Western fun on the Lazy T Ranch
WRITTEN BY Elaine Macdonald
Located between Palmdale and Leona Valley, the Lazy T Ranch has been in the Tremblay family since 1972. The family’s ranch was once originally part of the Ritter Ranch homestead and was known for raising cattle and dairy cows.
After the Tremblays purchased 15 acres of the original homestead they started a small boarding facility. The leadership of the ranch responsibilities has been handed down to Jay Tremblay, present owner and one of the managers of the Lazy T Ranch.
“I keep everything in good repair, and I pick up lots of horse poop. We have 80 horses on the property. It is important to keep the ranch clean,” Tremblay said. “There are mounds of hard work involved to maintain everything in good running condition and stay finely tuned. We do not rent horses. We have a new venue of activities, which includes boarding horses, riding lessons, and parties.
“The community around the ranch has changed over the last 40 years to become more urban. Many people consider the ranch to be out in the country. We have many city folks bring their children to visit our ranch. Most of the children have not touched or have ridden a horse before.
“We give the families the opportunity to enjoy our Western ranch and become cowboys and cowgirls for a day. We want our guests to enjoy the positive experience when they visit the Lazy T.”
According to Tremblay, there’s approximately 80 miles of trails that can be accessed from the ranch. The trails connect to Anaverde and to Sierra Highway and network over to Bouquet Canyon in Leona Valley. He anticipates that in the future these trails will be designated in perpetuity for horseback riding, hiking and mountain bicycling.
For the last six years, Tenaya Glynn has been acting ranch manager. Denise Marsh, who is related to the Tremblays, has grown up on the ranch and is the riding and training instructor who works with children and adults.
“Denise gives short lessons to very young children with the accompaniment of a parent. She also gives riding lessons to adults,” Tremblay said. “We know that we can help people who are fearful of horses. Some older folks want to learn to ride, but they must first overcome their fear of the animal.
“Recently one of our older students completed a goal on her bucket list. She overcame her fear of horses, learned to ride, and then purchased her own horse.”
Western town pony parties
In the last three years, Tremblay has added a new member to his family, his wife, Wendy.
“I don’t ride horses. I support the work that Jay does on the ranch. It was my idea to promote the Western town birthday pony parties for children,” Wendy said. “We have modified a section of the ranch into a wonderful Western playground.
“The children’s party area includes a partially enclosed picnic area, large barbeque, a bounce house, hot walker tire swings, pony-led rides, vintage truck hay ride, and visits to the farm animals. (We had) 24 children celebrating a birthday party in the Western playground. We are here to make people happy.”
Besides running the ranch, the couple have regular day jobs. Wendy is a UPS driver with 26 years with the company. Jay is employed by Edison and has 35 years’ experience.
The Western-themed Lazy T Ranch is full of character and memorabilia. The original family house was built in 1913. The center of the property features a large, modern horse barn and two arenas, which is surrounded by old authentic Western buildings, Conestoga wagons, and images of old cowboys and Indians.
“We have a little Western church on-site that is used for weddings. At the other end of the property we have a colorful outdoor veranda and billiard room that is used for the outdoor parties. One of our parties was hosted by the Antelope Valley chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen,” Wendy said.
Backcountry Horsemen membership ride
Once a year, the Antelope Valley chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen holds its annual membership ride on Lazy T Ranch. The BCH hosts one public ride a year to have social interactions and to introduce other equestrians to the activities of the BCH. Cindy Brickner from Mojave is a 10-year BCH member and helps with the media events within the organization.
There were 44 riders who attended the most recent three-hour ride for the public.
“Paul Frisbey, charter member of the Antelope Valley unit, led the fast ride with six riders. I led the larger group on the slower social three-hour ride,” Brickner said. “We host our event each year at the Lazy T Ranch because of the great outdoor facilities and network of trails adjacent to the ranch. It is also a great place to hold training demonstrations.”
After the trail ride everyone settled in under the veranda to enjoy a potluck lunch, which included a variety of Dutch-oven-cooked meals and desserts.
“Demonstrations followed lunch, including the correct way to high-tie line a horse and introduce a horse to accept a pack saddle,” Brickner said. “Antelope Valley BCH members Marcy Watton and Paul Frisbey demonstrated the correct steps to add panniers to the pack saddle on the horse.
“It is important to know how to work with animals to accept pack equipment so that we can access the national forest and wilderness areas.”
“We also educate users to leave no trace of their passage and camping area. We teach others to leave the forests as pristine as we found them.
“The BCH volunteers do trail maintenance and trail clearing. The BCH partners with the U.S. Forest Service. Our members attend training classes on the correct way to use a forestry saw to be used on fallen trees that block a trail.
“During our demonstration we explain what our objectives are and what our volunteers do to help keep trails open.”
For more information about the Lazy T Ranch, call 661/947-2664. For Backcountry Horsemen, go to www.bchc-avunit.org/ or email email@example.com.