A Horsey Honeymoon – Black Mountain Ranch – Part 1

It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I posted on the blog. I wanted to blog, but I simply had nothing really horsey to blog about. I’ve been totally consumed with planning my wedding. The wedding I decided to have at my house which was awesome but turned out to be a lot of work. I’ve barely been riding the past few months, and since my trainer got married a week after me, she hasn’t had time to ride either. We were both in wedding planning hell.

Meanwhile, Savy has been living the highlife getting fat on green spring grass and partying with her girls. I’ve heard rumors she’s been flirting with the boys for hours each morning and then taking 3-4 naps a day. The girl knows how to live it up.

My honeymoon was very befitting for a horse obsessed girl (and her slightly less horse obsessed husband).  We honeymooned at Black Mountain Dude Ranch.  Black Mountain Ranch (BMR) is nestled in the Colorado Rocky Mountains at a lofty altitude of 8,200ft.  And it’s literally nestled in the mountains, the trek to our room left us gasping for air and sweating (or we would have if the dry air didn’t suck every ounce of moisture out of us).   Speaking of dry air, my skin and hair behaved perfectly at 8,200ft…hmm.  Anyway, aside from the gorgeous mountain views the main attraction of our honeymoon was unlimited horseback riding.  And the saloon.  Which we frequented quiet often.  Clay actually closed it down 5 out of our 7 nights.

 

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The saloon at dusk. Right about drinking time!

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Clay kicked ass at pool in the Rocky Mountains. I suspect the wranglers were taking it easy on him lol. JK!

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My cute little dress and boots learning a new country line dance.

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The wranglers showing us how it’s done right!

The riding was fantastic.  I truly didn’t know what to expect.  I’m a bit of a horse snob and I hate seeing horses treated improperly or ridden incorrectly.  I didn’t need to worry.  The horses were gorgeous; happy, fit and the perfect weight.  The first wrangler I talked to ended up being a hunter/jumper rider from Boston, with some Dressage experience, so we clicked immediately.  My horse for the week was a blood bay quarter horse named Banjo (although I think he really wanted to be called Pirate).  Banjo was by far the best trail horse I’ve ever ridden.  He was surefooted and brave.  Two very desirable traits in a horse traveling up and down mountains on a daily basis.  I fell in love with him on our second trial ride when we emerged from the woods onto a ridge with a very steep drop of about 1,000ft.  I am terrified of heights and I know he could feel my fear.  He hesitated but didn’t spook and continued to follow the horse in front of us.  I know he carried me through that and I will always appreciate him for it.  Aside from being a stellar trail horse, Banjo had little interest in people.  I tried to snuggle up to him but he resisted.  So I decided to try and bribe him with an apple.  Treats always work with my horse.  Apparently ranch horses are not spoiled, and most haven’t ever been given treats.  Banjo bravely smelled the apple and even tried a bite, but then he spooked.  He actually spooked at an apple!  Like it was poison!

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This is the scary ridge! I’m the last rider on the right.

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My hat flew off on the ridge because the wind was crazy. My first thought was leave it lets get out of here! But our wrangler rescued it.

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Me trying to smile through the fear…Clay loving life.

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We had to ride across the ridge and then UP the ridge.

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One foot in front of the other!

 

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Clay and our wrangler (Kyle) on the ridge.

 

Once I started writing this post I realized a recap of our entire honeymoon would never fit in one post…it would be more like a book.  I’ll post part II in a couple of days so check back or follow me 🙂

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