In case you may have been wondering, I am still riding. I’m still going to the ranch twice a year and I’m still finding it a wonderfully fun and rewarding holiday. Nothing is likely to change in that respect.
Each time I go it seems to stun me even more. The last trip was in the level of care from staff shown to a friend who had a bad fall. Above and beyond doesn’t even come close to describing how they were looked after.
Obviously it hung in my mind while riding, but it didn’t put a cramp on the rest of the week and my friend was as active in the holiday outside of the riding as they would have normally been. As always the riding was excellent. I was on my usual steed and we’ve clearly got an understanding now. I’ll do my best and he’ll make do enough to make me look good!
New friends have been made on each trip and contact is still there with a number of them. I’m fully expecting the same of the next trip too. Familiar faces that you chat with but don’t necessarily stay in touch with (my reluctance to be on facebook is part of the reason there) appear and in many respects you pick up from the previous year and in some respects it’s as if it’s continuing from where the conversation was left a year previous.
The staff, as always, treat you more like family than friends. I was amazed that after 7 months a conversation about work was picked up on by one of the wranglers. If you took an average of 50 guests a year (and that’s probably a low one), that’s still over 2500 guests per year and to remember one specific conversation out of all of those adds to the family rather than friends feeling.
I’ve even recently done some riding elsewhere and it was pleasing to know that I could still cope with, and canter, in an English saddle, though it did feel rather small. I’m sure a large part of that is due to the ranch experience and the lessons I’ve had there. In this day and age I think it’s classed as a transferable skill!
Needless to say, I can’t see any reason why I won’t be returning for a number of years to come.