Wow! So many emails and phone calls! Y’all make us feel very cared for.
The fire remains at least 25 miles south east of us and on the other side of the river ( a major big protective fire line).
Our prevailing winds continue to be from the west or northwest, pushing the fire away (and filling Fort Collins with smoke). A wind from the south will push the fire north, but still far west of us. A wind from the east will push the fire far south of us. Our concern is high winds from the south-east; pretty unusual. We are watching closely and we are prepared.
Staff fire training is complete. We own our own foam system to cover the lodge. We have set up impulse sprinkler systems around defenable buildings as a precaution. The last few beetle killed trees will come down today. All is well, we are prepared. Actually, thanks to Nick, Victor, James and a few others, we have been well prepared for a couple of years now. (We have been expecting this since we moved here – Smoky the bear has caused almost one hundred years of fuels to be left on the ground – Mother Nature is trying to balance out our arrogant foolishness.)
Neighbors closer to the fire are bringing their horses here. Thanks to Dicky and Christine’s loaning us their 10-horse trailer, we can move all of the horses to Luann’s corrals in Owl Canyon in less than three hours.
In other words, we are expecting the best, prepared for the worst, and watching closely.
Now join us in praying for rain.
And we are starting the summer dude ranch season. Yee-haw!
Sorry no pictures on this post – have been off buying horses! Have bought 6 new horses in the last two weeks – all are “honeys”! Pictures of Ralph, Dharma, Rio, Guss, Soda-Pop and Gene soon.
Answer: First, this is not a nose-to-tail riding program!. Our program is small enough to accommodate both proficient riders, and beginners. We are one of the smallest ranches in Colorado, and we enjoy being flexible in our programs and teaching.
Those who enjoy sight-seeing at a walk can; and those who want the faster jogs and lopes can too!
Our program uses a series of six steps to bring beginners from the ground up, starting with basic Dude Ranch Western Riding and ground manners. These steps are based on principles of Western Riding taught by the American Association of Horsemanship Safety and the Dude Ranchers Association Wrangler Safety programs. More details on our Riding and What Makes Us Different pages.
4. How often?
Answer: Every day but Sunday (Horses’ Sabbath)!
Monday both AM & PM
Tuesday AM (or Rock Climbing) and PM
Wednesday All day ride or two shorter rides AM & PM
Thursday white water rafting or AM ride for shorter stay folks
Friday All day ride or two shorter rides AM and PM
Saturday AM Gymkana (Ranch Rodeo!) and swim with horses in the pond.
5. Are there fast rides? Long rides? Family rides? Separate kids rides?
Spring Trail Maintenance – Dude Ranch Work Vacation
By popular demand! A new get-away idea! May 13 to May 19
So, if you want to get away from
the telephone ringing,
the TV commercials every six minutes
And you think that celebrating spring might include
carrying buckets of dirt up steep climbs
setting fence posts and
a few hours of riding horses every day for a week?
May 13 is our spring trail maintenance week, and you are invited to join us!
We will have 12 – 15 new horses joining our herd, and they will need lots and lots of riding to get into shape for the summer.
Our trails will also need lots of attention (that is, lots of sweat and dirt!). Areas of erosion will be repaired, dead trees that may compromise safety will need to be removed, water bars built, and just maybe we will build a small barn.
Hard physical labor and
Lots of dirt.
No cell phones,
and very limited internet available.
A break from civilization!
If this sounds like fun, visit our Dude Ranch Specials Page or call the ranch (970-224-1222) for more details.
BTW, summer is booking now. If you are planning to join us this year, you might want to call soon!
Summer is coming soon – yeehaw! We are now looking over applications for summer 2012. Here’s some highlights:
Summer Dude Ranch Kitchen Staff
Don’t listen to those wranglers! YOU are the most important part of our ranch!
Some of the most important memories that we want to create for our guests are meal memories. We eat in the dining room, in the back yard, and on the trail. We serve “hearty western fare family style,” which can include lots of vegetables and salads as well as meat and potatoes. Because Ellen and Dan are both RN’s we see many guests who have therapeutic diets or allergies.
The kitchen staff is a group of five people who have high energy and good humor. Psychosis is not an obstacle to working in the kitchen, although active drinking problems will get you sent on your way. Kitchen and housekeeping staff typically works forty-five hours per week over six days.
There are five positions in and around the kitchen:
1. Kitchen Manager/THE Cook (the Boss)
2. Breakfast Cook/Prep Cook
3. Dining Room Steward/Dishwasher
4. Kangaroo #1/Housekeeper/Dishwasher/Other skill #1
5. Kangaroo #2/ Housekeeper/Dishwasher/Other skill #2
Guest Ranch Barn Employment:
Don’t listen to those kitchen people! YOU are the most important part of our ranch!
Some of the most important memories that we want to create for our guests are from horseback! The barn has three types of wranglers:
1. The Barn Manager (Boss)
2. Children’s Wrangler
3. Plain Ol’ Fashioned Wranglers
Dude Ranch Rock Climbing Instructor.
This is a part time position, usually done by a Kangaroo or Wrangler. (i.e. Must be bi-lingual (speaking both kitchen and horse) or schizophrenic.
If you are interested in working for us, then please
When at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch, either for a summer dude ranch vacation or Fall/Winter/Spring B&B stay,
you will spend lots of time with our horses (and donkeys!).
Horses communicate with body language. (Is this why women so often understand their horses immediately, and why guys are so often clueless?) Their faces, and especially their ears speak volumes, once you learn how to read them.
Here’s a quick primer on some easy to recognize “expressions.” Have fun!
Answers to each of these facial expressions are listed at he bottom of the page!
1. Stevie is ANGRY!!! She is having a bad hair week. Spring snow has melted and she want’s to party, and the geldings around her are all nerds or something!! Dude ranch horses are supposed to be romantic!!! None of these guys want to dance!!! Best to just leave her alone for a few more days…
She is clearly saying: “keep your distance or I will bite you!!!”
2. Mocha is taking a nap, or maybe she is meditating. Nope, she’s sleeping, in fact, she is snoring! One of her back hooves is up on the toe, her ears are flopped off to the sides, and her eyes are soft, gently starting off into the distance.
3. Rose Blossom is definitely sleeping! She’s still a baby, so she sleeps a lot. She even has her eyes closed, which only babies do – adults sleep with their eyes open.
4. Apache is awake, alert, and wants the cookie in my pocket. He is demonstrating interest and is interacting.
5. Khalli also wants the cookie in my pocket, but at the same time she is listening to some interesting gossip BEHIND her! Yes, kinda like radar dishes, horses’ ears can pivot front to side to back; even in different directions. Yes, if she wanted, Khalli could listen to two different conversations at once!
6. Rusty is actually sleeping. one of his hind feet is up on the toe, his ears are flopped off to the side, and his eyes are softly staring off into space…
7. Calamity is not happy that she is the last picture. She is small, but she is VERY bossy!
Hmmmm…… The weather people call for an October total of 2.9 inches of snow for our area. We got that three weeks ago, and it disappeared the next morning, as October snow should. The aspens still claim October as theirs; time to show off their golden leaves.
Oops! Wait a minute – we got a good eight more inches last night, and another six inches falling today!
The dogs are delighted! The older horses are playing like foals! The goats are making snow angels and laughing!
And the guests riding in the snow? Just look at their faces…
Tracy (from Houston!) says that riding in the snow is spectacular. I think that Laura (from Cleveland) agrees. Not too sure what Texan Kevin (also from Houston) thinks, but his horse, Jack is a happy fella! At lunch Kevin said it was a great ride…
Cowboy Victor was born and raised up here – he’s just cold!