Bear Creek Guest Ranch


CATTLE DRIVES

Horsemanship & You!

A FEW THINGS TO PONDER

If If you’ve taken the time to scroll into the above named title, “Horsemanship and You,” then I suspect you’re curious about that topic, and most specifically, how that might influence your train of thought as you prepare for your trip to the ranch. I’ve got a few things to say that you might find interesting and I hope you can bring your own set of thoughts and actions to your week on horseback.

After almost forty years of directing adventure vacations on horseback, those being big game hunts, cattle drives, trail rides, ropings, and arena events, I’ve observed, over time, some subtle changes in the way we envision our use of horses in this ever more modern world we live in. Years ago, we didn’t pay real close attention to many of the finer forms of horsemanship that I’d like to think we do today. We know a whole lot more about horses and horsemanship, we feed better, our vet skills are advanced, and we’ve evolved towards a higher standard of care than we did in years past. But something is missing. I hadn’t really been able to put my finger on exactly what that was but lately it’s begun to come to me. Certainly, you’ve heard the expression “it’s on my bucket list.”

Many of the folks I talk to on the phone comment that our cattle drives, or our Off the Beaten Path horseback trip, as an example, is on their “bucket list.” At first blush, I get it. And I’m grateful for the call and the interest, believe me. On second blush, or perhaps after their arrival at our ranch, and after 10 hours in the saddle, I also get it when I sense that there wasn’t a whole lot of thought and preparation for the reality of being horseback in the very real world of the great but at times, difficult world of the outdoors. In other words, a really good week long trip into the back of beyond ain’t just a bucket filler! I think, in a nutshell, we’ve got to remind ourselves, that the horses we ride aren’t beasts of burden. Yes, I know we’re on their backs and we’re traveling some pretty significant distances using their power and energy to fulfill our real life fantasies. Nothing wrong with that. BUT, we’ve got to do so as partners with our horses. Hell, they don’t know anything about bucket lists. If we can bring ourselves to “partner up” with the mount that we’ll be riding day in and day out then we’re really getting somewhere. If I were directing a Carnival Cruise in the Mediterranean we wouldn’t be having this conversation. In the horse world we WANT to be mentally and physically prepared to be a partner. In reality that means we WANT to be riding. We want to make the trip you’ve signed up for real good, for the both you and that fine animal you’re going with.

I recognize that I may be getting a bit too existential but I WANT you to really want to ride. I hope that you can get in real good physical and mental readiness for your horseback trip in some of the best country you will ever see. I WANT you to be able to ride lightly in the saddle, right over the center of that horses’ back, and with a light hand, being able to get maximum performance with minimal effort. That’ll make you happy and your horse as well.

Hey, I’ve thrown a whole lot at you here. And by the way, I don’t doubt that you may be shaking your heads and wondering where I’m coming from. So on that note I want you to feel free to message or call me any time. I’d be more than happy to have a discussion about horsemanship and your trip here. If we can’t talk about it we might not do it. And that’s the bottom line.

Hope you’re doing well and looking forward to visiting with you.

Here’s to you in the latter part of fall, 2021. We’ve got a ways to before you arrive next season so here’s hoping to see you when the sun is high in the sky!

– Bill

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Horsemanship & You, Bear Creek Guest Ranch

15750 US-2, Essex,  MT 59916 United States | (406) 226-4489 | bill7777@hotmail.com

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