I have officially survived a week (almost) at a real dude ranch. It was quite an adventure (see previous post), one I won’t soon forget. I decided this particular event was worthy of a top ten list. Here are the top ten things I learned from the dude ranch, in no particular order.

1. Horses are not prissy. They don’t care when, where,or what they poop. They also don’t care if they step in someone else’s poop. I kind of admire them in this, but I’m not ready to join them just yet.

2. It’s better to play dumb. Even if you have had a full year of lessons, I would suggest telling everyone you are a beginner. This will potentially make you look like an amazing prodigy, but definitely keep you from looking like a poser that doesn’t know anything.

3. Going up a rocky mountain on horseback is a lot more scarey than going down a rocky mountain on horseback. It makes no sense to me, but it’s true. Maybe it’s because going up is a choice and going down…well, you can’t stay on the mountain, can you? It has to happen so …..I don’t know.

4. Horses are like kids.They test your limits constantly. I am just as much a push over on horseback as I am as a mom. sigh. I’m pretty sure they had to retrain my horse after I left…and put him on a diet.

5. Horses stumble.I was nervous about taking my horse up the mountain because he had been stumbling the day before. The head honcho told me if I could find a horse that didn’t stumble,it would be a miracle. I wonder…would this apply to men? They all have flaws….hmmmm

6. Wooden hot tubs are way cooler (not in temperature) than tile ones. I don’t know what it was, but that wooden hot tub was just amazing. I felt like I was in the old west. I half expected Owen Wilson or Jacki Chan to walk in while I was there…

7. I take the beauty of the Arizona desert for granted. I grew up here so I don’t think it is anything special. Apparently, many other people are less blind than me. There are many movies, tv shows, songs, ballads, poems, and art pieces based on the Arizona desert hills I’ve looked at most my life.

8. Suckers with scorpions are not the sickest candy in the world. I saw suckers with worms in them for sale at the gift shop. Not sure how much you have to hate a person to give them a worm sucker, but that’s where you can get them. eww

9. My son can survive without technology. It was two days into our stay before I even noticed we had no phone in our room. There was no TV either. My son (13 yr old) had withdrawals, but he made it. I was impressed.

10. No matter what kind of sweet treat my daughter brings me, there is no substitute for potato chips. I had a craving the entire time and there were none to be found. Okay, so this one doesn’t actually have anything to do with the ranch, but it does explain why my keyboard has greasy finger marks on it……cause I said so.

Photo credit: me again…on the trail with wiley teenagers….yeehaw!

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