The sun was actually out the whole week!! Thank goodness. The week before last our guests had an adventure week because they dealt with wind, rain, sun, snow, hail… We barely got the cattle in before the snow came Saturday night! Wild week. We had sponsored four veteran families and man; the stories and the camaraderie were amazing. Kyle was particularly touched by the Pitman family he wrangled for, having his brothers in the military make everything troop related a little closer to home for him.
I didn’t get much time with the guests that week as the office sometimes calls a lot, and then I’m indoors organizing and making sure everyone is accounted for. I did manage to get in some quality time on Thursday and Saturday night though, Thursday for all the dancing I could handle (I swear my lungs haven’t hurt like that in years), and Saturday was for music and some tears. Its crazy to think how much good mountains and horses can do to a (wo)man’s soul. Some of the notes of thanks we got were truly heartwarming, it’s easy to get lots in the wild and in the work of the ranch, but to see it literally change lives and bring families closer together really is something special. This week was also home to Deanie, Deanie is 71 and this was a bucket list trip for her, she was a trooper! She never slowed down and walked all our hills with her grand son; she took a fall early in the week and had to have 7 stitches! So she didn’t ride the trails much but still managed to get back on a horse and loved the whole week. We joked how she fought off our bear and won! A dollar is now in the saloon in her honor, that woman was as sweet as she was tough. Glad to have met her.
This week was smaller, only 19 people compared to the 38 we had during veteran’s week. But man oh man was it a tight knit group! It may have been kids week, but the youngest was a mature 13 year-old and so it felt a little bit closer to an adults week. I’d be remiss if I didn’t let the world know that Jacob beat our Blanka in ping-pong ONE TIME. It was glorious hah! Chris came again with his two kids and made sure everyone stepped up to the plate to have a fantastic week, he never left anyone out and always had a hearty laugh or something sarcastic to say. Unless it's his goodbye speech which he had the whole ranch up in cheers! Hopefully we’ll work more on his dancing next year, remember that you do have knees Chris! I missed out on pack camp with this group but managed to ride 4 different horses that day so I can’t complain. I worked Lynn’s 3yr old in the round pen on his (maybe) second ride of the year since not being riding all winter having only been broken last summer.
As anyone should know, horses are a fun, no joke kind of life style and anything can happen, so as I was working Levi (the 3yr old) from the ground, he was doing so well that I moved to ride him around the pen a bit. He’s young so tensing up or being uncooperative is normal, but he was killing it in there, doing so well. Then he stopped dead and tensed so hard I looked up to see what could have made such a change, turns out that the gang decided to let the stampede out early since the guests were at pack camp and 102 horses were about to race past Levi and I. I haven’t dismounted that quickly in a long time! He went wild for a bit and after a few minutes I calmed him and worked him from the ground again. I later worked him in the pen teaching Dawes about groundwork and talking about colts, then in the arena fro a quick session and he’s coming along nicely. I think Lynn’s got a good one on her hands once he gets more proper training than me on him. Cyndi and Lynn have also been working him and teaching him about this wild world.
Every Thursday is fun here, but this one seemed to stand out and be one to remember. I love dancing, and when I get to learn or dance with new people, it’s definitely a good night. More line dancing than usual this week and I didn’t hear any complaints! We had local friends and guest alike on the floor, dancing with Marco, Dawes and teaching guests.... My legs were sore the next day and everyone was a little tired at breakfast but happy and satisfied. Jacob Woods came out to visit his brother who works here and we got our own little concert Wednesday from him. If you haven’t heard him, you can find some of his songs on YouTube. The boys good. Rita and I attempted to go in on a song with him but last minute isn’t the best when performing anything!
This next week is gonna be a big one! 44 people. Lots of kids of all ages so it should be a good kind of crazy. The Donahoo family from week one is back week six with the family and we’re always happy to see returning guests, nothing like creating memories. I think some of these kids are out to steal Little Joe (mini aussie shepard) and its only Monday!
The 4this this week so everyone out there who reads this, have fun, God bless, and don’t catch anything on fire!