Relax Rejuvenate and Reach New Heights at HCR
We all know that I loved my time at the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch back in May! But what you didn’t know is even though I’m a girl and live in the country I am NOT a country girl. I like being outside (as long as it’s not to hot or to cold), I love to travel and I’ve ridden horses since I was a little girl. But I haven’t ridden horses most of my adult life, but believe it or not it is just like riding a bike! So with all of that out and in the open here are a few things I highly suggest doing before your first dude ranch visit!
First and foremost you NEED to wear cowboy boots especially when riding a horse. I didn’t have my pair here at home when I went and it was a debacle to get a pair. As soon as I got to the ranch I regretted not spending the money on a cheap pair. I brought a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of flip flops but only wore the tennis shoes around the ranch. They were literally ruined by the end of the trip, but that’s ok because I always need a pair of old shoes for something. When we were packing up to leave I realized that bringing plastic bags for shoes/boots would have been a smart idea.
Tip #1- Bring plastic grocery sacks with you for your muddy boots or shoes. This way the mud/smell is contained on your journey home.
The next thing I am going to tell you will make you laugh! Bring extra shoes because on the night of the campfire I followed some fellow campers down to where we thought the campfire was at. Being the blogger I am I had my camera around my neck and my cell phone in my hand while walking. Which is all fine and good until you decide to try to cross a river and literally step into the water to protect said cell phone and camera. Thankfully another guest helped me out of the water and safely onto the bank. We all had a good chuckle at that one.
Tip #2- Bring extra shoes/socks because you never know when they will come in handy.
After a successful campfire I managed to make it back to our cabin with wet shoes and socks. But thankfully I had brought a hair dryer with me so I could dry my shoes. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch does have a laundry facility but I knew it would take all night with trying to keep the dryer door shut, so I tried the hair dryer. The only trouble I had was that the insole of my shoe shrunk but at least I had dry shoes for the last few days of our trip.
Tip #3- Bring newspapers to stuff into your shoes and they will be dry by morning. But also be sure you pack the hair dryer for those shoes/boots for just in case!
Another thing that I learned was that I needed to pack at least one more outfit for our trip. I made it all 5 days with what I had brought with me, but I was lucky. One of our party ended up with a little mud/poop on her from a morning ride and had to change half way through the day. She was a great sport about it, I probably wouldn’t have made it as long as she did and I was the “country” girl out of all five of us.
Tip #4-Pack at least one extra outfit if not two! You will thank me later, I promise! Which also goes into Tip #5 bring a trash bag or other plastic sacks to store your dirty clothes in. We didn’t realize they smelled as bad as they did until after we got home and started sorting our laundry!
Even though I have ridden horses most of my life I did learn one important lesson from the workers at the ranch. When it is time to mount your horse grab a hold of the mane with your left hand and the right hand side of the saddle with your right. By doing that you are able to hoist yourself up onto the horse while keeping the saddle in place. Who knew after 30ish years of riding I could learn something new!?
Tip #6 Bring your water bottles and carabiner with you so you can stay hydrated. Because Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is going green they have a water cooler that you can fill up your bottles at. As you can see above there is always lots to drink as well so that was an added bonus on the hot days we were there. We learned that a carabiner would have been great to have so we could easily carry our bottles with us without loosing the use of our hands.
Tip #7 Take a backpack for your camera, water bottles, sunscreen and bug spray. We were all glad that we had at least two among us for our long days enjoying the outdoors. It came in especially handy the day we decided to visit become more adventurous!
Tip #8 Keep an open mind and have a great time!! I promise you will be glad that you visited Horseshoe Canyon Ranch and you will be able to relax, rejuvenate and reach new heights during your visit!