We are often asked what we have going on at the ranch this time of year. Well, Spring has arrived and the snow is melting! Yes, we still have snow up here at the ranch but not enough snow to take out sleigh rides. What comes along with melting snow and spring runoff is mud. So, although the snow is quickly melting we are not yet able to take out horseback rides because of lingering snowdrifts and muddy trail conditions. So what are we doing up here at the ranch?
We are cleaning up the grounds as the melting snow allows. We are finishing up building projects and upgrades. We are getting the saddle horses tuned up and in shape after their Winter vacation. We are welcoming guests for weekend get-a-ways, cabin rentals, and retreats. Lastly, we are starting seven of our ranch-raised colts.
Colt starting is always an exciting time on the ranch. Five of the seven babies were born here on the ranch and we have been looking forward to this time of their life since the day they hit the ground. Starting these colts under saddle is a pivotal moment in their life that tells us a profound amount about our breeding program here on the ranch. Are we raising babies that thoughtfully take their training; looking for the correct answer? Is the colt reactive or defensive? Do they react first and think later? We learn so much about a horse in the first 30 days of their training. Often times, we learn whether this horse will eventually become a guest horse or not. Because many of these colts are related, we can decide if that line of horses has the talent and attitude that makes the kind of horse our guests will enjoy riding at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. If they are the makings of a great ranch horse, we will continue raising horses from that sire or dam.
We are currently working with four 3-year-olds and three 2-year-olds. The 3-year-olds will be worked on the ground until they are ready to be started under saddle. Then, they will have 30 days of riding with Roley, Isaac or Cody. After that, the wranglers will ride them lightly throughout the summer. The 2-year-olds will also have ground work and 30 days under saddle. Then they get to be put out to pasture for the Summer to mature and grow.
Early Spring on the ranch is an exciting time of preparing our horses, the grounds and our staff for our Summer season. As the ground dries, the grass begins to green and the flowers bloom, we look forward to sharing the ranch with the guests who will soon visit.