October 19, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 40
This week we had a mix of fantastic horsemanship combined with lots of cattle work. We had a small but very fun group with five returning guests and one first timer.
Michele came to us from the east coast and stated that she was a beginner rider. Well, she really dived into this horsemanship and she made so many improvements this week. Carolyn and David returned and continued to focus on improving their riding skills. Carolyn in particular, made great progress towards gaining confidence horseback.
Lorie and her sweet mare Tilly joined us again as well. Lorie has done a fabulous job with Tilly starting her several years ago. We always love to see their progress each time they return. Carol also joined us again after a visit last summer- she got to ride her fav, Chief again! Each of them were such good students, not to mention loads of fun!
I was lucky enough to be able to teach several horsemanship classes this week, one of my favorite things to do here at MMR. I’ve learned so much from Shayne, Des and Roby about progressions and teaching effectively. It is really rewarding to help folks see the possibilities not only within themselves, but within the horses too.
We covered a lot of ground (in more ways than one!), and worked our way through lots of walk, trot, walk, stop transitions working from their seat, cow turns, backing, soft feel and balancing exercises. The highlight is always the Calvary exercise! Here you need to think on the fly while maintaining proper balance and position in horse and rider. Riding to music during this exercise is an added bonus!
You know for sure the seasons are changing when we are getting focused on sending off the cattle. Next Wednesday we will say goodbye, and in the meantime they are contentedly munching on lots of quality hay and mineral. Like the horses, they also provide us with many learning opportunities. Driving and sorting cattle at MMR is all about keeping stress on them to a minimum. It requires using your mind more than your physical strength’s. Knowing where to position your horse, how little pressure to put on the steers and when you need to step it up—without getting steers bothered. I’ve learned a lot this season and look forward to sharing this info with all of our future guests!
Kevin, Scott and Anna have been managing many of the ranch hand duties, delimbing the new pastures, getting vehicles winterized, and general maintenance. Willy has been working his magic with the excavator, scraping clean all the holding pens, and the driveway now has a new layer of dirt to smooth it out.
In a few weeks the herd will return to the winter pasture but for now they are still in the North piece eating all of the hay that was left uncut! There’s been so many colors this week, from trees to rainbows and sunsets and sunrises!
Our staff responsibilities all change a bit this time of year. It give us a chance to become more well rounded with ranch and general work. You can never have too many skill sets!
Michelle has been heading up our housekeeping this season and will be leaving us tomorrow. We are happy to report that she will return next season. It is wonderful to have her around and we are looking forward to seeing her back here. She intends to spend a lot of quality time with her family back in NY during her time at home. Ahna and Ash will be helping in housekeeping until we close in December, so be sure to thank them when you see them.
We’ll also be missing Des riding the next couple of weeks as she just had surgery yesterday and will need to take just a couple of weeks off of riding- nothing serious thankfully, but she will need to rest for bit. Knowing Des and how active she is, we suspect Shayne will have his hands full keeping her in check :-). We are looking forward to seeing her back in the saddle and send good thoughts her way to wish her a speedy recovery.
It won’t be long now before Anna Banana and Scott start pulling shoes off of the horses in preparation for the snow to come 🙂 (Yes, I am looking forward to xc skiing and if our winter guests want to bring some gear with them I am always up for teaching a lesson or two!) As you can imagine, life at the ranch this time of year seems to be just as busy as our peak summer season, and we love it!
Lastly, but not least- we wish Roby BEST of LUCK roping at the Pro-Am!
We look forward to seeing those of you who have signed up for a winter session. If you haven’t yet, I highly encourage you to think about it. There is nothing else like it for digging deep into this style of horsemanship.