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Live from the Ranch

This is the official Ranch Journal, a collection of short reports about daily life on the ranch. Postings are made by all ranch staff, but mostly by Tess Leach & Kate Matheson, Guest Services Managers, David Leach, Business & Marketing Manager and Jeff Gossage, Ranch Manager. (Banner photo 3 by Stephen Weaver)

Friday, Feb 29, 2008

Time has come to ship the lease cattle that we had here for the winter.  Yesterday we sorted off all the first calf heifers and shipped them this morning.  Next week we will sort 110 more from a large bunch of cattle and ship them too.  Then on Monday the 10th, we will gather the last of this particular herd for shipping.  They are headed to the other end of the Valley to the owner's home for calving. 

Posted by Jeff G. on 02/29/2008

Monday, Feb 25, 2008
What a change in temperatures. When I posted last time it was miserable cold and today it was close to 80 and beautiful. I am looking forward to getting home and back to work. We have been riding all day everyday since I arrived and I am ready for a break from thinking and riding. Happy day everyone
Posted by Anonymous A. on 02/25/2008

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008
Hi folks-
It was very cold in Texas today. I know that seems strange and it never got below freezing but the humidity was about 100 and it was in the high thirties and it made for undesireable riding conditions. I believe that I have matured in my horsemanship and I would love to share it. I have some great ideas for people to have fun while improving their skill. Hope to see you all soon. Have a great day
Posted by Anonymous A. on 02/21/2008

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008
I went skiing at Wolf Creek the other day and what a great day it was.  That is, by far, my favorite place to ski.  There are no crowds, affordable lift tickets and food, great snow, beautiful scenery, and fun skiing terrain.  Plus, it's only an hour and fifteen minutes from the ranch.  I'll never go to Breckenridge or Vail or any of those big resorts again.  There's still a couple of months of skiing left and I plan to go at least one more time.  Regin and Tanya:  It seems like a great place to get your kids started.  
At the ranch, we have not yet started to calve and are still trying to knock out some winter projects before the busy season starts.   
Posted by Jeff G. on 02/20/2008

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008
Hello everyone
After reading Jeff's post I am reminded of home and I miss it. This month away is very rewarding but it is so hard being away from home and my family. The people I have become friends with here are a constant reminder of why we all are here. We talk horses and training methods at all times of the day. It is nice to have someone to talk through problems when Ray is helping someone else. I learned another valuable lesson today. When asking a horse to experience something new be very careful how you ask. If you ask in a manner that is your idea you run the risk in creating a disobediant horse because when the animal balks and does the oppsite of what you are asking it is the same as your child telling you "no" and to many times of the horse telling you "no" will lead to the animal learning how to tell you "no". You must do your best to make the experience the horses idea. An example: our horses must cross a small creek when they come into the corrals but when I am riding the horse it does not want to cross the creek. Why? It is because it is not the animals idea. To remedy the situation you must be creative and think of a way to make it the horses idea until the horse realizes that it is just as easy to cross it with you directing as it is when he/she is directing. Have a good day 
Posted by Anonymous A. on 02/13/2008

Monday, Feb 11, 2008
Looking at the Sangre De Cristo mountains towering above us, I can't believe the amount of snow that is up there.  In a few months that snow will melt and the water will come rushing down off those mountains and across the ranch.  Most of the year, Sand Creek is a wide, flat, sandy creek bed with cottonwood trees lining it's banks and carries no water.  Then one sudden day in May it will change into a roaring river and flood everything in it's path.  It runs big for a couple of weeks, then slows to a more steady flow for another month or more.  It's one of the most exciting events in nature that I have witnessed.  In my three years of living here I have never seen this much snow up high and we still have March and April, our two biggest snow months, coming up.  Sand Creek will be awsome this year.            
Posted by Jeff G. on 02/11/2008

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008
Hi everyone
Contrary to the evidence of me not posting I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Texas is still in "internet world". I have been very busy and the first thing that happened when I got here was I got sick so I have not taken the opportunity to post. I have met some fantastic people here and we have been exposed to some of the deepest principles concerning the horse that I have ever known. I have come to understand one particular principle that I will share with you. In order for a person to get the horse to turn loose and be one with the person, that person must examine him or herself and be right within themself. It may not make sense but when you have the opportunity to look into a horses eyes and see how God made him you will see the most honest, forgiving, feeling being that has ever been created. He knows when you are not right inside. He can feel it in the way you move, the way you ask him to join you in a job. He is the most sensitive animal I have ever seen. Make no mistakes that this animal is special but horsemanship is not some mystical thing that someone is born with or something that can be bought. Search yourself. You can do it you only need to be shown how. Take care
Posted by Anonymous A. on 02/10/2008

Friday, Feb 08, 2008
I bought a new pack saddle on Wednesday night and can't wait to try it out.  There's a whole lot of county to our Northwest, really rugged and remote, and I spend a lot of time staring in that direction wanting so badly to go.  Even though it's in our backyard, I have only gone up there a few times and even then, did not get a chance to explore a whole lot.  I will make time as soon as some snow melts; I imagine it's hard and deep right now. 
Posted by Jeff G. on 02/08/2008

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2008

The slightest feeling of Spring is in the air here but that's not to say it's warm.  We keep getting little snows, a couple every week.  The cattle have done amazingly well, considering the harsh winter they've endurred.  Blake and I will be going out to move one bunch of cattle to a new pasture tomorrow.  Then starting in March we will be riding quite a bit.  We have some sorting and shipping to do and then we move the big bunch of cows to a new pasture for calving.  Also on our list of things to do is to try our hand at bringing in some buffalo bulls to sell.  We don't know how they will react to a horse and rider telling them what to do.  We have to bring them from the far stretches of the Medano into the corrals.  We'll keep you posted on how that plays out. 

Posted by Jeff G. on 02/05/2008

Friday, Feb 01, 2008
I am at a major mile marker on the journey to become a true horseman. I am going to spend a month with the legendary horseman Ray Hunt at his ranch in Texas. My facination with the horse began before I can remember leaving to my first day of school and has taken me through some of the most enlightening times of my life. I hope to learn as much about myself as I will learn about my friend the horse in the next month. All of my posts in the month of February will be from Texas and I will try to give you as in depth amount of information that I can. Take care everyone.
Posted by Anonymous A. on 02/01/2008

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