It’s been a while since I wrote—I think a week. And it’s been a fun-packed, busy-every-minute, wild-ride of a week. With 9 horses and about 12 people loaded into three rigs, we made the 3 ½ hour drive up to Granby last Friday for our weekend of fun and excitement at one of Colorado’s premier guest ranches, C Lazy U, HYPERLINK "http://www.clazyu.com" www.clazyu.com.
We arrived Friday afternoon, with plenty of time to settle in the horses before happy hour began. We were there for a three day Versatility Ranch Horse event sponsored by the NVRHA, HYPERLINK "http://www.nvrha.org" www.nvrha.org, but long before we saddled the first horse, it was really obvious we were going to have a fantastic time there. It’s hard to say what is most impressive about C Lazy U—the scenery is total Rocky Mountain splendor, the 5-Star accommodations are luxurious and the customer service is unparalleled. No sooner could you form a thought about needing something, than one of their charming young staff members would appear asking if you needed assistance. They even cleaned our stalls and picked up around our trailers—this is the type of service I could get used to!
And the food! Three extravagant meals a day is a little much for most of us, yet there we were—lined up for meal time each day, like we hadn’t eaten in a week. The food was excellent—elk, salmon, eggs benedict, gourmet salads, monte cristo sandwiches—you get the picture. We all came home a few pounds heavier, but with smiles on our faces. One of my favorite things about C Lazy U was their hot tub—and we made good use of it! Outdoors by the warm pool, the hot tub was about six feet wide and twenty feet long, with benches along each side. During the busy times, it could comfortably fit 50 people, but with just our small group, I was able to make laps! What an awesome treat after riding hard all day! I am hoping to plan a horsemanship clinic at C Lazy U next summer so all of you can come and share in this incredible place.
Saturday, we had two half day clinics: ranch roping and ranch cutting. Our roping clinician was Merit Linke—an outstanding teacher with whom I had clinicked with before. I learned a couple of really important things that help me put some of the pieces of the puzzle together and really improve my swing. This would pay off significantly during Monday’s competition. Some of our group had never even swung a rope before, so we had a wide range of ability levels. But that wasn’t a problem for Merit and by the end of the morning, everyone had a decent swing and most of us were roping the dummy being pulled around the arena by the four-wheeler.
After and outstanding lunch, we waddled back to the barn for our cutting clinic. Again, most of our group was new to these disciplines, as were some of the horses, so we went slowly. Cutting should be a slow and methodical process anyway—when you get the cows scattered and running, you’ve got a big problem.
My major goal for the weekend was to find the right amount of riding on Dually that would mean he was not fresh for the competition (his enthusiasm on cows can be a little much) but that would keep him from getting back sore and re-injuring the chronic soft-tissue injury in his back. So on Friday I took it easy on him, only cutting a couple of times and I did most of the roping on one of my other horses. I did the same on Sunday but I was concerned by Sunday night that I had saved him a little too much and he would be too fresh for competition. But as you’ll see later—my concerns were unfounded.
BTW- Friday was my first time to ride in my beautiful new ranch cutter made by Circle Y. Although I dreaded riding in a brand new saddle all day for three days, I have to say I never once noticed that it needed breaking in. It was incredibly comfortable for both Dually and I. And since I managed to ride for three straight days without any back problems on Dually, I think it is a good fit for both of us.
Later, I’ll write about our reining and working cow clinics on Sunday and the competition on Monday—but for now, I’ll tell you our group cleaned up and everyone came home with ribbons.