Our Brand of Western Hospitality
I arrived a few days before Horsemanship week so was able to get in a number of good small rides. On recommendation I tried Puzzle and she is small and neat and easy to get on and off her only quirk is that sometime she will jump logs and sometimes she will step over them. So her small size came in handy when biggish logs were encountered. She also had long reins so she very politely waited till after I had scrambled over and then asked her to jump over them!
We had a hilarious excursion to West Creek (the other side of Snoopy rock) to look for cows that had been seen over that way by the locals. (Ask Chelsea about her West Creek stories!) Josh Singer, Jackie James and I and Chelsea took our horses and rode for about an hour but seeing no sign of cows we gave up and resorted to driving around this quaint part of Colorado but without any luck. But we had a lot of fun.
We then had a very unusually rainy day and after taking tack off horses I was soaked through. What a good excuse to have a fire in my cabin.
As Horsemanship week started there were a good number of new people some of whom had never ridden before but as usual, due to the hard work and personal charm of Jeff and Laurie, everybody learned a lot and we had the usual amount of fun and learning of new riding and cow working skills.
It was great to have the usual gang members too – the Coonrods and Merles. Sheena, from England is as hooked on Lost Valley as I am.
We managed to get enough riders to go on a day ride to the South Platte and had more adventures than we bargained for! First of all Jan took the more scenic route into the South Platte – virtually diving off a bank into deep water and getting herself soaked – lucky no injuries to either her or Ben. Then we were trying to avoid people who were shooting on the other bank of the river and Chelsea took us up an unfamiliar hill but her young horse got a bit stuck and got her foot caught over a boulder. Chelsea wisely dismounted but poor Sage tumbled down the hillside missing me and luckily, having tucked in her legs , only had a few small cuts. We then rode home the way we had arrived and had a great day out.
The usual ranch entertainments were on offer and the melodrama was very good this year with excellent singing. Spike kept us entertained with the square dance and the prize giving was as hilarious as usual. Everyone finished the week in great spirits but sad to go home, as usual.
I rode Rosie in the arena for cattle work, obstacles and the competition and she was ace at the obstacles as she had been so well trained by Chelsea – the gate opening was no problem and she looked like a professional.
I rode Jade towards the end of my stay. As she is notoriously spooky and it was very windy we had a sedate ride around Goose Creek loop. As she didn’t have to be “on guard” as lead horse I think she settled quite well with me. She is another small horse, so handy to get on when you have short fat , hairy legs like me (English reference to Morecame and Wise joke!! -Deceased comedian duo).
It was great to get to see old friends, meet new ones, talk about controversial books and enjoy my second home as usual. Thank you to everyone who makes it so special.