Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Heads are Spinning

Welp, we've hardly stopped this week, but I can certainly say that our efforts have paid off:

The BATHROOM in the barn is complete! Well, complete enough to be used at least. :) I think the shelves can wait for awhile. It looks fabulous. This alone is a feat worth celebrating!

The horse barn has been completely powerwashed in the past week -- looking mighty shiney clean again since we did that last 2 1/2 years ago. Thank GOODNESS this time around we didn't have to pull out the stall mats -- while they aren't perfectly flat, they certainly seem to be fairing better than the 2 years prior to us coming here. I hope that's a tribute to our stall-overhauling we did back then.

The property is mowed!! Dave did quite a bit of mowing a few weeks ago, and I kinda thought after I got the back yard done this past weekend that was all we were going to do. But I came home on Thursday and was delighted to see the driveway and all around the pasture had been mowed. I guess Justin one of our kennel people brought out his brush mower and helped Dave get those last few areas done. It really made a big impact!

Tomorrow's our open house.. Keeping our fingers crossed it goes well. I guess at this point there is little we can do one way or the other. Below are 3 little videos I made to post on the website. I've so far compiled one 20 minute video, and will try and get another 10-15 minute one before tomorrow. This video editing stuff, though, sure takes a ton of time!!

At Play  (

Country Dogs  (

Get It Tequila!!  (


Thursday, May 10, 2007

They said what??

Good news is always welcome. But there is something about good news that is completely unexpected that is, well, just spectacular.

When we first moved to the ranch, we became aware of a lady who I think calls herself a 'neighborhood consultant' or some such thing. She basically offers watchdog services, keeping an eye on all the special requests that people in the area apply for. So I think we first came into contact with her regarding the person 3 properties down from us who had a sand blasting business and was going through proceedings because he wasn't authorized. Or something to that nature. You can see I paid a whole lot of attention at the time.

What we did sit up and take notice of, however, was this woman. Knowing that we were going to have to apply for a special use permit to operate a kennel from our agricultural zoned property, we knew that we would soon be included in one of her newsletters, and that wasn't exactly a comforting thought.

Sure enough, when it came time to go to the first of two public hearings over our request, there were 6-8 people there to speak in oposition to our application, and about the same number who submitted comments in writing. I bet if you go back in the blog to Jan-March 2005 you'll find entries about this. I just have no desire to relive those experiences -- so you'll have to forgive me for not doing the homework for you this time! ;)

Fortunately the Planning Commission had some sound minded individuals on it and though they took their time about it, they resolved to recommend to the county commissioners to approve our application, given a number of constraints put upon us to mitigate everyone's concerns. The Commissioner's meeting was the second of the two hearings. At that hearing only one person showed up in oposition, (our next door neighbor), so we wondered whether people felt that it was a losing battle not worth their time, or whether the answers they got at the planning commission pursuaded them that they didn't have much to worry about.

Of course everyone's greatest concern was for noise. 60 dogs all in one place can cause quite a ruckus. Our response, obviously, is that 1) only a few days a year will we have 60 dogs 2) our kennel barn, thanks to the planning commission's requirements, was sound proofed out the wazoo, and 3) when outside we always manage the group to control barking. Which... can be easier said than done on some days, for sure. But we do work hard at it.

Well! Ms Consultant lady stopped by this week, because the property 4 properties down is at some point going in for sub-division. But that's the aside.

The news that she left us with, was that in talking with all our neighbors recently, she heard that they were all complimentary of our efforts and our businesses and that "they all just love us!"

Feels pretty good.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hot off the Press

You know, I've never been involved with producing a book before. But Beyond Brokeback, the book that has been produced by volunteers from our forum, went to production in March and is getting ever closer to being in our hands.

Never the less, it was with a little bit of bewilderment that I received news from our book project coordinator that she was going to bestow the honor of the first books (soft and hard cover) off the press to be sent to Dave Cullen -- who founded our Brokeback Forum. OK, sure, I thought, it's cool to get the first copies and all, but what's the big deal?

Well - he got them, yesterday. Being a journalist and author working on the finishing stages of his own book, he fully appreciated the big deal and came back this morning to describe it for us. Even if you aren't invested in the project, I think he conveys so well the satisfaction of such a long and challenging project come to a tangible, hold in your hands, fan your face with result. You can read about his experience here.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Such a Lovely Trailer!

HEY - I learned a new trick today! Made my first very own digital video. I'm feeling most smug, because it actually was so much easier than I'd figured it would be.

A few weeks ago my sister Phyllis and I stopped by a house in Denver to check out a trailer that our sister Nancy was interested in buying. Since I'd just asked Phyllis to loan me her video camera so we can take some video for the kennel, we lugged it along so I could give it a whirl.

Well, whirl is kinda right. It was my first time ever holding a video camera, afterall. But in anycase, here is the "finished" version after playing around a little bit with Windows Movie Maker. (remember -- be kind! haha) I did this to send to Nancy, but then it occurred to me, why should I send this to her only, when I could share it with the WORLD?? mmuuahahahah!

The New Trailer (

Depending on your bandwidth, you might want to right-click on that link and save the file to your machine. Or click on it and see if it plays OK. Played OK for me -- I actually would really like to hear back from folks as to whether just clicking worked for you or not. *looks down at that Comments link below this entry* It's just over 8 megs in size.

Anywhoo -- oh I see nearly unlimited possiblities for posting clips from the kennel and horse lessons or camp! Y'all best get used to this me thinks. Oh, and then I wonder, did Phyl say she wanted this camera back?