There is plenty to love about this time of year in the mountains. While most people are enjoying the flowers and warm weather that Spring brings, for us it’s the gearing up for our ranch season that gives us Spring fever! We know it won’t be long before the horses are home and we’ll be out on the trail. We know our new staff will be arriving and we’ll be welcoming them into the ranch family and introducing them to the magic of this place. We know there are projects to be done and new things to be added. And while we begin to wake the ranch from her winter’s rest, we know that soon she’ll be filled with flowers and friends and loud laughter. That is truly the most exciting part about our opening months! So since we’ve been busy getting things ready for you all, we’ll catch you up on some highlights of what this past month has been filled with. While we too enjoy some warmer days this time of year, it’s still a sure thing we’ll get some Spring storms with some wet snow to remind you that you’re at 7500 feet! And when you check the horses, you might find some unusual looking additions to your herd……hmmm….wonder what they’ll think of our riding program. They look a little small…maybe they’ll work for the kids? And look who’s back already! Lauren and Mark have arrived early to tend to the herd and work on a few projects before we really get going. This time of year, we tend to bring our older horses home early so we can start supplementing them to keep that good winter weight on. The new little grass shoots tempt them to skip the hay and get what nibbles they can, so to make sure they’re all feeling and looking their best, they get some extra special attention daily. The rest will remain at pasture for a few more weeks until we do the big haul of everyone back to the ranch. They are looking great! And what would Spring be without some BABIES right?? Well we are absolutely pleased to introduce you all to little Miss Stormy—at just 3 weeks old today, she is the youngest addition to our ranch family this summer. She and her mama will be part of the petting farm animals and we can’t wait for all the kids to arrive and meet them! Mama Apple is all smiles too! We’re also thrilled to welcome Ebony to the ranch this season! This Babydoll Sheep cross is one lovable lamb and we are in love with her sweet smiling face and beautiful wool. Gotta have one black sheep in the family! But alas, sometimes in order to have new beginnings, there must be an ending somewhere else. Our beloved Big Bertha finally saw her last days on the ranch. This antique dryer has served the ranch for decades and we can honestly say we were sad to see her go. Of course a new commercial washer and dryer are already installed and ready to serve the housekeeping staff, but Bid Bertha will always hold a special place in our hearts and our history. True story! And just when you thought you could put away those snow shovels… …think again! Spring snowstorms here we come! We’ll undoubtedly have some incredible wildflowers come June with the abundance of snow we have gotten this winter. We can already see some starting to poke out of the ground and they are most certainly appreciating the long, tasty drink after their winter’s nap. So while we begin work on fallen trees, cleaning out pens and readying the herd, we decided why not try our hand at some carpentry as well? Our new mama Nigerian Dwarf Goat is an excellent milk producer, but milking a goat calls for a milking stand so we headed to Lowe’s for some supplies and whipped up our own one afternoon. And viola! A milking stand. Great for mama, goat kids, and kid kids, too, if necessary. (*Do not try this at home. Our ranch kids are professionals and trained not to complain.*) Also professional animal cuddlers. (This we DO recommend trying at home. Unless you own a pet porcupine. Or alligator. Just to be clear.) And since we are welcoming all the newcomers to the ranch, let’s go ahead and make it official that today we went and picked up two new horses to add to the herd. Gimme is a registered Shetland pony who will be available for LOTS of pony hugs and treats this summer from all the children. He’s a cutie! Tater is our other new boy and this 6 year old Morgan cross will be a GREAT addition to the horse program for advanced beginners and intermediate riders. Even at a young age this guys has done it all and we’re really looking forward to seeing him on the trail with our guests this summer. So as you can see we have lots of new things happening in and around the ranch—and those are just the ones we can show you right now! Lots of things happening just around the corner and in less than 2 weeks many of our staff will be arriving and we’ll be in full gear getting the ranch looking her best for opening week at the end of May. Today the sun is shining and it feels like true Spring weather. Stay tuned for all the adventures of pre-season and we’ll be introducing the new members of our summer staff! Yeehaw!