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Date 2010


Vacation Recommendations for Horseback Riding Vacations:  

Nicole from Austria says it best with this cowgirls poem about her love of horses:



all grace and beauty
free spirits running with the wind
manes and tails flowing
strong legs pounding their smooth rhythm on the earth
in time with the beating of my heart 


leaving this cowgirl’s soul filled with infinite longing 


Horse Ranch Vacation Recommendations 

After Nicole’s stay at this she felt this way:  




Take a piece of paradise, sprinkle it with 50 horses, some 130 piece of cattle, people with an open mind and love in their heart and a horse whisperer willing to share his knowledge. 


Sonny and C simply had a way of making me feel at home. The horses were wonderful! And I had the chance not only to learn so much about Natural Horsemanship, but also to live those dreams of my childhood: riding like a cowgirl... herding cattle, learning to rope, moving the bulls, yeehaaaaw. And most important: I got lots and lots of riding time, time to play with all the beautiful young horses and of course, river rides, floats and so much more. And the best part: horses first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, I just loved them all. 


It was a real blast, time flew by and the only bad part about being at Bucks and Spurs is that, at some point, you’ll just have to go back home. I had never been at a place where I could just walk through the horse pens at night with horses laying down and have them stay down. They just laid there, looked up, saw it was me and let me love on them, even laying their head in my arms. Moments of absolute peace. One morning after feeding I heard a thundering sound, so I looked around for clouds, thinking there was a thunderstorm, and then I saw the horse herd stampeding up towards the house. I had goose bumps.  


Now the only thing: when can I come back?! 







Horse Whisperer help rider to overcome fear of riding horses!

Date 8/23/2007
Hi Cecil, Sonny, Kim and Sam,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for nurturing my spirit and allowing me to experience life on the ranch, overcoming fear and finding balance.   As a novice rider, I found  peace riding "Pretty Boy" and delight in feeling no fear riding a horse. 
As you know my husband of 25 years died June 2, 2007 and my dear friend Harva Kennedy thought that being away from it all and learning to ride horses would be healing for me.  Honestly, I thought she was nuts and almost backed out, due to fear of falling, etc and then leaving my cats orphans and husbands art work in a sense of total disarray.  From the moment we stepped foot on your gorgeous ranch, my fear was put to rest.  Seeing the gorgeous accommodations, no TV and the kind spirit of each of you, I knew this was where I needed to be.
Thank you for taking such good care of me, getting me to laugh, feel accomplished and "Just Do It and Be Me", was what I needed in this grief journey!   You truly are "Horse Whispers and Healers".  Look forward to future visits.
Best Regards,
Gail Wilkerson






Best Dude Ranch Vacation

Michael J. Gershtenson, D.D.S.
210 ColinasSedona, Arizona 86351
(928) 284-4355  (928) 284-4355
June 3, 2006
For any one wanting a fabulous dude ranch, quiet getaway, clean air, great food, and an all around tremendous experience you must visit the Bucks & Spurs Dude Ranch near Ava, Missouri.


It is easy to get to and there was not a single aspect of our four days there that did not significantly exceed our expectations. My wife and I, in our sixties, took our ten year old granddaughter there as she is horse crazy. C and Sonny catered to all of our needs with caring and fun and there are many varied activities in which we were encouraged to participate.

Our cabin was superb in construction, cleanliness, spaciousness, and the view from all four sides was great whether it was at the scenery or corral.

The trail riding was wonderful and the surroundings gorgeous.



 Cowboy Life on a ranch.


By Patsy Bell Hobson

When word goes out that they are hiring at the Bucks and Spurs ranch, a lot of wannabe cowboys apply—and a few real cowboys and cowgirls show up. Folks who can ride, rope, work cattle, help with calving, and break horses get the few jobs that Cecil Huff, manager of the Bucks and Spurs horse and cattle ranch near Ava , Missouri , has to offer.
There is no retirement plan, group health insurance, or paid vacation for real cowboys. They work on the coldest, rainiest days and every day during the sun-scorching summer. Cowboys get thrown off horses, chased by bulls, and occasionally surprised by snakes. And they love their jobs.

The endless work hasn’t changed much for the cowboy in well over a century. But ranches have evolved. Often ranchers and farmers have had to diversify into the world of agri-tourism, opening their ranches and farms to tourists and guests.
“Sure, there are cowboys,” says Huff, who goes by “C.” The proof is in the statistics. USDA ranks Missouri sixth in cattle production, fifth in producing horses, and third in mules. As long as there is a steady demand for cows and horses, there will be cowboys to manage the animals and land.
The Huffs have ranched in the Ozarks for five generations. In addition to raising and selling horses and cattle, the Huffs now invite visitors to join in the cowboy life or simply come to ride horses.

“We incorporate as much ranch work as we can in our guests’ visit,” says C. “This is a real ranch with real ranch activities. We are including more of the daily ranch activities into a guest’s day. They want that. Working the cattle gives people a sense of purpose. Folks don’t just come here for trail rides.

“People who live on farms and ranches come here for vacations, too. At home they are always working. Ranchers don’t have time to relax and enjoy the country life, so they come here. We saddle their horses; they just enjoy their time off,” said C.
C matches a horse’s personality to a rider’s ability. He won’t sell a horse unless it seems like a good match. “We have Missouri Fox-Trotters and quarter horses for sale. We pride ourselves on finding the right horse for the rider.”



 Travel writers take on Missouri Horseback Riding Vacation.


C and Sonny,

Thank you so much for the invitation last week and one of the best trips I have ever taken...and in my business, that’s quite a few trips. You have a wonderful place for anyone to lose themselves.  Matthew and I had the time of our lives, and Matthew did not stop talking for the entire 5-hour trip back home Thursday afternoon.  In fact, I really thought he would sleep the entire trip.  Of course, he didn’t fall asleep until about 15 miles from home. He is already asking when we are returning.

I have sent Becky some pictures that I took of her, and I am sending you some prints this week.  I was so taken with the place that I have already put together the front cover for next fall.  I thought you might like to see it.

Until we meet again,
Gary Figgins