A Glimpse into Summer Life on the Ranch Part I
Copyright 2015, Anne E. M. Van Gilson, all international rights reserved. No part of this may be used, transmitted, shared or quoted in any format without express written permission of the copyright owner.
It’s 6:45 am on a July morning, and the temperature is beginning to creep up towards 90F.
Already the sounds of horses nickering, snorting their noses and stomping their hooves fills the air at a Western ranch located in rural central Pennsylvania.
There are trucks and trailers pulling into the drive of Above the Sun Ranch, centrally located in the hills of Pennsylvania midway between the tiny towns of Penns Creek and Beaver Springs.
At this hour already, a number of clients are hauling their trailers and horses up the gravel lane, horse noses hanging out the trailer windows and equine newcomers all calling out to the other horses at the ranch. Some horses in the pasture run around with excitement; others stand and stare. Still, others keep their heads down, more intent to focus on the pasture grasses.
Clang, clang, bang, bang go some of the trailers as the tires of one hit a pot hole on the gravel road. Slowly the driver hits the accelerator a bit and changes gears to pull the trailer up the steep grade of the lane at the top of the mountain. Parents or teenaged drivers are driving their rigs and hauling horses up and into the field to unload as more young girls arrive to start their day at the ranch.
Some girls have spent the night in their trailers, laying over at the ranch and living out of the living quarter’s portion of their horse trailers for the week. Some girls slept in their tents. All have been up for nearly an hour already taking care of ranch chores and tending horses.
Then, after arriving clients have turned off their diesel engines, the sounds of girls, ranging in ages from 6 to 16, fills the air, their chatter almost competing with the noises of excited horses coming off trailers and being tacked up.
Laughter, giggles, words of encouragement to one another echo across the mountain top – these girls are the current and future champions of Pennsylvania’s barrel racing community. There is a calm excitement in the air this week. This is one of the several barrel racing camps at the ranch this summer, and this week, the upper-level girls are here based on their skills and regardless of age.
Some of the girls are already winners in both local, state and national rodeo events. Money, points, buckles, saddles, titles, and trailers are some of the winnings of a few of the 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds, and 16-year-olds. Some of the girl’s dream of winning. All have the drive and determination to achieve, and their training is all happening on a mountain top here in central Pennsylvania.
Everyone here “Dreams Big,” and that’s a motto of the ranch here itself.
Make sure to check back next week for Part II of, A Glimpse into Summer Life on the Ranch.