Don’t squat with your spurs on - a ranch sig

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Mar 18, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, March 14, 2011

I will start the story of my life, with the beginning of my life. Day One - i was born. (Becca that was for you!)

So we all slept well - the room is big but there are lots of us - so it is a bit of game to keep ourselves off each others toes and our stuff put away. We took showers last night and the bathroom is a throwback from the 50's - in fact the whole place is kinda a throwback from the fifties - but that is largely its appeal.

We are at max capacity this week - 72 people and the dining hall and the trail rides are full - but nothing really seems crowded. And meeting all the families has been wonderful. We already know their names and their kids names and all the kids are playing and looking out for each other - I can’t really describe it, but i bet some of you reading will be able to picture exactly what I am talking about.

Anyway, our room is super close to the dining hall so we stumbled in there right on time and had eggs and ham and biscuits. We signed up for the earliest ride this am (8:30 am) and were off and as you can imagine after the success of yesterday the girls were rearing to go.

Lucy Lin got RC again - her horse from yesterday, but we found out today that his name is short for Ray Charles - and he is blind in one eye. Kelly was on Little Boy - which was an odd name for such a tall horse. I was on a horse named Hammer - and was told he was named that because of how he feels when he is running. hehehehe a far cry from my Cadillac. And Julie got Popeye. Ruthie is reserved for doubles anytime she is needed and I bet that my days on her are finished considering the number of little ones now.

We did have some antics on the trail - i was way in the back with Hammer and the line of horses stopped – which is not weird at all. So we are all sitting there and trying to keep our horses from eating. They weigh like 1,000 lbs so I am not sure what it matters … but I start hearing snippets of what has caused us to stop and Lucy’s name is involved. I tried to not be ‘that’ mom but eventually I said (in a voice that was way more shrill than I meant) what is happening with Lucy?  Well her blind horse kept stopping to scratch himself on the juniper and other bushes that we rode by. And she is so little that it is really no problem, except that then he is too far from the horse in front of him and so he just stands there cause he can’t really see. So she kicks him – but her little boots are so far up and her little kicks are so light that he just twitches – so she’s kicking and kicking for all her worth and RC is just standing there. And all the adults are just laughing and I am sure she has been pulled off by a mountain lion. Anyway – wrangler Jim rode up and gave RC a talking too and all was well. She was even more proud then because she solved a problem! :)

And once I heard Julie with that really great giggle she has and then an ‘ewwww” and found out later that it was because her horse kept shoving his nose in the other horse's butt and then one time the horse was doing what all horses 'doo' on the trail. You would think after getting a nose full of that, Popeye would learn his lesson. I suspect he has not.

After horses, we decided to head into town – there is not much of a town in Bandera but there are some shops and places for the girls and the grandma to spend money. Which they did. Julie got some candy cigarettes and it was funny seeing the girls sitting there with those hanging out of their mouths. I should have gotten a picture – I told them they probably won’t see those again. Julie had no idea what I was talking about cause they are just labeled candy sticks now.
We were only in town a little while b/c we did not want to be late for lunch which was homemade fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Man do these people know how feed us! And during lunch Lucy announced that she was tired and marched right back to her room and bed. I, being a good mom, went with her and my mom, being a good grandma followed her. And Julie and Kelly being good cousins came to keep us company. So we all napped about 1.5 hours and it was great. They have you sign up for your next ride at the meal – we signed up for a 3pm ride.
The ride went great – Lucy lost a coin toss for RC and so she was on Blaze – a bigger, full seeing horse – and she ended up liking it better. Julie got Popeye again and Kelly was on a huge white horse called Lippy. I think the name describes it all there – it kept trying to bite her on the ankle. I was on a horse named Brownie who was the most ‘fun’ horse I have been on so far – we had to be last in the line because he did not like other horses behind him. This actually worked out well for me, because the wrangler that rides in the back – Joe – like to talk as much as me. We had a really nice ride. ;) He used to be a Shop/Agriculture teacher and found himself unable to conform to the restrictions of teaching in public school. Which is not really a surprise considering that he is a wrangler on trail rides now. :)

Oh yeah – I found out that the ranch raises and sells goats as income as well as being a guest ranch and when we ride we usually get to see the herd. There are tons of them and some are tiny babies. I’m going to try to get some pictures of that today. The cool and odd thing is that there is a donkey with them that actually guards the goats – when we ride but this stocky little donkey comes to the edge of the heard and stares at us with these huge ears and big eyes. It is actually a little intimidating! J They say that he stays with them all the time and guards against coyote.
After the ride, we went swimming – it was too cold again. And then had the girls change into the shirts Mary gave them. Mary – they LOVED LOVED the shirts. They are so cute.

We were not supposed to have dinner or entertainment yesterday – Sunday night is the ranch staff’s day off, but they made an exception and provided us sandwiches and left over chicken and some YUMMMMY tortilla soup.

They also had a surprise visitor for us  - a world champion trick roper – he was unbelievable – we got some great pictures. He was funny too – teasing the kids and roped Julie at one point which was great. I will upload some of those pictures for sure. He stood on the back of his horse and did a bunch of complicated things with his rope. He got 4 ladies to stand all along the front of his horse and roped all of them – the ladies, himself standing on the back and the horse – he spun the rope that big in the air. He also jumped in and out of the rope as he was spinning it. We loved watching him and the kids were totally enthralled.

There is a little gift shop on site and lucy got a trick rope (and a belt with little gun and holsters on it) the first day we arrived. Last night at the campfire, I had a line of kids wating to get to try it – I’d give a little demo and then each kid would try. Almost everyone of them could do it. Kelly was like ‘That is the greatest souvenir EVER.”

After watching the trick roper, the kids scattered – there is a play ground and lots of wide open spaces for running and we have been letting the kids run free. We tell them a time to check back in with us and tell them they cannot leave the boundary of the fence – which includes most of the places they would want to be. The girls have done great – they were only late once and after having to sit in the room with us the next time they would have been turned loose – I think they will pay attention to Lucy’s watch. She keeps apologizing – “momma, im so sorry I forgot to look at my watch.” The first time we did it, Kelly and Julie were not here yet – but the place is safe and friendly, so I let lucy try it with a 15 min deadline. At exactly when she was supposed to be back (when the long hand was between the 6 and the 7) she comes busting through the door totally out of breath – she could not figure out where our cabin was and did not want to be late. They both have been LOVING the independence.  

We headed in for the night around 9 and Lucy and I were asleep by 10. I have been getting up at 5 to enjoy a little of the quiet of the ranch and to write this.

Karen - Julie wants me to tell you she is reading :) reluctantly ;)

We miss you guys and wish you were here. Hope g-ma’s surgery goes well today. Today is our last full day at the ranch, so I will try to post something tomorrow for sure. See you soon.
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Susan & Hannah on

This sounds like paradise!! I can't wait to hear more and see more pics. Love ya'll!!

Karen on

Well I am glad she is reading. I miss you guys and really miss Julie. I am happy she is having so fun and thank you so much for the pictures, they are both so cute. Have fun guys!

Mary on

The pictures are great! Julie and Lucy look like the best dressed cowgirls at the ranch! They really look like a couple of ranch hands. That trick roper looks amazing. The girls are probably imagining themselves ridin' and ropin' all over the ranch. yeee ha!!
Love to you all,

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