Into the Story

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Into the Story podcast: episode 45 cover photo.

Episode 45: Horse trip adventure

Level: intermediate
Accent: Canada

In this episode of “Into the Story,” Sam, embarks on a seven-day horseback trip with her boyfriend in the picturesque wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in Canada. Sam reconnects with her childhood love of horse riding after the loss of her mom, finding solace and adventure in the mountains. As they navigate through stunning landscapes, unexpected challenges arise.

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[00:00:00] Bree: This is Into the Story, the podcast where you learn English with true stories from all over the world. Stories that connect us and inspire you to get where you want to go.
[00:00:23] Hi there it’s Bree here. And today we’re going to hear a story from Sam. Now Sam grew up in the small town of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. I want you to picture a little town in a Western movie. There’s a main street with low wooden buildings and people walking around in cowboy hats and cowboy boots, the sun is shining brightly and in the distance you can see some mountains. Well, this is exactly what Cochrane feels like.
[00:01:03] Sam grew up riding horses. In the summer, she would ride almost daily and her mom would do big back country trips. Backcountry is what north Americans use to talk about the wilderness. Picture majestic mountains, dense forests and crystal clear lakes.
[00:01:27] Sam: We started off in Banff National Park, which is just this world renowned, insanely beautiful park. I really was just completely in awe the entire time, looking at the views, and they changed so drastically
[00:01:48] Bree: this back country is very close to Cochrane about an hour drive away. So as Sam grew up, her mom was always going on these big back country trips on the horses. But Sam grew up and she moved into the city for a time she forgot about riding horses and that small town. Today, she’ll tell us a story of finding her way back to adventure.
[00:02:18] If you like this episode, will you do me a favor and follow into the story on your podcast app it’s free and it means that you’ll never miss a new episode and thanks.
[00:02:29] And now it’s time to look at five words and expressions that Sam uses in today’s story. First. To be in awe of. So, if you are in awe of something, it means that you feel amazed or impressed by something that’s very special. For example, the kids were in awe of the beautiful fireworks on new year’s Eve.
[00:03:05] Or Maria was in awe of the pretty sunrise over the ocean on her vacation. To be in awe of something.
[00:03:16] Next. To be. Eerie. E E R I E so if something feels eerie, it means that it feels a bit scary or strange. For example, the old empty house looked Erie with its dark windows. Or walking through the foggy forest at night.
[00:03:46] It felt eerie because of the spooky sounds. To be. Eerie.
[00:03:53] Next to be uneasy. Or to be. Antsy. A N T S Y To be uneasy or antsy means that you feel anxious, you feel a little bit nervous or worried. You don’t feel calm. For example, Sarah was uneasy about her first day at a new school. Or Tom felt antsy before the big test, because he wasn’t sure if he had studied enough.
[00:04:30] To be uneasy. Or to be antsy.
[00:04:35] Next to feed off of. This describes getting energy or feelings from someone or something else. For example.
[00:04:48] Today, Sam talks about horses feeding off of the energy of the person who was riding them. So, if you feel scared, The horses feed off of your energy and they feel scared too. To feed off of. And finally a meadow. A meadow M E A D O W describes a field, normally a beautiful field with grass and flowers.
[00:05:23] So imagine you’re in the forest and you come to a place with no trees, but that’s filled with grass, this is a meadow. For example, the picnic was set up in a lovely meadow with butterflies and flowers. Or , during the spring, the meadow is covered in colorful wild flowers, making it very pretty. A meadow.
[00:05:48] Bree: Okay. That’s all for the new words and expressions today. And remember if you want an extended vocabulary list, the transcript and a quiz, then you can visit our website. Okay. Now sit back, relax and enjoy. Let’s get into the story
[00:06:10] Sam: my mom had just passed away not even a year before and Horses had always been a huge part of her life as well as mine growing up.
[00:06:20] And I had gotten away from the horse life as, as an adult. And then I met this man who became my boyfriend And
[00:06:31] he had horses and we’d done a couple of two night trips, just camping and riding around during the day and all in the mountains. And we wanted a big challenge we had planned a seven day horse trip with just the two of us and five horses. Before this trip, I was definitely feeling, stuck just having a hard time. With the loss of my mom and I was ready for adventure.
[00:07:07] Bree: This is going to be a very challenging trip. Very advanced. They need five horses just to be able to carry all their gear: their tent, their clothes, their food, safety equipment.
[00:07:24] Sam has her experience with horses from her childhood, but she doesn’t feel totally prepared for this type of trip. In any case she’s very excited.
[00:07:34] Sam: We started off in Banff National Park, which is just this world renowned, insanely beautiful park. I really was just completely in awe the entire time, looking at the views, and they changed so drastically.
[00:07:56] There was lots of wild flowers and I was thinking of my mom a lot the entire time. I was very emotional but in, in a way that was beautiful, , I felt like I was honoring her
[00:08:12] Bree: the first few days are incredible. Sam is feeling really connected to her mom here in the middle of the back country, there’s sparkling lakes and huge mountains. At night, the sky is full of twinkling stars. It feels like they’re in a dream.
[00:08:33] Sam: On day four, we camped at the top of this mountain. It was by far the highest point that we had gone. And we had this beautiful picturesque view of these really, really tall mountains. And we wake up in the morning and we have some coffee and take our time pack up our camp. And the plan was to go down the mountain pass and on the other side is a new mountain range and a new provincial park.
[00:09:13] And so we pack up all our stuff, go down the mountain. And we see that it’s, the entire valley is a newer burnt forest, like it had happened within the, you know, the last couple of years or a few years.
[00:09:31] And it had an eerie feeling because there’s just these massive trees and they’re just sticks. Like all black sticks poking out and then through them you can see this unbelievable mountain range and the ground was just completely covered in wild blueberry bushes and flowers everywhere
[00:09:57] So we come down the mountain and we lose the trail because of this burnt forest the trail got covered
[00:10:04] and so we lost the trail and we decided we were gonna keep looking for it, but in order to look for it, you have to jump over all of these logs. . So we decided not to ride the horses and just lead them.
[00:10:20] Bree:
[00:10:20] The trail that they’re following is in a location that’s so remote that when they did their research for their trip, there was no information about this forest fire. So now they can’t find the trail it’s covered and fallen trees. They’ve gotten off their horses and they’re leading them through this dead burnt forest searching for the trail.
[00:10:44] We looked all day long, all day. And it was one of those things, like you go over a hill and you’re like, okay, let’s just go to the other side of the hill. If we don’t find it, we’ll turn around. But we just kept on doing that. And so there was a lot of frustration on not being able to find this trail. If we don’t find this trail, we have to completely reroute our, our entire trip, which would mean going back over the other side of the mountain and perhaps going back to where we came from.
[00:11:19] It was getting later in the day and it was starting to rain. And so we had to make a decision.
[00:11:25] We couldn’t camp where we were. It wasn’t safe. So we decided to turn around and go back we were going to go camp in our same spot that we stayed in the night before.
[00:11:36] And on our way back, we found the trail. So we, we then had to decide, okay, do we, do we go down and try to see what we can find? Or do we just go back to the camp and figure out what we’re going to do tomorrow? So. It was getting dark fast and it was getting colder and colder because we’re super high elevation as well.
[00:12:05] So the, with any mountains, but especially the Rockies, the weather just gets, is very dramatic. And it went from being a beautiful day With blueberries and flowers to starting to even snow a little bit and we’re soaking wet. So we decide to go back to the camp and we’re riding up and we see a grizzly. my, my heart sank. My stomach dropped. I was so, so terrified.
[00:12:44] Sam: they’re a very terrifying animal to come across in the wilderness. If you scare them or they decide they want to hurt you, there is. Really no way of escaping it at that point.
[00:12:56] And we see him up ahead. He hears us, and just his presence has made the horses uneasy. It’s made us uneasy. And with horses… They are such sensitive animals that they feed off of your energy. And so if you are scared of something, they look at you for guidance. And so then everybody’s uneasy and the horses start to get a little bit more antsy and for Reasons that are really complicated to describe we didn’t have all the horses tied as we normally would they were following each other as we were riding them and So they started to get more antsy and they’re wanting to, to take off.
[00:13:45] And Andrew’s saddle, my partner, his saddle becomes loose. And so he has to get off his horse and tighten up his saddle. And while he does that, the rest of the horses take off and all of the horses that took off had all of our gear.
[00:14:03] So they had our tent , our food, our clothes, everything.
[00:14:11] So while the horses had taken off and my partner is tightening his saddle, he, we brought a rifle for safety. We’re, we’re surrounded by cougars and bears and it is a dangerous situation. So just, just to be safe, , we, we brought a gun. And… In this chaos, the rifle comes off the saddle and neither of us notices and we get back on the horses and we go to chase the ones, the three that have run. And the reason why this is extra scary is because horses their sense of navigation is really amazing, and they will want to go back to where they came from, right down to putting their, their feet in the same prints that they came on.
[00:14:58] And so we didn’t know if they were going to go back to our original camping spot, the one from the night before, or if they were going to go over the mountain pass and try to go back to the truck, which is days rides away. So there, we were very scared in that moment.
[00:15:16] Sam: Andrew’s still on the ground, tightening his saddle, trying to hold his horse from chasing after the other horses and so we finally get back on them. and it’s raining. The ground is slippery. We’re on an up angle because we’re riding up the mountain and it’s muddy and it’s slippery.
[00:15:43] They’re slipping all over the place and you kind of just have to let the horse do its own thing in that situation like just hold on and and let them do the running up. And it’s starting to get dark. At what point are we going to have to just make a camp if we can’t get to the top of the mountain before it’s dark? We’re not sure what we’re going to do.
[00:16:07] And so we’re racing back up the mountain and we’re almost at the very top and we look to our right in this meadow and all the horses are just standing there eating.
[00:16:20] So we were very relieved and it’s starting to get dark. I’m freezing. I’m soaking wet and freezing. It’s starting to snow. So we , grab the horses, tie them up and then start immediately building a shelter, set up the tent, start a fire, , and then finally take a breath and like, whoo, that was really scary.
[00:16:46] That could have been really, really bad.
[00:16:49] Bree: And so they just enjoyed their evening. Got warm, dried out their clothes. But they were still feeling pretty nervous. There was a grizzly bear around and they had lost their rifle.
[00:17:05] Sam: So we had a wonderful sleep, , wake up in the morning, saddle up the horses,, pack up our camp, and then we decide we’re going to try. We’re going to try again, we’re going to, now that we’ve found the trail, we’re going to keep going.
[00:17:23] So, we’re riding out and then we see a huge mound of bear poo right outside of our camp. that was terrifying, knowing that probably that same bear did come sniffing around. We start riding down, and as we’re riding down, we find the gun. So that was nice. Found the gun, and then continue riding down and it was really empowering overcoming that really scary situation and actually making it through, we’re all okay, wow, that was, that was an adventure.
[00:18:02] And that really made me think a lot about my mom and her adventures and these types of things happen. You have a lot of variables, five horses, all your gear going through the mountains, there’s animals, there’s weather, there’s all of these variables it was really amazing to have gone through that. And knowing that my mom had gone through things like that as well. And I understood why she would come back from these huge trips, just filled with excitement and. an adventure and I understood it and it made me feel closer to her.
[00:18:41] Bree: Today Sam lives in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada, and Revelstoke is a small little town. Right in the middle of the mountains, it’s famous for mountain biking, boating, fishing, skiing, snowboarding. Anything that is in the back country. You can do in Revelstoke. Sam continues riding today. In fact at the time that this story comes out, Sam will have just gotten back from one of those big back country rides.
[00:19:15] And I asked her, what is it like to ride a horse on such a huge long journey?
[00:19:21] Sam: You develop such a bond with horses. They’re very similar to a dog in that way. Except they’re very sensitive. And everything depends on energy. And so you just develop this really beautiful bond with this animal and they want to trust you.
[00:19:40] And so you develop this relationship with this animal and They feed off of your energy. So if you’re, if you’re really scared or nervous, they feel it instantly. You can see them feel it. Because they’re, it’s like almost like a child in that way where you feel you’ve got to be the adult and, and take over the situation and make them feel calm. And then in turn, they will get you where you need to go in a safe way. But you have to have this trusting relationship both ways.
[00:20:19] So I started off riding. A horse named Chick. Her and I didn’t like each other very much. Her mostly, she just did not like me. But then before On the day that we were getting to the top of the mountain where the story started, She lost a horseshoe. And so I couldn’t ride her anymore, and I had to ride a different horse.
[00:20:41] And this horse, his name is Attila. And his type of breed is made for the mountains. And so he’s smaller, he’s stockier, but he hops around the mountain like a rabbit. So when you’re sitting on him, he’s jumping over everything, but it’s really smooth. And he just had the most. Beautiful personality, like he really did, does remind me of a dog in so many ways, like looking at me for reassurance and is just very responsive. And so him and I developed a really amazing relationship coming out of that adventure.
[00:21:27] Bree: Sam loves the mountains. She also loves books, a good laugh, and she is the mother to a teenage son and over a hundred houseplants.
[00:21:37] If you would like to see some incredible photos from this adventure, including a photo of that burnt forest. You can visit our website. Okay. That’s all for today’s story. I hope that you loved it. And if you did, please share this episode with a friend who is learning English. You can just press the share button. It’s normally at the top of your app and send it on over to them. Okay. Until next time, I hope that you have a good time or at least a good story to tell.

Quote of the episode

“You develop such a bond with horses. They’re very similar to a dog in that way. Except they’re very sensitive. And everything depends on energy.”

– Sam Clark

Words & expressions of the episode

* words mentioned by Bree in the podcast episode

* TO BE IN AWE OF: To feel amazed and impressed by something very special. Example: The kids were in awe of the beautiful fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

* EERIE: Something that feels a bit scary or strange. Example: Walking through the foggy forest at night felt eerie because of the spooky sounds.

* TO BE UNEASY/ ANTSY/ANXIOUS: To feel a little nervous or worried, not feeling calm. Example: Sarah was uneasy about her first day at a new school. Tom felt antsy before the big test because he wasn’t sure if he had studied enough.

* TO FEED OFF OF (ENERGY) “horses feed off of your energy”: To get energy or feelings from someone or something else. Example: The happy crowd’s cheers fed off of the performer’s energy during the concert.

* MEADOW: A beautiful field with grass and flowers. Example: The picnic was set up in a lovely meadow with butterflies flying around.

TO BE OR FEEL STUCK: It means to be unable to move or make progress. Example: The car got stuck in the mud and couldn’t move. She felt stuck in her homework and needed help.

STARTED OFF: It means to begin or to start something. Examples: We started off our day with a delicious breakfast. The movie started off with an exciting chase scene.

MOUNTAIN RANGE: It is a series of connected mountains. Example: The Rocky Mountains is a famous mountain range in North America.

LEAD A HORSE: It means to guide or direct a horse’s movements. Example: The experienced rider knew how to lead the horse through the trail. Also it’s an idiom:

You can make it easy for someone to do something, but you cannot force them to do it.

RE-ROUTE (A TRIP): It means to change the planned path or direction of a journey. Examples: Due to the road closure, we had to re-route the trip to reach our destination.

TO BE SOAKING WET: It means to be completely wet. Examples: After playing in the rain, the kids were soaking wet.

A GRIZZLY (BEAR): It describes a type of bear, often large and brownish, with long claws. Examples: The hikers were cautious about grizzly bears while camping in the wilderness.

TO HAVE ONE’S HEART SINK: It means to feel suddenly disappointed or sad. Example: When he heard he missed the concert, his heart sank because he was a big fan.

TO HAVE ONE’S STOMACH DROP (“My stomach dropped”): It means to feel scared or surprised. Example:When the roller coaster went down, her stomach dropped, and she screamed with excitement. His stomach dropped when he saw the ghost in the haunted house.

SADDLE: A saddle is a seat for a rider on a horse’s back, and “saddle up” means to put the saddle on the horse. Examples: Before riding, they made sure to saddle up their horses properly. The cowboy adjusted the saddle before getting on the horse.

SLIPPERY/SLIPPING: Slippery means something is smooth and easy to slide on, while “slipping” is the action of losing balance or traction. Examples: The wet rocks near the waterfall were slippery, so we had to be careful. She slipped on the ice and fell while walking on the sidewalk.

RELIVED: To feel happy or relaxed because a worry or problem is resolved. Examples:

When she found her lost keys, she felt relieved and thanked her friend for helping her search..

SHELTER: It refers to a place that provides protection or cover from the weather or danger. Examples: During the rain, we found shelter under a big tree.

POO: It’s a polite word for animal droppings or waste. Examples: The park ranger reminded visitors to clean up after their dogs’ poo.

SNIFFING AROUND: It means to investigate or search by smelling. Examples: The dog was sniffing around the garden, looking for a hidden bone.

TO HAVE A BOND WITH SOMEONE OR SOMETHING: Having a bond means you feel a strong connection or closeness to someone or something. It’s like having a special friendship or attachment that makes you feel happy and comfortable. Example: A boy named Tim has a special bond with his pet dog. They play together, and the dog always greets him with excitement when he comes home from school.

BREED: “Breed” is a word we use to talk about different kinds of animals that have certain features or characteristics that make them unique from other animals.


Listening Comprehension Exercise

How much of the episode did you understand? Take this quizz to find out! Choose the right answer and press the arrow to move to the next question. At the end you’ll see your results. Listen again to the episode. Highly recommended. It’s an amazing eazy practice to take your English to the next level!

Episode images

Into the Story episode 45. Sam Clak episorde photos. Sam riding the horses up the mountain.

Sam Clark riding the horses up towards the mountains

Into the Story episode 45. Sam Clark episorde photos. Riding the horses through rivers

Riding the horses through rivers in the Rocky Mountains

Into the Story episode 45. Sam Clark episode photos. Camping in a safe spot.

Camping in a safe ideal spot in the Rockies

Into the Story episode 45. Sam Clark episode photos. Burned forest Rocky Mountains.

Fires can destroy vast extensions of forest with difficult human access.

Meet Sam, a mountain-loving bookworm who enjoys a good laugh. She’s a proud mother of a teenage son and takes care of over a hundred houseplants. Sam resides in Revelstoke, a charming town nestled in the heart of the Canadian mountains. This place is renowned for exciting activities like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, boating, and fishing.

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