June 9th, 2018
It’s a beautiful day outside and as I write this I’m looking out over the valley. Sunflowers dot the hillside and the summer heat hasn’t reached sweltering yet. I’m always amazed at the feeling this place gives me, and I’m not the only one who feels it. If you’ve been out to ride with us before, you know all about that energy. Where else do horses, dogs, cats, goats, lambs and ponies roam together? It’s harmony. As we continue to grow and diversify, we are challenged and excited by new opportunities with different animals, people and even places to visit with our trusty horses.
This summer marks a big change. We’ve reduced our own horses by six but with the acquisition of some boarded horses, two new ponies and three babies (plus one on the way!) it’s still a full house, not to mention learning about the goats, sheep and rabbits! As the leader of this magical arc, I find myself clinging to harmony sometimes. It’s a funny thought because “clinging” and “harmony” don’t really go together. Another big change we’ve made is switching to online booking. While there are still some wrinkles to iron out in this process, I’m confident that this is going to have a big, positive impact on our ability to cater experiences more uniquely for our riders by opening up time that was filled with constant calls, texts, emails, messages and more. It got to the point where we were overwhelmed by the phone, constantly looking at a screen. That’s not what this is supposed to be!
We are always amazed, flattered and blessed by the number of inquiries we receive. On many occasions we’ve put in extra hours simply to contact folks from a week or two prior to say “sorry we didn’t have any availability.” That’s some serious dedication: Time and money going toward following up to say sorry. Just the same we realize that folks who aren’t part of a ranching life can’t really imagine what it’s like. People see the mesmerizing part, because that’s the service we provide. They don’t see it when I’m sick, in winter, at night, searching for missing horses. They don’t see it when the guests, tired from their 3 hours out at the ranch, are gone and it’s high sun and 105 degrees but animals still need water, the barnyard still needs mucking, horses need medication and none of us have eaten yet (not that there’s a lot of room for food in your belly when you’re throwing back 2 gallons of liquids a day to beat the heat, but you get the picture).
I can’t imagine not being here and not doing this work. As challenging as it can be, it’s a life well lived. Sometimes my favorite part of the job is my least favorite part. Sometimes I’m overwhelmingly happy and sometimes I’m hot or cold and tired and hungry and I get to think of my experiences as preparation for something bigger. I’d like to take a moment to issue an extra big THANK YOU to all of those of you who’ve been supportive in this journey. Many of you have had the opportunity to ride with us, and some of you who’ve shown support weren’t able to make it in because we were over capacity.
If you’re one of the Maverick Riders or one of the folks who wants to be a Maverick Rider, thanks for sharing your positivity with us. As far as I’m concerned, energy is pervasive and we really thrive on your upbeat, can-do attitudes. To those of you who’ve been frustrated by the challenges of reaching us, I apologize that your experience wasn’t or isn’t as good. I want you to understand that without hiring a dedicated media staff, we simply cannot answer the 75 inquiries we get a day. Hire more staff? That sounds like an easy solution! It’s unfortunately not that simple with city restrictions, the added responsibilities of monitoring staff who may or may not show up on time, and needing to have instructors who are capable of teaching to people of different riding levels and personality types in a trail environment. It’s incredible the amount of focus it takes to execute our rides!
Folks, if you have any input on our online booking, don’t hesitate to share. If you’re not sure if you’d like to ride with us, there’s some great information on our site, social media, video links and reviews for you to see. I’d love to personally speak with each of you about general information but if I do that I won’t have time left to do the rides themselves! I want to make finding information and booking as easy as possible. I’m all ears to your suggestions.
As we move forward, keep an eye out for new services such as overnight stays, BYOBBQ rides, events and more. With much love to you all I say one more time, thanks for all the support over the years. Maverick’s wouldn’t be what it is without your input, guidance and positive spirit.