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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Forgotten

B-  Hey 'ya Ranger!  How's my old horse today?

R-  I am good Beel.

B-  I haven't had a chance to ask you how your stay with our daughters horses went when we went on vacation a couple weeks ago.

R-  It was good Beel.  

B-  Yeah.   We didn't think you would be able to handle the long drive and then a couple days of riding, so we took you down to the "sitters" for a while.

R-  It taked many days.

B-  Yup.  We took you down a day early to save us about 2 hours of extra driving with the other horses in the trailer.  It gave us an early start.

R-  I getted into the rolling shed at a place that was not the usual.

B-  Umm, about that.  I had hooked up the trailer, and checked the lights.  One of the turn-signal/brake lights wasn't working so I pulled the connector off and fixed it.

R-  I getted into the rolling shed at a place that was not the usual Beel.

B-  Yeah, so I drove the truck/trailer around to the front of the lodge and then Juanita and I loaded up all of the stuff we needed into the truck.  Coffee cups full of coffee, a cooler for groceries we were going to pick up after dropping you off, Juanita's laptop computer so she could take a certification test at our oldest daughters college.  That sort of thing.

R-  Beel I getted int...

B-  So we got into the truck and started heading down the highway, put on an audio book to listen to and then Juanita asked  "So, did Ranger load up okay?"

B-  "Uh, that would be a no."  So I stopped along side the highway, just up the hill from your corral, grabbed a halter and a dog leash (I didn't have a lead rope in the truck), had walked over to get you.

R-  It was not the usual.  The usual is you remember the horse when you take the horse somewhere.

B-  Juanita remembered before we needed to turn around...

R-  A dog rope.  You are not very much at all.

B-  I'm sorry Buddy.

R-  I agree.  A dog rope.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Finally, A Break!

It's been another very, very busy several seasons for Bill and I, so we were quite wistful for a break.  Since this October was our 30th anniversary, we decided we deserved a weekend off and now that we have two horses that are "rideable", I chose Canyon Trails Ranch for a horse camping getaway.  If any of you get Horse & Rider magazine, you might have seen the article in the Sept. 2017 issue about the Canyons of the Ancients, located on BLM land adjoining Mesa Verde in CO.  Perfect.  We needed to stay within our own state until we get legal title for Alloy, our newest Mustang.  It was a 9 hour drive from us and the weather people said they were expecting better weather than here.
This was the sunrise here at the lodge the morning we pulled out.  What a beautiful omen.

We had taken Ranger to visit 'the cousins' (GunDiva's horses) the night before.  The drive was uneventful, horses traveled well and sunny. We pulled into Cortez a few minutes before 5:00 p.m., phoned the ranch for specific directions, and 25 minutes later saw the 'face' of the ranch.
We were led to the campsite (of which there were only 4 for horses) and were delighted to learn we would be the only ones there for the weekend.  It also had an electrical hookup, a water hydrant per campsite close to the 15' x 15' pipe corral, and a short walk to a bathroom with a shower and flushing toilet.  Such luxuries.
Just hangin' with the horses.  What a way to end the day.
On Friday, we just kicked about the campsites, enjoying the main campground with the tent sites, an eating area and complete with a chuckwagon kitchen.

Complete with chairs to hang out with a good book or enjoy the colors still in abundance.
Alloy had the hives - again - when we left home, so we weren't sure if he would tolerate being ridden.  However, he was good when Bill saddled him up for a short walk around the campsite.
This was a male hogan that was in the camp.  Reba explored it like it might be a dog house.  These small ones were often used as sweat lodges; less space to get hot.
This was the 'outhouse'.  Doesn't look like much from the outside, but was very warm and clean inside, with a real hot water shower and a flushing toilet.

Whatch' doin'?
Washoe and Alloy behaved like perfect gentlemen, sharing their pen.  We put them in separate pens for a short time so they could have more space, but they hollered back and forth until we put them back together.  We spent a considerable amount of time sitting next to their pen reading, and saw a lot of this.

Saturday we decided to take a trail to the closest Anasazi ruin that was on a trail that left right from the campsite.  However it was on permitted BLM property, so not wanting to get the owners in trouble by riding the horses there, we opted to hike.  Reba dog thought this a good idea because than she could go (she does not like being with the horses, so it is either her or horses with us).  She did a LOT of free running on this trip.  For a house dog, her feet held up really well, but she did get pretty tired on the hike; I would guess about 4 miles.
The trail ran along stone walls and cliffsides, and past small log buildings like hogans, eventually getting to some of the smaller ruins.

Coming back down we got a good view of the back of the ranch itself, where their horses grazed in pastures.
... and a view of our own campsite.
Later in the afternoon, we again saddled up the horses and rode all the little twisty trails throughout the site and part of the way down the road to the other trail heads, just to see how Alloy would handle the hives in the heat - it was sunny and 69 degrees.  He did great.  The horses found the trail we had hiked in the morning and were rearing to go.  It made our decision to take them onto the main site the next morning.

Sunday dawned sunny and warm with a very slight breeze; perfect to hit the trail.  After a lazy breakfast we headed out with the horses.  It was about a 1/2 mile ride down a county dirt road, then a bit down a paved road to get to the Canyon of the Ancients Monument.
There were two loop trails and one that traversed across the entire area, which we decided would be too long for this first trip, so we started off on one of the shorter loops.
Lots of different kinds of cactus encroaching on the trails.  Washoe is an old hand at this, but we didn't know how Alloy would do.  Should not have worried; he just followed Washoe's lead.
We had a lesson in map reading 101 and saw lots of great views.
One of the best views I had though, was of this very happy rider and his very good horse.
We did not complete the loop, only doing about 2 hours in the heat, but we did see some ruins from across a canyon.
We had such a great relaxing time just getting to hang, with no time synch, lots of napping, reading, and just being. Considering Alloy probably still does not have 50 hours worth of actual ride time, we are very pleased with his temperament and behavior.  Wet saddle blankets are the best way to get a well trained trail horse, and he is well on his way.

Bionic Cowgirl