The community at Wilderness Trails Ranch is truly a rich one – with chefs, artists, a massage therapist, dogs, melodic birds – the list could go on. Of course, most visitors to our ranch are eager to meet our horses and wranglers, and they are a lovely crew. To this aim, each week from now until the end of July six horses and one wrangler will be featured here on our blog.
Rick and Red, our gentle giants, are Belgian Draft Horses. They have been with The Ranch for ten years and team up to provide our weekly hayrides. Being in their presence inspires awe, and the opportunity to benefit from their considerable strength and grace during the hayride is a highlight for many. They are also our resident stars as they have been featured in several movies.
Ember was born on The Ranch in 2002, the year of the fire – hence his name. Ember, a Morgan Quarter Horse, is super gentle and playful - ideal for beginning riders to help them build confidence and develop a deeper sense of joy while riding.
Tigger is a favorite among guests because he is highly responsive. He is a perfect fit for people with riding experience. Tigger was born on The Ranch and was Lance Robert’s private horse for many years. The evidence of his loving training is evident to those who ride him. He is a Quarter Appaloosa Horse and has half-brothers who also live with us here at The Ranch.
Lenita, a Paint Mare, requires a confident rider. For those looking to build a relationship that requires more attention, Lenita provides a more complex riding experience. She is appreciated by our wranglers because she calmly walks to and waits in her stall each morning. Lenita was born here at The Ranch and is known for her lasting love for Sideburns, another one of our horses.
Willa’s eyes will tell you how kind she is, and, indeed, this Percheron Quarter Horse mix is a favorite. She is highly responsive and enjoyed both by beginning riders looking to build confidence and experienced riders who want to enjoy a week of ease. Her strawberry-roan coloring is unique, and those that ride her may find themselves enchanted.
“I don’t remember learning to ride” smiles Kathryn Forynski as she watches the horses graze. An unsurprising comment considering that Kathryn’s mother first took her up into the saddle when she was only four-days old. Kathryn grew up riding Arabians in Bedfordshire, England where she was also an event rider in cross country, jumping, and dressage. She will tell you about it – with her customary reserved sweetness – if you ask. Kathryn has been with The Ranch since 2008, and she greatly enjoys the relaxed approach of Western riders. She respects the gentle power of horses, and the feeling of oneness that often arises while riding ties her heart to them even further. Part of what keeps Kathryn coming back is the trail riding; “There’s always something new to notice” she says. And she’s keeping her eyes open for elk shed because she wants a pair of antlers to paint pink and hang on her wall.
By, Jan Roberts
"Who was that masked man? The Lone Ranger rides again!"
Some of us still remember those lines from the earlier days of western movies, and especially recall "The Lone Ranger" and his faithful companion, "Tonto."
As I child, I would walk to the local theater in the small town where I was raised, pay my 12 cents, buy a box of Juji Fruits and slide into a world of horses, cowboys and the "bad guys." I captured this fantasy weekly, and my love for horses was instilled into my mind forever. Roy Rogers, Gene Autrey, Hopalong Cassidy, Rex Allen and the Cisco Kid were inspirations for this Minnesota gal, and I honestly feel that they were the reason I decided to move west.
Western movies have been relatively absent since the days of "City Slickers," "Three Amigos", "Blazing Saddles" and the John Wayne pictures. They have been replaced with the new generation of films that use more animation, special effects, 3-D, and technology that were unknown in my days of "going to the movies." We actually called it, "going to a show" and for me, that is what transpired on that small screen. The "shows" were an escape from my little corner of the north country. The mountains and deserts beckoned to me......." come explore new adventures in this unknown territory."
Therefore, I did venture into another world---I had never been to the mountains of Colorado, or the mountains of anywhere, other than a train ride when I was 13, from Minnesota, through North Dakota, into Montana (I did see the mountains in Glacier National Park, but only at a distance), Idaho, Washington (we went through the mountains there at night), Oregon and California. Mount Shasta (California) still holds a special place in my travel memories.
But within those special moments, I didn't have the opportunity to touch, feel, explore and experience the grandeur in which we now call "home." How fortunate and blessed we truly are! The mountains which surround Wilderness Trails Ranch and our little corner of southwestern Colorado, are enchanting and compelling, just as they were on the screen at the Rapids theatre.
Incidentally, I cannot wait to see Johnny Depp in a starring role (a lot of women feel the same!) when it hits the screen! And some of the locals here in Durango may be spotted among the "extras" as a "casting call" was held here recently. Word is, the movie will be staged in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
Cheers to the producers, directors, actors and all who will be involved in the making of this movie! I anticipate again, seeing the Lone Ranger on Silver, Tonto on Scout, and other magnificent horses race into the corners of my mind once more!
"Hi Ho Silver....Away!"
A few days ago we told you about our friend and musician Tim Craig who played at the ranch every Thursday night throughout the season in 2011 and hopefully will be again in 2012.
Many of you are now following Tim Craig on facebook and other websites. Here is the most recent link to Tim's overnight success tune:
Tim Craig on KDVR Fox 31 News
As the story reads:
It was bound to happen. After much adoration, and some criticism, a song was finally written about Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
"It's a phenomenon," says Durango resident and musician Tim Craig. "It's just hard to believe...it just keeps growing."
That is a very popular sentiment these days when discussing the lightning rod that is Tim Tebow.
"He's an all-around, almost-perfect person," adds Craig.
Tim Craig, who is a member of a country band in the four corners area of the state, was inspired himself the other day to pen a Tebow tune. It is written and sung to the tune of the 1982 country hit "Tulsa, Tulsa Time" performed by Don Williams.
"The second verse, I think, is the best, and it goes, "He's on good terms with his maker, he's a mover and a shaker..." sings the author of the Tebow song titled "Winning on Tebow Time."
Tim Craig wrote the song one day and secured a publishing contract the next day.
Here at the ranch, we are listening to this tune daily and humming a few bars ourselves. We so... enjoy seeing Tim's video and watching him have fun! Yes Tim, being a Bronco's fan is a sickness, and... that brings us all a bit closer, thank you!
As many of you remember we collected suggestions to name our filly (baby girl horse).
She was such a cutie running around the front pasture, getting all the attention and hanging out with Pepper, Piper, Chica and her mom!
By the way to clarify a foal is a baby horse, a filly is a girl and a colt is a boy!
Anyway we had such a darn hard time trying to pick a name for this cutie! So, we came up with a plan!
We thought to ourselves, what can we do? Oh cool, we'll get our friends and guests involved!
We narrowed it down to "children's entries only" (our WTR kiddos) and then put them in a hat and pulled out 14 names.
Here is where we need your help. Now until November 30th, we would like for you to email, facebook or call with your vote on the name to choose from the list below. That name with the most votes will win and we will crown our little girl (now not so little) with her new name.
We will announce the name the foal on December 2nd, 2012!
Names pulled from the hat (Gene's hat of course!) are:
Cora Gaelic, Wild Flower, Chica, Raven, Moonbeam, Shadow, Pina (pronounced pine-a), Cocoa, Kitten, Sunshine, Lae-Lee, Maddie, Chloe and Dixie Doodle
So there you have it. Please email, fax, phone or facebook and let us know your vote!
Of course children are encouraged to participate in this event! So what shall her name be?
It snowed - but didn't stick. Now we have gorgeous sunshine throughout the days with cold nights! We await the first big snowstorm of the year, but not too soon we still have a lot to do, to get ready for winter!
Want a "Peak" at the top of Middle Mountain?