July 2013 Archives


July Horse of the Month — Cassie

Cassie is a blood bay mare with a small white marking on her forehead and a JVL brand on her left shoulder. She came to the ranch in 2003 from Lost Valley Ranch after most of their pastures had been burned during the Hayman Fire.

For five years, Cassie raised foals for the string! Now she has retired from being a broodmare and is one of the most reliable guest horses here. All ages and abilities just love riding her comfortable gaits.

Cassie does prefer to ride on the trail versus in the arena, but she will of course do both. She also loves to work with the cows! Some of Cassie’s foals (Tee Cross, Sugar T, and Sandy) have followed their mother’s footsteps, turning out be smooth reliable mounts!

Visit our Horse of the Month page

Craig and Fred, Mother Lake

Craig and Fred, Mother Lake

Ben Miller, professional guide out of Rocky Mountain Anglers and a favorite among guests, enjoyed a day of fly fishing for giant trout this week with his friend Craig (pictured left) and his other long-time friend, Fred (also pictured left ;-).  When he related they had a great day on the waters despite the summer heat, I asked the question all anglers want to know, “What exact fly pattern caught Big Fred? What flies were working well through the day? That is if you divulge your special flies, of course!”

Ben replied, I’m sure sporting a sly, wry smile (though I couldn’t see it through an email), “The fly in question is kinda my secret weapon out there, but I can tell you that large streamers with a fast strip was the answer. Dry droppers worked well in the morning: a juju baetis dropped below a sparkle dun. Small black leeches turned some fish as well on a slow strip.”

Classic answer from a true angling pro!  Ben and other guides who have their own “Secrets of the Hook” at Sylvan Dale’s private fly fishing waters, can be reached at Rocky Mountain Anglers if you want to have a chance at learning that “secret weapon” and other fly fishing skills!

Filed under Conditions, Fishing by on #

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is a great place to visualize patterns and processes of Earth’s history. Earth science students from local middle and high schools as well as the University of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado, and Colorado State University often use the Ranch for field trips. Patterns of geology are the foundation for everything else, from vegetation to human land use to the awe-inspiring scenery.

Several of the great ages of Earth are on display at Sylvan Dale.

The granite and schist of Green Ridge, Inspiration Point, and Alexander Mountain represent the Precambrian Era.

A view across 1.8 billion years:

A view across 1.8 billion years: from Ice Age Little Canyon of the Big Thompson
to Pre-Cambrian rocks of Alexander Mountain. ⇱

The Paleozoic Era, the “Age of Fishes and Amphibians,” is represented by the Fountain Formation, the oldest of local sedimentary rocks. Most of our sedimentary rocks are from the Mesozoic Era, the “Age of Reptiles.” Cenozoic rocks, from the “Age of Mammals,” are missing from our immediate area, eroded to sandy bits, hauled downstream, gone to rest in the Gulf of Mexico. The last 2 million years, Read more on Earth History at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch…

It’s gymkhana time at Sylvan Dale! For those of you who do not know what a gymkhana is, it is an event in which riders play games on horseback. Each week our guests participate in a gymkhana, and winners receive prizes!

The kids played against each other on the horse they were assigned to for the week. They played games such as pole bending, barrel racing, the boot scramble, the cow pie toss, and an egg and spoon race! Adults competed against each other as well and played similar games with added difficulty.

Where does “gymkhana” come from?

Gymkhana is a term that originated from Read more on Gymkhana Time!…