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Another song title, another song I’ve never heard of, but again I thought it appropriate as I was basically spending the Wednesday (and the whole week) in someone else’s garden (of sorts).

Wednesday morning arrived in much the same way as the previous days had.  The sun was out, the sky was blue and there was literally not a cloud to spoil the view…but I’m getting into a different song title here!

One of the wonderful things about staying at the ranch at this time of year was that all meals could be outside if you wanted to, including breakfast.  It was a very nice time of the day as the weather was just starting to warm up but it wasn’t the noticeable heat that would arrive later in the day when you walked out of the door and instantly noticed it.  Another great thing is the personal touches that the ranch has, and one of these is the serving staff.  It was nice that you would be asked by name how you were, and this would be before putting in the cooked breakfast request that would have your name on it anyway.  It’s a great way of making guests feel special!

A topic of conversation, that would keep us busy for the next couple of days while they stayed, was the arrival of 3 guests who clearly knew each other but didn’t quite seem to fit in with the holiday.  I had an interesting encounter with them the day before on the haywagon to the breakfast when discussing the lack of TVs in the rooms.  Personally I find that quite nice, it’s clearly stated on the website and yet this seemed to be a surprise to these people.  Turns out it wasn’t so much surprise, but more a fishing question.  These people weren’t here on holiday, they were working, and they were reviewing the ranch.  I didn’t know this at the time, but I repeated the ranches policy that they didn’t have TVs as they were too much of a distraction.  I agree.  It’s far too easy to slouch in front of a tv and not get on with stuff.  By not having that at the ranch, you didn’t spend hours in your room, you came out, made friends and did stuff.  In my view, it’s a great move by the ranch and helps build the friendships.  The reviewers were quite guarded and never admitted why they were there.  I’ve not seen the review they ended up giving.  If it wasn’t positive, the response is quite simple.  They were wrong!

By the end of the day I knew I’d be half way through the week.  I’d already done a lot and felt that I’d been at the ranch for ages, all in a good way.  However I also knew that it was probably a good day to take things relatively easy so that I still had the energy to enjoy the second part of the week.  The easy option was a fast ride in the morning and then team penning in the afternoon.  This gave plenty of down time to relax and not rush the breakfast.

The fast ride was something slightly different as we were heading for the same place as the slow ride, just leaving a little later and getting there a lot quicker!  The destination of this ride, before heading back home was called ‘The Lookout’ and from the picture it’s name was justified.

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The Lookout was a nice canter out and back, but getting to the top was definately a slow walk.  The paths would have been tricky for a walker, for a horse I was slightly nervous.  There were lots of large and small broken off stones that could easily move under foot and I wondered how my balance would be if the horse was to have a big stumble.  I have to say that my horse clearly liked these sorts of paths and didn’t put a single foot wrong.  Either going up or down I didn’t feel him have to adjust once.  The views over the valley from the top were stunning, you could see for miles.

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The area at the start and end of the ‘climb’ is famous for having been in a large number of films, old and new.  It’s best known for the final shoot out in the western ‘Winchester 73’.  Having watched the film it is certainly recognisable and it was nice to have ridden somewhere famous.

The afternoon team penning was great fun again, and our times were improving, at least on the whole they were.  Every now and again one of the cattle would decide that it wasn’t going to play ball, and when one decides it’s going to be difficult, it is quite capable of making the wranglers struggle as well as us amateurs.  I have to be brutally honest though.  While there was great satisfaction in getting quicker times, it was a bigger giggle when the cattle did play up.

The evening entertainment was a performer under the name of Loop Rawlings.  He’s done quite a lot of TV, including stuff in the UK.  However I hadn’t heard of him.  He was though very very skilled.  As his name suggests, one of the main things he did was rope tricks, but there were also some gun tricks and some whip work, and was the whip loud!  His finale was a rope trick with the rope alight while Ring of Fire played.

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It was a nice fun way to wind down at the end of the day.  Having had a go at lassoing earlier in the week, I could appreciate that he was showing a great deal of skill and that I would have a long way to go with my lassoing.

Some chat with friends and a few beers saw the day to an end, with the promise of more riding and enjoyment to come.

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