Well, howdy all!
Welcome back to all of you who have been faithful followers, and hello to any new folks who have come to follow my journey. I trust you will enjoy.
It is springtime here at the Ranch and has been for quite some time now. As many of you know, the winter here in Alberta, Canada, was very mild this year. Not much snow fell and the temperatures never hit -40 C at any one time, at least not in the region of the City of Wetaskiwin where we reside.
Our snow has been gone since sometime in March. I enjoyed going out onto our Ranch and snapping some shots with my camera of our springtime scenery. I had to blow the dust off of the camera, as I have not picked it up in a while. I had good intentions of learning more about photography this winter but time just slipped by. My goal is to continue to learn more as I have taken up a photography course online, which I can do at my leisure.
There are so many things that I enjoy about spring. Of course, one of the first signs of spring in our area is the sound and sight of the great Canada Geese flying over our land. The geese are a beautiful bird. Normally we have an abundance of moisture in the fields and huge puddles are formed for the birds to land in when they arrive. This year there is not so much. They then resort to the dugouts nearby to begin nesting with their partner.
Spring also brings back many little birds to their summer home. Our birdhouse that sits way up high on a post in our yard is being prepared for some little ones. The parents are busy making their nest comfy and cushy for the new arrivals.
Speaking of new arrivals, Rick and I are very excited to have welcomed our second grand-baby into our family. Our daughter Kaylee and her husband Chris had a healthy baby boy on February 17. They have named him Ryker Fraser Reid.
Our horses have wintered well with the warmer temperatures. Because of this, they tend not to eat near as much in the way of hay and oats. Thus far, our feed bill is a little lower.
The thoroughbred horse is a towering beautiful animal. Ours have the freedom to wander on our Ranch from mid-August until the beginning of April. Then the training begins. They are just like a human athlete. They need to begin their program of becoming fit before the races begin. We start them off by having them trot along for a certain distance. Then we progress to faster and farther as the days go by.
This year, we have a few more horses to train, as our son Cody is competing on our World Professional Chuckwagon Association circuit for his first year as a rookie. Rick is quite excited to be able to race with his son. He has taught Cody many techniques of driving and we can see the natural ability that Cody has in him, due to coming from the bloodlines of Great Grandpa Tom Dorchester and Grandpa Dave Lewis. Both were great chuckwagon drivers themselves.
Of course, we could not get down the road without our wonderful sponsors. Back on March 17, the Calgary Stampede held the annual Stampede Canvas Auction for all the competing drivers. This year, we are happy to be teamed up with The Mavericks. A great group of guys who have the main goal of supporting some awesome charities as well as having plenty of fun along the way. We give a huge shout-out to all of them and look forward to a successful Stampede 2016!
Along with training the horses that hitch up to the wagon, we also have the outriding horses to tend to. Cole, one of our outriders, has been hard at work here on the Ranch, working right alongside us in the day-to-day training regimens of all the horses.
I enjoy my early mornings and often go out for a run. My beautiful horse Devereux and I were having a little visit this one particular day. Devereux loves mints! So when I head out the door, I always remember to bring him some. Chuckwagon racing is totally a family affair. During our two months of training at home, we have lots of fun and we welcome friends to come and take part or just come to watch and observe the life that we lead.
My grandson Coy has grown so much this past year. He has almost completed grade 1. His interests lie with Lego building, drawing and swimming. Coy lights up our lives when he is around.
Well, I have so much more to talk about but it will wait until another day.
From Home on The Ranch,
P.S. Life is not measured by the breaths you take…but by the moments that take your breath away.