Drowsy Water

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

DWR Horse Trivia

We have a number of horses around Drowsy Water Ranch.  How many? Well, you'll have to read below to find out! I'll give you a hint--it's a big number. We like it that way so we can confidently know we can have a horse for every rider in your family during your vacation at DWR.  Read below for a few fun trivia questions about our herd. Answers are all at the bottom. 

Q1. How many horses are in the Drowsy Water Herd?
Q2. What is the average age of the herd?
Q3. Does Drowsy Water own more mares or geldings?
Q4. How many horses currently in the herd were born at Drowsy Water?
Q5. How much grain does the Drowsy Water herd go through during the summer season? 

A1: The Drowsy Water Herd usually boasts around 120 horses.  Every year we buy a few horses, we have a few horses pass away, and we sell a few horses. 
A2. The average age of our herd is about 16 years old.  We strive to buy horses that are 10 or younger and we keep many of our horses into their twenties. 
A3. We have 73 geldings and 39 mares.  We love our sassy mares as much as we love our goofy geldings. 
A4.  We have eight horses born and raised at DWR: Serenade, Scout, Brighty, Autumn, Cody, Mariah, Navajo, and Aspen.  They are all used regularly and know the trails better than some of the wranglers! 
A5. The herd consumes around 36,000 pounds of grain each summer.  We have grain delivered in bulk to our silos about three or four times per summer.  Grain is portioned and fed by hand one to two times daily to the herd. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

March Mooodness

Like many folks enjoying life off the ranch, March at Drowsy Water involves a lot of watching, waiting and holding your breath. No, we're not huge basketball fans, but our game now is about the cows and their calves.  We wait, we watch, we check, we repeat.
Just down the road from the ranch, we keep our herd of about 30 cows.  All the cows should be bred ---seeing as we put our bull with them about 272 days ago--but we didn't have the vet check to make sure this year.  We can make an educated guess based on the size of their bellies that most of them are, indeed, pregnant.  Everyday, we check multiple times to see if we have any new calves.
Usually the process of a cow birthing her calf is something that nature takes care of just fine.  The cow will go off on her own, lay down in what is usually a dry and protected place, and, a few hours later, she has a calf.  We then check that the calf and cow are healthy: a new calf should be dry and able to stand and nurse the mother shortly after birth and the mother should be able to stand and allow her calf to nurse.

The weather is a big concern during calving season.  We prefer to have the cows give birth on dry, sun-warmed ground but mother nature doesn't always cooperate.  The calves are born wet and they rely on their mother to lick them clean and dry.  If born in a snowstorm or on wet ground, the calf can't get dry and can't get warm.  We take extra care in snow and wet to make sure the calf is dry. We towel dry them, warm them in the truck,  or keep them inside if needed.
After a cow has her calf, she is instictively protective.  Some of our cows are friendly enough to let us get close enough to put an ear tag on their calf without much protest while others have to be tricked with grain or separated before we can tag and check the calf.  Either way, all the cows watch us carefully as we walk through their nursery.

When it is all said and done, we hope to have 30 new calves that spend the summer with their mom on open range eating grass and growing.

Monday, March 7, 2016

This is it! DWR in Parents Mag!

Looking for your next great family all-inclusive vacation? THIS IS IT! 

We are proud to say we made it on Parents Magazine's Best All-Inclusive Travel list.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Willing the warmth from inside the DWR kitchen

It's February at Drowsy Water and we are still in the thick of winter.  We've seen a few warm days lately and we have watched as our mountainous snow banks have melted down to mere snow hills.  The little break in the cold reminds us just how much we miss the sun's warmth during these winter months and it reminds us just how much we look forward to our days roaming the mountains in the summer sun.  In the meantime, we continue to hunker down inside much of the time finding ways to keep busy until working and playing outside is a little more inviting.  

In an effort to will the sun to warm us, we baked up some of our favorite summer time lunch treats: Drowsy Water's homemade lemon bars.  Bake some today then close your eyes and feel the warm sunshine start to melt that snow away!  

Start by making a simple crust of butter, flour, and powdered sugar. 

Mix the three ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal. Then press the crust into the bottom of a 9x11 pan.  Pop the crust in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 

While you wait for the crust, get a start on your lemony filling. 

Crack four eggs into a bowl and add 1 1/2 cups sugar. 
Next add 1 teaspoon of lemon rind and 1/3 cup lemon juice. 

Mix this filling for a good six minutes or so until it begins to get airy and light. 
Add 1/4 cup flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder to the filling mixture. 
Your crust should be out of the oven by now and looking just a tiny bit brown around the edges. 
Pour the filling mixture on the crust.  Bake for another 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees until the top is slightly brown and the filling is set.  Allow to cool. 

Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar if you'd like and maybe a few sprinkles.  Enjoy! 

Drowsy Water Ranch Lemon Bars
2 C. flour
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 C butter

Combine crust ingredients, press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. 

4 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 C. lemon juice
1/4 C. flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together the eggs, sugar, zest and juice. Mix for 5-7 minutes until light and airy. Add flour and baking powder and mix. 

Pour filling over pre-baked crust then return to the oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Center should be set and top should look slightly browned. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

If You Need a Reason to Vacation Here...

January is, traditionally, the biggest month for booking at  Drowsy Water Ranch.  The phone starts to ring, emails start flowing in, and the chart with available cabins and accommodations starts to fill with names of singles, couples, and families coming from all over to vacation at a small, family-owned ranch in the mountains of Colorado.  

In many of our calls and emails this time of year, we are contacted by one or two members of a group or family that are all-out, gung-ho about coming on a vacation to a ranch in Colorado. But, these enthusiastic ranchers often have a few other family members that are on the fence about such a scheme. Maybe they're nervous because they don't know what to expect, they don't ride horses, and they don't typically wear boots.  Well, we've made life easy for those of you that have to present this ranch idea to skeptical friends and family with a list of reasons to come stay a week with us in our quaint mountain valley. At your next family dinner, just run through this list then pick up the phone and call us to book what we are sure will be one of the best weeks of your life.  

Reason 1: We're secluded.
We are nesteled in a mountain valley 10 miles from the closest town. It's quiet, calm, and peaceful here. No busy streets or highways, no crowds or traffic.  Just come sit in the park and listen to the creek that burbles through the ranch and breathe. You'll feel relaxed in no time. 

 Reason 2: You'll laugh and smile. A lot. 
Don't say you don't dance. We will get you up and boot-scooting with the rest of the guests and crew and you will laugh and smile like you haven't in a while. No, we don't expect you to come knowing how to square dance. We don't expect you to come knowing how to ride a horse either. We teach you both and laugh with you all along the way.
 Reason 3: Even cool kids wear hats.
Being a cowboy and cowgirl for the week really puts everyone on the same page. We don't ask what you do, we don't ask what sports you play or if you start on varsity. Funny how you can be friends with everyone when you're all a little out of your comfort zone and up for an adventure. Whether the kids play lacrosse or cello, they seem to all be buds while they're here learning more about horses and exploring the backcountry.

Reason 4: Even the little ones lope.
We have folks every week that own a horse and ride multiple times a week. We have folks every week that have never sat atop a four-legged animal of any kind. Our goal is to find out where each guest is in their riding and teach them something new. Kids 6 years and older get their own horse for the week and get to walk, trot, and lope out on the trail.  We give clinics and lessons and we make sure everyone is comfortable and smiling while riding one of our 120 beautiful equines.  Go as fast or as slow as you want. We'll make sure you are safe and enjoying your ride. 

 Reason 5: We're more than just horses.
You or a loved one is not into just riding horses all the time? Not a problem. We have hiking with amazing views, zip lining for the thrill seekers, mountain biking, great meals and nightly activities that keep everyone busy. Oh, and we include an all-day raft trip on the Colorado River too. Not to mention we are minutes away from great golfing and fishing.
We make sure to offer a full schedule of horseback riding and other activities to keep everyone as active and busy as they want but most everything is optional. So you want to just sit on your porch and read a book? Go ahead. Want to play games as a family? Borrow one and do it.  The only thing we don't have? Televisions. You can disconnect with the world for the week and reconnect with those around you. We do have internet in our common areas and some cell phone service if you need it, but we won't tell your office if you tell them you're out of service for the week. 

Reason 6: Go on an adventure.
When was the last time you really went on an adventure? When did you last let yourself get a little lost in the woods? We'll take you out into the wild where you can breath, relax, and feel the joy of finding your way while in a new location. Our wranglers are all trained to keep our guests safe, but they also know how to have fun. The memories of being in the forest on a horse will last a lifetime. 

 Reason 7: Friends. For life. 
Ken tells our guests every Sunday, "It might sound cheesy now, but every week we have guests that form friendships that last. They keep in touch after they leave the ranch and sometimes plan to come back to Drowsy Water to have a reunion." And it is true. Young and old alike seem to find a friend or two while here. After all, you've all signed on for an adventurous vacation, you must have something in common. You never know who you might meet while you're here. It might be your next best friend.

 Reason 8: You never know who might be a cowboy at heart. 
Cowboys wear all sorts of different outfits in their normal lives. Maybe it's a suit and tie with dress shoes. Maybe it's Under Armor t-shirts and shorts with tennis shoes. Like Superman ripping off his Clark Kent outfit, we invite you to rip off those daily threads and sport your cowboy and cowgirl duds. Never seen your husband not wearing a tie during the day, your wife not wearing dress shoes, or your son not wearing athletic clothes? Bring them here and re-introduce them to the cowboy or cowgirl they were as a kid. You'd be surprised how many times it's the one that starts out the most skeptical about being a cowboy for the week that ends up being the one that has the most fun and leaves being the one that wants to come again as soon as possible.

 Reason 9: These guys and gals. 
Our family loves this business and you can tell. Ken and Randy Sue, the owners, have poured their heart and soul into Drowsy Water Ranch for last four decades. The ranch, the guests, the animals are all clearly loved and celebrated.  The second and third generation are the same way. All very involved in the day-to-day of the ranch, we strive to make you feel like you are coming to visit our family. We'll know you by first name and want to get to know you and your family. 
Our staff is the same way. They are hard-working gals and guys from all over that want a summer in the mountains and want to get to know our guests.  They have proven people skills and they, like the Fosha family, will bend over backward to make sure you are having the best vacation of your life. 

  Reason 10: These mares and geldings. 
With a herd of around 120 horses, we take pride in making sure you are matched to a horse that suits your riding ability and interests. We own all of our horses and know their age, their background, and their personality. We make sure they are well taken care of so they can take care of you. You will likely  get choked up saying goodbye to your horse and you'll remember the name of your four-legged friend for years. 

There you have it. We can give you more reasons if you need it, but this should make you able to present your case.  Do that, then once you have everyone on board, call us and we'll help you make great memories. 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Did Someone Say feast?

The time of year for feasts is here. At Drowsy Water, this feasting business is nothing unusual. Sure, we make sure our guests are well fed while they are here, we even serve them the traditional Thanksgiving feast meal on Sunday night when they first arrive, but the main feast at the ranch is not in our dining room.  If you really want to be impressed by massive quantities and the all-hours of day and night feasting, you'll have to head down to the barn and out to pasture to see the the animals enjoying their daily meals. The feast out there might not include the traditional dishes, but you'd better get ready to see more food go down than you've ever imagined.

Today alone, we fed 10 hay bales that weighed about 1050 pounds each.  We took one bale to the horses that are at a pasture at the ranch, one to the horses that are in the pens, one to the cows, one to the bulls, and six bales to the herd of about 80 horses up in Walden. We also fed about 50 pounds of grain to the calves, 50 pounds of grain to the horses at the ranch, and an assortment of grains and feeds to the chickens, the ducks, the goat, and the rabbits. We dropped off a 200 pound protein tub and a salt lick for the cows,  a mineral lick for the horses here, and a salt lick and a mineral lick for the horses in Walden.

There is some science and math behind all this feed.  Between years of experience from Ken and Randy Sue, Ryan's keen animal sense and constant research, and Justin's tendency to science and math the heck out of almost anything, Drowsy Water seems to have a feeding formula that works.  The formula is broken down by animal and then by food source. Read on for a summary of the breakdown.
First, by far the largest feasters around the ranch are the beautiful and beloved herd of 120 horses. This time of year, most of the herd is out to pasture. They've been grazing on hay meadows all fall and living the life of a horse on vacation. Most are fat and happy as the days start to grow shorter. As the snow flies, we start to feed them hay. We figure that at our altitude, each horse averages a consumption of about 32 pounds of hay a day.  Multiply that by about 120 horses and you get about 3,840 pounds of hay per day.  Yep, almost 2 tons. Every. Single. Day.
In addition to hay, a handful (okay, two or three handfuls) of horses get fed grain daily.  This time of year, we feed grain just to those that are older, have a hard time keeping weight on, or have special nutritional or physical needs.  In the summer, we feed grain to the whole herd. At peak season, we feed around 500 pounds of grain per day. And those pounds are carried by the wranglers, portioned out in 5 gallon buckets and dumped into individual feeders.  Just thought I'd clarify that...it helps explain why our wranglers always have defined arm muscles.  Like mentioned above, this time of year we're feeding grain just to the special group so we're down to about 50 pounds of grain per day--yep, only 50 pounds. (Please read that last bit with sarcasm).  All-in-all, we go through about 48 tons of grain per year.

The horses also get salt blocks and mineral blocks year round as well as a supply of 200 pound protein tubs throughout the winter.  Those little nutrients add up--we have our feed and minerals customized to our area to make sure our horses are getting everything they need to run happy and healthy while living outdoors at 8,200 feet.

Then we have the cows. Like the horses, the cows get fed hay daily once the snow flies.  Again, each cow and calf averages around 32 pounds of hay a day. We have about 31 cows, 29 calves, and 3 bulls.    That means we get to feed an additional 2,016 pounds of hay to the cows each day--we just added another ton of food to the daily total. We also feed pellets to the cows in the winter--about 50-100 pounds a day when they need it. And we feed grain to the calves, about 50 pounds a day after they've been weaned.  All told, we have about 4-5 tons of grain plus 1-2 tons of protein tubs each year for the cow herd.

Finally, we have the "small animals".  We have a goat, Corona. She eats hay, grain, and anything else she is allowed really.  She is pretty easy to keep as she'll eat along with the horses.  She would prefer to eat inside at a dinner table with humans, but that is another story.   We have 10 chickens and 2 ducks. They lay around 6 eggs a day and eat about 15 pounds of feed a week.  The rabbits (we have two of those) eat what seems like nothing compared to everything else, but adds ups to be about 25 pounds every few months.   The dogs eat too, and so do the cats.  Since those are more "normal" animals, I won't review their portions. (And, because we have so many darn dogs around here, going over their daily rations would be a sure way to make an already long story endless).

So while you think your family can out eat the next one, I think our family may have you beat. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Our family at Drowsy Water wishes you a happy a safe feast day!