We’re often asked what it takes to get the ranch open. And quite frankly—it’s a good question. So let’s take a look. Just what DOES it take? It definitely takes some skill. Starting with very accomplished horse shoers. But we also count baking delicious cookies for the bottomless cookie box as a SKILL! And Alex is a PRO! It certainly takes a sense of humor (when those late Spring storms blow in.) Gotta love Colorado! And you’ll need that sense of humor when it’s time to trim donkey feet… (…and the goat keeps trying to execute a jailbreak for her donkey friends.) So how many cowboys does it TAKE to trim a donkey? Well, for Wilma, the magic number is 3. (And in Fred’s case—a few more woulda been handy…) And then it takes being quick on your feet, precise with your tools and a lot of patience sometimes! It for sure takes some serious flower consideration. And it takes trained, wonderful wranglers who set the bar as great horsemen and women and knowledgeable teachers. It takes a LOT of nitty gritty work. And attention to the smallest details. (That we know make a HUGE difference!) It takes a well rounded staff and top notch instructors. Every year Bar Lazy J hosts a wrangler certification for ranches all over the country to come and certify their own existing staff to the national Dude Rancher’s Association standard. We are proud to have provided the instructors for this certification for the past 10 years from our staff here at Bar Lazy J. Cheri literally wrote the book for Horse Safety for the national association and has set a high standard for ranches around the country. And thanks Jo Ellen for being such a great practice choking victim! (Truly, you have a gift.) And then sometimes it takes TAKING some time to just relax and enjoy. Or an ice cream break! Then it takes a LOT of meetings. And one great lookin’ and ridin’ herd! And then it takes owners who do far more than their fair share of hands-on projects. Jerry is constantly on the move doing everything from clearing trails with chainsaws to plumbing and yard work. But that’s not to say we don’t have fun doing it. It hardly feels like work around here surrounded by friends and the beautiful mountains. And as you can see or might know from experience—when it comes to messing around—we don’t mess around! We sure do have some fun even when we’re workin’. Every year Cheri tackles several pieces of furniture in the lodge or cabins and gives ‘em a major upgrade. This year you could find her with dressers, multiple chairs and several benches—sanding, re-staining and reupholstering. And here she is enjoying her beautiful finished work! But probably most importantly, it takes incredibly hard work and an army of wonderful volunteers. We can’t even TELL all of our wonderful, WONDERFUL volunteers how much their help means to us every pre-season. We are truly blessed by all of the helping hands who generously and whole-heartedly offer their time, strength and skill to getting the ranch in tip top opening condition for all of our guests. THANK YOU Aunt Liz, Uncle Wayne, Angela, Patty and Gary, Erika and Joe, Miriam and Blake, Lorna, Jo Ellen, Gary and Janie and ALL of the amazing students and teachers from Front Range Christian Academy who volunteer their service every Spring. We couldn’t do it without all these incredible folks and we can’t even TELL you how much it means to us that you give as much as you do. So once again—THANK YOU ALL!! What does it take? It takes a whole lot of people who have a deep love and endless passion for this ranch and who dedicate themselves to making her shine with every bit of her potential. It TAKES a lot. But what it GIVES? Is more than we could ever articulate. More than we could ever give back. If you’ve been here, you know just what we’re talking about. And if you haven’t? Well, you’ll just have to come and see, won’t ya? We’ll be posting about our FULL opening week next!