The City Gal’s Guide to Dude Ranch Survival
by Maggie McGinnis
Thanks so much for hosting me today! I’m so happy to be here!
In honor of Accidental Cowgirl’s release, the Whisper Creek ranch hands have put together their own City Gal’s Guide to Dude-Ranch Survival :
Early means early: Wake-up’s when the rooster decides it’s wake-up. Not when your pretty little alarm clock goes off
Breakfast is required: And you better eat more than a granola bar. We’ve got work to do, and you need fuel.
Grooming is not: You’re gonna put a hat on over that hair, anyway.
Riding is work: You’ll hate us the first two days, but trust us. Your thighs will thank us for this vacation. Your butt, too.
Horses play tricks: Yeah, don’t let the big eyes fool you. They’ll be the first ones to puff out their bellies to mess with the straps when you saddle them, and then once you’re on, boom! Down you go.
Calves do not want to be caught: We make it look easy, and we’re totally not laughing when we turn you loose to try roping them. Not laughing out loud, anyway.
Trail riding 101: Follow the leader, people. No shortcuts. Shortcuts lead to mooses. Yes, that’s the plural of moose around here. You don’t want to meet one this week. Or two.
Yeah, we do eat those: See that rabbit over there? Cute, yes? But see, if we lose sight of the supply wagon and have to go it alone, that little puffball could totally be dinner. Don’t name it.
No, we definitely don’t eat those: Some mushrooms are good. Some mushrooms are very, very bad. Do not eat the bad ones. In fact, just don’t eat any mushrooms. The hospital’s too far away.
Snakes love sun: Especially sunny rocks. Don’t get near them, especially on horseback.
Snakes bite: Hard.
You can too sleep: That’s nature, people. Nature makes noise. But it’s good noise.
Those twinkly things in the sky?: Those are stars. You might see one or two of them back East. Yep, there’re thousands out here.
You’ll want to stay here forever: Because once you experience a day on horseback, meals by the fire, and a night under the stars, you might never want to go back home.
So that’s the ranch hands’ version of country living advice. What advice would you give someone new to your area?