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Horseback riding among the giant saguaro cactus in Arizona

As we travel around the southwest this winter we have been staying at different places where we can both keep our horses and hook up our motor home. This time we stopped at the ‘Lost Cowboy Ranch’ in Scottsdale, Arizona. The owners, Brian and Susan Bowers, were great hosts and gave us great advice about where to ride. We were even able to work our schedules out so that we could go on some rides together.

In this video we loaded up and drove to the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and then rode the horses all the way home. We could have ridden off the property to the park and back…it just would have made for a longer ride. The park trails were very well marked, not only with their names but even with the road numbers. As we headed home we followed signs for 158th Street and when we left the park we road to 160th, which is where Lost Cowboy Ranch is.

The landscape was unique and I loved riding among the giant saguaro cactus. The desert is much more interesting than I had imagined it to be. The variety of plants, birds, rabbits and other things that live there is fascinating and at this time of year (January) the weather can’t be beat.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Life, Video

 

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Tour of Stacy Westfall’s Motorhome: 2015 Fleetwood Discovery 40G

When we sold our home, a year ago this February, the hardest thing was cutting down on the amount of ‘stuff’ that our family of five had. It clearly must have been a mindset issue because we have now been living in a motorhome for four months with room to spare. Seriously, I have empty totes under the storage bin that I thought I needed and haven’t filled yet.

Here are some questions (and answers) that people have asked after finding out we were living in a motorhome:

1) I love my family…but I don’t think I could be cooped up together 24-7…. what about privacy??

Thankfully we are not cooped up 24-7 with each other. Part of living in the motorhome has been traveling to new (and warmer) places. In the morning the horse chores need to be done and school starts up. We are all in and out of the motorhome, sometimes for the horses, sometimes to go hiking and other times for school projects. We are also camping in areas where there are other people. Many RV parks have a recreation room, a swimming pool or another type of gathering place where people gather and some or all of us will wander in and out of there. With all the moving around there are as many times that I am alone in the motorhome as I was when we lived in our house.

2) Favorite food to eat/make…favorite recipe you make?

My favorite food to eat…yikes, thats tough. Pizza is my go to. Did you know I had pizza in the hospital after the birth of each of my children? Papa John’s with Green Pepper & Onions. I love great Greek food or Mediterranean food too…I could go on but I better stop there.

I don’t love to make pizza though so I more often make: spaghetti and garlic bread, pasta salad, tacos and I’m currently into soups.

3) So glad you asked that question..it’s been on my mind about her food/ meals situation…

One of the biggest changes is that when we left Ohio in November we chose to pull our horse trailer and not bring a run-around vehicle. This means that we don’t go out to eat as often as we did before. It is amazing how much money we have saved as a side effect of this…especially because I can’t run to the coffee shop for a latte. On the positive side, this has driven me to learn how to make my own lattes at home! I think that might be another video….

4) I’m assuming you homeschool your kids?

Yes. We had homeschooled in the past and when we listed our home for sale, a year and a half before it sold, we began homeschooling again.

5) How do you transport the horses?  Does the Motorhome pull the horse trailer?

Yes, we are currently towing a 3 horse bumper pull with the motorhome. This allows us to keep the front stall full of hay and still have room for the two horses that are traveling with us. We refill the hay and grain as we travel and also carry some hay cubes.

If you have additional questions about our motorhome adventure please leave them in the comments below and I will try to work them into an upcoming blog and/or video.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Life, Video

 

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Horseback Canyon Ride in New Mexico with Stacy Westfall

We started out this ride on the road where we parked the horse trailer but soon we were following an arroyo, a dry river bed, to find our way to this old homestead. Most of this was filmed on BLM land.

We have been staying in New Mexico at Kiva RV Park and Horse Motel which is owned by Robert and Diane Wiltshire. Diane volunteered to be our tour guide and I am so glad that she did, especially on this day.

Newt DID do some of the filming…both from on his head and from on his girth…motion sickness warning for that part, lol.

I have to admit that before riding here I was just thinking of New Mexico as a stop on the way to Arizona and California but now I can see why it is called the land of enchantment. Diane also gave us a book, Saddle Up, New Mexico: The Statewide Horse Trail and Travel GuideI think she is trying to tempt us into coming back..and I think it is working!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2015 in Life, Video

 

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The first night in our new home…motor home that is!

Stacy Westfall shopping at Walmart

Stacy’s shopping trip…totes and chairs take up lots of room!

While moving out of our home in January I had to admit that I had a small problem with totes. Now, eight months later, as we moved into our Fleetwood, I somehow managed to convince my husband that I needed…more TOTES! I think he might remember my previous tote obsession because he tentatively asked ‘how many’ totes I wanted. I took this as a hint and started with two…for now:)

Although I am dreaming of camping with my horses later this month (maybe for my birthday-hint-hint-husband) I am currently camping in a parking lot. Although the view might not be ideal, the idea behind it is brilliant; educate, educate, educate. Today was all about getting to know the motor home with hands on training and tonight is a lesson in camping…in the parking lot. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure how necessary this was…until I tried to flush the toilet a bit ago and almost couldn’t figure it out, lol. Thankfully I didn’t need to call in help but it is nice to know that if I needed to, I could.

I have so many questions, dreams and thoughts that involve living on the road that I actually woke up every hour last night, I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I’m so excited about our next horse show and especially the Congress which is coming up fast. Every year I have said I wanted to trail ride more…maybe now that can happen. Maybe its time to update my website to include a form for hosting a clinic; must have RV parking and four stalls. The possibilities are almost limitless.

Tomorrow is another learning day and then we will head back to Ohio. We aren’t actually towing a trailer with the motor home…at least not yet…but we still have a horse with us!

Stacy Westfall's Fleetwood motor home with Roxy photo on it

Watch for Stacy on the road!

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Life

 

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Your Opinion: Pros and Cons of buying an RV

Your brain power is needed! Please add your comments on the pros and cons of owning an RV.

Should we buy an RV?

Should we buy an RV?

With all the moving around we are doing after selling our house most people are surprised that we don’t have some kind of RV. But we don’t. At least not yet.

The idea of an RV is tempting though. Not so tempting is the COST! Realistically we would be spending some of the money we have set aside for buying our next home.

I keep trying to weigh the pros and cons but I have never owned an RV before so I am just guessing. Here are some of my thoughts but PLEASE leave your experience, suggestions, thoughts, Pros and Cons. Maybe you even think one of my ‘cons’ should be a pro…tell me why.

Pros:

  • lifestyle
  • convenience
  • encourages time outside
  • can camp with the horses
  • can stop anywhere we want

Cons:

  • cost
  • maintenance
  • small living space
  • need to go to laundry mat
  • small holding tanks…there are five of us
  • holding tanks at all (the guys are going to have to do this)
 
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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in Life

 

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Stops with Stacy: traveling with horses; horse motels brought to you by Tekonsha

We frequently travel with our horses to far off places. We have trailered horses from Maine to California, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, several times into Canada to name a few.

To keep both horses and humans safe, on long trips we stop for the night. Recently, I have made several trips between Texas and Ohio. The drive takes about 20 hours which I break into a two day trip.

The nice thing about traveling the same route is that it is possible to become familiar with certain amenities…including the horse motels along the way.

If we are traveling an unfamiliar route and need to find a place to stop we go to www.horsemotel.com. The website features a map that gives an idea of where the stable is located so I can quickly see if there is one on my route.

My favorite feature of the website is the comment area. It is a section of the website where people who have stayed at each horse motel can rate the stay and leave comments. We have been using the site for years and have stayed at dozens of the stops. By reading the descriptions and the comments all have been what was described.

Some places can handle a large number of horses and other might only take two or three. We try to call in advance to let people know we are traveling through the area and to ask if they will have room. There have been time, however, when we have hit bad weather and could not make it to our original horse motel. The original hotel has always been understanding and the new hotel, with as short as one hour for notice, has also been accommodating.

Some offer lodging for the humans also in the form of cabins, apartments or RV hook ups. If they don’t they can give valuable advice as to how far human hotels are and what they recommend; much of this is already listed at horsemotel.com.

Cindy Ruprecht and Circle R Horse Lodge has been my go-to stop between Texas and Ohio. Her place is close to the highway and her stalls are big, sturdy and clean. Like most horse motels Cindy checks the horses health papers and coggins, which I like. Stopping at Cindy’s place already has the feeling of visiting with a friend and I like knowing that she checks on the horses while I am headed to my human hotel and again in the morning before I arrive.

Many of these places could be destination trips. Some have miles of trails or easy access to other horse activities and others can offer invaluable information for things that might occur on the road. For example Cindy has a local horse trailer shop and RV store nearby if you need repairs as well as a feed dealer and tack store.

Traveling with horses is extra work but it is also a great way to get to know other horse people around the country.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Stops with Stacy, Video

 

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