Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some of my new neighbours

image1.jpgAlthough we are really close to town we are also in a rural area and surrounded with countryside and lots of horses. This is a major ranching area and there are a lot of cowboys and their equine companions around. I regularly see horses on my way into town, some with foals. The other day I walked in the opposite direction towards the little village of Lower Nicola and stopped and was greeted by these new neighbours. I am not familiar with horses so hesitated to pat them and didn't have anything to give them so settled with a photo.

Of course there are lots of cows too and it is lovely to see the little ones with their moms. One of our neighbours in the mobile home park is a cowboy and he introduced us to his cow dog called Jasmine. When he goes up into the bush on horseback she rounds up the cattle and herds them so they can be counted and branded. This dog is so intelligent and so friendly, it is a Collie/Akita cross. He has five horses of his own and said we could go riding anytime. I think these muscles and bones might not like it too well but it has always been a dream of my husband to ride so maybe he will take him up on it.

We live relatively close to Canada's largest working cattle ranch of more than half a million acres. The current cattle herd is approximately 20,000 and approximately 300 horses. Douglas Lake Ranch has been in existence since 1872.

It is commonly thought that the United States is home of the biggest cattle drives but that is not so, Canada ran a cattle drive from this area to Alaska, about 1600 miles, over some of the roughest terrain to get to the Klondike gold miners. To celebrate the cowboy legacy of the area there are rodeos going on all summer and people come here from as far away as Arizona to compete. It is very different from where were living up north, even the clothes, lots of the men wear cowboy hats and boots seem quite bow legged to me, I guess from sitting on a horse so much. They say the First Nations people are the best cowboys and many of them work on the Douglas Lake Ranch. We just had a rodeo exclusively for First Nations and Native American peoples and there were lots wearing their regalia in town. About 600 contestants came and since this was the first one it is hoped it will grow to be a big success.


Jeni said...

Isn't it great to get out and check out the local scenery -and get some good exercise in the process then?

Joy said...

That is so interesting. Here in Texas we see lots of cattle and horses too. I'm like you. I really don't want to ride one.
But I love driving by and seeing the scenery with them in it.
You'll have to get a picture if you hubby gets on one of the horses.
♥ Joy