Wednesday, February 26, 2014

10 Days Until the Time Change

Now if Mother Nature would just have a hot flash we could get back to work!
We had a couple of nice days this past weekend, just enough to really get the Spring Fever going. All the horses got ridden and did great. I think they enjoyed it as much as we did. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to help tune them up!

We were even able to get a couple of customers in to ride. The phone, FB messages, texts, and emails have been coming in with customers inquiring about lessons, horse camps, birthday parties, and trail rides! It's going to be crazy busy around here very soon. I'm going to try to enjoy these last few days of rest while I can :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hang in there, Spring is just around the corner!

We have a winter wonderland here at the farm. We got 5-6" of snow Monday, had an ice storm last night, and are getting a little more snow today. It's very pretty... beats the mud and dreary grey colors without snow.
The horses haven't really been ridden for the last 2 months. It will be interesting to see how they act when the weather finally breaks. I might have to retrain myself as well, lol! I'm sure I will be sore from riding the first time, but it is all worth the ride!
Planning on going to the Farm Show in Louisville to check out indoor arenas. Hopefully I can find a bargain and get one this year. Sure would be nice to have by next winter so we can continue lessons regardless of the weather.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Spring Can't Come Soon Enough!

We are getting ready for another round of snow and single digit temperatures here in KY. I've been sick for the past 8 days making it a chore to go out in the freezing cold weather to feed the horses 3 times a day. We have been lucky so far, only had small amounts of snow and no ice accumulation. They say maybe 2-4" coming by Wednesday with this round. At least the snow makes everything pretty!
There are only 13 more days until the groundhog sees his shadow and calls for winter to end! (We hope!) While 59 more days until spring, about 8 weeks, seems like forever away! Until then, stay warm and keep the horses fat and happy :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dangerous Cold Temperatures

Frigid Temperatures create problems...

Very cold arctic air came in Sunday night bringing wind chills up to -30 degrees F. This is the 3rd day of these crazy temperatures. Weather this cold can create a plethora of problems for horses as well as people. 
It is important to protect yourself from frostbite by covering all exposed skin possible. I found that my eyelashes would freeze so I guess I need some goggles. My gloves were not very thick so my fingertips would hurt for a few minutes and then they were just numb. Time to hit the store for an upgrade!

I bought 3 large round bales of hay to give the horses extra food, shelter and bedding. They ended up not even touching it. They stayed near the run-in shelter and in the barn instead. Walking on the frozen mud was very difficult for the horses so they preferred that I bring the hay to them. Horses that normally didn't get along with each other were side by side eating. I use water heaters in the troughs but worried that they wouldn't work in these extreme temperatures or that we would lose power and the water would freeze. Luckily, heaters worked great and the horses drank enough water to keep their digestive systems flowing. My horses have very thick winter coats that naturally protect them in the cold. Traveler is a bit thin so I blanketed him. 
We are almost through this difficult stretch, just one more day and temperatures should be back above freezing. I am exhausted but cannot imagine how the horses feel. Hope this is that last of those terrible wind chills! Spring can't come soon enough!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Brand New Year

Exciting news here at Easy Riders Ranch... 

We signed a new contract with the YMCA adding 72 students for lessons this upcoming year as well as the possibility to host the horse camps for the YMCA! Business is really growing fast!

The calendar is filling up from March to November with regular scheduled lessons (26 students), 3 weeks of horse camp, on top of hourly trail rides and birthday parties. Sales were up 35% from last year and with the new YMCA contract I expect that number to go up by as much as 10%. We saw our 1,000th customer back on January 19, 2013 and added 700 more by the end of the year. That's a whole lot of horseback riding!
With the increase in lessons we have had to go to a set riding schedule to be able to accommodate everyone. I am a little conflicted because we have to combine students, whereas, we always did private individual lessons. Sometimes this helps the rider by adding a competitive edge, but other students are not so confident and may not enjoy their lesson as much. On the other hand, now we can better schedule our volunteers and have built break times in the schedule for the horses. We are looking for more volunteers to come help out this year. If you are interested in helping, or know of someone, give me a call soon.

On another note, while we are open all year, the weather has not cooperated so far this winter. December was too wet and muddy to ride and January is looking to be very cold. The down time is welcome though, horses are enjoying their time off and I can get more planning and administrative things done. Occasionally, there are nice enough days that we can get out and ride a little to stay in shape. Yesterday was one of those days :) Happy New Year! See you in the Saddle

Friday, December 6, 2013

It's Been a Busy Year!

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. It's been a very busy year here at the Ranch! We have partnered with the local YMCA to provide horseback riding lessons. The lessons have really taken off this year surpassing trail riding as the top income source. We had been doing lessons everyday of the week and even had to start adding times on the weekends. This is a good problem to have! We had set a goal of building an indoor arena by this winter but fell short of this achievement. It will be our #1 priority for next year.
We had a wonderful young man from France come stay with us for the summer. Alexis had a great time here in the USA and is anxious to get back here next year! He was very helpful around the farm and with the horses. We hope to see him soon :)

Sequoia came back home to his daughter Geronimae this summer as well. He is a 15 year old Mustang who is doing fantastic with the trail rides. We are glad the "family" is back together :)
We unfortunately lost one of our horse family members. Luna Blanca was just 12 years old and was a wonderful, sweet horse. We miss her dearly but her spirit will live here at the farm forever.

With the cold nasty winter weather starting early this year, business has dropped off significantly. We usually are busy all the way up to January and then slow down through February. Safety is first and foremost so we have been closed due to slippery conditions. It's just not worth it to put customers and horses lives in jeopardy just for a buck. No pun intended, lol
Hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season! See you on the trail!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Indian Summer is here! It was 82 degrees today and sunny. It felt like June all over again except the leaves were all on the ground instead of on the trees. I will sure miss the warm weather.
Went to Keeneland Race Track today for a seminar then free admission to the races. Didn't do very well picking the winners but it was a great day anyway.
Yesterday we had another training session for Traveler. He did very well with his transitions this time. Also had 2 lessons. I acquired a cute little concrete bench with a carving of horses on it.