Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, March 4, 2017

An Angel Boost


You get the picture . . .
On the ranch, riding horses was pretty much a daily activity.
When I was a wee lad, whenever I would walk up to the barn, I always found horses there.
My father had 2 or 3 that were quiet and safe enough for children to bridle, saddle, and adventure on.
Coco was one of these. She was a beautiful Chocolate color, tall and long.
On to my story . . .
My friend Ian and I wanted to ride a horse out in the pasture. Of the horses that were ‘in’, Coco was the only one I could bridle and saddle. Fortunately, her nice long back worked well for riding double.
However, we had a problem. Cocoa was tall so putting on a saddle was difficult for my seven-year-old body. Besides, a saddle didn’t work well for riding together.
After getting a bridle on her, we needed to get up on her back.  Remember when I said she was tall? With no saddle, we weren’t able to step into a stirrup. So we walked Coco to the pole fence and climbed from there onto her back.
One has to be resourceful when one is seven and height challenged.
Once we were on Coco’s back we headed off for adventure, crossing the river into the pasture.
It was a beautiful afternoon in Southern Alberta. A very good day until some partridge suddenly jumped out of the grass in front of us.
Coco started and because we were not in a saddle, we slid off of her back, *wump* right onto the Prairie floor—a long fall for two seven-year-old boys.
We picked ourselves up and I grabbed the reins.
Now we had a problem.
There was no fence close by to help us climb onto Coco’s back.
Now this may not be a big deal even considering we were about a mile from the horse barn.  However, we needed to cross the river and the water was a little too deep to wade through.
I boosted Ian onto the horse, then found the largest rock and brought Coco alongside. I stood on the rock, grabbed Coco’s mane and pulled as hard as I could.
But I could not get up onto her back.
I decided I would have to lead Coco—with Ian on her back—across the river.
I started out but the water soon got high enough that I was afraid of going any further.
We turned around and tried to consider our options.
Now I suppose that I could have had Ian ride back to the barn and get help but that didn’t cross my mind. Maybe I was afraid that I would get into trouble for riding out where we were.
What to do?
We decided to pray.
Ian got off the horse and we said a little prayer out on there on the Prairie. That somehow we would both be able to get on Coco and ride home.
Once we finished praying, I boosted Ian up onto Coco. 
Then I tried to find the biggest rock that I could. (I think it was the same one I used before or one that was much the same size.)
I pulled Coco up beside the rock. Then I stood on the rock, grabbed onto her mane and pulled for all I was worth.
I got part way but couldn’t seem to manage the Last. Little. Bit.
Just as I was about to give up, I suddenly slid up the rest of the way onto Coco.
I was so relieved.

Happily, Ian and I rode back to the barn and turned Coco out into the coral.
I have thought about this from time to time. Did I really have my prayers answered?
Some may claim that I determined I had no choice but to pull myself up onto her back.
As I put myself back into that situation, I remember the frustration of having such a small body that did not seem to have the strength to get up on Coco.
I remember thinking as I tried to pull myself up onto her back: I just can’t do it. I just don’t have the strength.
Then suddenly I slid up the rest of the way.
You know what I think?
I think my guardian angel was there to give me a little boost.

This story is courtesy of  Little brother Blair.
I love his view of things! :)

7 comments:

  1. My guardian angel must look like he's been dragged through a knot hole backwards dog bits etc. I try to give him a well deserved rest now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Angels are everywhere....even out on the flat flat prairie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course they walk bow-legged and chew tobacco out there . . . ;)

      Delete
  3. We all need a boost now and then...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can imagine how relieved he was!

    ReplyDelete

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