Every year after a beautiful summer season, the weather changes and we move into our off-season. Off-season for trail riding is usually considered to be the wintertime here in Breckenridge, Colorado. Specifically, our equestrian season starts in early May as soon as the snow melts off our trails and lasts into the fall after the gorgeous golden aspens lose their leaves around late September. The off-season, riding dates, and reservation ability can sometimes fluctuate slightly due to the unpredictability of Colorado’s weather and when the snow comes and goes, but that is our general seasonal riding schedule. You might be wondering what happens during the off-season and what we do with the horses. Here at Rusty Spurr Ranch, we use the off season to catch up on horse training and address any ranch repairs that may occur during the busy summer season. Throughout the summer, our equipment retains wear and needs upkeep. We inspect all of our safety gear and saddles to keep our riders safe. This means oiling all the leather tack and going through the halters, leadropes, saddles, bridles, saddlepads and helmets with a fine-toothed comb to ensure everything is in tip-top working condition. The most common maintenance we do during the off season is fixing fences, clearing brush and fallen trees from trails and servicing all the ranch equipment. The horses get their steel shoes removed and run barefoot until the spring. Although our horses aren’t going on their daily passenger rides, we use this quiet time to work on advancing horses' training to ensure they are confident and comfortable trail companions. During the fall and early winter, our horses enjoy their vacation time by roaming vast mountain pastures free-grazing until the snows come. Then we move everyone to the ranch house where we store their hay and provide shelter and fresh water daily. We feed high quality mountain grass hay that is high in protein for the colder weather calorie needs. Any horse that isn't holding their winter weight well gets put on free-choice feed to eat as much as they want. We supplement with mineral nutrient tubs and make sure that our horses are well cared for and healthy from their winter time off so they are able to provide all riders with a safe and fun adventure during the riding season. We want our horses to be sound, strong, and fit. You can make a reservation today for your own equestrian escapade on our home page and if you have any questions about our fees and availability, you can find all those answers and more on our website. We hope to see you here at Rusty Spurr Ranch after this off-season.