Less than three months since his last visit, Australian horseman Joe Guy made an unscheduled ride through the Creston Valley on Friday.
He was riding a different horse, but travelling with his 14-year-old son, Zack. Guy continues his commitment to life on the road. This time he arrived at Renee’s Roadhouse Diner in a saddle atop Miles, a horse that was given to him in Rock Creek only a couple of weeks ago.
“He’s 11 years old, unbroken and has never worked,” Guy said, saddling up yet another horse that was likely destined for an unhappy end to its life. “No one had laid a hand on him for four years — just catching him was a challenge.”
Eight days after being put into Guy’s remarkable hands, Miles was continuing the southeastward journey that his new owner started in Merritt earlier in May. Guy was riding four-year-old Dan when he and Zack started out. A week on the road followed eight days of training and Dan, once destined for the glue factory, was broken and ready for others to ride.
How long Guy and Miles will travel together is anyone’s guess. The Nomadic long rider left Creston on Friday evening, with plans to rejoin his wife and two daughters in Bayne’s Lake before continuing eastward. Somewhere along the way he will sell Miles, pick up another unbroken horse whose owner is tired of feeding it, work his magic, and saddle up once again.
“I’m planning to ride to the East Coast and we will stay there about a year,” he said. “I hear it’s really beautiful there.”
Flat land is starting to sound appealing to Guy, who is limping badly after a planned ride through the Gray Creek Pass to Kimberley went sour. Guy, Zack and Miles met with deep snow about 11 kilometres off Highway 3A and Guy left his two companions behind while he walked a mile to see if conditions improved further on. They didn’t, so he trudged back through the deep snow and the returned to the East Shore and on to Creston.
“I hate doubling back,” Guy said. “And now my feet are killing me. When we were in Wynndel, Zack asked me where I would like to be if I could be anywhere in the world. I told him, ‘Right here, but without the friggin’ sore feet.’ I’ve never been so sore in my whole life.”
Since leaving Australia five years ago, Guy has travelled through 14 countries, but he loves Canada.
“It changes so fast,” he said. “Once I was riding along under clear skies and 15 minutes later I was in a whiteout. That doesn’t happen back home.”
His nomadic life has also come to suit his wife, too.
“She was talking to somebody and I heard her say she could never own a house,” he smiled. “Good thing, too, because it’s hard to have a house and live like this.”
A musician, author and storyteller, Guy makes cash by performing, selling his book and CD, and selling the horses he is given to train.
“Another life saved,” he thinks, as he passes an animal, once considered “unrideable”, on to an appreciative new owner.
Follow along with Joe Guy and his gypsy life at www.joeguylongrider.com.