August 10, 2015
We’re in the dog days of summer here on the Chico with the forecast calling for 103 degrees today. Since about 10:30 this morning, I haven’t seen any of the crew or the animals in a big hurry to get anywhere. The heat prioritizes what we can accomplish, and we can’t overstress the cattle or the horses.
So, the general speed around here is moseying. Keep on moving, but steady on rather than hurry up. It’s better …
August 3, 2015
I swung my big Circle A saddle up on the short back of the little red roan filly. The saddle accentuated her keen look, and made her appear as though she had been a seasoned ranch horse for years. In reality, she would be getting her first big ride on this cool Wednesday morning. She would have a job in moving cows today and would surely get tired but I had complete confidence she could handle …
May 20, 2015
All too frequently Chico has to say thank you and goodbye to interns after they complete a job well done. Last week, Maddie left for a job in our nation’s capitol while Butters and Maddie’s string of horses continues to look for her each morning. What Maddie doesn’t know is the tenacity of the Chico Virus, incurably inflicting interns with the passion and yearning to return again and again (Kerstin three times and Fabio times five). Don’t …
May 19, 2015
Spring is a time of year that we all look forward to: green grass, new life. This year we’ve had more rain that we can ever remember having before.
May 5, 2015
Before coming to the Chico, I had this idea that the horses here would be exceptional. I thought they’d be like the “ranch horses” advertised for sale in the back of horse magazines; big, strong, quiet minded, versatile, and of course beautiful. After arriving here and getting to know the saddle horses, I learned most of them do embody these traits however, the horses here are also just like those everywhere else – they’re quirky. Each of them have good …
February 12, 2015
The day was like any other. After breakfast we smoldered the fire and rode out. The sun was starting to peak over the Sangres and through the clouds. Not enough to shed the sweater. Everyone was full of biscuits and gravy and eggs and coffee.
We trotted. The horses were fresh and ready. The guests and staff blended to make one crew.
Soon we reached the Big South. After the last rider made it through the …
February 6, 2015
My 8-5 is nearly always spent answering calls, taking reservations, assisting with marketing strategies, updating our social media, preparing for the guest season and anything else that may come up at the lodge. During the winter we have a fairly small crew, so I am sometimes asked to assist with larger-scale livestock moves. Yesterday was one of those days.
We trailered our horses down Lane 6 to the “Idaho-Utah” pasture– two pastures that when combined by an open gate expand …
January 28, 2015
Yesterday I headed over to the Chico from Zapata to join their crew in a large gather and sort day.
I don’t often get a chance to head to the other side of the mountains to spend time with that crew, but I always enjoy it when I do. The landscape is different to Zapata; the dawn seems more drawn out because of the expanse of the prairie and you get to ride in the morning glow for longer.
January 22, 2015
Last week we had to move around 500 head of cattle out of four pastures into one. This encompasses over 10,000 acres of land to cover. In general, we keep our cattle herd together in a single pasture, but in this instance cattle had broken through fence into an adjacent pasture, had been intentionally left behind in another, and yet another pasture had been invaded by a neighbor’s cattle. Unfortunately, due to constraining circumstances such as weather and logistics, we …
September 29, 2014
I was moving some cattle off water last Wednesday back into a BLM lease we have. The cattle have to travel under 150 highway through a tunnel. I got the girls started and they did the rest. Mothers bawling for their calves to gather up and go, quickly turned into a solid convoy of quiet cattle moving back out to pasture. It was nice.
As I sat and enjoyed the sight so did several motorists along 150. At least two vehicles …