"Why sure I'll ride him" were the words that came out of the small framed, silver haired, 78 year young ladies mouth.
As I awoke on this morning, the frost had covered everything it touched, and the wind was so bitter it could cut right through you. I honestly wasn't sure if I wanted crawl out of my warm bed to go with the boys, but I knew I'd regret it if I didn't get tough. So I bundled up in more layers than an onion, and waddled my way to the ranch house where we would meet.
The horses are already fuzzy with their winter coats, and on this cool morning their breath looked like a fire breathing dragon, and they had an extra spring in their step. They felt good! Ryan, climbed aboard ol' Ranger and after he got a few humps out of his back we were headed to the pasture to doctor sick cattle. ( That's a whole other story, ha!)
I was informed that this ranch manager granny would be joining us today from the warmth of the farm truck. Now, I'm not gonna lie, I always look forward to seeing a cute little grandma, but the fact there would be a warm feed truck to boot kinda got a girl excited. I can't help it, I hate frozen toes!
So as you can imagine, I rode around with granny for a while and watched the boys doctoring sick cattle in the pasture. We spoke of their ranch, and their operation, and how proud of her grandson she was. Now don't get me wrong this isn't your normal granny, she's a little spit fire and had me rolling with laughter as her short little legs could barely reach the gas petal, and we went hopping across the rough pasture in the feed truck. The boys had reached a stopping point, and we were about to switch pastures when Ryan walked up and saw an opportunity to give us a hard time. He said "Granny, you wanna ride this wild bronc back to the trailer?" in a joking manner. Well, I'm not so sure his face wasn't white as a ghost when she responded with a grin on her face and said "Sure"
Ryan, was still in shock I believe, but Granny climbed out of that feed truck, and my face lit up! This was really happening! Her cute little legs couldn't reach the stirrups so we brought ol' Ranger over to the pickup, and Granny was set!
Ol' Ranger is use to Granny spoiling him with treats, and that horse just dropped his head and knew he had to take care of her. This wasn't the same horse as when Ryan was riding him. He had instantly became a babysitter, and knew his job was to take care of Granny.
Away they went back towards the trailers, and Ryan still white as a ghost in shock, and a smile on his face as big as Texas. They rode and chatted, and I took pictures out of the cab of the warm feed truck. At that point I was almost in tears. I'm not gonna lie. Ryan told me that it had been years since she had been horseback, and he never thought he could actually talk her into it. But those spit fire Granny's like to keep you on your toes!
I was glad that I crawled out of bed that morning, and faced the cold bitter wind. This was a memory that will forever be cherished, and hung on the wall for years to come, right next to the photos of previous family members ranching. This is why I'm so passionate about capturing the ranch life. This is something that couldn't be captured in a stuffy studio, or in a posed photo shoot. This was an image of Granny living out her dream right next to her grandson. As we got back to the trailer I asked this sweet little doll " How was that?" and she simply responded with a big ol' grin on her face " He's gonna get extra treats tonight"
Feel free to view more images of this day on my Facebook Page.