Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Where's the Fire?

A few weekends ago David's dad celebrated his 80th birthday with a big old bash at a local (local to Monterey, CA) hotel. Dave's sister put it all together and had secured the date with the family some time ago. Of course at the time we agreed to commit we didn't know that the kennel would only be in it's second week of operations... We'd tried to locate someone to help out for the weekend, but as it was starting to look like we wouldn't have much demand we were letting it slide.

Of course in the end we turned away several dogs that weekend - 3 who'd requested daycare not understanding that we don't offer day care on the weekends (our website got updated). But then also the woman who literally drove up an hour before we headed to the airport saying she had her dog in the car with her. She was in a hurry - could she just drop her dog off with us for the weekend?! Um. NO. Besides being short staffed for the weekend, we require a day of daycare before accepting boarding clients. Besides - she couldn't even call first?

Anyways - we had a great time in CA, which will have to be another post. Meanwhile Ginger 'had some excitement' while we were gone. Those are always the words you love coming home to. She assured me by saying - "I wrote it up for the blog". So it must not have been TOO bad.

Sunday, March 5, 2006


Things at Sun Pony Ranch were going smoothly for the weekend while Dave and Monica were in California for the big family party. As often happens when the weather starts to turn nice in the Spring, people begin calling about riding, and sometimes want to schedule impromptu lessons. We had one of these calls this weekend, and I was starting a group lesson for 3 girls at 1:00 PM on Sunday. We were still in the ground work portion of the lesson when we heard a siren coming down County Road 1. I remarked to the girls that it was unusual to hear sirens out here in the country, when, the sound got much closer. Much to our surprise, the small fire truck was coming up our neighbor's driveway parallel to ours! I put the lesson on hold as I needed to find out if our property was in danger. There was no other fire truck action, and we could just see a small billow of smoke over the rise on the south side of our arena. Being a bit worried about where the fire might be going (toward our picket fence and dog barn??), I ran to take a quick look, grabbed the camera, and rushed back to the kids. They were curious, but the horses were all standing patiently waiting. The fire was on the south end of the pasture and our property didn’t seem to be in any imminent danger.

So, we mounted up and began the riding portion of our class. Soon, more screaming sirens began coming down the road and the smoke was getting thicker and higher. We counted 6 fire vehicles of various sizes and shapes, all with sirens and flashing lights. A couple of the fire trucks even came up our driveway and used the open gate in the wire fence between our properties.

Missy, Harley, and Shadow were all nonchalant and behaved perfectly with all the ruckus going by the arena. Even though the smoke was thick in the air and smelled strong, they didn’t seem bothered much. So, we continued our lesson and I snapped a few photos as we went.

When the students left, I went up by the house and dog barn to look over the burn area. The fire appeared out, but some of the trucks were still up by the house. Our neighbor came driving up her driveway and stopped when she saw me. I asked her if she was just getting there and she said yes. She said the next neighbor over was leasing their south pasture this year and was doing a “controlled burn” when it got out of hand. Our neighbor's son had called her and said, “Mom, the fire’s getting a little close to the house and I’m a little worried!” Looking at the burn area, yeah, it got a little to close to their house!

And, we’re sure glad the winds weren’t strong like they have been lately. If winds had been coming from the south, we would have been the ones in trouble.



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