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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Jan 24, 2014: Saddler at Bar U Ranch, Alberta

13 - Bar U Ranch saddlemaker-3443Nestling in the rolling plains leading to the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains beyond is the National Historic "Bar U Ranch". First established in 1881, today Bar U Ranch continues to be a living showpiece of the daily life and skills of Canada's cowboys and cattle barons and breeders.


At its peak, the ranch extended over 160,000 acres with 30,000 cattle and 1000 Percheron horses. These magnificent Percheron horses were descended from the mighty cavalry horses of the European Napoleonic wars and were later re-exported back into Europe in the 1914-18 World War to serve the armies need for beasts of burden.  Bar U Ranch owners George Lane and his partner were instrumental in  establishing  the world famous Calgary Stampede which annually attracts some 1.3 million visitors during it's hectic week of events dedicated to the world and skills of the Canadian cowboys.


Every facet of ranch life continues to function on Bar U Ranch exactly as it did over 100 years ago. From tales told told by the Cook right beside the chuck wagon, to visits to the ranch hand's bunk house and kitchen (complete with gleaming kitchen range and 'lazy Susan' on the dining table). Entering one of the working outbuildings I came across this old time saddle and bridle maker who kept me enchanted with his tall tales, wit and working skills. I really like this photo through which I can again sample those days long gone by. A wonderful visit to Bar U Ranch and a thoroughly recommended place to visit if you are in or around Calgary!





Images (1)
  • Bar U Ranch saddle maker: The skills of the saddle and bridle maker at Bar U Ranch

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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