Well, what a week we’ve had with so many new faces and nationalities visiting the Ranch it has felt like a gathering of the United Nations at times! And this is exactly why I love my job.
Every year, I feel privileged to show tourists the very best that this beautiful island has to offer – while they sit on top of the best horses the island has to offer – and it is a real pleasure to hear about their lives and where they come from. This week alone, we have been visited by tourists from the UK, Germany, China, Russia and America.
Thankfully, there were no diplomatic incidents along the way and everyone returned from their hacks with huge smiles, which is the best compliment we can ever get. The increase in international traffic is also a great indication of how our new hacking routes are being received and we are delighted to see the breakfast and sunset hacks proving so popular.
Another interesting development this year is the increase in the number of families hacking together. While the yard has always attracted women and children, it is great to see more dads, husbands and boyfriends getting involved. We are also seeing a few more men booking in for lessons, which is a joy to see because the benefits of riding, and riding well, are huge, no matter your age or gender.
Another bonus of the summer holiday season is the extra attention our horses and ponies get when youngsters tell their parents they would prefer to spend the day with us rather than go to the beach! With temperatures rising it is actually a great help to have a few extra hands around the place because it is not always the most comfortable time of year for our most valuable assets, but with more hands on deck we can help more of our horses and ponies cool down with regular showers at the hottest part of the day. In fact, if anyone out there would like to volunteer a few hours a week to give some of our older boys and girls a little fuss, please get in touch.
Of course, as sweet as the extra help has been I think the cutest new face at the yard this week belongs to our new kitten Mango. This tiny little girl pitched up a couple of weeks ago, but it took us a fortnight to catch her. After five days spent in lockdown – being fed, played with and wormed – she has now been released back into the yard. By the look of things, I think she’ll be staying!