To start the first day of vacation at the ranch, families gather at the barn, anxiously awaiting the assignment of their horse and the adventure of their first ride of the week. A simple trip down the ranch's dirt road is the first outing with horse and saddle for some guests. This, our lesson ride, is when new riders learn to communicate with their horse and when they experience the first taste of the views. During this ride, many guests notice the boots that sit upside down on fenceposts along the road. "What is the story with the boots?" they ask. [...]
It goes without saying that a lot of what we do here at Drowsy Water Ranch is put people on horses. It sounds like nothing major, but when you stop and think about it, it's kind of a big deal, especially when you think that a lot of the people we are putting on horses are little people. These cowboys and cowgirls will be on a large animal out in the wild and, for us, that is, certainly, a big deal. It also goes without saying that we have a few horses around here. Usually, our herd is around 120 head of horses. Some of [...]
We have received the phone call once or twice. "We'd like to film a reality show on your ranch. Is there any good drama?" the person on the other end asks. "Why certainly," we reply. "Do they hang out, have boyfriends and girlfriends?"he continues."Yes, of course," we say.Then, dramatically, the person asks greedily, "And do they fight over friends or lovers?"And we honestly respond, "Oh, yes. You should see them. They are so nice sometimes, grooming and necking or going for long walks together then other times they are so mean--chasing, kicking, even biting each other.""Kicking and biting?" he asks, the astonishment clear in his voice."Yes, of [...]
Worried about gaining weight over the winter? Those holiday pounds already stacking up? Feeling a little bit like a breakfast sausage in those jeans you bought last month? Well don't you fret, don't you frown, you are not alone. And, by-golly, you might as well use the same reason for your recent plumping as our four-legged friends at Drowsy Water Ranch: It's stinking cold out. After we finish cutting the hay on the meadows at the Walden ranch, we pasture a handful (okay, maybe more like a few trailer-fulls) of our horses for the fall. Their manes get tangled. Their feet get dirty. They [...]
It is some sort of unwritten rule of nature that it will snow by Halloween at Drowsy Water Ranch. We've already enjoyed two storms of six to eight inches and it's barely even November. All I have to say about this transition from fall to the fluffy white stuff is this: "BRRRR"!Check out these photos from the ranch this morning. Then go get yourself some hot cocoa.
As we head into our long winter, we savor the last of these beautiful fall days. Actually, we cling to these days with all our might--our fists clenched as tight as possible on the coat-tails of these final warm, sunny hours.The colors this year were phenomenal. Have a look!
Thursdays at the ranch start out slow. We lolly-gag to the barn then mount up for a leasurely ride up the mountain to our breakfast point dining room. There, atop the mountain, you relax while enjoying the majestic view and the magnificent food. After riding back down from the point, the morning is filled with ample opportunity to read a book, relax in the yard, play in the creek, or take a little snooze. After lunch, the tone around here changes. Teams are named for the afternoon's event and normally calm guests start slinging foul names and gestures at one another. Sweat starts gathering [...]
We have a few mouths to feed around here this time of year. Yes, we feed our guests first and foremost, but then we also have the horses, the cows, the pigs, the chickens and the ducks. Probably our two biggest eaters this time of year are the horses and the pigs. The horses eat grain twice a day and then hay and grass throughout the day and night. The pigs are treated twice a day to gourmet slop. We feed most of our waste food from our kitchen to our pigs. From steak and salad to eggs and pancakes or even homemade carrot [...]
He's the head wrangler and the horse-boss. He oversees the wrangling, feeding, saddling and doctoring of the herd and he manages the barn staff. With a herd of over 115 horses, this means a whole heck of a lot of work. But Ryan loves it. He knows the horses, the rides, the riders, and the ranch. You want to know anything about any horse, you can ask him. You want to be his understudy, do you? First things first then. Let's work on learning the horses' names. Here are a few of the herd. Can you guess who they are?
Last week, we were fortunate enough to have our horses’ teeth checked and floated by Colorado State University Equine Dentistry Professor Dr. Connally and three of his fourth year students. It took them two long days to look inside each and every equine mouth around here. Horses, unlike humans, have teeth that erupt continuously for 25 to 30 years. In the wild, horses ingest silica that wears down their teeth naturally. In domesticated horses, a diet of hay, grass and grain is not abrasive enough to wear down a horse’s teeth. The teeth continue to erupt without adequate wear and can form sharp points, [...]