Did you see on Facebook, our sheep got haircuts?
In many ways, shearing a sheep is a lot like getting a haircut. Just like your hair grows and grows until it hangs in your eyes, sheep wool is always growing. Wool has to be shorn at least once a year to keep sheep comfortable, especially in warmer climates—like how some people get shorter haircuts for summer. We don’t want our sheep to overheat! And just like a human haircut, shearing doesn’t hurt the sheep. Shearing does leave sheep vulnerable to the elements, so extra care is needed to protect them until their wool grows enough to insulate them.
A skilled shearer, like you see in the picture, is needed to quickly and efficiently take the wool without nicking or injuring the sheep. Most shearers use electric shears or shearing machines, but some choose the more delicate art of shearing with a manual tool, like scissors. The best sheep-shearers can remove the wool in one whole piece in under two minutes. How’s that for efficiency? There is even a natural chemical that allows sheep to drop wool on their own!
If you’re visiting Rawhide Ranch for summer camp, you’ll be able to see the beginnings of new fleece on our shorn sheep. By the end of summer, their wool will be all bushy again!
Posted in EZ Stock Farm
Tagged animal science program, california horse camp, camp counselor, EZ Stock Farm, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch Bonsall, Rawhide Ranch California, San Diego, Sheep Shearing, Southern California, summer camp, western riding camp
If you’re reading Rawhide Ranch’s blogs about horses, animal care, outdoor education, and our amazing ranch camp, we bet you’re an animal lover! Maybe you have a horse of your own, a cat or a dog, a rabbit or a hamster, or even a lizard. We put a lot of time and care into naming our animals, and we’re sure you do, too. But have you ever thought about what your pet’s name says about you?
- If you’re like half of American pet owners and you’ve named your pet a human name, such as Alex or Ginger or Tyler, you value your pet as a true family member. Your pet is more likely to sleep on your bed, snack on people-food, and have its birthday celebrated!
- Names can also reflect an owner’s interests, such as pets named Hannah Montana, Bigfoot, or Ice Cream Sundae. A pet named after a celebrity, character, or thing is more common in pets named by children and teens.
- If you’ve named your pet something funny, such as Killer for a chihuahua, you like to showcase your sense of humor.
- Common names, such as Spot or Fluffy, and simple names, such as Woofy and Kitty, reflect someone who likes to be comfortable and safe. On the other hand, wacky names show an owner who likes to stand out and be recognized!
How did you name your pets? What do you think that name says about you?
Posted in Rawhide Ranch
Tagged Americans, best california camp, california horse camp, camp counselor, Pet names, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch Bonsall, Rawhide Ranch California, San Diego, Southern California, summer camp, western riding camp
You’ve probably heard the song, “Oh My Darling, Clementine”—perhaps you’ve even sung it in the car on the way to summer camp at Rawhide Ranch! “Clementine” fits right in with our Old West theme here at Rawhide, because it’s actually an American western folk ballad.
The 19th-century song is about a miner in the 1849 California Gold Rush who loses his love, Clementine, in a drowning accident. It’s not the happiest of stories, but it’s proven its staying power with singability and memorable lyrics. “Clementine” has been covered and made popular again by several modern-day recording artists, including Westlife.
Just for fun, here are the lyrics to “Clementine.” (Remember to sing the chorus after each verse.) Who knows, you might need them during our next cowboy sing-along!
“Oh My Darling Clementine”
In a canyon, in a cavern, excavating for a mine,
lived a miner, forty niner and his daughter Clementine.
Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’ oh my darlin, Clementine,
you are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry Clementine.
Light she was, just like a fairy and her shoes were number nine,
herring boxes without topses, sandals were for Clementine.
Led her ducklings to the water every morning just at nine,
Hit her foot upon a splinter, fell into the foaming brine.
Ruby lips above the water blowing bubbles soft and fine,
But alas I was no swimmer and I lost my Clementine.
Posted in Rawhide Ranch
Tagged 1849 California Gold Rush, camp counselor, Oh My Darling Clementine, old west, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch Bonsall, Rawhide Ranch Camp, San Diego, Southern California, summer camp, western riding camp
There are so many movies about horses out there, how do we choose which ones to watch? If you love horses as much as we do, why not get the most from your film time by watching nonfiction movies? They’re fun, educational, and inspirational. Plus, if you’re a TEAM CHA member, you can earn rewards points for watching true-to-life horse movies!
TEAM CHA is the youth membership offered by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), a respected horsemanship organization that accredits Rawhide Ranch’s camp and instructors. It’s a great program that offers a ton of opportunities to young horse enthusiasts 15 years old and younger. You can earn great prizes any time you work or play with horses—even when you learn about them!
Here are some of our favorite horse movies, inspired by true stories:
In Seabiscuit, the racehorse of the same name becomes an unlikely winner during The Great Depression. Seabiscuit may be pedigreed, but he’s small for a champion, and he limps—not the image one imagines in a champion racehorse. But with enough people who believe in the horse, underdog Seabiscuit rises to the occasion to become a national hero.
Phar Lap tells the thrilling rags-to-riches tale of an Australian racehorse that becomes a champion. Without pedigree or a winning history, Phar Lap the horse is taken in by an impulsive trainer. The love and dedication of Phar Lap’s stableboy, Tommy, helps him grow into an unlikely winner.
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story
Who doesn’t love happy endings, especially when they’re inspired by real-life events? In this sweet tale of second chances, Dreamer tells the story a young girl named Cale Crane, who adopts the severely injured racehorse, Soñador. While rehabilitating Soñador for another shot at the racetrack, Cale gets another chance at a relationship with her estranged father.
We hope you enjoy these real-life horse stories as much as we do! They’re just like bringing outdoor education into the comfort of your own home, and they make a great “horse fix” while you’re away from Rawhide’s ranch camp. What horse movies, fiction or nonfiction, make your top five?
Posted in Rawhide Ranch
Tagged camp counselor, Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, Favorite horse movies, Phar Lap, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch California, San Diego, Seabiscuit, Southern California, summer camp, TEAM CHA, western riding camp
Believe it or not, there’s a breed of horse out there that’s shorter than you are! Rising up to just 28–34 inches at the withers (not quite three feet), the Falabella miniature horse is one of the world’s smallest breeds. Falabella foals are even smaller, standing just over a foot tall!
Despite their stature, Falabellas are proportioned just like larger horses, only on a compact scale. It’s like someone took a shrink ray to a Thoroughbred! Like Thoroughbreds, Falabellas have sleek coats and slim frames. Full-grown Fallabellas also feature some pony-like features, such as sturdy bones and thicker coats. If you remember from our last blog, common Falabella colors are bay and black, but they also come in palomino, pinto, and spotted varieties.
Obviously, the Falabellas’ size means they were not meant for horseback riding or vaulting; they can only be ridden by very young children! But Falabellas are intelligent, easily trained, and good for many other uses, including cart driving, showing, and companionship.
This tiny horse is rare, with only a few thousand living in the world today. If you’re lucky enough to see a Falabella in a horse event, remember this economy-size equine’s claim to fame as the world’s smallest horse!
Posted in Rawhide Ranch
Tagged best california camp, california horse camp, camp counselor, Falabella, horse camp, Horseback Riding, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch Bonsall, Rawhide Ranch California, San Diego, Southern California, summer camp, Thoroughbred, western riding camp, world's smallest horse, youth horse camp
We hope you’ve learned a lot about horses from your fun-filled time with us at Rawhide Ranch. How much have you learned from our horse science, horseback riding, and vaulting lessons? Check your horse knowledge against these fun facts!
- Horses usually live about 30 years, but can get up there—close to 50!
- Horses are called different names at different ages. Baby horses up to 6 months old are called “foals.” Between 6 months and 2 years, young horses are called “yearlings.” Between ages 2 and 4, male horses are called “colts” and female horses are called “fillies.” After 4 years old, male horses are called “stallions” and female horses are called “mares.”
- Horse heights are measured at the tallest point on the horse’s spine, called the withers. It’s the bony part at the back of the neck that usually butts against the front of the saddle. Heights are measured in a length called “hands.”
- Horses have a whole bunch of speeds! They’ll move faster or slower depending on the length of their stride. Their slowest speed is a walk at about 3–4 mph. This is as fast as some people can run! Their next speed is a trot, which is about 8–10 mph. Then they move into a canter, also called a lope, at a quick 10–17 mph. The fastest speed is a gallop, which is typically about 30 mph, but can reach a blazing 50 mph!
How did you do on your horse trivia? Did you learn something new?
There’s always something new to learn at Rawhide Ranch, whether it’s taking care of animals in our EZ Stock Farm, learning a new vaulting move, or trying a new archery shot. We hope you’ll come see us this summer for our exciting weeklong camp programs!
Posted in EZ Stock Farm
Tagged best california camp, california horse camp, camp counselor, EZ Stock Farm, horse camp, horse facts, Horseback Riding, Horses, outdoor education san diego, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch Bonsall, Rawhide Ranch California, Rawhide Ranch Camp, rawhide ranch horse camp, San Diego, Southern California, summer camp, western riding camp, youth horse camp
You may have wondered this question yourself, because we get asked it a lot: What colors are our horses?
American Quarter Horses like the ones we have at Rawhide Ranch typically come in 13 color patterns, as you can see in the picture below.
Chestnut is a reddish body color without any black. The mane and tail are usually the same color as the body or slightly lighter.
Sorrel, a reddish-tan, coppery body color, is often considered a variation of chestnut.
Black is a relatively uncommon horse color, although with books like Black Beauty and The Black Stallion, you wouldn’t think so! Black horses are usually born gray or dun and grow into their black coat, although they may be born jet black!
Bay is a common body color from light reddish-brown to dark brown, each with black points—the mane, tail, and lower legs.
Dun features a yellow or tan coat with faint zebra-like markings on the upper legs. Dun-colored horses will have a darker mane and tail.
Red dun is a variation of dun, with a yellow or tan base coat and chestnut zebra markings.
Grullo is the “blue” variation of dun, featuring a solid gray or silver coat with black or deep gray zebra markings.
Brown horses with a brown coat and a deep brown mane and tail are common colors in the quarter horse world.
Palomino horses show off a gold, yellow, or tan body complemented by a white or flaxen mane and tail.
Buckskin resembles a palomino or dun in base coat color, but has black points.
Blue roan is a variation of roan, a color pattern with fine white hairs mixed in with the horse’s base color. The blue variety occurs when a horse has a black base coat mixed with white “roan” hairs. They usually have darker heads and legs.
Red roan is also a variation of roan, except the horse has a chestnut base mixed with white “roan” hairs. This color is also called “strawberry roan.”
Gray is another common horse color, when a horse has black skin but a white or black-and-white coat.
Next time you visit your favorite horse at Rawhide Ranch, look closely and see if you can guess what color it is!
Posted in Rawhide Ranch
Tagged American Quarter Horses, best california camp, california horse camp, camp counselor, horse camp, Horseback Riding, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch Bonsall, Rawhide Ranch California, San Diego, Southern California, summer camp, western riding camp, youth horse camp
Horses rely on their legs for just about everything—they even sleep standing up! So when you see a horse lying down, there’s a good reason for it.
These long-legged critters were made for standing. The way horses breathe and circulate blood was designed for long periods of standing. In fact, if a horse is forced on the ground for a long time, such as if its leg is stuck under a fence, it can die from suffocation or brain damage. That’s why it’s important for horses not to break their legs!
Under certain natural circumstances, horses will lie down for a while. If they are tired and feel calm and safe, they may lie down for a nap. More important, horses can’t enter deep “dream” sleep without lying down—otherwise they’d fall over! Baby horses often lie down to sleep at their mother’s feet, and as they get older, they’ll start to stand up more.
You may also see a horse lying down if it’s sick. Colicky horses will rest on the ground to try to ease their stomach pain. Horses with foot or hoof pain will also lie down to give their feet a rest. This is a temporary grounding and will hopefully lead to the horse’s comfort and speedy recovery.
Chances are, if you see one of our horses lying down for a while, there’s no reason to worry. It’s probably just taking a load off! When it’s all done, it will be refreshed and ready to partner with you for your next horseback riding or vaulting adventure here at Rawhide Ranch, Southern California’s premier Western ranch camp!
Posted in EZ Stock Farm
Tagged california horse camp, camp counselor, horse camp, Horseback Riding, Horses, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch California, San Diego, Southern California, summer camp, western riding camp
Welcome to Rawhide Ranch, the last of the Old West! If you’re new here or returning for summer camp, you might want to brush up on some horse how-tos. Ranch etiquette is important when you’re working with horses, for your safety and theirs!
People sometimes forget that when they’re working with horses, they’re working with living animals with thoughts and feelings. Horses are typically kind and gentle creatures, but they can get angry or scared under certain circumstances, such as when they’re approached loudly or surprised. They may spook and try to rear or run away. Most well-trained horses are used to sudden noises and movements, so they won’t easily spook, but you never know what to expect. That’s why it’s important to always be aware of the horses and their behavior.
Also be aware of your behavior around horses, especially unfamiliar ones. Try not to do anything that’s known to spook horses, like yelling, jumping around, or throwing things at them. Don’t stand directly behind or in front of horses unless your instructor tells you to—you might get kicked because the horses can’t see you! Horses love it when you show them affection, so remember to stroke or rub them. Try not to pat them with a flat hand, which might bother them. A soft hand and soft words are the best techniques to keep a horse happy and calm!
And finally, any time you’re around horses, always listen to your riding or vaulting instructor. Our staff is well trained and knows each horse’s personality and limitations. They’ll let you know what you should and should not do with each horse, and what you can do to promote safety. If you’re not sure about something, ask questions!
Remember this basic ranch etiquette next time you visit us at Rawhide! If you forget any of our horse how-tos, don’t worry—our instructors are always here to help you out with some outdoor education. We can’t wait to see our springtime visitors and are especially excited for this year’s summer camp. Are you all signed up and ready to take that walk down Main Street?
If you had a horse, what would you name it? Something simple, like Bill, or something wild, like Tornado?
Naming a horse is an important decision. A horse’s everyday stable name should be easy to say, for giving commands during horseback riding and training, but the name can also be fun! A name can describe the horse’s personality, such as Patience, Charmer, or Sassy. It can also describe a horse’s physical appearance, like Shorty, Legs, or Speckles. For a horse’s formal registered name, many people like to include parts of the horse’s parents’ names, such as what we did with our horse, Chico. Chico’s formal name, Cutter’s Dart Man, includes part of his sire’s name, Cutter Freckles, and part of his dam’s name, Bonanza Dart.
According to YouPet.com, here are the top 20 most popular names for horses:
We’re happy to see a lot of Old West–inspired names there, but the possibilities are endless! To see just how endless, check out this website: The Horse Name Generator. Every time you click on “create a name,” you’ll get a fun new combination of horse names! In our first few tries, we got “Secret Fury,” “Curly Calamity,” and “Endless Savannah.”
What fun combinations did you come up with?
Posted in Rawhide Ranch
Tagged california horse camp, camp counselor, horse camp, Horseback Riding, rawhide ranch, Rawhide Ranch Blog, Rawhide Ranch Bonsall, Rawhide Ranch California, Rawhide Ranch Camp, San Diego, Southern California, summer camp, western riding camp