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Ranch Life

May 20, 2009

I’ve done a terrible job of giving daily updates on ranch life. By the time I get back to the staff room I’m dirty and tired and sore and achey and smell like horse and sweat. I have neither the inspiration or probably even the ability to write. I’m better suited to throwing my muddy booted feet on the table and reclining in the staff couch whilst groaning and channel flipping. (We decided to cut the cable access we enjoyed over the winter. TV and dude ranch work just don’t mix. Our entertainment will come in the form of roping the calf dummy and playing guitar on the porch).

Even though I don’t write about it, all sorts of stuff has been happening.

Baby Cutie got his first two rides! He didn’t move an inch when I backed him for the first time, listened great to leg and nose pressure, and was basically an absolute perfect angel. He’s perfect responding to pressure cues on the ground so I didn’t even ride him with a bit. Just reins attached to the halter. He moved forward, halted, backed up, and turned with just the lightest touch. I rode him about five minutes in the round pen the other day and ten minutes in the arena yesterday. AND there were roofers and a thunderstorm rolling in. He has a great work ethic.

New guy came two days ago. Seems nice.

First fencing day of the season! It was great. I really like fencing. It’s very zen. Peaceful, quiet, meditative. The work isn’t really physically demanding so it feels more like a contemplative stroll through the mountains. However, fencing also means ticks. I think my tick count was five. When it gets a little warmer, all the fence fixing wranglers will basically do prison style strip searches every hour. And we will find dozens of them. All over. Bleck. Even when you do a thorough check and get all of them off, it feels like they’re crawling around you for the rest of the day.

Cleaned cabins.

First thunderstorm of the season! It was small, but still nice. I love how quickly thunderstorms here roll in and then dissipate just as quickly. You can see them bounce from mountain range to mountain range. It’s gorgeous.

Fit saddles to horses. It was a much shorter process this year than last. Last year the saddle fitting seemed to take FOREVER. And the saddles seemed so heavy. I guess the combination of muscle memory and perfected saddle hauling technique speeded things up.

I smell like horses again! Since a good clump of the wranglers are here, we’ve been doing more job specific things instead of general ranch work. This means I get to spend all day at the barn and come back smelling like my favorite scent in the world.

It’s nice getting back to the pre-season schedule. Pre-season was one of my favorite parts of the year. Low stress, high camaraderie. Normal working hours. For at least the next two weeks my schedule will vary very little from

7:45 wake up

8:15 breakfast

9: feed

9:30: fence

1: lunch

1:30 ride bebbie

2: barn chores…saddle fitting, bridle fitting, exercising horses, cleaning, second feeding, throwing hay, etc.

5: off work

6:15 dinner

7: guitar time, roping time, shower time, nap time

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