As one of his horses nudged the fence with his nose at the Stampede Grounds, Mick Grabowsky said he and his horses have experienced great hospitality while staying in Williams Lake.
“A woman came here this morning and brought me fresh warm cinnamon buns,” he smiled on Wednesday morning. “People have been really friendly.”
Grabowsky, who hails from Duncan Creek in the Kootenays, has been travelling with three horses and his dog Pi since April.
So far they have covered 1,500 kilometres.
“When we got here on Monday the horses were interested in the other end of the corral because they could see other horses,” Grabowsky pointed.
“Now they are hanging out at this end by the gate, itching to get on the road again. They really love it I think.”
On Thursday morning they departed for Riske Creek.
As for why he’s decided to see the province by horseback, Grabowsky said:
“I could sit in a rocking chair and grow old or get out and see things.”
When asked how long he’ll ride, he smirked and said people in his family lived to be 100.
Then with a chuckle, added, probably until winter when he’ll find somewhere to stay for a few months.
His two-day ride from Alkali Lake to Williams Lake was his longest trek to date. He has friends in Springhouse he stopped to visit.
His horses Rebel, 6, Sirocco, 4, and Red Dawn, 4 are part Navada Mustang crossed with Suffield Mustang.
Sirocco is grey, which means the flies love her the most, he added.
He imprints his horses before birth, he explained, noting he has been raising horses for decades.
“I spend the last month with the mother, talking to her so when her colt is born it will know who I am.”
As his dog comes up to say hello after peeking out from under their gear, Grabowsky said it’s not much of a life without a dog.
Normally they take forestry roads and trails, to avoid the main highways, and when they camp they all sleep together.
“I slept away from the horses one night and when I returned in the morning it was like a dog pile. They were so happy to see me.”