I finished work at Jasper Stables about three weeks ago. My parents came out to visit me at the end of my work season, and I finished off my summer by holidaying with them around British Columbia and Alberta. Now, I’ve returned back home to Ontario.
This was my third summer in Jasper. Sometimes people asked me why I returned twice, rather than go somewhere new. The reason is simple: I loved it. I loved the job I had there. I loved taking people out on rides, whether it was their first time or their five-hundredth time on a horse, and seeing their eyes light up throughout the trail. I loved watching their awe at the mountains, the wildlife we would see, and the fun facts I’d share with them about the forest, wildflowers, and more. Mostly, I loved that I got to spend every day outdoors, riding my horse in the mountains.
Like every job, there were days that were harder than others – days when it would pour rain nonstop and we still had to go on rides, days when I had so many different groups I couldn’t remember which small talk I’d used up, days when I had to entertain five-year-olds who couldn’t focus on anything for more than five seconds at a time. But on every ride, I could honestly look at my horse and at the beautiful scenery around me, and know that I’d rather be there than anywhere else.
And, of course, a big part of what made my job so bearable even on those tough days was the people I worked with, and the people I worked for. My bosses at the stables were the nicest I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot of bosses). They would buy us cold beverages to enjoy at the end of every workday, bring us Timbits every Saturday morning, and make us steak dinners every long holiday weekend. And most of all, by giving me a job each year, they enabled me to spend three whole summers doing something I loved.
I don’t know when I’ll get back to Jasper again. It won’t be next year, because I’ve got some upcoming plans (more on those later). It may not be for a long time, but that’s okay.
I’ve got more than enough memories to keep me going ’til then.