December 8, 2018 – Volume 13 – Issue 47

Greetings everyone,

We got a dusting of snow here the past couple of days and the mountains are looking a little bit whiter now. We have been pretty lucky to date with temps being very reasonable for this time of year, but it sure feels colder the past couple of mornings. It is about time for winter.

We had a small but avid group of students here this week.

        Lela on Chalkeye, working on a soft feel

Lela competed her third week in a row here at the ranch! She really improved her seat and it showed in the results she was getting with the horses she rode. Tom from Connecticut visited last year and came back for some more horsemanship. He also made progress in several facets of his riding, including being able to get more life in his horse then dial it down. Kelly and Jacqueline are friends who made the trip together from Pennsylvania. They studied hard and had a great time in the process. This week our guests were able to switch horses with each other – this really allowed them to feel what each person put into the horse and compare if they were able to make them better, or if there were spots in their riding to work through.

                 Jacqueline riding Scotch

Roby is teaching while Shayne and Des are away on vacation and he always does a fabulous job of keeping riders engaged, challenging them and encouraging as needed.

On a sad note, as you may have read on Facebook, our good friend and co-worker, Nathan, will be leaving on Sunday to embark on a new life. He has been here for seven seasons!  First and foremost, he was our farrier and took great care of each and every one of our 110+ ranch and client horses.  He has been the best farrier we’ve ever had and the herd was never more sound than while under his care.

Of course, Nathan was also a wrangler, was often the first person a new guest would meet at the ranch, always picked wildflowers for the ladies on his horseback rides and gave quite a few roping lessons!  He spent several seasons grilling steaks for the guests, branding their boots and hats and building bonfires.  He did a TON of stuff behind the scenes over the years to keep the ranch running smoothly.

 Nathan has many talents. We will       miss him.

Such an amazing individual couldn’t be tied down for long!  He met a guest at the ranch named Marianne and they fell in love.  After doing the long-distance thing for long enough, he made the decision to join Marianne in the Netherlands.  After a few weeks of adventures and well needed rest, Nathan plans on becoming a saddle maker and all around leather-worker.  He’ll still shoe a few horses from time to time, but it’s about time to give his back a rest from such hard work.

Nathan will be back to visit though!  We already have him committed to come back in April to supervise Anna and Scott putting on the first shoes of the season.  (They were his students last summer and fall and are both finishing up shoeing school in California at the moment!)  He’ll be riding with us every day too!  Maybe you guys will be lucky enough to ride with him again too? We wish him the very best.  And we are looking forward to seeing him in a few months!

Everyone here is getting ready for the Holiday season- We now have a fresh cut tree in the dining room

      Christmas tree with handmade decorations!

along with decorations and colored lights outside. If you look closely you just might find that some elves have been busy decorating the smaller tress that reside close to the lodge. When you work on a ranch, the horses don’t know or care that it is a holiday, so life goes on pretty much as usual with chores and business that needs tending too. But I can’t think of a better way to celebrate and spend the holiday season than with a close knit group of people who have really become a second family to us. Now all we need is some snow for a white Christmas (just a little though!)

Happy Trails,

Janice and Adrienne

            Kelly riding Booker

                 More Holiday Spirit!

                           Tom on Jasper

                        A little snow on the mountains