Volume 17, Issue 16

Hey everyone, Des here!

We have officially kickstarted our season and are in the middle of our first 10-day ranch experience!

Getting everything ship shape before we opened up was a mini-marathon for the crew. There were cabins to clean, we had to re-open our saddling barn, get it cleaned, put up the tent, clean our red sheds, deep clean and repaint the lodge and kitchen, and rake up the grounds. Our gift shop got a face lift as did the Gameroom. We had a new Vulcan stove installed, and we got a new commercial dishwasher too!

The weather definitely took a strange turn on the very first night of the 10-day. It started snowing and snowing and snowing. It turned into a full-on blizzard and it didn’t stop until the ranch was covered in a fresh layer of snow about 3 inches thick! Definitely NOT expected, especially since we had been having mild temps in the high 50s just the week prior (which is more typical for April weather).

The sky has gotten bluer and the sun has been shining but boy it’s still been chilly. We hope we can get outside during the second half of this session but in the meantime, we are keeping things interesting in the arena. Our guests have all made great strides in their horsemanship since day 1.

We made a point this 10-day (and we plan on doing this for each one this season) to take videos of everyone riding on the first day so that we have a comparison as the days carry on. Kim and the crew have been diligent about taking videos and every night at dinner the crew and the guests get to watch each other during our riding patterns to see how many improvements have been made and to get some tips on what to focus on more for the next day. It’s a wonderful learning tool!

We’ve been working on refining posting the trot, our stops, cow turns, leg yields, a press off, trotting serpentines, backing arcs, reaching feet and just a little bit of cantering. We are really going to bear down on cantering for the rest of the time. Today the guests had a roping session in the morning. In the afternoon they were able to watch a colt starting demo with Kev, Scott and I with Shayne helping/coaching.

We also had a new intern named Micheli start this week, as well as two new ranch employees named Dani and Kolton. Our heavy equipment operator extraordinare, Willy, will be here any day. We are just waiting on Alex to show up in another week and a half (you guys might remember him as one of our interns from last year) and then our crew for the summer season and officially complete.

I think I speak for everyone in that I am so happy to have our guests back again. Things just get to humdrum around here without you guys!

With much love, Des