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The day dawned and it was not a promising one. I’d had probably one of the worse nights of sleep I’ve ever had at the ranch as was feeling very below par. Given that I was still less than half way through the holiday I decided that it would be better to take the morning off and have an easy ride in the afternoon if I was feeling better. Of all the days to be missing out, this was probably the best as it was a mountain ride in the morning and only a slow ride in the afternoon before the rodeo.

Taking some extra time off was nice though, and I wasn’t the only one. I suspect that on any given day there would be a few people not riding for one reason or another. I had a chance to amble around without the need to be anywhere for a specific time. Lunch would be my first appointment.

Holiday’s aren’t really a place where you consider paperwork, but the holiday had created some. First off was to sort through the photo’s that I had already taken and transfer them onto the computer. Next was some emails (the computer was on after all) and then finally I used the opportunity to get my postcards written and passed to the office for posting. Having sorted the postcards I felt it was a good chance to take some more photos.

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There are all sorts of stuff around the ranch, this table and chair set being outside the shop and they are quite useable.

One of the things that probably gets overlooked at the ranch is the ‘other’ stuff. By that I mean things like the cinema, the games room (I still haven’t been in either) and the petting zoo. I’m not sure if the animals are added to from time to time at the zoo as it’s normally on the far side of where I stay on the ranch and not on any walking thoroughfare, probably for good reason so the animals aren’t disturbed. They are well looked after, and as you can see, they even have some neat tools to play with!

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A converted play ground slide and hut for the goat, though I’d be very impressed if I saw it using the ladder.

Lunchtime was the one time that we would go to the cookout without riding, or at least not riding a horse. Our numbers had also grown with the arrival for a day of a photography group. This meant there were three wagons taking us out and back for lunch, but everything was smooth, at least in terms of the operation of getting us out there. The ride itself could never be described as smooth. It’s an unmade road, the wagons don’t have the most up to date suspension, and while the hay isn’t hard to sit on, it’s not the same as memory foam. However all that said, it’s always good fun and an opportunity to chat with people as you’re driven out and back to the cookout. The food, as ever, was good and the big issue is to make sure that you don’t have seconds, or even thirds. Visiting groups are always interesting, as I’ve commented on before. This one was no different and there was the usual mix. Thankfully despite a nice camera as well I wasn’t going to get mixed up with them, being about half their age, if not younger from the looks of things!

With some food in my I felt a bit more like myself and headed out on the slow ride. It was nice as I had friends on the ride as well, so a good chance to chat while making our way through the desert as well. There’s always something happening at the ranch, and this year is no exception. The pool had already been refurbished, and on the ride I discovered a new development, a second cook out area. This is forward planning for the main cookout to be repaired but not affect the normal events at ranch like the breakfast rides and the lunch I’d just had. It was also a chance for some educational advancement, finding out the difference between the cattle and how their horns develop.

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The ranch’s cattle roam free within it’s boundaries.

The Wednesday afternoon slow ride. Wednesday slow ride

Wednesday Afternoon’s Slow Ride Link.

With the ride over there was good time to get to the bleachers for the rodeo. There’s little to say here that hasn’t been said before, but it was good fun and nice to watch much better riders than I show just what the horses are capable of. It’s also an opportunity to hopefully get some good action photos.

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Barrel Racing Demonstration

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Roping Demonstration

After a quick dip in the pool there was still plenty of time to get ready for dinner. This time around though, given the little sleep the previous night, it was an early night for real this time. I had every plan to make sure that tomorrow would be a fuller day.

Links and screen shots of actual rides courtseyof Sports Tracker

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