I have the greatest co-workers ever. They show up for work every day, they are never late, and they don't complain about much. Our "office" is set in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest Mountains. And our customers come from all walks of life, and every country you can think of. I never have two days alike, and I guess that's one of the best perks. I'm a mountain trail guide.
I started getting jobs with my horses way back when I was a kid. I got my first paper route on horseback and later put the paper bags over my pony and filled them with left over vegetables from my mother's garden and sold them around the neighborhood. I have worked on ranches, ran county horse crews, ran a breeding barn and so on. My motto is "If I can make money and use my horse, that's the job for me".
A couple of years ago, I gave away a lot of my extra horse tack, and vowed never to set foot on another unbroke or even green horse again. I felt I'd earned my place on the relaxed broke-to-death, old dependable horse. For the first time in forever, I was going to take horses off of the front burner and slow down a bit. Well, guess how that worked out for me!
I thought maybe this year I'd try to keep you up on the life of a mountain guide and some of the interesting people we encounter. It's not all rainbows and lollipops, you know. The days get hot and long about mid-season, and it gets a bit dusty in spots, but I love every minute of it. Almost.
My year starts early, as I have the responsibility of getting the horses that don't work out ready to be sold, and the horses we bought at the end of last year tested and stamped or rejected as candidates for the upcoming year's line. My first project this year is Tuff, a beautiful stout red Dunn gelding. He is 7 years old and has not been away from our herd since he was a yearling.
Unfortunately, he came upon breaking age at a time when the family had a tragic death and the ranch changed hands. Tuff kind of fell through the cracks and has remained a pasture pet basically. No one has done anything with him yet from what I was told. You don't have much time for green horses when the season gets going. So this year, I brought Tuff home. This happened about two weeks ago. And boy, do Tuff and I have a story for you!
Look for us tomorrow to find out how tough Tuff is.
Keep an eye out for my posts and maybe you'll get a chuckle or two. You never know from day to day, what's gonna get thrown at ya' in the life of a mountain guide.