Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Caer Galen's Cavalier Challenge

The next event we hosted was the Caer Galen's Cavalier Challenge on Sunday. Caer Galen is the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) barrony centered around Boulder, and they were the sponsor for this festival of equestrian challenges. The arrangement was that they were to arrive at 11 and setup until noon, and stay until 4. So that morning when the kennel dogs were taken care of rather quicker than normal, we decided we'd run out for a quick brunch. It was a little after 10:30 when we left the restaurant to go home. How surprised were we to arrive home and have to get in line to go up our driveway! As we pulled up, we were flagged down and given directions about where to park. HEE! That still amuses me. I thanked her... and then told her as the owner I had a reserved spot up in front of the garage.

Parking, we noticed that they had already moved the equipment out of the arena, had horses unloading and trailers parking. WOW we said. Guess they didn't need our help to set up! LOL. Actually in all they prooved to be rather self sufficent, so we got to stand back and enjoy the show. And what a show it was.

The costumes were beautiful. The people were friendly and playful. The horses wonderful.

Two of their members leased our horses, Rio and Bambi. They both did well, but Rio did manage to dump his rider and then run around like a fool until he was caught. Couldn't really blame him -- ALL SORTS of new sights, sounds and horses around after all. Rio's rider did get back up and continued with him.

Our little Rio!

Our Bambi - gettin them beehives

They had two main equestian events. The first was sword play with reeds and... some other bean bag type thing (which I've taken to calling beehives) both sitting on top of 5 foot high poles. The object to knock each off with your sword. The second was ring spearing / spear toss.

Many people did the challenges at a walk, so it is great to see so many being able to give these games a try. There were a couple of accomplished riders who gave the crowd a thrill by doing the challenges at a canter.

Each round was completed by bowing / curtseying to the baron.

They had a fencing contest also.

(What you can't see in the above picture is the 6 person chorus just off frame singing various themes from Star Wars... Imagine Darth Vader's theme accompanying the parrying.)

I got a lot of video from that day too... but haven't even had a chance to look at it yet... One of these days I'll post those too.

But really, the best part of the day was having the entertainment come to us!! Roger said he didn't think he'd ever seen any of us, much less all three of us, sit still for that long.

The BEST part of the day

The next day I went and looked up Caer Galen's website. Turns out we are just on the edge of the boundaries between two barronys, Caer Galen based at CU, and Unser Hafen based up around CSU in Ft. Collins. They just suggested we look at the events for each to decide which club to join... should we be interested in joining. I think I am. Yeah, with all that free time I have.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sound Bite, indeed

LOL! The NPR show series, "Nuts and Bolts" started airing today, and they have the entire series available on their website.

Nuts and Bolts Series Home Page

Our Segment Page

Here's the audio to listen to our segment

What's the sum total of my contribution? About 29 seconds. Hee. OH well, we got a picture on their website and background audio of the dogs too. :)

EDIT to Add -- and my take-away after hearing myself 'on the radio'? Man, I talk fast! LOL. People are always telling me this, but, wow it's a whole new world to hear it.

(I am still working on additional posts for our myriad of events over the past weeks, but... well. You know the story all too well probably.)


Friday, June 01, 2007

It's Over!

Our long string of events at the ranch have all been completed, and each of them went really well. The last few days have been pretty much just trying to get back into the swing of real life, and it's been really nice to feel like we don't have to be slaving over the property EVERY moment. We'll have to get back to it soon, but not today.

I'm completely at a loss as to where to start the story, so much has happened. I guess I'll just write entries as they come to me, and if they are out of order? Well I apologize for that.

The first set of events was the Furry Friends Festival and then Open House. FFF went great. We'd invested in a real booth tent this year, and it is really nice. The old one was a picnic shelter that had screened sides, and the screens just alwasy really got in the way regardless of how we tried to fold them back. And this new one is an ez-up style, so it is nice and, well, easy.

Open house was fun. We had invited our current customers to come out for a complimentary play session. Originally this was just a nice thing to do for our customers, but it ended up being the genius of the whole event, because while their dogs were playing, we suddenly had a whole bunch of captive people whom could give testamonials to the new people who came to open house to check us out!

I did manage to get a couple of videos put together, and we played those throughout the afternoon. We originally dreamed up the idea of video taping the dogs at play because we figured allowing the open house guests to observe the group just wouldn't work at all. We thought for sure the dogs would just bark their heads off at the people on the other side of the fence. So we opted for the video route - that way they could still see what it's like when their dog comes to play, but not interfere with the dogs actually playing that day. Well, somehow it got to be that the owners stayed outside anyways, and though the dogs definitely did congregate around the fence and didn't interact with each other nearly as much as if the people hadn't been there... it wasn't unpleasant at all. So we had both options - watch the dogs live at pseudo play, and when they were borred of that they could go in and watch videos of real play days.

One of the videos was largely filled with footage we'd gotten of the 3 month old English Bulldog puppy who had stayed the prior weekend... who doesn't love puppy videos? LOL. She really was cute, and I know I was willing to watch her try to run up the slide and slide down at least a dozen times before getting bored! LOL

Before the afternoon was out We got several new customers on the spot. So in all we're calling it a successful day. :)