Posts Tagged ‘Horseback Riding’

A Visit from the Equine Dentist at 4UR Ranch

October 12th, 2016 by 4ur ranch

Equine Dentist Walck has a horse in stall, head is being held up by pulley as he sedates the horse.

Dentist Troy Walck getting ready to examine Cochise.

At 4UR Ranch we just wrapped up our season with an annual visit from CEqD Troy Walck, an experienced Equine Dentist. Having an equine dentist come each year to work on the horses is something that plays into our values as a guest ranch. While the horses visit the vet very often the work of a horse dentist is vital to keeping the 4UR herd healthy and happy.

You wouldn’t expect it but having bad teeth can lead to poor performance while out for a trail ride. Have you ever ridden a horse that refused to turn left? Sometimes the fix is as simple as smoothing out their teeth so they aren’t in pain each time you signal a left turn. Head Wrangler Damon Gibbons noticed a significant drop in the amount of negative behavior in the horses after the first few visits by CEqD Walck. For the wranglers to give each guest helpful and constructive horseback instruction the horses have to be in the best shape possible. Having Dr. Troy come out, gives the 4UR Ranch that edge.

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Revival of Cabin Fever Daze in Creede, Colorado

March 19th, 2014 by 4ur ranch

Ice sculptures illuminated for Cabin Fever Daze in Creede, CO

Ice sculptures illuminated for Cabin Fever Daze in Creede, CO

Over the Valentine’s / President’s Day weekend, Creede resurrected an old festival with a new twist: Cabin Fever Daze. (Event Page)

A Valentine’s Dance at the Elk’s lodge started off the weekend, with music by the Rifters  (with special guest, Tish Hinojosa), and ended with local band, MoJones, playing at the Tommyknocker Tavern.

Creede Elks' Dance for Valentines Day 2014 - RiftersCreede Repertory Theatre presents Boomtown Improv ShowThe Creede Community Fund (CCF) teamed with the Creede Chamber of Commerce to put on the event. The idea was to draw in the crowds during a time of year that is usually slow for our little town. Creede businesses are still slowly recovering from the hit they took during the wildfires that burned last summer (West Fork & Papoose). Even though Creede was not evacuated like the 4UR Ranch was, Highway 149, the only road into town, was closed. Because there was no evacuation, there was also no federal or insurance relief for local businesses. Cabin Fever Daze is one of many future events the Chamber and the CCF intend to put on in order to help Creede come back and flourish.

Creating the 4UR's ice sculptureThe weekend was very successful. A few hundred people came to town, most families from the San Luis Valley. There was much to do through the whole weekend: Crafters had booths set up in the Creede Community Center, a Full Moon ski/snowshoe on Friday night, a snowmobile poker run, the First Annual Curling Tournament took place on the lower Creede pond, and free ice skate “rentals” were available for families to skate on the upper pond.


First Annual Creede Curling competitionLive Music - Mojones Band - at the Tommyknocker TavernKips Gril creates a huge snow sculptureIce cutters make blocks for the Creede Ice Sculpture Contest, as part of Cabin Fever DazeThe town businesses participated in a Hot Toddy contest. The general public bought tickets and tasted samples as they walked through historic downtown Creede, voting for their favorite drink.  Local artists (including Damon Gibbons from the 4UR) carved blocks of ice set up around town. Damon came in 3rd place for his sculpture, a 4UR “trophy” cauldron, which he set on fire for his finale on Sunday. At night, burning barrels illuminated street corners. The Creede Repertory Theatre opened on Saturday night for a packed performance of their improv show, Boomtown. Artist Stephen Quiller, who will be teaching two workshops at the 4UR this summer, opened his show “Beauty in the Burn.” The paintings are breathtaking, and his studio definitely worth a visit when stopping in Creede. Jennifer Inge  displayed her “CreedeHeart “ necklace for the weekend; and a preview of her upcoming jewelry line, “Out from the Ashes.” There were fireworks set off by Jenna Ford, a silent auction to raise money for the Creede Community Fund, and an all-church service set in the canyon uptown, surrounded by the beautiful cliffs of Creede.

4UR was present throughout, from ice sculpture, to a silent auction donation, and a general sponsor of the whole weekend’s event. We can truly say that we are “Creedehearts”, and feel very blessed to be near this wonderful, vibrant, and thriving community. If you have been curious to visit Creede in the winter, may we suggest coming to Cabin Fever Daze. You will be enchanted!


Horse-drawn carriage rides up and down Main Street, Creede

Horse-drawn carriage rides up and down Main Street, Creede

Meet the 2012 4UR Staff

May 17th, 2012 by Gail

It’s almost time to welcome our 2012 staff to 4UR Colorado Guest Ranch. This is always an exciting time for those of us who stay in Creede year-round. Many of our staff is returning for another year, and the newbies bring fresh faces and ideas.

Read on for a brief introduction to some of our staff. More to follow in a subsequent blog.

Fishing Guides

Les Vance – Head Guide – Les grew up in the country outside of Raleigh, NC, and moved to Creede to immerse himself in the outdoors after graduating from Appalachian State in 2007.  He is returning for his fourth season as a fishing guide here at the 4UR, and is excited to get back on the creek.  After spending the last three months fishing in New Zealand, he has a few new tricks up his sleeve for the Goose Creek trout.   

Drew Hoffman – Drew grew up in Appleton, WI, and has a degree in Biology from St. Olaf College. He’s returning for his 2nd year as a fly fishing guide at 4UR Ranch. He spent this past winter in New Zealand, testing himself on the most technical trout in the world, and is excited for a new season at the ranch.   

A.J. Kemsley – A.J. grew up fishing the lakes and streams of Michigan. His true passion is fly fishing and on any given day, there is a good chance  he’ll be on the stream.  Whether chasing steelhead or sight fishing for carp in Traverse Bay, the need to wet a line is always strong in A.J.

Ben Sippola – Ben comes to 4UR after spending a season in Major League Soccer.  He was born and raised on the water in Southeastern Minnesota, and there is nothing he enjoys more than fly fishing and sharing his passion for flies, rods, and trout with others.

Kids riding program at 4UR Colorado Dude Ranch

Damon and a few enthusiastic young riders.


Damon Gibbons (Head Wrangler) – Damon has been at 4ur since 2000. He runs the Natural Horsemanship Program and will help all riders–even novices–become comfortable in the saddle.

Katie Davis – Katie born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, and has been riding since the age of 3. Living out west and working with horses and people has always been a dream of hers. Law school may be in her future, but this summer, she’ll be at 4UR living the dream.

Madison Hester – Madi is from a small town in northern Illinois.  She grew up trail riding and competing in barrels and other speed events.  Look for her running with her workout partner Dexter, a sweet Rottweiler-Boxer mix.   

Shelley Wynn – Shelley is from Charlotte, NC.  She recently graduated from the University of South Carolina, where she was a competitive equestrian for all four years.  She loves to teach! 

Our wranglers and fishing guides look forward to helping your stay at 4UR Family Guest Ranch be both fun and rewarding. 

Create a Family Tradition

May 8th, 2012 by Gail

Parents are faced with many decisions, from what they’ll feed their children to where they’ll send them to school.

One important task is to determine how to spend vacations. Will you go to Disney, Legoland, or one of those giant water parks? Will you go camping or head to a great city? There is no wrong answer. Diverse experiences are what make up a life.

family ranch vacationYet if you’re looking to start a family tradition, you may want to choose a destination that instills certain values. Appreciation for nature, for one, and respect for it. A place that fosters both Independence and togetherness. The kind of place you’ll want to visit again and again, year after year.

Generations of families have spent their summer vacations at 4UR Colorado Family Guest Ranch. Generations of children have experienced the joy of learning to ride a horse or catch a fish with a fly. They’ve spent summer days discovering that they can do things they never dreamed they could do. They’ve explored the Southern Rockies and learned about themselves.

colorado family guest ranch

Watching the next generation.

We have guests at 4UR Family Dude Ranch who came here as children and now come here with their own children. Now that’s a family tradition worth creating.

Vacation With or Without Kids

May 1st, 2012 by Gail

There are two types of vacations: those with children, and those without children. At 4UR all-inclusive Colorado Guest Ranch, you can have either type.

kids at 4UR family dude ranch

Kids at 4UR.

During most of the season, it’s true, we are a Family Vacation Ranch. Children love to come here and go horseback riding, swimming, and hiking. They enjoy art and craft programs, nature explorations, and cookouts. While here, kids have lots of time to explore and spend time with other children (in both structured and unstructured activities), and lots of time to explore and spend time with their parents.

4ur kids program in horseback riding, fishing, nature programs

Kids at 4UR.

We still have space available during our TWO FOR ONE KID’S SPECIAL, June 9-16, 2012. If you bring two children aged 9 and under to our Family Dude Ranch that week, you’ll only pay for one of them.

Of course, some folks like to vacation without children. These are parents who need a break, parents whose kids are grown, and folks who aren’t parents at all. They enjoy sitting by the pool with a Corona in hand, without danger of being splashed by frolicking children. They like to linger over dinner and conversation, without worrying about getting the kids to bed.

Adults only weeks at 4UR all-inclusive Colorado guest ranch.

Adults only at 4UR.

If that sounds like you, please consider our ADULTS-ONLY WEEKS, August 18-25 and August 25-September 1, 2012. We still have a couple of spaces available.

Adults only weeks at 4UR Colorado Fly-fishing ranch

Just for adults.


Our Colorado Guest Ranch is a great place for families and a wonderful place for adults. Horseback riding, fly-fishing, and delicious food are appreciated by everyone, no matter your age.



Food Tastes Better After Riding a Horse

April 20th, 2012 by Gail

Food tastes better after riding a horse. It really does. That’s why it’s possible to ride to your breakfast, ride to your lunch, and ride to your dinner here at 4UR Family Guest Ranch.

Horseback ride to a steak feast.

Wray manning the grill during the Thursday night steak feed.

Since this is an all-inclusive luxury ranch, the meals you find at the end of the trail are veritable feasts. We know that any time in the saddle sparks an appetite, and we aim to feed. Has coffee ever tasted so good? Or that beer? We hope not!

On Thursday night, dismount and feast on grilled steak, potatoes, and fresh corn on the cob. Savor the fresh, mountain air with every bite. Listen to Damon pluck out a few tunes on his guitar. The setting is as beautiful as the food is tasty.

All-inclusive Colorado guest ranch, horseback riding.

Ride a horse to a glorious setting, where grilled steak awaits.

Join us at our all-inclusive Colorado Family Guest Ranch this summer; it’s a feast for all senses.

The Softer Side of Roughing It

April 3rd, 2012 by Gail

Ah, Nature.

Luxury Family dude ranch vacations.

Hot coffee, whenever you want it.

People come to our Colorado Family Guest Ranch so they can connect with the great outdoors. They come to hike the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. They come to ride horses and stand in the cool, clear waters of Goose Creek, fishing rod in hand. They come for the fresh air and the astounding beauty of the place.

All this could be had in the backcountry. The same people who come to 4UR could, instead, don backpacks spend a week camping. In fact, we know some do, at other times.

The beauty of 4UR is that our guests have an all-inclusive vacation. They get the great outdoors, the horseback riding, the hiking, the fishing, but they also get luxurious services.

What’s included in an all-inclusive Colorado Guest Ranch Vacation at 4UR?

  • Three gourmet meals a day (including non-alcoholic beverages), picnic baskets when you like, coffee and tea delivered to your room in the morning, ice delivered to your room in the afternoon. We will make you a cake to celebrate a special occasion, and we’ll do our best to accommodate special dietary needs.
  • Daily maid service, nightly turndown service, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, use of computer, and transportation to and from Alamosa Airport.
  • Horseback riding and natural horsemanship lessons, private fly-fishing, and sporting clays and trap shooting.
  • Guests may use the pool, the natural hot springs, the fitness center, and bicycles.
  • Supervised daily children’s programs are open to all children.

In addition, we offer massages, guided fishing, and wine and alcoholic beverages. These are not included in the base rate.

A vacation at 4UR is the softer side of roughing it, to be sure. It’s wonderful.


Winter at a Colorado Dude Ranch

March 27th, 2012 by Gail

Just what happens to the horses of our Colorado Dude Ranch during the winter? They relax, they enjoy the scenery, and they eat. They’re well cared for. It’s a good life.

Damon and his wife and daughter recently took some photos while out feeding the herd. Enjoy, and dream about the upcoming summer at 4UR.

Colorado guest ranch horseback riding.

4UR all-inclusive Colorado guest ranch horses.

horseback riding Colorado dude ranch.

Take the Waters of Wagon Wheel Gap

March 20th, 2012 by Gail

The tradition of “taking the waters” is perhaps as old as civilization itself. In prehistoric times there were sacred springs. The Romans built sophisticated baths. People long ago flocked to baths from Baden Baden, Germany to Bath, Britain. They traveled to spas in Vichy, France and Fukata, Japan. In the Americas, native peoples held sacred the waters of Saratoga, New York and Wagon Wheel Gap, Colorado.


The Historic Wagon Wheel Gap Hotel

The nomadic Ute people frequented the warm, healing waters of Wagon Wheel Gap long before European settlers discovered them. They called the hot springs and mineral waters “Little Medicine” and used them for healing and in sacred rituals. When an influx of homesteaders and miners put an end to the Ute’s annual visits to the waters, tourists took their place. More than a decade before there was a town in Creede, there was a hotel and spa at Wagon Wheel Gap.

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Creede, Colorado’s New Medicine Spa

February 28th, 2012 by Gail

Creede, Colorado is going to have a new Medicine Spa this summer, and it’s here at 4UR family guest ranch.

Creede Colorado Family Guest Ranch Spa

The new spa at our Creede, Colorado, Family Guest Ranch is taking shape.

Imagine a spacious work out area with gleaming new equipment and space for stretching. We are hoping to add yoga classes this summer, so any guests who are devoted yogis will be able to continue their practice. Changing areas are being enlarged, as well. In short, the whole area is getting a little more elbow room.

We’re also expanding the massage room, which will enable us to offer more massage appointments. That is sure to be appreciated by our guests, some of whom get a tad sore from lengthy trail rides and hours casting flies on Goose Creek.

Outside, the new deck area will have an outdoor fireplace to warm us on chilly evenings, and a covered area for outdoor eating on drizzly days. Comfy new pool furniture and luxurious towels will round out the “new” spa in Creede.

We hope all of our guests are as excited to see the new spa as we are!