Not Your Typical Trail Ride – Sunset Supper Ride at the Historic Reesor Ranch
From the time that I was born and before – my family kept horses. I loved going out to visit and ride but when I got older I did not have as much time to go out as other sports and activities were my priority. My significant other grew up on a ranch and his family still does most of the work on horseback. So, when we started dating, I got back in the saddle.
When I found out about the Historic Reesor Ranch and their Sunset Supper Ride – I was curious to see what it was like. I had not really heard too much about it and thought it may be something fun to do for date night; so, we booked our supper and ride. When the day came, the drive out there was relaxing and very picturesque. When we were pulling up there was a bustle of activity with a few kids and their families and vehicles lined up one by one all along the Ranch Hall Grill.
As we got out of the vehicle we were greeted by one of the wranglers at the ranch, Mary. She introduced herself to us and said that she would be accompanying us on our ride. Mary brought us over to the Ranch Hall Grill where Scott Reesor was outside slaving away over the hot barbecue. He asked us how the drive was and how we would like our steaks. Once we told him, he threw two more on the grill and began to cook them. We walked into the Ranch Hall and were immediately greeted by Theresa Reesor and a few of the guests that were there. She introduced us to the guests as well as her mother who was sitting on a stool by the bar. Theresa also introduced us to the other wrangler that would be accompanying us for the ride, Nicole.
After a nice talk with some of the guests, Theresa and the wranglers, we began to dish up for supper. The baked potatoes, garlic bread, and salad were served buffet style. You put the toppings on both your salad and your potato so everything was just way you would like it. Scott brought in the steaks and when you cut into it, it was cooked exactly the way you would have liked to have had it cooked. For me, rare is the way to go and it isn’t always easy to cook – this one was done to perfection! During supper, Scott sat down to treat us to some Cowboy Poetry. He read us three poems – one was written by his grandmother, one by his mother, and the last one he wrote. These poems allowed you to escape into the world that he was talking about – it created a beautiful – or in the case of Scott’s poem, heart racing – picture in your mind. You could see the rolling hills, smell the sweet air, and feel the warm breeze – or in Scott’s poem see the raging cow, smell the manure, and feel the air escape you as you run for the fence to avoid the blow from the old girl. One of the guests was from Australia and he then read us his favourite poem about his homeland. There were many questions asked by the other guests about some of the terminology that he had used. He was very happy to answer any questions that cropped up! After Cowboy Poetry we got to indulge in dessert – a “build your own” ice cream sundae!
After a delicious supper and dessert, we bid goodbye to the other guests and Scott and Theresa and headed over to the barn and pen where the girls were waiting with the horses. As we got up to the barn the girls handed us our waivers that we were to read and sign. After signing the waivers they told us which horses we would be riding. We then grabbed a brush and began to brush off our horses. We then put on the saddle blanket and the saddle which they allowed us to do ourselves. They were there in case we needed assistance. For safety purposes, Nicole put the bridals on the horses. After I mounted and was in the saddle the wranglers helped adjust the stirrups (as a 5′ 3″ girl with a 28″ inseam, this a regular occurrence). We took a turn around the pen, just to get used to the horses and allow them to get used to us and then we were off!
As somebody that rides on occasion, I was hoping that it wasn’t going to be a head to tail trail ride. To my excitement, it wasn’t! It was very relaxed and casual – we rode side by side and staggered as we engaged in conversation for an hour and a half. We had a few questions for the girls as we were out and one of them was about what their most popular ride was. Mary told us that they were usually asked to go on the 2 hour ride the most – not the one with supper necessarily, but a 2 hour ride nonetheless. They said that in spring they tend to see more couples without children and in the summertime, when school is out, they see lots of families!
We made our way up the side of a big hill with native grasses and flowers and at the tip top of the hill were a few conglomerate cliffs. As we began to descend, the view and the landscape changed. On the other side of the hill we started to see more trees and bushes as well as taller grass and flowers. One of my favourite things about the Cypress Hills Destination Area is how you don’t need to travel very far to start seeing vast changes in the landscape, as well as the diversity of vegetation and the abundance of plants and animals.
Throughout the rest of the ride we made our way through a valley and lots of trees and bush. We saw a newborn fawn follow its mama – leaping and bounding across the tall grasses and into the thick brush! The conversation between the four of us was very casual and relaxed. We talked about our summer jobs and how we were happy to be doing something that we all enjoyed and saw as useful when it came to our future careers. We also talked about school and the likes and dislikes we had when it came to certain classes, professors, and expenses. The ride went full circle around the ranch and we found ourselves at the front of the barn, rather than the rear where we started. As we got off, so did the bridal, saddle and saddler blanket. We went and brushed the horses one last time before departing. We said goodbye to Nicole and Mary and thanked them for a wonderful evening.
On the ride home we gushed about supper and the ride itself. We were both extremely delighted that it wasn’t your “typical trail ride”. After a long evening of riding, eating, and wholesome conversation – I was exhausted! I went to sleep easily with a full stomach and heart. This was definitely a night I would recommend to anyone looking for a relaxed evening with friends, family or your significant other – on the back of a horse!