Hi Everyone!

Long time, no post, but we can officially say the 2023 season has concluded. I would love to say that I’ve been a diligent Highline writer for 2023, but as anyone who knows me and the ranch, knows that I juggle more than a few plates. We are long overdue for an update, so here we go!

We were blessed to have an incredible group of guests this year, and many of them signing up for round two as soon as they finished round one. We LOVE meeting new guests and seeing old friends. As anyone knows, if this place became a place special to you, then you know you left as family. We are already excited for 2024 because we know we are seeing a TON of friends who are coming back one, two, and three times in 2024. If you haven’t looked at 2024 dates and plan on coming, you might want to jump on it before you miss your spot!

We got to host 190 wonderful smiling faces this year who we are very thankful for. We watched so many people overcome obstacles, learn new things, dig deep for more, test their courage, work hard, bring adventurous spirits, refine their riding, change their learning mindsets, do something new, challenge the status quo, and overall be fantastic students. We live to have students who are as excited to learn as we are to teach and willing to dig deep for the good stuff. Boy we got the overflow of that all season long. It seemed as the season went along that somehow each guest week was better than the last, which I’m not sure how is even possible. We thoroughly enjoyed each one we hosted.

This fall we finished up with us wranglers doing the final gather off of Davis mountain and brought all of the cattle home in record time. We spent 6 days non-stop as a crew hunting 116 head of cattle on 40 square miles and managed to find, gather, and move all of them back to the ranch meadows in time before our final regular guest week. We had a blast as a crew doing a job together but we may have also finished out with chaffed butts, busted knees, and overall whooped. I don’t think we would have traded it for anything and we will have stories for days. So when you see us next, just ask! I’m sure you will get a good belly laugh from our adventures together. The cattle were shipped out just after the October guest stay. We gathered, weighed, sorted, and loaded them in groups horseback first thing in the morning. The process was smooth and only took a few hours start to finish. The goodbye is always a little bittersweet as we’ve gotten to know them throughout the season. We are thankful for our time with them nonetheless.

We finished out the fall season with two October and two November guest stays. We had some incredible & fun guests join us! We were able to do cavalry in the meadows, weigh cattle, work the cutting flag in neck ropes, work on lead changes, ride to music in neck ropes, and so much more! Des was able to officially advance Lefty from the Hackamore to the Two-Rein after working diligently to make sure she didn’t miss anything in the Hackamore. The journey is a beautiful thing to watch, and will be such a treat for everyone to see next season when he’s straight up in the bridle. Shayne was able to join in quite a bit more towards the end of the season which made for some FUN horsemanship lessons. He came in with electric energy and passion and got everyone amped up in their horsemanship. Needless to say Shayne’s lessons got everyone pumped up and pushed out of their comfort zone. Des and Shayne put some of their personal bridle horses in the guest string which was such a treat for the guests. A handful of guests were able to see what it feels like to ride a horse that is masterfully educated and has more buttons than they could imagine. Des also graduated a few more B-string horses into the guest string which was exciting as they made their debut and were able to teach riders. She’s been working hard at getting the final group of B-string horses ready for guests. I’m sure this winter she will probably round out the list and finish the last handful.

We are in project mode at the ranch for December while we aren’t riding. Everyone is here for the winter, Me, Max, Jenna, Brenda, Holly, CJ, Brooklynn, & Zach. Noah is home for the winter and will be back in the spring once we thaw out a little bit. I’ve been catching up in the office and preparing for 2024. We worked on the deep indoor arena cleaning as a whole crew for a handful of days, and now Jenna, Max, & Brenda are finishing up the last portions. Zach & CJ are working on winterizing all of the unused buildings and vehicles for the winter. Brooklynn is doing the final cleaning and shut down of all of the guest rooms & cabins. If you saw our winter project list, you would be amazed how much we work on and get done in the winter that during regular season we don’t have time for. We catch up on all of the to-do’s in the winter around the ranch. We are looking forward to January when we get back to riding and are able to dive into learning mode for us wranglers. It is probably the sweetest time of year because everything slows down a bit, is quiet, and we get to hunker down learning in the saddle and checking off our project list.

Anyways, until next time!