Archive for the ‘Campfire Chats’ Category
In today’s world we move so fast and are so entwined with our BlackBerries and iPhones, that folks are caught off guard when they join us for our Wednesday Night barn dance. It is truly a time of celebration.
Guests of all ages and the energetic staff gather upstairs in our old wooden barn. There is a live band and an enchanting energy.
Dance has always played an important role in our country, especially in rural areas. It truly is in the spirit of community, and you can feel it at our ranch on Wednesday nights.
Square dancing originated in New England. It was a combination of many dances brought over from Europe. A favorite at the ranch is the Virginia Reel. Reels came to us from Scotland. For more information on the history of square dancing go to www.dosado.com/articles/hist-sd.html
Come join us this summer for a unique experience. As one of our guests who is a psychologist said “If there were more barn dances, I’d be out of a job.”
This article was originally published October 27, 1997 by our General Manager Johnny Fisher. We would love to have your opinion on the subject. Please look for another article on urination in the coming months.
Let’s not beat around the bush. Why do you stand up in the saddle when your horse is urinating? Although this question may sound humorous, what is probably more humorous is that I have developed an obsession with this question.
I operate a guest ranch in Colorado, so already my sanity comes into question.
It all started about 10 years ago. We had a new wrangler from Virginia. This woman had an incredible resume with numerous credentials in the horse industry. She was giving instruction to a group when one of the horses started urinating. “Stand up! Stand up!” she cried. The befuddled guest remained motionless. “Stand up in the stirrups when your horse is urinating!” she demanded.
There are numerous books and articles on horsemanship. Most of it is “how to”. There are some basic items that need to be mentioned in order to be safe. I thought that I should share some of The Home Ranch Horse Philosophy that our wranglers read and practice. We are very much committed to operating a safe and fun program, and felt that maybe by sharing our thoughts it might help other horse owners.
THE HOME RANCH HORSE PHILOSOPHY
This piece is written in the first person, as our horse program is near and dear to my heart.
We are a dude ranch. I state this out of pride. Many in the horse industry think that dude ranching is at the bottom of the barrel in the horse world. Those of us in the industry know that it is quite the opposite. I see these clinicians and all of the “top people” and wonder how they do it. They generally don’t help most folks – we do. The effect that we have on our herd, our land, and our guests and staff is unequaled. I’m biased, but I think that you’re pretty lucky to be here, as am I. (more…)
I just finished feeding our horses with our team of Percherons- Bob and Bill. While out feeding, my mind wandered to some special times I have had driving during the holidays.
The first that comes to mind is 15 years ago when my daughters were about 6 and 8. It was Christmas day and my help was sick. Casey, Laura and I went out to the stack with Kate and Ada, my team of mules, and we all loaded the sleigh. My girls had to work hard to move those 65 pound bales, but they did it, and they were help. Then we drove out through the horses and they fed them. It took about an hour longer than normal, and they did sweat, but we got the job done. It was a sweet Christmas Day.
Another, was about ten years ago. My family was visiting grandparents for the holidays. It was Christmas Eve and there was a full moon. My job was to drop Santa off at the lodge for his grand entry. Kate and Ada and I did our job of providing Santa a smooth ride. It was such a beautiful evening, that I treated myself to my own sleigh ride in the hay meadow. It was a special evening.
Happy Holidays to all!
Our season is underway.
We currently have a dozen women enjoying the unique experience of our yoga and horses retreat. Tammy Pate and Janice Baxter head up this well-received program. We’re having a lot of fun.
Last week, we hosted our management training seminar with Conversant. As always, it produced amazing results. We feel so honored to be a part of this program. This year, we had four participants from Ball Aerospace. It was a special week, as members of the Atlantis Space Shuttle were repairing the Hubbell Telescope with parts designed and manufactured by Ball We’ve had professionals from Ball for the past five years, so it was like The Home Ranch and Clark, Colorado reaching out and touching the space program.
We’re looking forwad to welcoming guests to our regular program next week.
Summer is here. Let’s go!
You may have noticed that The Home Ranch is affiliated with a few organizations:
Relais & Chateaux
Dude Ranchers’ Association
Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association
These organizations are your assurance of truth in advertising and quality. We feel quite honored to be a part of these organizations, and we are also very active with them. (more…)
We have closed the door on another wonderful season at The Home Ranch! I would like to take a moment and say Thank you! to all of our winter guests and staff. Thank you for all the memories, stories and laughs. I will look forward to seeing you all the next time our paths cross. (more…)
What a winter we are having! Just when we think winter is over and spring is arriving, another couple of inches of snow fall and the temperature falls below zero. We are all enjoying the longer days, and realizing that summer is just around the corner.
Tayler is at a horse sale today in Denver looking for some new mounts for the summer. Philippe is offering fly casting clinics on the snow covered back yard and is anxious to see the river start to break up. Randy and Eric are starting to think about what they might find under all the snow. Joanie and Sandy have started talking about the planting schedule for the summer. Their participation in the Master Gardner program is getting them both very excited. Johnny and I are still trying to get in a ski at every opportunity, but are looking forward to the summer. We have started looking over applicaitons and are excited that we will have some returning staff throughout the ranch.
I’m off to go ‘check’ the trails!
P.S. – Here’s pic from my ski – there’s still lots of snow to play with!
I just returned from Tucson from our annual Dude Ranchers’ Association meeting. It was a great trip, and I must say that I enjoyed not having to bundle up for a few days.
Us dude ranchers – we’re an interesting bunch. We are all head to head competitors, yet we are the best of friends. There are no trade secrets in our world. We all share everything and try to help each other out. I have so much fun and learn so much from these meetings.
Our industry remains healthy. I think that people need what we offer: genuine relationships. Families find the time to be together at our ranches. They share real time with each other. Making new friends is also part of this vacation. It’s a different world than the fast paced life that most are involved with. Healthy activities, great food, and time with each other are precious things. (more…)
I love winter and snow. Last year, however, was too much. We received over 500 inches of snow! It sounds great, but it was so much snow that all we did was shovel and plow. Rarely did we get to go out and enjoy it. I’m hoping that this year will be a little more reasonable.
I grew up skiing on the slopes, but today I prefer to ski on our trails and hit the backcountry. Occasionally, I’ll venture over to Steamboat, but that’s usually to ski with a friend that still downhill skis.
My preference is to put on climbing skins and hit one of the untracked bowls of North Routt County. The peace and beauty of climbing one of our peaks is unbelievable, and the thrill of carving telemark turns through the powder is hard to beat.