thickets. Boom the lead mare was the one Jim focused on. He knew if she went astray the rest would follow. As I was running full bore down the trail, the herd hot on my tail, I heard Jim’s voice, he was yelling at Boom. I glanced back just in time to see Jim diving off into the trees. He needed to cut Boom of and direct her back to the trail before she took the whole herd off in another direction. I couldn’t see the events that unfolded in the minutes that followed but what I do remember is seeing Boom again out of the corner of my eye. She’d rejoined the group and once again we were all headed to camp.
When we got to the camp I ran straight into the corral and all the horses followed. When I got off my horse, I remember feeling stiff as a board…………of course I played it cool and never let on LOL.