Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our horses are on winter graze right now; actually, a mountainside of many thousand acres to just roam and explore and pretend they are in wild horse days again.  They are truly lucky horses in that respect.  Reading Bill's story over on Tails From the Trail reminded me of the very first time we took them to the ranch for the winter.  For five years we kept the horses up here at the lodge with us full time, but as we learned more about the weather patterns here - cold, blustery winds and low temps, possible BIG snow storms, etc. - we thought it might be advantageous to let the horses have a better location than just a small corral for months on end, especially since neither of us likes to ride in that kind of weather.  By this time, we had managed one of the liveries near us for a summer and had leased our horses from the owners of this ranch, so I approached them about 'boarding' our guys.  They said they did 'board' horses, but that meant just turning them loose on their land and letting them run; no extra care, no blankies, no coddling, nothing different than what their ranch horses got.  Since our three are Mustangs who were born in the wild, they felt pretty secure in taking care of themselves.  I was the worry wart.

So we dropped them off and they got to start on their first great adventure.  They were put in with the same horses we had used and immediately banded up, making 15 of them total.  At first, the rancher kept them on a lower pasture to make sure the herd 'jelled'.  When it was obvious everything was working out, it was time to move them, so he sent daughter, son and hired hand with a trailer;  business as usual.  They loaded up the first 10 in the trailer and delivered them to higher ground, and the two guys went back for the rest.  When they hadn't shown up in a reasonable amount of time, the daughter drove back to see what the problem was.  After almost 2 hours of trying to 'capture' Ranger, the guys were fit to be tied and cussing out wild horses.  In typical Ida fashion, she calmly says, "Sorry, I forgot Bill says you have to 'catch' Ranger to halter him." 

"Fine!  You catch him!  Stupid horse sees the halter and takes off!"

She takes the halter, walks part way to Ranger and then drops the halter on the ground, continuing to walk right up to Ranger and pet him on the shoulder.  Now, Ranger's mane tends to split in the middle and hang on both sides of his neck, so not having the piece of twine Bill told her he uses, she just reached up and took a piece of his mane on either side of his neck and voila, he's 'caught'.  She then proceeds to lead him to the trailer with the remaining horses in it and walks him right on - holding a little piece of mane.

"Why were you guys making it so hard?  He wanted on the trailer with his buds.", and Ida drove off with the horses.


I had to turn verification back on. Ten "spams" an hour is making me crazy...