We like to go on trips when we are on holiday so we are not stuck in any one place at a time and we get to see more than one place at a time too. We were looking on Viator at what trips we could do while we were in America this time and we came across a genuine Western Ranch Rodeo experience. I have always wanted to go to a dude ranch and see a real rodeo. We booked it and received the ticket with the details of the day. The ranch was located at Southern Osceola County. We were to get picked up at the hotel were we staying at and be taken to the ranch where we would stay for the day . I heard from my friend that these places do not treat the animals very well which upset me as we love animals but we had already booked the trip and I wanted to go more than ever now just to find out if she was right. (more on my findings later in the blog)
The day came and it was one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen, blue skies dotted with fluffy blue clouds, a warm breeze blowing in our faces. The bus picked us up and off we went, the drive was about one and a half hours and when we arrived the ranch was amazing. Sprawling fields, golden sunshine it was perfect. The bus driver directed us to the man who will guide us throughout the day. The day began with my favourite part of the whole trip, the hayride.
We were helped onto a huge trailer on the back of a tractor and we sat on hay bales and off we went. The tractor drove around the fields of the ranch while a local cowboy played his guitar and sang some old country favourites. I literally have never been so relaxed in my life. If i could bottle that feeling i would be rich. We watched the wildlife as we sat back soaking up the sun. Apart from stopping a couple of time to open and shut gates the ride seemed to go on forever and we will remember this trip for the rest of our lives and this was only the first part of the day.
What next? Ooh a bbq. Yummy we were getting a bit hungry by now. The guide showed us to the bbq area, it was like a wooden marquee with tables and chairs all around and then across the room was a row of tables stocked with food. BBQ chicken, hot dogs, ribs, burgers you name it, they had it. We filled up our plates and headed off to find our spot to sit. We found a table right of the back of the room and got sat down. Oh no we forgot drinks. On a table at the side of us were drinks dispensers full of lemonade.
Two glasses of iced lemonade and i was off back to the table. We loved the bbq, i don’t know how they cooked those ribs but they were delicious. After the bbq we had a bit of free time to explore the ranch. There were a few shops which sold genuine cowboy boots and hats. we had a good look around the shops to pass some time while we waited for the rodeo to start. The work and detail that went into making these hats and boots was amazing, they were so beautiful i wanted to buy them all but living in the UK when would i wear them? Such a shame i did not still have a horse! What next?
A genuine wild west looking bar!!! OMG! i am in heaven! the only thing missing was the swinging doors. I don’t know if they were just in the movies but i really wanted to walk through some.
We went in for a beer and a cool down as it must have been high twenties outside maybe even hotter! Chris spotted the souvenir glass to get his beer in! Can you guess? Yes it was a cowboy boot. He was like a kid in a sweet shop lol! Can we have a boot-ful of beer and I had a cocktail (of course! although i cannot remember for the life of me what it was called) Before we know it the time has come for the rodeo to begin. We made our way to the stalls to get a seat with a good view of the show. The compere of the Westgate Ranch Rodeo came on the microphone and the show began.
First on was the bull riding, i was watching for straps on the bulls privates as my friend had told me they tie them up to make the bull buck and i am not sure but i think she might be right! I don’t agree with this, although i am not educated enough to make an informed comment on the ethics of this so i wont. All i will say is i dont think i will go to anther rodeo unless i have researched it so i am able to make an informed decision. Anyway off my soap box back to the rodeo. Next was the trick riding, now this was impressive. Two of the riders were raised on horses and were 6 and 9 years old. The tricks they did on those horses were so skillful and precise it was truly amazing.
Our daughter would have done this if she was born in America as she was horse crazy when she was small and would literally jump on any horse she could. This was truly a day to remember, it left me with a pang of guilt about the ethics of animal treatment and i am going to research the subject so i am better informed. All in all i loved it from start to finish and it gave us a real glimpse into the life of a real dude ranch and all it entails which i dont think either of us will forget in a long time.
As always thanks so much for reading our tales….
Still loving being me
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