Sunday, July 8, 2012

Riding at Bates Bar J

Today was another great day in the West Country of Alberta. Over the years one or the other of my nieces or nephews and even a granddaughter have attended Bates Bar J a kids camp out west of Dogpound North. Caron my oldest niece graduated from camper to counsellor and then wrangler while she was growing up. It is a beautiful spot at the Junction of Grease Creek and the Little Red Deer River and through Caron’s long tenure there we have been able to access the place for a few rides of our own.


Today was another of those days.

1-DSCF0142It was a hot one here on the Northern Ranges, and the river crossings were pretty welcome. We got up into the high 80’s here and us northerners start to melt once the thermometer goes that high. Caron was riding her new mare Quiz today and she was out of the barn on her first trail ride as a four year old and she took everything in stride like an old hand.

1-DSCF01501-DSCF0160In the shot above you can see the Rockies peeping over the horizon up the valley but down in the meadow below is the Bates mare band and their foals enjoying a hot summer day.1-DSCF0163This is beautiful country and there are great vista’s every way you look.1-P7080552

When we got back to the trailer who did we find but another niece Remi clamouring for a ride on Quiz. She is staying for the week with her friend Abby and will have many days of great riding to remember.


Sadly this old ranch/camp is for sale and this year which is their 51st in business will probably be their last unless someone with the same game plan happens to buy it. However land in these parts is pretty expensive and it not likely to be used for the same program. Whoever gets it will have a beautiful spot to come home to in the summers.


  1. It would be nice if we got down to the high 80s even in the middle of the night!!

    Sad to see the kid's ranch disappear into memories... I spent every summer going to a ranch in western Iowa when I was a kid.. Sill remember it 50 years later...

  2. Great day for back country riding. I didn't see any photos of someone dipping their cowboy hat in the stream and placing it back on their head. I recall seeing shots likes those in the old western movies of yesteryear. OK, I'm waxing nostalgic!

  3. Sorry to hear the ranch is being sold. Hope the new owners contiune the tradition, hate to think of all kinds of vacation cottages being built on the land.

  4. i am so upset i have been going there forever and i am very sad to know that it is going

  5. Sounds like you had a great summer ride. Horsecamps and kids is a great combination, Wildhorse Mountain Ranch runs girls riding camps year round in central Alberta. 9 weeks in the summer and every long weekend during the rest of the year. Horses and girls are our speciality. LOTS of horsetime, so if anyone is looking for another camp to go to, contact us: or call 1-403-729-2910. Thanks for looking.