Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Red Horse Mountain Ranch

So. worth. every. penny.

The "crik". The colors of the rocks were so beautiful.

(for our friend Syringa)

They are refurbishing the saloon, where they'll have live music and dancing. It sits down in the field amidst the horse pastures.

Anna practicing to be a "wrangler".

This sweetie-pie is related to the hairy beasts that live on their ranch in Boise. I've been charged by those long-horned monsters before; they don't like to have their pictures taken, for the record. This one, Belle, really was sweet, and she LOVES to eat muffins. And, uh, anything else.

This is Poco; he had the most gorgeous markings. I want him.

This place is so magical. From the moment we arrived, we felt like we'd come "home". As we arrived, someone came bounding out of the lodge, greeted both Anna and I by name and carried in our luggage. She gave us a great tour of the property and told us to be sure to stick around after dinner for the cowboy poet. After we ate, they set up a comfy leather couch in front of the huge stone fireplace and he serenaded us as Anna lay in my lap. The other guests hadn't yet arrived, so it was just me and Anna and the wranglers, enjoying this crusty old guy with the voice of an angel.

(A note about the "wranglers": they are all 20-somethings who share a common love of horses. They live on the ranch, some year-round, and you can feel the sense of community. It would be Anna's dream job (mine too, if I were 20 years younger), to live on that gorgeous ranch and spend each day caring for and riding horses. Some of them come for a season or two and end up staying for years. One of our wranglers was raised in Connecticut and was on a yuppie career-path when she realized that she didn't want to spend her life in pantyhose and heels, surrounded by sky-scrapers. So she made her way out west and she's been on the ranch for 8 years now.)

As we were eating breakfast the next morning, one of the gals came and sat down next to Anna and very solemnly said "I just talked to the wranglers and they're short-handed down at the barn this morning. We don't know how we're going to get the horses ready to ride in time. Do you think you might be able to help?" Anna just BEAMED. She didn't even finish her breakfast because she didn't want to be late. They put her to work brushing the horses and even had her pick their hooves. She loved every minute of it.

We got to go on two long rides on Saturday; despite it being chilly and there still being some snow on the mountain, it was so beautiful and Anna had perma-grin the entire time. She charmed the wrangler ahead of her by talking the entire time, telling her everything she knew about horses (which is A LOT) and the different experiences she's had riding. She remembers the name (and breed and color) of every horse she's ever ridden.

Yesterday I received the nicest email from the owner, thanking us for our visit and saying how "extraordinary" everyone found Anna to be and that she was on his radar to become a wrangler in 2020. It was very cute. He also said that, as a fellow Boise High School grad, I would be entitled to a life-long discount; the discount code is the name of an eccentric teacher we discovered we'd both had and had shared a laugh about.

I'm telling you, the ranch is so beautiful and the people so charming, that by the time you leave you are already plotting how soon you can come back. I know I am.


Fancy Schmancy said...

That sounds so awesome! I loved horses so much when I was growing up. Do you think it's too late for this yuppie from CT to drop everything and move out West? Or maybe I could just send them my son?

kate said...

It's NEVER too late, Fance. Anything is possible.

Dee said...

That was an awesome trip for you girls. Thank you for sharing and those wonderful pictures. What a great place/ranch.

Jodi said...

OK, I expect to get that "discount code" from you sometime so I can take Adam there - even though he's 15, he'd be just like Anna - in heaven with perma-grin. Hey, maybe we could take Anna and Adam together sometime!

Jodi said...

Oh, and I loved the pictures!

kate said...

Jod, let's do it!! It is spendy but when you figure that it includes three meals a day, plus all the "activities", it's a pretty good deal. And like I said, worth every penny.

glenna said...

You have beautiful photos!
Love horse pictures.

kate said...

Thanks Glenna, and thanks for stopping by!

wild child said...

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now - can't even remember how I got here... it might cramp my brain if I tried too hard to remember... but I wanted you to know how much I enjoy it.

I think I started w/ your "Ex Wife of the Year" post and nearly peed my pants laughing. Your last post about being a Trotter was adorable and this post about going to the ranch with your daughter Anna sounded awesome. Okay, I have to admit I'm also a little jealous because you live in Spokane and I lived in Sandpoint Idaho for 3 whole months and still pretend I live there. Okay enough of that.

Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know I adore your blog - am always looking for blogs such as yours and wish they weren't so doggone hard to find. But what a gem. Please stop by my nutsy-cuckoo blog any time - you're always welcome :)

Meg :)

kate said...

Aww, thanks Meg! Great to hear from you and I'm so glad you enjoy my writing. I'm headed over to check you out right now.

PS. I LOVE Sandpoint! That definately would have been my preference over Spokane, but, well, life takes you where you need to be.

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