More than a Pack Trip
I grew up around horses and wanted a family holiday where my children could experience these wonderful animals as well. We’re from Seattle, living in the city we don’t get much chance to spend time with horses. After a Google search for horse trips in BC, we found the Chilcotin Holidays website and we didn’t look back. This seemed to be exactly what we were looking for.
We arrived at the ranch after an amazing, yet nerve-wracking six hour drive from Vancouver, via Lillooet. We were welcomed by our two guides and sat down to lunch with all the team, we were made to feel like part of the family from the first minute. In the afternoon, we would have our first ride, where we were taught how to saddle our horses. My 8 and 9 year-old boys, Kit and Seamus, had never saddled before, but their horses, Teepee and Scout were very patient with them. The ride was amazing, I thought I was an experienced rider, but I’d never ridden on narrow trails or through water. I enjoyed the ride just as much as my boys, and our adventure had only just begun.
We spent two nights at Eldorado Camp, where we rode the Ridge Ride and were amazed by our horses all over again. The views quite literally took our breath away, as did our guides’ knowledge as they could name any mountain we pointed out to them. Everyday, we ate lunch sitting on the ground and picked wild soopalallie berries or pine needles for tea. We learned about the environment we were visiting and how committed our guides were to conserving it, recording all the wildlife we saw and monitoring the grazing area and rotating the staked horses so the grass wouldn’t be over-grazed. Staking was a great chance for us to bond as a family and with our guides as it required a lot of team work to make everything efficient. Our guides always listened to our suggestions for improvement, making us feel a valued part of the team.
These experiences were amazing, but what I would really like to thank you for is the difference we noticed in Kit over those few days. Of my two boys, Kit has always been the quieter, yet on this trip, he was always the first to volunteer to get the horses’ their oats each morning and evening and organize our staking routine, making sure the horses always had good grass. He took responsibility for caring for the horses, not just his horse Teepee, but all of them. Our amazing guides did everything to give him this opportunity, even showing him how to re-shoe a horse in the bush. Both Kit and Seamus were given the chance to lead part of the Ridge Ride. I had expected Kit to say he didn’t want to, that he would prefer to ride quietly near the back. But he leaped on the opportunity, listening carefully to our guides’ directions and shouting back to us ‘feet out’ or ‘lean forward’ whenever needed. Kit is a hundred times more confident now and continues to take responsibility for animals, he walks our dog every day now! We can’t thank our guides, the horses and this unique environment enough for Kit’s transformation.
You are all amazing, you are one big family and it is so obvious you all love your job!