Family ties hold us together; connecting us across time to those who came before us. Connecting us to those whose decisions about life have affected the direction of our own life. Their dedication to hopes, dreams, and goals in life leave a legacy to us who follow. The idea of being who you are because of the choices someone else made years before you were born may seem stifling to some, but not for me. I will be forever grateful for the pioneer spirit of my great great great grandparents who first settled in the place I now call home.
Growing up guest ranch creates a unique kind of person. A guest ranch kid has a skill set that is wide and varied. They meet new families, couples, and individuals every week who have traveled from all corners of the nation and the world. Meeting and entertaining this wide variety of people creates in a person the ability to strike up a conversation with just about anyone and make them feel welcome. Guest ranch kids know the meaning of hard work; whether that work is scrubbing a floor, mowing a lawn, cleaning a barn, doctoring a sick horse or preparing a meal for people or horses. If idle hands are the devil’s handy work, you can be sure that a guest ranch kid will never meet the devil.
Guest ranch kids have a unique appreciation for their western heritage. For those who are lucky enough to live the western lifestyle, whether that be on a cattle ranch in Colorado or a farm in Idaho, you can bet they have a great appreciation for the life they get to live. A guest ranch kid shares in that appreciation but it goes a step farther for them. They not only live and experience the western life, they get to show it to others; to show someone who has never experienced life outside of the concrete jungle the beauty of a dusty trail. They get to introduce a traveler from across the pond to the beauty of a western sunset on the Rocky Mountains. And they get to show a newly made friend the joy of caring for a good ranch horse after a long day in the saddle.
For me, growing up guest ranch meant I spent the summer working and riding horses while my friends hung out at the beach. It meant that over Christmas break, while my friends spent their time at the local ski resort, I spent my time driving teams for sleigh rides and making sure the popcorn was fresh and full. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I cherish my childhood memories spent on the ranch. Time spent teaching other children how to ride and care for a horse has been infinitely more valuable to me than the perfect tan I may have missed out on. Growing up guest ranch shaped the woman that I am today. Today, my own children are able to experience ranch life. It is my joy to share with them the passion, pride, and perseverance that is the western life and growing up guest ranch.