Lake Upsata Guest Ranch

Well I have spent the past week at a guest ranch in Ovando, MT working as a wrangler. We’re about 45 minutes north east of Missoula, which is where I go to school. I’ve have so many experiences over just the past couple of days that I thought maybe you all would like to hear about them.

First of all, it is gorgeous here. We’re right on a lake Lake Upsata, actually) and surrounded by the mountains. We go riding through the mountains right around the lake, down the road at a game range, and eventually in the Bob Marshal wilderness, which is a huge national forest. We just got our first guests three days ago, so up until then the other two wranglers and I have just been riding around, finding new trails, and just having fun.
When we take horses to the Bob or to the game range is when things get exciting. We have to take a 32 foot stock trailers hitched to a ’70 pick-up with almost no brakes through the hills. No big mountains, just enough slope that the brakes don’t work at all. We just have to shift into 2nd and pray nothing jumps in front of us. I’ve never pulled a trailer before this job, which makes things a little more interesting.

Most of the horses here are pretty good, but there are a few more high strung horses as well. One of them managed to get into a fight with the wrangler who was riding him, and backed right into a barbed wire fence. He managed to get all tangled up and cut himself pretty good. The horse is ok, and the wrangler was able to jump off to saftey before the horse got too tangled, so everyone ended up ok. It was still pretty intense, so I decided to go into town and buy a leatherman pocket tool thingymabobber. It’s great, it has wire cutters, pliers, three sizes of flat head screw drivers, a phillips head screw driver, knife, file, and an awl. It comes with a little case that goes right on your belt, so I take it everwhere with me now.

One of the fly fishing guides has been teaching me a little bit about casting in exchange for riding lessons, so I’m hopefully going to be an experience flyfisherperson by the end of the summer. Maybe.
Well tomorrow’s another busy day, so I’d better get going. I’ll keep you all informed with my big adventures here in big sky country.

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