Well Howdy Wranglers!
I have received so many "Welcome to Spring" newsletters lately, it has sparked my attention (or lack thereof) of bringing you up to date on all things Ranch!
Before we get started, we have some very sad news to share: we attended the funeral for Josh Farrelly - a young man who stayed with us a few summers ago. This kid was only 20! He brought such energy and fun to everything he did - including trying to deal with the crows that were there to wake him each and every morning! Our kids stayed connected to Josh and truly loved him and will miss him so, as will we. Next time you see your family, give them an extra squeeze and next time you have an opportunity to do something nice or simply turn the other cheek, just do it - 'cause that's what Josh would do!
So, spring has not quiet sprung in these parts, although to date we have over 40 calves on the ground! That's good news for our cow/calf program. We will meet May 1st for grass head on with a real beautiful crop this year! We sure are looking forward to taking you out to see them.
Of course every year there are always difficulties. Like Momma #32 - the crazy one - that during fall pregnancy checking decided she was not interested in ANYONE telling her she was pregnant and kept on going - right through the end of the chute... This rarely happens but when it does, we all count our blessings that no one was in her way! Well, she did give birth to a beauty but unfortunately he was a bit slow to get started. We had to work VERY carefully with him while crazy-momma stood on the other side of the gate a-snortin' and a-pawin' to beat the band. Given the chance she would be happy to "take me out"! Then there are the twins. We had to make the call that momma just didn't have the attention required for handling twins so we gave her a hand by bottle feeding Lucy. What a joy she is and so much fun to work with. I have a feeling we may be taking Lucy out on rides with us this summer as she is really starting to grow on us!
This year, as Toronto struggles with its coyote management, we decided to add Rosita (Donkey) and Barbie (Mule) to defend our cattle herd. The cows took both beasts in stride. When Rosita arrived, the horses were a bit concerned but very curious. When Barbie arrived the horses thought they were dealing with an alien! Too funny watching each horse approach the fence and try to communicate - only to high-tail it outta there! I truly have not seen anything quite like it!
We had the honour of watching Bet On Boston win a few of his races! Wow could that horse run! Melody and Marco provided us with the DVDs and Boston provided the entertainment! If you recall, Boston has retired from the track and is now with us learning how to be a horse again. It has been a real study watching him do this - and yet not lose that impishness that Melody is so fond of! For a horse that normally wintered in Florida, the high hills of Mulmur certainly taught him how to create a winter coat! We were not sure that he had the stuff to make it through the winter but we are so pleased to report that he has exceeded our expectations! We can't wait to start working with him in the round-pen and eventually get him out to see more of the ranch environment! We know it worked for Sign of Honour - we think he will make great strides this year!
Where have the days gone ... just so you know, Nikki will be graduating from OCAD this year! I am so looking forward to having her back at the Ranch taking out rides, training horses, fixing fences and creating another fabulous garden! We are also organizing a riding program that will include instructed sketching and painting hopefully combining two of her loves :)
We are working out the kinks of our Spring/Summer Special Ranch Adventures Here are some highlights:
If you are interested in our Fair Weather Rider Leasing Program you had better make your assessment appointment soon as we only have room for 6 riders. Our program runs from May 1st until October 31st but you can join at any time (almost)!
This year, we have decided to expand our horizons and go to other hosted trail rides. This includes WHOA Equifest - which is such fun! If you want to join us on one of these off-ranch events you can! We are offering a Ranch Horse Day-Lease program! To participate, you must have an assessment so that we can line you up with the right horse!
Adult Wrangler-in-Training Summer Camps slated for the following weeks: July 14 - 19 AND August 25 - 30. Sign-up early so as not to be disappointed!
Kids Wrangler-in-Training Summer Camps are slated for the weeks of July 7 - 12 AND August 4 - 9 Sign-up early so as not to be disappointed!
Other events we are fleshing out are the Terra Nova Pub and the Budding Artist Ride.
As far as our Ranch Adventures like Cattle Drives and County Forest Loping rides, we will be posting those dates soon.
We need your help: we are thinking of providing two series of scheduled Western Pleasure Riding lessons - One for adults and one for kids (>12). These group lessons will be limited to 4 riders and will run each weekend from May until end of September. Each 1.5hr lesson will include horsemanship and riding time. Once a month a "Trail Lesson" will be part of the lesson offering. If we get enough interest, the group will decide the best day and time for the lessons so that it meets the demands of everyone's busy schedule. If you are interested, just send me an eMail with your age, height, weight, and experience and we will try and create groups based on experience.
Speaking of Trail Lessons, if you have your own horse but want to introduce him/her to some of our interesting Ranch Trails or some of our cows, we would be happy to arrange such a Ranch Clinic. Just email us what your interests are and we can organize some sessions for you ( and perhaps a small group of your friends)!
Well friends, don't forget to visit us at our booth at the All Breeds Emporium over Easter weekend at the Orangeville fairgrounds! We are participating in some great door-crasher events and will have our own booth specials too!
It sure looks like we are going to have a great riding season. While we are working the kinks out of all our event planning, don't forget, you can still come on up for a ride. Come on, get out of your cubicle and chase away those winter blues and and join us for a well deserved Rawhide Adventure!