Rocking Horse Ranch – My Happy Place

In Highland, NY, there’s an all inclusive dude ranch called Rocking Horse Ranch and I dream of having a second career as a RHR wrangler.

(Stops to admire that sentence.)

When I was in my early teens in the 1980s, my family went to RHR one summer on vacation. Now that I have kids of my own, we’ve gone ~a handful of times with the kids. It’s not a cheap place–you could go on a cruise for the same cost–but my parents have taken us there for the last four+ years. My mom and dad, my sister, her husband, and their two kids, and my family of five spend 3 nights in what I consider a little bit of heaven.

One of my co-workers loves to hear about RHR and she decided it sounds like Dirty Dancing with horses. And without the dancing. She’s kind of right. There’s all-included food of all varieties; an outside pool and an inside pool, both with water slides; a lake with kayaks, waterskiing, and the banana boat; the fun barn; a playground; archery & bb gun range; other stuff; and MOST IMPORTANTLY the horses.

I. Love. Horses. When I was young, I had a t-shirt that said this:


in those fuzzy, iron-on letters and a picture of a running horse. I had another that said, “Nuzzle My Muzzle” with two horses nosing each other.

I haven’t grown out of it. I’m just sadly unable to ride very often–something that I must remedy–so when we’re at RHR, I make the most of it and go on several trail rides a day. The kids ride some, too, but I’m the one who could hang out at the stable all day long.

Two years ago, one of the RHR wranglers told me I had a really nice seat on a horse. It was just about the nicest compliment anyone has ever given me.

Sometimes if I’m having a bad day, I think about the fact that some parallel universe contains a Sarah who works at RHR as a wrangler. Hard job: they arrive at 6 am and leave at 5:30 pm, care for the horses, clean the barn, and ride 6 hours a day. But there are days when that sounds like sheer heaven. RHR is one of my happy places.

If you ever go, my favorite horse is Calamity. She’s a feisty smallish mare who LOVES to run and will get away with anything you allow her. But she’s also super responsive, listens when you set boundaries, and she’s beautiful. I love a saucy mare; they’ve always tended to be my favorites, even when I was young. I used to love this horse named Skag who I rode at Watching Stables. She was a kind of ugly-cute horse with an attitude.

Anyway. If you happen to be near NY State and you’re looking for a vacation place with your family, think about Rocking Horse Ranch. I think you’d like it! 🙂

Tomorrow, back to a post about writing! (Riding, writing, whatever!)



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