With spring finally here, many dude ranches are gearing up for the 2015 season. For you, this means that it’s finally time to pack up your cowboy hat and boots and head to where the air is fresh, the scenery is breathtaking, and the adventures are abundant. If this is your first time on a ranch, the following are ten lessons you’re bound to learn during your time there.
1.)Despite What You Thought, You Can Survive Without Technology
Most ranches are remote, which means that your access to Wi-Fi or even your phone network may be close to impossible. However, instead of going Lion King on your mobile device, relax and breathe in the fresh air. Within a few days, you’ll be so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the ranch that you’ll forget that you’ve ever had electrical devices to keep boredom at bay.
2.)Riding a Horse is What You’ve Been Meant to Do All Your Life
Horse riding is one of the main activities ranches have to offer. In addition to being fun, this activity improves your balance, boosts your coordination and motor function, strengthens your muscles, enhances blood circulation, and teaches patience, self-discipline and self-confidence. Learning to ride also has mental and emotional benefits. Research shows that staying and steering horses is a challenge that can stimulate your mind and prevent memory loss. On the other hand, you can choose to be alone with the kindred spirit you’re riding or seek human companionship with other riders.
3.) There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Some ranches will allow you to take part in different chores, some of which you’ll be hesitant to handle since you’re a regular city slicker. However, these tasks are what will build your character and make you appreciate the people working outside offices. You will also enjoy every morsel you eat on the ranch even more knowing you had a hand in getting it to the table. Finally, these chores are bound to be fun, especially when done with other people, such as your family.
4.) Ranch Time is a Great Opportunity for Family Time
Ranch holidays are perfect for families because they offer different activities that are designed for all ages. They also allow all members to bond, be it around the dining table, during square dance and social activities or while working around the ranch. As a result, you’ll go home as one, stronger unit, which is exactly what a family should be.
5.) Food ACTUALLY Has a Flavor You Never Discovered
Some dude ranches grow their own organic produce and raise their own cattle raised on organic feed and fresh water from nearby springs or lakes. Because this food is chemical free, you’ll discover what fresh foods are actually supposed to taste like. Moreover, whether you’re a fan of gourmet ranch meals or country home cooking, you’re bound to find a ranch that caters to your palate. Your dude ranch vacation can also be an epicurean adventure.
6.) Mother Nature is Worthy of Your Praise
Ranches are usually miles away from civilization as you know it, allowing you to enjoy the areas Mother Nature still reigns. Nestled in the mountains or plains, dude ranches will grant you the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful scenery surrounding you and the critters that make it so special. As you don’t get to see these or notice them anywhere else, your time on the ranch will definitely be worthwhile.
Echo Valley Ranch in British Columbia
7.) There are SO MANY Outdoor Activities You Haven’t Discovered
While your outdoor activities in the city may be limited to walking, jogging or partying, a dude ranch has a whole list of things you can do under the sun and later starry sky. For instance, you can go kayaking during the day and camping in the evening????. Even if it’s winter, ranches open during the cold season are bound to offer you different activities such as snowboarding and ice fishing.
8.) Caring for Animals isn’t Easy Physically or Emotionally
Remember how Billy Crystal’s character from ‘City Slickers’ made a connection and adopted the calf he brought to the world? By taking care of animals on the ranch, you’re bound to bond with some even if you’ve never considered growing close with a farm animal. This will bring out a softer edge to your personality and appreciate the furry friends of this Earth more.
9.) The Western Heritage isn’t All Cowboys and Indians
Contrary to what you thought before arriving at the dude ranch, you’re going to discover how deep and interesting the western heritage is. In addition to cowboy history, you’ll learn about important people and figures and their contribution towards the present you’re enjoying at the ranch. Be it through memorabilia, stories or even cooked delicacies, get ready to be submerged deeply into history
10.) You’re Not the Person You Believed You Are in the City
The hard work, honest ranchers, loyal animals and connection you strike with nature is bound to bring OUT the best in you. You’ll challenge yourself and push beyond the limits you’ve established earlier, discovering a new person altogether. You may start appreciate the simpler things in life more as well as material things less.Health and relationships may increase in importance while ambition and status decrease.
Interestingly, these aren’t all the lessons you’ll discover during a next ranch vacation. However, only you can contribute to this list. So book your own Wild West experience at one of our ranches today.