Sam I Am Blog

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Sam Rides The Caribou !

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Sam Rides The Caribou !

Samuel Warren rides a caribou in Barangay Baras, Leyte, Republic of the Philippines. Nikon D 70 Photo by Mano Bito Mora.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The electricity went out again this morning for the second day in a row. The kids found ways to entertain themselves and tried to stay cool. Around noon, they decided they wanted to go into the jungle and get a fruit called, “santol.” I grabbed the Nikon camera and joined the expedition as Mano Bito led Ranyiel, Mac Mac, Chrismar and I into the jungle.

Once the kids had a bag full of santol, we headed home through a pig trail in the jungle.

Filipino Farmer Rodi Barbosa held the leash as his caribou grazed. He hollered, in perfect English, “Do you want to ride my caribou ?”

“Do you want to ride my caribou ?” — Filipino Farmer Rodi Barbosa holds the rope to allow his caribou to graze in the jungle pasture. Nikon D 70 photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I shouted back. “No, thanks. I’ll take a rain check.” I took a step and heard one of my nephews snicker.

I am at that age, where I usually don’t care what people think of me.

But, that accidental laugh caused me to think the boys had a mental picture of an old man wobbling around on the back of a caribou.

As a boy in Missouri, Uncle Richard B. DeLong farmed with Bob and Fred, his two Clydesdale horses. As a teenager, Uncle Richard plowed with Hazel, the young brown mule, and “Ole Kate,” the white mule.

I have ridden horses through the years. I rode double with Marcia Cloud on her black and white pinto horse, “Stormy,” who threw us both off in the middle of State Highway 176 one afternoon, Since I had a history of growing up around livestock; it didn’t make any sense that I should walk away from Filipino livestock.

I stopped, turned around and walked back. I hollered at the farmer. “Can I cash in my rain check ? I’d like to ride your caribou ?”

“Sure,” he answered and held the rope as I got up on the caribou. He handed me the rope and made the familiar clicking noise you make with your tongue to get a horse to go. The caribou began walking.

Astride the caribou, I clicked off some photos and pulled the rope to one side and the caribou turned.

“Git Along Little Doggie “ Astride the caribou, I hold the rope and adjust the position of the camera to try and take some photos. Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

“Hi, Yo, Caribou, Away !” I obviously watched too many episodes of Clayton Moore riding through the wild west as “The Lone Ranger,” in my childhood. Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Focal Length
“Participatory Journalism “ In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Civilian and military newspaper, radio, television reporters and photographers were debating the ethics of a reporter or photographer becoming involved in a story that they were suppose to be “objectively” reporting. Thus, a photo like this is probably not what the journalism professors had in mind. Then, again, if you have to cover a story or shoot some photos and you need a means of travel. . .oh, well, Time to be resourceful. Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Caribou Steering ! The nice thing about horses is usually you have a bridle that allows you to move a rein and causes the horse to turn its head. The ring in the caribou’s nose tied to the rope offers ease of steering to the rider. I moved the rope and the caribou moved it’s head. Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I rode a few more feet and when I had had enough and proved my point to surprised nephews I stopped and handed the camera to Mano Bito to shoot a couple of photos. Then, Chrismar took a couple of group shot photos. Then, I climbed down off of the caribou and thanked the farmer.

I had proved my point. “A Country Boy Is A Country Boy. If you are willing to ride a quarter horse in the United States, then, you shouldn’t hesitate to ride a caribou in the Philippines.”

Caribou Commandoes Mac Mac Roa strikes a pose beside the caribou. Samuel Warren sits on the caribou. Ranyiel Saldana and Mano Bito Mora pose by the caribou. Nikon D 70 Photo by Chrismar Roa.



5 Responses

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  1. I loved reading this and seeing all the pictures. It made me think back to my childhood when I rode ponies and horses and got bucked off…. I love your blog Sam. Your old school mate, Vickie

    Vickie Moore

    August 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    • Vickie,

      I rode a few horses as a kid. The most dangerous horse I ever rode was Marcia Cloud’s “pet”, “Stormy.” He was a big, well-fed, black and white “Pinto” (I suspect, he had some Quarter Horse genetics because he was several hands high.)

      “Stormy” seemed a very docile, easy going horse. You got in the saddle and he didn’t seem to mind. You clop along the roadside down the highway and he seemed to just casually stroll along.

      The catch came, when you took the reins and he suddenly realized he was headed home. Marcia, my next-door neighbor and I were riding double.

      Once “Stormy’s” equestrian GPS kicked in and he realized he was headed home — the horse went from being a Missouri farm animal to something similar to a United States Government weapons system.

      Marcia didn’t even have to nudge him in the flanks. He took off in a “dead run” like a “smart bomb” heading for a target. I fell off first. Marcia fell off next. Then, well-mannered “Stormy” simply stopped and waited for us to get up off the ground.

      The caribou was easy going and didn’t seem to mind which way it was turned.



      August 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM

  2. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to print the picture of you on the caribou and frame it and hang it in my bunkhouse….Vickie

    Vickie Moore

    August 30, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    • Vickie,

      I’d be honored. All my best to your family back in Missouri.



      August 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM

  3. I’m pretty sure that that’s a water buffalo not a caribou….


    November 26, 2014 at 9:18 PM

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