Vee Bar Ranch, Laramie, Wyoming
Hoofbeats. Dust. Sun.Every morning just after sunrise, the horses gallop in on a rush from whatever pasture they leisurely roamed the night before. They live like horses were meant to live; running free and bold and safe within their herd, eating native sweet grasses, taking shelter under trees. The wranglers drive them in, and the rest of the day, the horses choose us women to fancy them. We spread out into the open range where there is loose stock to look after; we climb a nearby mountain for expansive views of the landscape,and giggle nervously as we try riding bareback with (look Mom, no hands!) our eyes closed.
One morning we rode across desert dry ground and over muddy irrigation ditches. Adolescent eagles perched in a mammoth nest at the top of a poplar, and wild iris poked up through tall grasses, swishing in the wind. Black angus cows watched our meanderings as we gently herded them toward a salt lick. In the afternoon, we rode through timber; all ten of us women plus two young wranglers: competent, capable girls on break from university.
Someone said, like the horse, women know what it feels like to be preyed upon, and then before the thought could fully sink in, we attended to negotiating a crossing; our horses stepping carefully over river rocks as we splashed through clear moving water.
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Note: I left Laramie, Wyoming on June 10 for a boat trip from Seattle to Anchorage, AK; we will be at sea for 21 days with little internet access. Please stay tuned for my next blog post...with patience.