Monday, 11 April 2011

Lost Valley Ranch 11-17th March 2011

Lost Valley ranch opened to 'ordinary guests' on the 11th so I had to be there. The weather was unseasonably warm with little precipitation, which is badly needed. We had one day of snow, about 2 inches which went quickly but very bad winds, some roaring through the valley at night like an express train. The weekends were busy with up to 60 guests with anything with 4 legs being called upon to take out rides. Even 3 year old Rosey had to take out a ride and with Chelsea on board had a fun time as I know Chelsea looks after her. Rosey and Scout (both 3 years old) are being worked with by Chelsea and Kellie. Scout is very reactive and nervous, but over the two weeks showed a great improvement. Rosey gets frustrated waiting for things to happen but has a lovely nature. One event that rather turned into a spectator event was the castration of the three colts. This took place on the lawn for hygiene and space reasons and the varying expressions on people’s faces were amusing. All went well although they were understandably a bit groggy when finally safely back in their pen. One day we saw a herd of about 30 elk on the west side of Helen's rock and then a group of 5 were seen at Snyder's Pass later. Also a bald eagle was spotted at the jail but otherwise just a few mule deer and rabbits were about. The birds are on their way back from over wintering and eventually Iron Man came back too and I rode him for 2 days without shoes. You would think he had not been away. I also rode Cisco for two days and nearly came to grief leading a lope on Salt Lick 7 as I forgot that when in the lead, giving unequivocal directions is essential!! She is a good horse but Charm does not like her and kept trying to double-barrel her if we looked as if we were about to pass. As for evening entertainment, they have started a games night on Wednesdays and a bonfire with singing and Smores (on the same scale as grits for me!) on Friday nights. The first week we played Pictionary and had great fun and the second only two guests joined in and we played Catch Phrase which, as usual produced laughter at my English phraseology and then we played Apples for Apples which was fun too. The first bonfire was on Friday down by the pond and it was very windy - sparks flew! By the second Friday there was a fire ban over Colorado so we sat around the fireplace near the pool. One day the ranch got a call about some donkeys (burros) which turned out to belong to another ranch. However a group of wranglers were sent out to catch them and by all accounts were led a merry dance. In the morning they caused great consternation to the other horses but not as much as I thought they would. They were so shaggy they looked a bit like llamas. Smokey slipped her halter twice but her aim was to visit with Nova!! The third time she ended up leaving completely with her saddle on so I had to fetch her back. We actually managed to get in rides to areas which I had not been to. One to Sheep's Saddle (I'd been before but not so high) and one to a rock between Sheep’s and the ranch where, we found a TV antenna which, I found out later, had belonged to Bob Senior until it caused problems in electrical storms. We also got up to Camera Rock – I haven’t been there for about 8 years. As always staff and guests made this trip a pleasure and I have lots more “ranch friends” than ever!! Photos can be seen at: