Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Monday, June 02, 2008

June Too Soon

How can it be June already? This spring has definitely flown by! Dave mentioned the other day that this time last year we'd already had 3 large events at our property - the Open House, the SCA event, and the Brokeback BBQ. We've hardly begun doing anything about beautifying the property this year - gah.

Part of the delay is burnout - mental and physical. It's just a daunting thought to have to get out there again and keep battling, the weeds, the lack of water, the dust. But we did hire one of the Property Maintenance guys we talked to on Saturday, and on Sunday he came out and got training in mowing! Parker and Dave got one of the dog yards cleaned up - it is a vast improvement.

June is already reserved to be a very busy month for the kennel. Last June was our biggest month ever: with an average of over 18 dogs boarding every day. The reservations for this month are already up to an average of 16 dogs a day. We had 35 this past weekend - up from Memorial day even. Whew!

We have a loaner horse for the summer. A friend of our vet is gone for the summer and didn't want her horse just sitting idle in a pasture. So we're boarding him in exchange for being able to use him in lessons and camp.

Legend is a wonderful little Arab, and so far has been a star for Ginger's lessons. This is by far the best situation we could hope for in terms of having more horses to use -- we've been reluctant to buy more because of the upkeep over the winter. So to have one for free just during our busiest time of the year is a gift. Particularly such a nice riding horse.

Summer camps start today. Since Legend takes our herd up to 10 horses, Ginger has expanded her camp rosters to 14 kids from 12. She created a new offering this spring - 'Intro To Horses' clinics. These are one day, 1.5 - 2.5 hour clincs that let people just try horses once and see if they'd like to do more. They have been enormously successful in and of themselves, but she has a lot of students continue on in either lessons or camp. So about a third of the camp sessions are already full.

We've been wanting to get more sand for our arena for some months - the existing sand is nice, but it's been packed hard into the normal riding patterns and our little harrow just can't break it up. Our resident ground-materials guy (our neighbor who runs a road-grading business), however, has been looking and looking to find a supply of sand-gravel that matches what we currently have. We were told by the seller that its really special, low-dust stuff... and its possible he's right because Marlin could not find anything like it. But, time was of the essence so he finally got something we agreed to. I came home Friday to see him working the arena, to flatten it and break up some of the existing hard-packed footing.

And he never ceases to amaze us with his ability to weild that grader around like nothing. In just 15 minutes or so he had that arena torn up with all the sand in the center, smoothed out to look like this. WOW, the arena has never looked this flat before!

4 loads of sand later and it's a whole new arena. Parker (see Property Maintenance guy above) will be in charge of dragging the arena weekly to keep it looking good.

This weekend is Berthoud Day - which is a small town festival including pancake breakfast, soft ball games, parade, fair booths and food, and a beer garden with live bands later on. We've had an entry in the parade for the last several years, and will do so again. But this year we've invited a bunch of our kennel customers to come march with us! We have about a 10 folks interested in coming with their dogs -- and another few dogs who will be boarding with us for the weekend whos owners have told us we could take their dogs with us. We'll also have the two horses as usual. After the parade we take the horses over to our booth for an hour or so, which is a great attention grabber having the horses right there.

Tonight we're off to the concert (Panic at the Disco) with Kelsey and Sara, our neices. It has been a long awaited concert, and for sure if we hadn't committed to going some months ago we probably would not be taking an evening this week to do it. But this is another facet in reinvigorating our personal lives this year - taking the time to do the fun things. So - we'll be there singing along with the rest of the crowd. Even if it kills us. LOL

OH! Almost forgot to mention that we have gotten Ginger moved into her kitchen / living room / dining room! There are still some kinks to work out what with new applicances and such, but I'm sure they will smooth out soon. I will wait to post final pictures until Mike gets a chance to come back and do the finishing touches and she had a bit of a chance to get it all homey.



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