“Colorado, everywhere I go I’m in your shadow and you’re callin’ to me
Colorado, the sun melts the snow makes the rivers flow to the sea”
from Colorado by Chuck Pyle

Elizabeth: watching the sunset (JN Ranch, Oct 25 2017)

Nothing is finer than being home.



Riding: The Turnaround

This is when the riding schedule begins in earnest. A few days at home to recoup and prepare for four weeks away in SoCal. While it is demanding, the girls relish the challenge and the attention to detail.

For their light workout, Trish came down on Thursday to watch the girls from the sidelines. Though they rode very well in the first two shows of the season, they said it seemed like they were out-of-sync. The three said the flow could have been more smoother, a little more crisp.

their turn: Tara and Brie start a half-speed circle exercise with Deborah and Elizabeth waiting their turn
(JN Ranch, Jun 01 2017)

With Trish watching, the light workout session became more of a lesson. A half-speed exercise session in the morning. In the afternoon, an off-saddle classroom session. She determined the girls were riding more tightly than usual. The remedy – trust yourself, trust your horse.

While the girls were in class, the horses napped the warm afternoon away. A nice spray down followed when class let out.

the afternoon cool down: Tara spraying down Cameron (JN Ranch, Jun 01 2017)

“Ride now, ride forever”

Riding The Southland

A short turnaround, it was a few days at home to recoup and prepare for the next segment of the riding schedule.

Deborah and Comet working a practice course with
Elizabeth and Mr. Ed waiting their turn in the background (RRC, Jun 01 2016)

Deborah and Comet finishing a leisurely trail ride at the end of a long practice day (JN Ranch, Jun 02 2016)

And, so, the riding season begins in earnest.

Tara and Brie surveying the 1.40M practice course (JN Ranch, Jun 03 2016)

Four shows, four weeks in the Southland.

Ranch Horses

The JN Ranch, where we stable our horses, is a working cattle ranch. In addition to the few hundred head of cattle, they have a nice remuda of around 20 horses. The horses have the most work during the cattle sort in late spring when temporary cowboys help with the tagging and branding on the mid-range, then moving the cattle to their summer range. For the remaining 44-46 weeks of the year, they basically live the life of a horse, rotating in and out of the work schedule.


They are largely of quarterhorse stock. Four are OTTBs that didn’t do well in racing or equine sports, but found their place as cattle horses.

While our horses and the ranch horses are kept separate, they do watch each other closely. The ranch horses probably do wonder what the jumping over small sections of fence is all about. And, our horses probably wonder what the walking among cows is all about.

Jake watching the jumping horses


Brie keeping an eye on those ranch horses


The ranch horses, though, like the idea of my daughters giving them treats. Life doesn’t get any better.