The first stop along my America trip was to Tucson, Arizona, where we stayed at the White Stallion Ranch. Jet lagged, we woke up at 5am with nothing to do until our first horse ride at 9am, so my sister, Hannah, and I took a walk around the ranch.
The weather was gorgeous, but very hot! Something we’re not used to in England. We arrived at night so we didn’t get the chance to see the beautiful scenery surrounding
the ranch but in the morning we could see all of the mountains and cacti and the horses. It was incredible to see! One of the handlers that worked there drove us out to the desert for breakfast before our first ride and we got to meet some of the other people staying there, whilst looking around at the amazing views. After being paired up with our horses we had our first slow ride through the desert and then spent the rest of the day by the pool as it was too hot to do anything else. We also got to watch the Team Penning in the evening where the ranch guests had to herd cattle into a pen, which we unfortunately couldn’t participate in because we hadn’t been on a fast ride yet.
The next day in Tucson was pretty similar. Instead of a slow ride in the morning we were tested in the paddock for a fast ride, where we had to gallop on our horses and then bring them to a controlled stop. My horse was called Federale. The fast ride was incredible! Once you got the hang of
Western riding, and knew that you weren’t going to fall off, it was great! I managed to release my death grip on the saddle enough to actually hold the reins properly and ride like a real cowgirl!
On our last morning we had a final fast ride, just Hannah, my mum and myself. We went on a different route to the day before and the view was spectacular! Once you rode away from the ranch there were no other buildings or civilisation, you were just alone in the massive desert with your horse, the mountains on the horizon, and the cacti and the sunshine. I miss that feeling now, of being so free that you feel like you’re in a different time. You could imagine the old Wild West, being with real Cowboys!
It was an amazing start to the trip.