With 8,500 acres of beautiful land to explore, a herd of 200 horses to ride, and unforgettable activities for the reserved and adventure-seeking alike, it’s no wonder people can’t get enough of C Lazy U ranch. Whether you’re anxiously awaiting your first trip or making a return visit, get to know our beloved Colorado dude ranch in a new way through our behind-the-scenes blog series. Each month, we’ll be interviewing an employee and sharing their experience and favorite parts of the ranch.
First in our series is Tami Burkett, the Equine Health/Veterinary Care Manager. As one of the most tenured members of the team, Tami’s worked at C Lazy U dude ranch since 2009.
A Summer Job Turned Into A Veterinary Career
After working at a different ranch for 2 summers in college, Tami wanted to spend a year in Colorado, so she began looking for ranches that were open year-round. In the summer of 2009, Tami started as a seasonal wrangler for the summer. That fall, she was asked to stay on as a year-round wrangler, where she continued to work until 2013 when she became a supervisor in the wrangling department. A few years later, she became the assistant head wrangler and became more involved with the vet care, herd health, and management of the wrangler team.
In 2018, Tami officially became the Equine Health/Veterinary Care Manager. She keeps track of the dentistry, showing schedules, and the vaccination and deworming schedules. She works closely with the ranch’s veterinarians, farriers, dentist, and nutritionist to make sure the herd stays healthy.
Read More: What Kind Of Horses Are At C Lazy U?
Veterinary Care At C Lazy U: Frequently Asked Questions
How Does C Lazy U Ranch Care For Their Horses?
In her role, Tami helps ensure each horse stays safe and healthy. The wrangler team works hard to keep each of the horse’s areas clean and reports or fixes any hazards, like a broken fence or panels. They also provide the horses with plenty of hay and water throughout the day. Horses are grazing animals, so feeding the proper amount of hay during the winter and making sure there is plenty of grass in the summer is important to the horses’ health. To that end, Tami keeps a close eye on the horses’ weights, especially the older ones. If any of the horses start to get too thin, Tami puts them on a special diet to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Tami also has the horses on a deworming, vaccination, shoeing, and dentist rotation to make sure their needs are met. And, she takes special care to get to know each horse on a personal level. By getting to know their baseline behavior and attitudes, she can quickly identify if horses are acting differently due to illness or injury and give them the attention they need.
What Is Caring For Horses On A Dude Ranch Like?
To keep the herd healthy, Tami’s day starts off with making morning medications for any sick or injured horses. Then, she closely watches the Jingle (when the horses come in from pasture). The Jingle is a fan-favorite for many C Lazy U ranch guests, but Tami uses that time to watch for any new injuries or lame horses. Once the herd is in, she’ll administer morning medications and assess any new injuries she may have noticed. Then, Tami helps get the horses ready for the morning ride.
Once the guests ride out, Tami returns to the herd to care for any injuries, which can include soaking feet for abscesses, cleaning and wrapping cuts, and caring for pulled tendons. She’ll also help feed any of the older horses to help them maintain their weight.
In the afternoon, Tami helps get the afternoon trail ride out. Once all the horses are back in for the night, she unsaddles them and cleans up before giving afternoon medications and feeding the older horses. As the herd jingles out to the pasture at night, she watches closely to make sure all the horses are looking good.
Get To Know Tami
Interested in the woman behind our horses’ health? We asked Tami to share a bit more about what she loves about ranch life and some of her favorite memories.
What’s Kept You At C Lazy U All These Years?
“When I drove down the ranch driveway in May of 2009, I knew it was a special place. The first few people I met made me feel so welcomed and the scenery is amazing. Once I saw the horses and started riding the trails I knew I wanted to stay longer than a summer. I never knew I would be here thirteen years later! Caring for and working with 200 horses is a dream and that’s a big reason I am still here. Each and every horse holds a special place in my heart and I’m happy to care for all of them. I also enjoy meeting all the new guests and staff. I have made some life-long friends who have become more like family to me.”
What’s Your Favorite Part Of Your Job?
“I love caring for the horses. I went to college for Equine Science/pre-vet and always had a passion for horses. Working hand and hand with the vet on different medical emergencies and doing the follow-up care is very interesting to me. I feel like every new case is a learning experience. With 200 horses you never know what the day will bring and no two days are ever the same.”
What’s Your Favorite Memory of the Ranch?
“I have many memories of the ranch. One of my favorite memories would have to be the first early morning jingle when I watched the sunrise and the world come to life with the birds chirping. Another favorite memory was when I got a phone call in the morning saying we had a foal born in the pasture. We carried the foal in from the pasture and I spent the morning getting her to nurse and have her checked out by the vet. For the first month, I called her Munchkin, but she would later be named Alice. I’ve enjoyed watching her grow into the beautiful horse she is and aiding in her training. I cherish the special bond we have and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”