In an attempt to answer some of the most commonly asked questions asked by our guests during the summer, I’m starting a little FAQ (frequently asked questions) series. So in this, the first FAQ edition, we will learn the answer to the question:
“What do the Horses do All Winter?”
The answer is simple. They go to pasture, eat, drink, and be merry. Where they go to pasture is more of a perplexing question. Depending on their age, ability to sustain weight and potential use around the ranch, the horses have three options for winter living.
First, the older horses as well as the horses that need extra sustenance to make it through the winter stay at the ranch. This group of horses is fed grain and/or senior feed daily.
Second, the “special horses” (e.g. Justin’s roping horse, Randy Sue’s favorite horses, etc.) stay near the ranch in meadows near the river. Sharing their space are additional horses that need to have an extra eye looking out for them. This includes newer horses, younger horses, older horses, and formally injured horses. This group of horses is fed hay daily.
Finally, for most of the horses, winter means a trip to Walden, Colorado. In Walden, the horses spend the fall on the Fosha’s hay meadows before moving across town to be fed and cared for by a friend and neighbor.
Tuesday, we moved the Walden bunch from the Fosha’s ranch over to the Murphy ranch where they will spend the rest of the winter.
Here they are charging across the meadow on the Fosha’s Walden Ranch. All and all, we had about 75 horses up in Walden. It’s pretty magnificent to see that size herd all running together.
As a side note, horses are incredibly photo shy. I took so many stinking pictures. And you know what most of my pictures were of?
SEE? They look at you, then the second they see the camera, WHAMO! Rear in the face!
That is except for these two. Storm and Lacy. They are not only striking, but they are little camera hogs. They seemed to sneak in front of the camera quite often.
Okay, getting back on track. . .below, Randy Sue puts a load of horses into the trailer (notice the rear, again!). As you can imagine, having 75 horses to trailer across town takes a little while. Each horse is carefully accounted for using a spreadsheet with their name, where they are and when they went there.
And this is Jim. Jim feeds the horses for us every day and lets us know if one is sick or injured. He does a great job. Amazingly, he knows most of the horses names. Geez, I don’t even know most of the horses names. Did you notice who is in the photo with him? There they are again, sneaking in pictures.
The Walden bunch share Jim’s love with other horses. Jim usually keeps watch over nearly 200 horses each winter. The horses will stay with Jim until May when we pick them up and bring them home to DWR.