Bates Bar J Ranch
I've mentioned the ranch a couple times on the blog, and I noticed in google searches when you type "Bates Bar J Ranch" in, my blog pops up quite a bit through the pages. So basically, this page is me asking the great internet gods, and the universe to help me out:
What I'm hoping is that people who purchased Horses from the Bates Bar J Ranch Dispersal Sale will see this, and contact me.
Basically, if you purchased ANY of the horses that went through the sale, I would LOVE to hear how they are doing now - pictures never hurt either :). On the other hand, if we don't know each other, (perhaps you attended Bates Bar J before me), I would love to hear from you too - and hear your story about bbj. You can contact me through this blog, or over email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't hesitate!
& here... just for good measure... is my story:
When I was 8, I started attending Bates Bar J Ranch and it completely changed my life. I have no doubt that I would be a totally different person had I not encountered the ranch that fell at the junction of the Little Red Deer River and the Grease Creek. My love of horses flourished, and all of a sudden I went from reading about them, and pony rides in a corral to riding them, on trails - through rivers, under branches, down massive hillsides! From my first horse Minnie, to Domino, Windsong, Sunshine, the absolute love of my little girl dreams - Legolas, and of course, Wolfdancer, every horse snuck into my heart and never left.
When I was 16, I applied to become a counsellor, it was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. When I got counsellor, I cried with sheer, pure, happiness. As a 16 year old girl, the greatest gift had been given to me - a new road, a new path to take. Just as the ranch sits at a junction, I was at a junction too. I needed the ranch to escape from bad influences, and my own self-destructive tendencies. I needed the people there to believe in me, as they did, because they raised me up - I believed in myself like I never had before.
When I was 19, I was asked to be a riding leader, and again my life shifted. My paradigm went from, "I like horses", to "Horses are my life." As corny as that saying is, it really think its true. I knew that I needed to get better, to constantly work, and read, and learn, to become better with horses.
Finally, a year later, I was 20. I found myself in the precarious role of "barn boss", and I also discovered the ranch was for sale. I wept for days, I mourned the loss of a giant in my life. How a place can encompass not only physical boundaries, but can also take on a complete life of its own, still escapes me at times. Most days, it is still a heavy burden on my heart that this place said goodbye to me, before I was ready to say goodbye to it.
& then there was the horses, I don't think there was a horse there I don't have a story about. I could tell you every detail of every one of those ponies, and my whole heart was wrapped up in their well-being and happiness. I spent every moment I physically could with those animals when I was out there, whether it was sneaking in more brushing time as a camper, always volunteering for "barn" duty as a counsellor, or spending nights laying on a hay bale, soaking in their essence, or sneaking out and spending time with them in their pastures as a riding leader. Those horses, were my life. The string has changed so much since even I first started working there but there are the greats. In my head I can still picture their stalls... Blue, Marcus, Dude, King, Tad, Ballet, Rockinstraw, Franc, Contessa, Hughie, Hoover, Scram, Shilo, Samara, Wolfdancer, Tom, Wiggles, Windsong, Domino, Fleur, Coy, Butterfly, Mandy, Coltan, Soren, Bobbin, Blackjack, Show n' Tell, Tippy, Penny, Marchessa, Della, Josie, Dunee, Casino, Cindy, Dandee Eyes, Carobu, Timber, Jessie, Ditto, Bertha, Birdie, Wizard, JR, Flare, Slim, Sass, TFR, Misty... and of course, my non-dude string crew, Jed, Siss, Navy, Huckleberry, Hobo, Cash, then there was those gosh darned babies I loved too... Doc, Caesar, Brutus & Gus and who could forget the Donkey, Fred?! & finally, my boy that I just couldn't leave behind - Jingle. It's funny because in typing out there names, so many stories just flooded into me. How can you leave something like that behind?
Which is why, it is with a happy heart I saw them all go to such good homes, but with a heavy heart I had to say goodbye. It would be so wonderful to know where they are now, and how they are doing.
So there ya go, a little plea to the universe - what can it hurt?!