Ranch Update & Future Plans

Hi Folks,

We have A LOT planned for this summer! I wanted to make it cost effect for folks to learn as much as they can with the time that I can offer. I thought doing a more group-based learning system may work well for some of you. The clinics are based on understanding horses on a more in-depth scale as well as hands-on learning for you, the horse enthusiast. I have different clinics planned, geared for just groundwork, just riding, and a combination of the two. I also added Liberty and Trick training because I feel we need to have FUN when we train our horses. There’s so much more we can do with our horses if we just get more creative. With that idea in mind, I thought, why not have Play Days too? That we it’s a little better cost for joining in a group, but with two hours we get more time to practice the things we learned through lessons or at a clinic. I wanted to be able to offer clinics and group learning for people that don’t have their own horse, and for those that do.

So with that in mind, bring your friends out to the ranch for a fun, safe learning experience that’s all hands-on. I welcome people to come watch us as we train or audit the clinics or group lessons. All the information is on the website, so be sure to check it out!

http://www.OwlCanyonHorseServices.com

Jack and Indy are two new horses that I was able to lease for the summer. Jack is a 13 year old Palomino Paint and Indy is a 12 year old Bay quarter horse gelding. Both horses are in training through the month of May to become lesson horses for the summer months. I’ve known these two horses for two years now! I helped their owners Lindsey and Jeremy with their purchase. It’s been fun watching the bond between horse and owner grow over the past couple years. We have plenty of horses for you to come ride and learn from with the new leased horses, our long term boarder horse Echo, and all the OCHS lesson horses!

On to a few other updates: April had her baby goats! She had one white girl, Maybelle, and one brown boy, Dakota! Both are happy and healthy. They will also be for sale in June. Snowbell is due to have her babies any day – her due date is May 4th! I am excited to see what she has. I do plan on keeping one doe for future breeding. Goats have been an absolute blast to have!

The Future Plans of Owl Canyon Horse Services:

So this will be hard to write… I love all my family, friends, and clients that I have here in northern Colorado. Everyone has left a huge impact on me (don’t worry most of it is GOOD lol!). Through lessons and clinics I have learned so much more about horsemanship and myself. I have found that I don’t have nearly the good weather that I need to be able to improve my skills and build my dream ranch the way I wish I could. So, I think it’s time for me to take a leap of faith and take a step in a slightly new direction…

I plan to move to Arizona (Prescott or North Phoenix) in October or November of 2016 and start a southern version of “OCHS”. I would like to start up a high end boarding facility with 12-16 boarded horses. This will hopefully leave me with a nicer climate to ride more, teach more, learn more, and care for more horses. It’s going to be a financial struggle and I will have to downsize my beloved herd to make this step happen. Please think of me and my horses as we start our journey towards greater success and helping more people succeed in their journey with horses. I would greatly appreciate any and all support you may have.

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I still plan to run OCHS Summer Camps as well as lessons and a few clinics here in Wellington in 2017! But, I will not be able to set up plans officially until January or February 2017. I would love to be here in Colorado from May through August for the years to come. We will see what is in store for this new chapter and adventure!

Thank you all for being so wonderful!

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May the horse be with you.

Sincerely,

Kate with OCHS

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Ranch Happenings 11/15

Hi Folks!

I am sorry I have been terrible about keeping this blog updated! SO MUCH as happened since the last update I will briefly talk about whats happened over the past year and then talk about plans for the future.

Last September we had a small tragedy happen to one of our dear goats, Crystal. There are pictures from the last update of her if you don’t remember her. Her life was cut short due to a BEAR climbing into their pen one night. I couldn’t believe it, still have a hard time believe a bear came onto our property. April was terrified, and had a bad limp with one of her hind legs. I couldn’t find any breaks or cuts on her. For April’s safety, we took her to my neighbors house who has a livestock guardian dog. We purchased a night game camera to record anything that moves. Sure enough, that camera caught photo’s of that bear climbing right over the fence to finish his meal. We had buried Crystal first thing that morning. We called a game and wildlife warden to come set a trap which was here for 3 days with no luck on catching the bear. Word about the bear had spread through Wellington pretty quickly. Someone a couple miles to the west of us trapped a bear and it was supposedly hauled to the mountains. It might have been “our” bear, we never did find out for sure. Fortunately we have not seen or heard of any problems with bears this year.

We built a much stronger and much larger pen for the goats. April has many new buddies now including Snowbell (who we bred and she had two adorable babies Butterscotch and Snickers on July 25th 2015), Dodge (our new breeding buck), Cowboy, and Nutmeg. I also adopted a livestock guardian dog, Sasha. She turned 1 in March 2015. The newest members are Standard Rex rabbits (5 total) and Californian Rabbits (2 total). We will be breeding the rabbits to sell as pets or meat. They have dug a wonderful burrow under one of the huts in the goat pen. The rabbits and goats get along well together!

We were able to purchase two tractors for maintaining the property! We are thrilled that we can keep the arena and round pen maintained for a soft riding surface. And the property looks more professional than ever before!

Onto new horses.

Rio was a Thoroughbred I purchased from the racetrack in Phoenix Arizona in hopes that he could be used as a lesson horse. Unfortunately after several vet visits we have concluded that he is not suitable for riding. I cannot afford to keep this sweet big guy so we are looking to re-home him to a wonderful and loving home where he can be a pasture buddy and not worry about being a riding horse.

Remington / Remmy / Rems: An 11 year old Palomino roan. We got him in July of 2015. He had been used in many different events including polo, dressage, reining, gymkhana, as a lesson horse and as a trail horse. He has had some time off and is currently in training to be a reining horse and lesson horse. He is coming around nicely and is a lot of fun to work with.

Now onto future plans: Since we have started boarding clients horses (yay!), we are running out of shelter for our resident horses… To solve this problem, we are getting ready to build a new 12 by 36′ shed and a new paddock for the main herd! We are hoping this will provide some wind block for the round pen and perhaps part of the arena.

 

Thanks for reading! I’ll get pictures posted of the new shed when it happens, so stayed tuned!
Also, APRIL IS PREGNANT! She should kid in April 2016. Snowbell will be bred soon for May kids! BABY GOATS coming soon to a ranch near you, spring 2016!

 

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Regards,

Kate with OCHS

Ranch Update ~ May 2014

Why hello everyone!

We are excited to announce the new arrivals, Crystal and April, to the OCHS ranch! They are registered Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They arrived on Saturday, May 3rd. Crystal is a lovely 4 year old Sundgau (fancy goat color pattern name for black, brown, and white) doe. April is a super sweet 2 yr old red buckskin doe. Crystal can be a little shy at first, but with animal crackers in hand, she is the first to meet you, and will headbutt April out of the way for more crackers! April loves a good scratch behind her little horns. They are adjusting well to their new home with a teeter-totter, dwarf size goat hut just right for them, and they will soon to have other fun climbing toys. April is already known for being the jumper, as she likes to get on the roof of the goat hut when the horses come by to check them out. I think she just wants to feel as tall as a horse. Crystal isn’t quite agile enough to jump very high. This is great because she would be the first to escape, no doubt!

Why did I decide to get goats? Well, I have been researching goat breeds for quite some time. I had it narrowed down to two breeds, the Nigerian Dwarf and the Miniature Myotonic (Tennessee Fainting) Goats. I became fond of the Nigerian for their small size and ability to produce milk. I became fond of the Fainter’s for how stinkin’ adorable and funny they are. Both breeds are known to be great family pets, which is another reason I became so fond of the little hooved creatures. They are so much fun to have around already. I can’t wait for everyone to meet “The Girls”. Below are some adorable pictures from their adventures so far. Enjoy!

 

April and Crystal chillin'

April and Crystal chillin’

Crystal

Crystal

April

April

Perfect balance, April!

Perfect balance, April!

Goats and Horses!

Goats and Horses!

April, queen of the hut

April, queen of the hut

April is wondering why I am peeking into their hut to get a picture

April is wondering why I am peeking into their hut to get a picture. Crystal is thinking, get out, please!

 

Happy Ranching,

Kate Thomas with OCHS

Diving into the New Year

Hi y’all!

I know these notes seem to be getting farther and farther apart, so I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with those whom they love; spent Christmas enjoying the good things in life; and is starting the New Year off with a good note!

The New Year here at the ranch is off to a wonderful start. We have a new addition! His name is Joe Joe, or just Joe, for short. He is a gorgeous 13 year old sorrel registered paint gelding with striking white stockings and a bald face. He has gotten a reputation for being “Curious Joe” because he investigates everything. He’s a true sweetheart and is blending in well here at the ranch.

Here’s Joe story, the short version: He was a race horse as a youngster but retired because he just wasn’t fast enough. He was such a good boy that he’s been used as a pony horse at the race tracks in Colorado, Texas, and Arizona. His previous owner, Crystal, wanted him to retire from that fast pace life and thought he would fit in well here as a lesson horse. He arrived here on December 18th, late at night. His pasture buddy currently is Doc, but he will be introduced into the herd slowly over the month of January. Joe is currently in training to become a lesson horse for intermediate to advanced riders. He is doing well in his training thus far and it shouldn’t be long before he is helping teach others to become better horseman and women!

I have attached some pictures of Joe below, be sure to take a peek!

In other news, the Summer Camp dates for June, July and August are posted on the main website! We are VERY excited about camps this year. There are new games, new lessons, more hands-on learning, more one-on-one instruction and much more fun to be had! Be sure to reserve your child’s spot early because camps will be filling up. Please read all about our summer camp program here: http://www.owlcanyonhorseservices.com/horse_camp.htm

Thanks for reading. I will do my best to post more often. Please feel free to leave a comment or send a message about what topics you would like to see covered here!

 

Warm wishes,

Kate Thomas with OCHS

 

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2013 Summer Overview

Hey y’all,

I know it’s been a while since we’ve spoken, so I want to share a little about the events that have been going on here at the ranch this summer.

 

Summer camps were a real hit this year with 7 full weeks of camps. They were such a hit, in fact, that we had to borrow the neighbors trusted older gelding, Cruz, to accommodate another camper for 3 of the 7 weeks! Anira, Buck, Bandit, Ben, and Cruz were used for the week long camps. Biscuit and Gravy enjoyed helping during the two Kiddy Camps (ages 4-6) that we had in June. Please enjoy a few photo’s from camps at the bottom of this note.

 

In June, I had a client call and requested my help. Her daughters horse had gotten stuck in an irrigation ditch. The daughter had lead her horse from the far pasture to the pasture closer to the house, they crossed the ditch; which was their normal routine. However, this time, the water had washed out the rocks and left a muddy, boggy bottom. The horse got his hind legs stuck and panicked, flipping over on top of the little girl. Thankfully, the little girl was okay. She ended up with only a few bruises. We had to call the fire department to get the horse out of it’s predicament. It took 6 hours, 30+ crew of fire, EMS, vet, large animal rescue, and a large crane to rescue the horse. The horse was sedated and lifted out of the ditch to dry land. The horse walked to his pen under his own power and other than being a little dehydrated, he was perfectly fine. The little girl rode her horse just two days after the incident. To this day, they are both enjoying their rides around the property.

In July, Biscuit and Gravy had the pleasure of dressing up like clowns for a fun filled birthday party for two sisters. Ben, Anira, Buck, and Bandit allowed all 12 of these girls to take turns riding them. They taught them how to stop, walk, turn left and right in preparation for the trail rides. Put-put golf was set up in the driveway, along with horse shoes and croquet. Aside from riding the horses and petting the mini “clowns”; riding on the golf cart was the favorite. The kids had a blast riding around on the golf cart as they watched the other group ride the horses on the trail ride. After the rides, the kids ate lunch and had their ice-cream and cake. Before the kids packed up and headed home, they had to break open a horsey pinata! It was one tough pinata, but in the end, the kiddo’s got their candy.

The bleachers have been completed and have a wonderful roof to block the sun between the 10 o’ clock and 3 o’ clock hours in the summer. We have enjoyed having the families pile up on the bleachers to watch the campers demonstrate their abilities on horseback.

 

The summer went by so fast. We are so thankful for all the new families that have joined us this year as well as all the returning families. Because without you, what we do here at OCHS, would not be possible.

 

Many Thanks

~Kate Thomas with OCHS

 

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Almost Summer Project

Hi y’all,

The snow has melted and the sun has been shining bright! We sure are enjoying these longer days.

With summer camps around the corner, we started a project that I think all of our guests, especially as spectators, will enjoy. What better way than to enjoy the horses, the view and of course your friends and family participating from horseback, than from a set of bleachers?! Come on out and stay a while!

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We plan to build a roof to provide some shade soon, too. Please bare with us, and the sun, until we can finish the project! (The handrails will be on before June 1st too!)

Below is the view you can see as you sit on the top seat:

south view

south view

East view (arena view)

East view (arena view)

North View

North View

West view

West view

The horses are all ready for you to come out and enjoy the beautiful Colorado summer from their backs!

Gravy says, "Please, oh please come visit!!! Oh and don't forget those apples!"

Gravy says, “Please, oh please come visit!!! Oh and don’t forget those apples!”

Summer time ponies and their sleek summer coats!

Summer time ponies and their sleek summer coats!

Warm Summer Blessings,

Kate with OCHS

April Snow brings May ..Snow.. Showers?!

Hi Y’all!

It has been quite an interesting Colorado spring so far, here on the northern Colorado plains. The beginning of April was t-shirt weather, followed by a week of snow, then more t-shirt weather followed, once again, by a week of snow and so-on.  Thinking May is just around the corner we started brushing the horses out real good. (See the picture of Ben below) Well, we got them brushed out real good and had to double-blanket Ben and Doc the very next day (May 1st) because we got a good foot of wet, heavy snow! So much for May flowers because we aren’t done with the snow just yet. We sure did need all this moisture though, so I can’t complain too much.

Here are a few pictures of the 3 snow storms we have had this past month:

Echo looking for some food

Echo looking for some food

Giddy Up!

Giddy Up!

Mini play time

Mini play time

Sky

Rosko helped me feed Doc and Echo by pulling the toboggan loaded with hay!

Rosko helped me feed Doc and Echo by pulling the toboggan loaded with hay!

Rosko loves the snow!

Rosko loves the snow!

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Check out the drift behind the horse's loafing shed.

Check out the drift behind the horse’s loafing shed.

Snowy morning breakfast

Snowy morning breakfast

The snow behind our house.

The snow behind our house.

Sunset

The snow is melting leaving puddles and mud everywhere!

The snow is melting leaving puddles and mud everywhere!

Ben shedding out, before a snowstorm. He got two blankets put on him the very next day!

Ben shedding out, before a snowstorm. He got two blankets put on him the very next day!

Hope y’all are having a great start to your spring season. May the flowers bloom soon and the grass grow tall!


Kate with OCHS