I suppose I should have really used a dancing catch phrase (Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC for those who won’t know) on the evening when I did the line dancing, but it sums up the holiday better to have it at the end. To be fair there is still one more day, but that’s the return leg and there’s no riding, so this is the last riding day of the holiday.
I woke up after a good night’s sleep (always guaranteed after an all-day ride) and wasn’t feeling too achy. Having not been riding regularly at home there was always the fear that it could have been too much but I think having a horse you feel comfortable on always helps. It was a slow start to the day with the breakfast ride out to the cook out followed by a slow ride back. I could have done more but I wanted to do one last fast ride and with the team penning in the afternoon I wanted to give my horse a bit of a break between breakfast and the fast ride.
Route of the Saturday Breakfast Ride – Out and Back
While I suspect there will be more times when this happens, it was nice to take a fast ride that went out on a totally different route to any that I had taken before. Sure we crossed paths previously taken and on the route home we re-joined more familiar territory, but it gives an idea of how the ranch is capable (as mentioned on previous holidays) of hosting an all-day ride without repeating a single trail. There are still rides that I haven’t done and I expect I will complete one of those next time I go but it was refreshing. The ride itself was uneventful. A few stumbles on the way back when loping, but nothing I hadn’t had before and I was used to keeping my balance. I will probably be requesting him again for my next visit if available.
Saturday Morning Fast Ride
With 4 hours to spare there was time to relax by the pool. One of the ‘innovations’ with the redesign of the pool area was that music was played through speakers. Until now the streaming hadn’t been a problem and the stream isn’t determined by the ranch, but someone somewhere was having fun. Lift music by a pool feels very unnatural. Thankfully it wasn’t too loud and chat with friends easily drowned out the tunes and in reality gave us all something to laugh about while poolside.
Only one ride remained and that was the team penning. Always a nice way to finish the holiday (though I have been reliably informed that the ½ day perimeter ride is also a great way to finish and I’m sure I will try that again sometime). As always it was good fun and for a while, in a totally uncompetitive way of course (cough cough) we were leading, but eventually we were beaten by a couple of seconds. That said, as ever, everyone left the arena with a smile on their face. What was remarkable, and this says a lot about the ranch, is that an elderly couple who hadn’t ridden before the start of the week were still able to take part, all be it at a slightly slower pace and the joy they had from the experience spoke for itself.
With no riding the next day and only breakfast to get up for, there was the chance to stay up to the early hours chatting. This we did with gusto and managed to not only see in the next day, but also stayed up until one of the wranglers who we all new returned from holiday at an hour that most people would consider unsociable. However it was great to catch up and until his arrival many wonderful conversations with friends old and new were had.
Eventually it was time to hit the sack and for those with early flights, some goodbyes were said with the hope we would meet up again in a years’ time if not before.