HOLD YOUR HORSES! How is it already September?! Is it just us, or has this summer flown by? It may have been a little cold and slow to get started, but it moved along once it warmed up. We’ve had a great time with our summer riders. We believe time spent outdoors (and with a horse) is always time well spent. We have had another successful summer of camps (we’ll talk more about those below), and we hosted an incredibly successful Cowboy Ball. Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
Summer Session Wrapped:
We ended our summer sessions on August 19, and, as we said above, it was such a great time. Our riders love to experience the sensory trail on a weekly basis with the beautiful weather we’ve been having. Being outdoors brings not only the fresh mountain air but is also another way for participants of all abilities to leave their daily life behind and fully connect to their experience at the ranch.
As the summer sessions close, we often get asked about what we do in the month “off.” Well, it’s a month off only for our participants. When it comes to taking care of the herd and the ranch—work and care never end. Our horses have their biannual vet checks and take a little break to recover from their many weeks of hard work! We have a few clinics coming up that serve the community. Finally, it’s a chance for our regular participants to get back into school and into the swing of things before having a weekly lesson on their plate, as well.
Summer Camp Fun:
Back by popular demand this year, we hosted three all-abilities summer camps. Campers learned everything from how to rope and ride to the basics of horse care. We had a blast with all that attended. And, rest assured, camps will be back again in the summer of 2023!
Upcoming Clinics and Retreats:
On August 26 and 27, we had our women-only veterans retreat. We had 10 women coming to the ranch from the Boise Veterans Association to experience the benefits of equine therapy. This was an excellent opportunity for these ladies to unite, disconnect from their everyday woes, and bond as a group.
On September 13 and 14 we had our veterans’ couples retreat. Like the women’s retreat, we had ten couples coming to the ranch from the Boise Veterans Association to experience the ranch’s magic. This was an opportunity for the couples to enjoy that fresh mountain air, time on horseback, and the many benefits of equine therapy.
A Quick Look Back:
One more shoutout is in order for our annual Cowboy Ball supporters. Thank you to all who made this event a big success. We raised just shy of a half-million dollars—about 33% of our annual operating budget. Without our generous donor community this wouldn’t have been possible!
Save the Date: Blazing Pumpkins
Believe it or not, Blazing Pumpkins is just around the corner. Mark your calendars for October 20 from 5:30P – 8:30 p.m. Join us for the perfect family event. Don’t just bring the kiddos, bring the whole family and enjoy the ranch as dusk turns dark and the ghouls and goblins rise to the occasion. There will be hundreds of glowing jack-o’-lanterns, s’mores by the fire, apple bobbing, face painting, cornhole, live music by Red Light Challenge, dancing, and so much more! Don’t forget those costumes! Click here for more information on Blazing Pumpkins.
In the Works: Employee Housing
The details are still vague, but we’re thrilled to announce that we’re in the works of building our employee housing on the ranch! This is an excellent opportunity for us as it will open the door for employment opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming months for more details.
Finally, a few miscellaneous updates to answer questions we’ve received. First, the water season treated us well this year. Last year we invested in a new watering system that is much more efficient and conservative than our previous system. Essentially we were able to water the same area with less water and less time consumed. Second, we have secured 50 tons of hay, which puts us in a good spot for our winter feed. Of the 50 tons, we raised 10 tons of that ourselves. In the coming years, we anticipate that number to increase considerably, but for first-year seeds and a cold, wet start to the summer, we’re happy with the amount we grew. Next year we expect a stronger start and, who knows, we may end up with a second cutting this year if the weather cooperates.
As always, if you have any questions about the ranch, would like to make a donation, or simply request a tour of the ranch, you can do so by visiting swiftsureranch.org.