As some of you know, I had planned a dream vacation last year which was cancelled at the last minute.
I had non-refundable airfare, hotel and a rental car in Wyoming – with nowhere to go…
But, through a struck of dumb luck, I stumbled upon the R Lazy S Ranch that just happened to have a last minute cancellation. Literally, I grabbed the spot a week before the vacation – sight unseen. Knowing no one. Alone.
And LOVED it! I had falleN into gold. Guided by the Horsegods, me thinks.
(Here is a relevant story I wrote about the R Lazy S horses and wranglers during my stay. You can read that post here and click forward or backwards to read more posts written during my adventure.)
Anyway, today I want to talk about the SURPRISE babies that have arrived and are totally gorgeous!
But first… a little back story.
While at the Ranch, I would wander around in the mornings or late afternoons when no one else was about – taking photos of the fat and happy Ranch horses.
One of the fears I had about going to a working dude ranch was that the horses would not be cared for properly.
Well… at the R Lazy S, all the horses were fat and happy. They lived in huge acreage under the watchful eyes of the Tetons and were free to be horses most of the time.
In fact, the horses are off duty from October through March. And… it was during this ‘off’ time that a few of the mares were visited by a neighbor’s stallion – unexpectedly.
2 BABIES A YEAR
The R Lazy S has two, planned babies a year. That’s it. They don’t need a lot of babies. Truly, they only have babies so the guests can meet them, interact with them and watch them grow. It is much easier for the Ranch to purchase finished horses than to raise their own.
Well, lordy lordy lordy… it was quite a surprise to find a stallion in the mares’ expansive vacation pasture last November.
He was in there for 2 weeks, they thought. (I think I heard he was part Arab or all Arab, not sure… )
No one knew exactly just how many of the mares were covered. So this Spring the Ranch palpated the obviously full mares and figured they would have 5 foals come Fall (not the best time to have babies in bitter cold Wyoming).
GUESTS MISSING THEIR MARES…
While at the Ranch, I met up with several guests who were unable to ride their favorite horses because they were pregnant.
This is another reason why the Ranch doesn’t have many babies – they need these great mares to be carrying guests!
I know personally that Petunia, Tinkerbelle and Jude were favorites of three of the guests during my trip. Although these guests were happy with the new horses they met and rode this trip, they kept looking longingly at their ‘girls’ and visited them quite often.
(All the horses are gathered every morning -whether they are working or not – and put in huge pens for observation and grooming. Guests have all day to meander over and coo to them…)
And, surprise surprise, come September, the stork brought 6 (!) healthy and happy foals. All born within a 2 week period – in September.
Fits… The stud was in with them for 2 weeks. Yup. 6 babies born every few days. Just like it does in nature. Except this was way late in the season…
*I get the impression that the stud was chestnut with a star… what do you think? ;)
Here is Kelly (owner of the R Lazy S Ranch) telling me about the babies:
Hi. The mares all foaled. I included a picture of a picture our photographer put together of all of them. We have:
– Stormy – born on a windy rainy night
– Lil Rascal – He is a crazy one.
– Shrimp – born a little small but is catching up quickly
– Crystal – Named after our long time guests, the McCrystals, who have been coming for over 34 years and they had their 50 anniversary at the ranch when Crystal was born
– Forrest – born with his front legs (pasterns) a little too straight and had to undergo a procedure to have the tendons relax, re, Forrest Gump. They look great now.
– Honey Bear – Born to my horse, “Bear” and she is a beautiful honey color, of course.
Aren’t these babies gorgeous?! Stout, strong, fit and freely moving about the lower ranges of Wyoming (the mares were moved to a more temperate climate to foal so late in the season).
WHILE I WAS THERE…
While I was at the ranch, I fell in love with Bear. She is a strong and gorgeous palomino mare with little stumps for ears. She has ears, but the tips were frostbitten off when she was a baby. Luckily, she was adopted by Kelly and became his personal horse.
I could see exactly why Kelly chose her. She was lovely and such a quiet, smart mare.
Here are a few pics I took of her while I was at the Ranch. At the time, I didn’t know she was Kelly’s personal horse and I didn’t know she was pregnant.
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