Around the world on horseback
We love bloggers who love horses, so we were delighted to chat recently with the author of Writinghorseback.com. As a child, Nancy D. Brown was like so many young girls, dreaming of owning a horse. “ I cleaned out many a horse stall to earn my riding lessons as a child,” Brown admits. “But when my parents saw how serious I was about it, I got my first horse.” That Quarter Horse—Cricket—fired a lifelong passion in Brown. Now, she has combined her passion for horses with her love of travel and created a career.
With her blog Writing Horseback, professional travel writer Nancy D. Brown (at right) guides her readers to the best equestrian-based lodging properties and resorts all over the world. For Ranchweb blog readers, it’s a good additional resource for travelers who love horses. And she notes that she’s enjoying Ranchweb’s redesigned website and its blog. “Horse lovers will find ranch recommendations, and those looking for ranch jobs will find resources, as well,” Brown comments. “Like a good team roping pair, I think Ranchweb/Ranchweb blog and Writinghorseback.com make a great duo.” (We couldn’t agree more!)
Take a look at her blog’s home page and you’ll see a black and white picture of Brown aboard Cricket (look to the upper left). Admittedly horse-crazy in her youth (Brown says she missed out on many high school dances in favor of showing her Quarter Horse in as many shows as her budget would allow), she never stopped loving all things equestrian. So now, Brown travels world-wide in search of the best resorts offering quality riding opportunities. Does that include dude and guest ranches? “I do cover dude ranches!” Brown says. (The photo of her on the fjord horse below is from Big Bar Ranch, a dude ranch in Clinton, BC, Canada.)
She’s clear about one goal: no ‘nose to tail’ riding trips for her. The destinational rides she writes about are always adventurous and cover the globe, from the Argentinean Andes to Perthshire, Scotland and lots of U.S. destinations in between. Her favorite trips so far: riding fjord horses in Norway (see a fjord horse, below) and a trip up to a butterfly-filled valley in Puerto Vallarta, ending the trip with a swim beneath waterfalls.
Next, Brown heads for Darby, Montana and the Triple Creek Ranch for ‘Clicks for Chicks”. It’s a 4-day endurance ride that she says she’s really up for. And if she gets sore, Brown notes, “I’ll just have to soak my aches away in the Triple Creek Ranch hot tub.” Oh, tough.
What’s on her bucket list? “I’d like to ride in an African safari” Brown says. Another dream trip: “Someday I hope to ride to the Blue Lagoon on an Icelandic horse.” Sounds fab.
Details: When she’s not traveling, she makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two teenagers. Brown writes the “What a Trip” travel blog and authors a column by the same name for the Contra Costa Times Lamorinda Sun, a publication of Media News Group. She is the Lodging Editor for Uptake.com. She writes an on-line travel column for Diablo magazine and the “Traveler Making a Difference” column for Escapes magazine.
She is a BootsnAll Insider for California and has contributed to InsideBayArea, Uptake.com and Write to Travel blogs. She is a member of Bay Area Travel Writers (BATW), BlogHer, Matador and Travelwriters.com. She also owns a public relations consulting business.
Artistry in Arizona
Open Mid November through end of April, Elkhorn Ranch offers desert and mountain riding insouthern Arizona. Here, the Sonoran desert country has unique and abundant birds and wildlife. Which is why its fitting for them to offer a Photography, Art & Natural History Workshop, Jan. 22-29, 2012. Learn the secrets of digital photograph from equipment to composition and cataloging. Photographer and naturalist Stewart Aitchison, plus artist Ann Kramer, are your instructors. In this, the fourth workshop offered, you’ll enjoy workshop activities along with all the rest of the Elkhorn fun, from riding to hiking and relaxing.
Details: Cost: $1398 per person per week (plus tax and gratuities). Accommodates 32 – 40 people, 20 cabins. Comfortable for singles, couples and families. For the workshop, bring your laptop and camera gear.