That Saturday was the start of a new chapter. Ray and his friends at the Circle ‘M’ welcomed me into their life; into a world that I felt warmed by. Ken was delighted to get some extra help and we worked hard all day; tacking-up, grooming, cleaning, sweeping and feeding. We didn’t get to eat much ourselves and in the evening went off for a big feed of burgers at a local restaurant. I was unbelievably happy. I had found a place where I fitted in.
To top it all Ray said they slept-over at the ranch and I was welcome to stay too. It wouldn’t be fancy: they had a bunkhouse over the stable, and sleeping bags. Would I like to stay? Was a pig’s bum made of pork? Did squirrels eat nuts? Just try to stop me!
That night over the stables was wonderful. I felt snug and safe in my bunk-bed with the clump and thump and contented sounds of horses below. I lay awake for a while luxuriating in the peace of it and when I did sleep I slept like a log. No need for chairs to be jammed under door-handles here.
We were up early on Sunday feeding and watering, and then some good strong coffee out of the old tin coffee pot for ourselves. I loved the physical work and all the good stable smells. The best bit was Ken wanted me to take out trail rides. Free riding for taking the dudes out: I had become a wrangler in three days!