In this collection of short stories, Canadian Miles Kingdon shares situations that shaped his life as a true big-outfit cowboy and horseman.
“It takes about three years to get to know your home range; how to think ahead of your herd, be able to do your day’s work and still have horseflesh left over for the ride home. I wholeheartedly believe this, as do most experienced hands. And, in rough country, where a cowboy might be a bit short handed, or in the heavy timber, a good dog can sure help save the day.”
–Excerpt from Beyond the Next Ridge: A Cowboy’s Story
Canadian cowboy Miles Kingdon has spent his life cowboying and learning from horses cattle, the land and the weather, and his reputation earned him induction into the B.C. Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2017. Working as a big-outfit cowboy on the vast Northern Range, Kingdon experienced things most people can’t even imagine, such as gathering wily cattle on rough, remote ranches, spending time alone in the quiet of cow camp, encountering bears and predators face-to-face, riding through blizzards and deep snow, and walking away from a myriad of wrecks. He shares short vignettes from his cowboying days at Douglas Lake Cattle Company, the Gang Ranch and other high-profile outfits in this special little volume written from the heart. The book is full of grit, hair-raising excitement, a bit of humility and insightfulness, and plenty of good old cowboy humor.
As ranching evolves through time, Kingdon’s authentic stories become timeless tales that document and preserve an era where deals were sealed with a handshake, reputations were earned with hard work and integrity, and a cowboy relied most on his instincts and his partnership with his horse and dog. Throughout the book readers not only come to respect Kingdon as a hardcore cowboy who gets the job done, but also as a skilled horseman who honors the horses from which he’s learned. He shares his understanding of horses and his soft feel through workshops teaching vaquero horsemanship methods.
A short read with illustrations by Rob Dinwoodie sprinkled within the text, this book is an enjoyable distraction in the evening and on a cold winter day. It’s written by a cowboy for cowboys and has earned a permanent spot on my nightstand with a few other cowboy classics.