Nebraska Stories| Weekend on Horseback

Nebraska Stories| Weekend on Horseback


(horses neighing) NARRATOR: Every
fall, people gather at the Nebraska National
Forest near Halsey for the popular 4-H trail ride. BILL RIGGS:
When I first wanted to come, I was kind of scared
but yet I wanted to see what the country was
and the uniqueness is the different people
that you meet and see. And you learn so much about
our community, our state even. BRUCE TRELFER: This trail
ride’s been going for 20 years. Most of us that are still
involved on the committee were at that first
meeting 20 years ago. (metal clanking) The trail ride became
a logical thing to do. We talked about
where do you have it. Well, we got a state
4-H camp right here. People come in on Friday night and are able to stall
their horses here and kind of use this
as a central point. All of our rides kind
of start from here and come back to here. Part of it’s the solitude and
being close to their horses. And some people
are just campers. (hammers clanking) NARRATOR: Their
campsite is within the forest, but it’s
a primitive site. Meaning it doesn’t
have electricity. MAN: It’s knocking.
GUY: Start from here. MAN: No see, we gotta
do this, right. TRELFER: We hook up a pump
jack on the windmill because we’re not
absolutely certain the wind’s gonna blow and
the horses need water. Somebody had taken
that pump jack apart and messed it up a little bit. And we weren’t really sure
how it went back together. Anybody got a pump jack at home? We got some pump jack
mechanics help us out and got it put back
together then it worked. (engine sputtering)
(water drizzling) (slow country music) RIGGS: This morning
it was cool and damp. The horses had been penned and some of them haven’t
been used enough. It’s an anxiety on their part. SUE STAAB: You’re being a good
girl, aren’t you, Rosie? You just needed to lunge
it and take that edge off. It’s enjoyment. It’s mother-daughter time. And there’s no cell service so I have her full,
undivided attention. It’s a way for us to get
away and enjoy the nature. It’s beautiful out here. NARRATOR: The riders are
anxious to hit the trail. But before they do,
they pay tribute to a recently deceased friend. TRELFER:
Gary was a great cowboy. He was a great friend. And he’s kind of
the face of this trail ride for a lot of years. But I think Gary
would be with us in spirit today, I know he is. What we’re gonna do is
when Dewey leads out, he’s gonna lead Gary’s
horse out riderless. Let’s just have a
moment of silence, and then we’ll lead out. (slow, mournful music) He was the face of
this trail ride. He passed away last week. He had ALS, or Lou
Gehrig’s disease. He knew everybody, he was just a really outgoing,
unique individual. A great friend to lots
and lots of people. (dreary violin music)
(horse neighing) You’re in that most unique
grassland in the world. And then you’re at a national
forest that’s planted by hand. And then you put all these
people with their horses here. (horses neighing) We’ve had people from lots
of different locations. From South Dakota,
Colorado, Wyoming. We’ve had some foreign
exchange students come on this trail ride before. (horses whinny) RIGGS: The scenery
has a lot to do with it. You can’t see that
along the road. It’s back behind everything. You see all the good things. STAAB: A lot of the
same people come here and it’s just an
awesome group of people. I’d enjoy seeing those
people again sometime. We just see ’em once a year. And getting to
know those people, it’s just a lot of fun. We’ve been here
when it was snowing, when it was raining,
when it was hot and we’re all in
t-shirts and sweating. (horses neighing) TRELFER: I think this
is about relationships. There’s no better way
to spend a weekend than with horses and with
people that you like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *