Archive for January, 2013
Date: January 23rd, 2013
For those of you who remember Sugar, we thought you might enjoy this update from his retirement home that came over the holidays. It’s fun to follow our horses throughout their lives. We only wish we could know their stories before they come to be a part of the ranch! Thanks to Barbara for providing a wonderful, loving home for Sugar in his retirement years.
Dear Vista Verde Ranch Family,
Sugar and I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday.
A year ago October, I adopted Sugar when you were thinning the herd. My other horse had put me on the ground hard a couple of times and I was looking for something dependable. Rachel Ratkovich suggested Red or Sugar. I had my eye on Red as I have never wanted to deal with a gray/white horse. But… I brought Sugar to SPR.
I would like to say it was a match made in heaven but we have had our ups and downs…the main down was an eye ulcer that took 3 months of medication and dedication to heal. But in between arrival, confinement and now… have been great.
We don’t rodeo around… we walk and trot… by ourselves or with others. We played aena games last winter… he has a few age issues, doesn’t see distance too well, a leg catches now and then… but I have similar issues and understand.
When I got him he was pleasant and dependable… now he is a hoot. Makes everyone who deals with him smile. He gets 2 cookies when he comes in for his meal (nicker, nicker, nicker) and 2 for dessert (same response), he lives with his harem (4 mares, 2 are extra special), he talks to his harem, he is happy to see me, he is happy to go for a ride, he is happy to leave me. I think he is enjoying his semi-retirement.
I have enclosed some pictures… he with his girls, coming when he sees me, the girls welcoming him back, us out for a ride, the summer rainbow (honest I didn’t know it was there when I put the pink Swat in his ears but had to take the picture anyway) and center… Sugar himself. Good haircoat and weight.
Thanks again for offering your guys a new home instead of just shipping them off to who knows where. Thanks for having such a wonderful guy in your string.
If you have a chance to share this with those who worked with Sugar that would be great.
Again… The best to you and yours.
Sugar and Barbara
Date: January 18th, 2013
Following the theme of fun staff adventures, Rob share this story with me recently.
By Rob Carter
On the morning of new years eve I awoke to an overcast, chilly, but beautiful winter day here at Vista Verde. After my customary mug of tea and some always-inspiring Aaron Copland to start the morning, I peered out of our window to see my friend and co-worker, Alan, walking down to wax his snowboard (as a southern transplant to Colorado, this time of year I’m accustomed to my neighbors sauntering around with their golf clubs, driving with the top down, and playing touch football in the yard). I greeted Alan with the usual “have you recovered from our ping pong match yesterday?”, and asked what his plans were for the day; the next thing I knew, I was sitting in a single-cab truck with John Isder, horseman extraordinaire, and Alan Czespenski, my table-tennis nemesis. Just like that, we were off on a snowshoeing/snowboarding back country adventure. After a strenuous snowshoe we found ourselves about a mile away from Little Agnes and right in the thick of some of what I’ll wager to be the most pristine powder on this side of the Mississippi River; Alan and John both started off the day with a jump off of a 15 foot cliff. I was struck by how far they flew and how softly they landed and said to myself, “well I can do that”. After taking several minutes to strap in my bindings (i.e. muster up the courage to take off), I found myself hurtling down a hill of fresh powder towards that rocky edge thinking about how nice it had been on top of the hill. As I approached to lip of the jump, I suddenly lost speed and ended up barely trickling over the edge; a 15 foot fall into 5 ft deep powder is actually kind of nice. Granted, I didn’t look very impressive on Alan’s GoPro, but fun was had by all nonetheless. The day only got better after those first few runs. We ended up snowshoeing (kudos to the guests and guides who get after it on snowshoes…what a workout!) up a good-sized hill and getting a long run in to end the day. Did I mention that the fun was just beginning? The transition from play to work, and back to play, here at VVR is incredibly seamless. We got back from our little expedition at around 3:50PM; just enough time to shower and get to work at 4:00! Upon arriving in the “office”, I was asked to help set up the dance floor for our new years bash, and spent the rest of the evening swinging in the New Year with our wonderful guests and staff. And to top it all off, there was a top-notch fireworks show administered by our Pyrotechnic Specialists (AKA: Carson Reese and his Ranch Hands). I’ve been blessed with a great life; loving family and friends, health, and the luck of having been born in the United States. However, I can say with conviction that my time at Vista Verde has introduced me to a new idea of ‘family’. I believe that I can speak for all of us here at VVR when I say that we love what we do. In a very real sense, we are a big family during our time working here together. However, that is an incomplete rendering of the picture of VVR as a whole. What really pulls it all together and makes this place so special in my mind is the fact that I can come from “play”, go to “work”, and all the while feel like the people I’m around are kin; the guests are always so friendly, curious about the ranch, and eager to share their lives with us. This is what pushes us to do our best for everyone at Vista Verde; guests and colleagues alike. This is also why I can call New Years Eve of 2012 the best one I’ve ever had. Whether for a snowy winter getaway or a sunny summer vacation, we look forward to spending time with you and your family here at Vista Verde!
Date: January 15th, 2013
Days off here at Vista Verde Ranch are the staff’s chance to get out and enjoy the beauty we have all around us! I personally love to get out on the perfectly manicured track for some skate skiing with my dog, Dodger. It’s good exercise for the body, and does wonders for the soul. Here are a few shots from my ski this morning!
Starting out through the Homestead pasture gate.
Gotta love the fresh corduroy.
Swing by the homestead cabin for a look…on a sunny day like today, no fire is needed! By this time I’m toasty warm from burning calories!
Enjoying the view of Wapiti mountain…if I’m super ambitions, later today, maybe I’ll grab some snowshoes and try to summit! We’ll see if Dodger is up for it.
Over the river….…
and through the woods…
My favorite spot along the trail! Does it get much better than this?
Hungry horses await at the end of my ski…beauty surrounds me! EWF! We’re tired!
And that is a good start to a beautiful day! It’s like my own cross country ski vacation, just for a day. Some good cardio, quality time with the Pup, and a scenic wonderland to play in! Wish you were here at this winter vacation getaway dream!
Come visit us soon, at Vista Verde Ranch!
Date: January 4th, 2013
What, did someone just say that it’s 2013? When did that happen?
The holiday vacation time at Vista Verde is a complete whirlwind. We start December pouring into our staff, and getting them geared up to open for our winter season. That, in itself, is a whirlwind of activity and excitement. Once they are all ready to roll, we open the doors and meet our first guests. And, suddenly, I realized it’s January 4.
How lucky are we to have spent the past 3 weeks entertaining some of the most wonderful people, who chose Vista Verde for their family holiday? Some have celebrated with us before, some were here for their first time. Regardless, it was a wonderful group of folks from all over the world. During Christmas-time, we decorated trees, caroled, and ate like you can’t believe. Luckily, between skiing, tubing, snow shoeing and more activities, everyone was burning off a high number of calories daily in order to make room for those stupendous meals. As we got closer to New Years, we prepared for a festive night. A wine dinner, a barn party, a square dance, the boot drop and the ranch hand’s firework extravaganza made it a spectacular night. Although we had a great time with the guests, I do think Carson and Rucker might have had the best night of their lives out in the Sunday pasture lighting off fireworks. Apparently, we could have skipped paying them all winter and just let them do more of that.
On top of all those festivities, action and adventure, I decided to launched a winter vacation giveaway. It came to me in the middle of the night and I figured, no time better than the present. Did I have any idea of the response we would get? NO. It has been humbling to read the entries so far. And, it reminds me daily of the greatness of people. I wish we could give a vacation to each of these wonderfully deserving folks. If you get a chance to read some of the entries for our winter vacation giveaway, you might be inspired by them as well. We’ll be madly trying to pick one of them for the winner on Sunday, January 6, so stay tuned.
Here is to a wonderful 2013! May it be filled with love, laughter, health and some fun.