If I Had Known That!

Farm & Ranch Living - - THE WAY WE LIVE -

There’s no of­fi­cial man­ual for start­ing a dude ranch. Meris Esterly Stout says she wished she’d known a few things on Day 1.

1. There’s a lot of work to off-the-grid liv­ing. I learned it’s im­por­tant to not only be cog­nizant of how much power and wa­ter you use, but also when you use it.

2. When work­ing with horses, a good source of qual­ity hay is so im­por­tant. It’s dif­fi­cult to find in New Mex­ico.

3. Hack­amores are a great al­ter­na­tive to a bri­dle for both horses and rid­ers. My horse wasn’t do­ing well with a bri­dle, so I de­cided to try a hack­amore—a type of bit­less bri­dle—and it made a huge dif­fer­ence. We switched our en­tire herd over to them.

4. I am not a horse­shoer. We thought we would do our own shoe­ing to save money, but we learned that a good far­rier is worth ev­ery penny.

5. Yoga is a great way to re­fresh both phys­i­cally and men­tally for ranch­ers who live life in the sad­dle.

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