Guests know C Lazy U as the best destination for a vacation in the Colorado countryside, but there’s much more to the ranch than just horseback riding, amazing food and the myriad outdoor and indoor activities. C Lazy U is a working dude ranch, meaning that there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
The Animals at C Lazy U Ranch
Besides C Lazy U Ranch’s horses — over 200 of them! — there are other animals you’ll see moseying about the ranch. In addition to our lovable, huggable Sicilian donkey duo, Petey and Tilly, C Lazy U Ranch has a number of Angus cattle.
Guests have a chance to interact with our cattle herd during cattle pushing clinics, which provide the perfect opportunity to feel like a real cowboy. You’ll ride out with a group to the meadow where the cattle roam to collect and herd the cows; individually, you’ll be able to learn the art of “cutting” the cows.
Cutting cows isn’t what it sounds like: it is actually the practice of separating a single cow from the herd. Cutting cows is a typical real-life ranch activity, in which a cow needs to be removed from the herd for veterinary care, for example. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly a lot of fun — and at the end, you’ll have learned a skill that only true cowboys know!
A Wrangler’s Day
Taking care of such a large number of animals is a lot of work, but guests may not always see it — they simply see a well-kept, clean and orderly ranch. Our wranglers, however, are always hard at work.
The day starts early for the C Lazy U Ranch wranglers, who are up and working between 4:00 and 5:30 a.m. — long before many of our guests have risen. They bring in the horses from the pasture to the corrals, where they’ll feed, groom and saddle them up for a day on the trails.
Our wranglers also provide veterinary care to any horses that are injured or sick as well as check on the cows to ensure they’re healthy and happy. In addition to animal care, the wranglers are busy maintaining the ranch: fixing fences, cleaning the barn, irrigating the hay meadows, checking grass levels in the pasture, and preparing the gates for the horses.
Corey takes care of most of the land and hay operations, spending a lot of time irrigating the hay meadows to ensure they’re ready for harvest in July. In addition, he oversees the logging operation and ensures the trails are in good condition for both our horses and their riders. Dale, Garret and Sheldon, another hardworking group of wranglers, oversee the livestock operations — they’re in charge of making sure the cattle are fed, trained and healthy.
The day only ends for the wranglers when the horses are safely back out to pasture at around 5 p.m. It’s a long, hard day for the wranglers, but it’s the love of the ranch that makes it less like work and more like play.
It’s only because of the painstaking efforts of the wranglers and other team members at C Lazy U that we can maintain our status a real working dude ranch in Colorado while still providing five-spur service to guests.