The Second Ranch Letter
This is the second letter I wrote to Michelle, after she answered the first one.
Some parts are not in here since they had nothing to do with the Lake Ranch.

Hi Michelle!
thanks for your mail - and be sure: I like to read what happens in your life - it doesn't turn out boring! I was so surprised when you called me last week - by the way - I was horseback riding that moment (fortunately this horse is used to the bell of my phone). I enjoyed to hear your voice and remembered the good time we had. It was always very interesting for me to talk with you. After Mark left too I had nobody else there to talk about different things of life than just about horses. And after I saw this water rat in the lake (maybe this was the big thing which bumped you - and it is NOT vegetarian!) I wasn't in such a good mood to swim there again.
Lost baggage - I had that too. But it didn't bother me, I was so sad to be back in Germany (noisy, too many people, traffic jam ...) that I didn't care about my baggage - until I remembered that all my films were in there - uhhh - that woke me up!
But the flight company was really fast. I was still eliminating some "bacterium cultures" which formed themselves out of lasagna, pizza, ice-cream etc. after the power of my freezer went down three weeks before, when someone rang the door bell and delivered my baggage.
It was funny. My brother did pick me up at the airport. He knows me better than I thought - after I prolonged my vacation he just said: "And now? Will my kids have an aunt in America?"
I still didn't change my mind - I'm not that kind of person which has an crazy idea once and forget it after a while being back in "normal" life. I spoke with my travel agency, they were very helpful and even did know a ranch in Montana which is looking out to enlarge their guest offers. But they have to improve the accommodations - therefore they maybe need an investor. I'll go there next year in April or May. But first I'll be in Arizona in fall. There will happen a round up for two weeks. They normally avoid to offer the participating of guests at this event since it is too hard work. I think I'll have a lot of fun ...
My first weeks back in Germany were really hard. I couldn't find my way back to "normal" life. Even horseback riding didn't make a lot of fun. After the calm horses at Lake Ranch I was surprised what kind of a nervous horse I have! It never pays attention for the way but looks around look-up for horse-eating-monsters. I got more scared on one two-hours ride than three weeks riding the whole day!
Now I'm laughing about Greg, who always said: "Be careful with this young horse."
He should ride only once my (six years old) horse - and then he would know, what it really means to be careful ...
I did need at least three weeks to accustom me again to this kind of horseback riding. Not only sitting on the horse and enjoy the nature like at Lake Ranch than also be concentrated on what the horse is doing.
Maybe I will start to try to translate some parts of my vacation report in English - but this is hard work.
I had some funny experiences while riding with the Italians. Once they saddled their horses when I came back from my morning ride. I was chatting with Liz, still sitting on my horse (I didn't want to wear out the sole of my shoes ...), and saw the Italians get on their horses. They rode straight to me and said: "Hi Heike - we will go for a ride" (I guess they said it in Italian - don't know, but I could understand easy sentences with gesture).
"Ah yeah?! Have a lot of fun!" I mentioned.
"Where will we go?"
"I don't know?!"
Then they pointed at me and said the only English word they seemed to know: "Guide!"
I asked Elena (the second cook) to tell them in Italian, that I would like to drink a coffee first and then I would go with them for a ride to a very nice place I would know - but I wouldn't know the way back ...
That didn't bother them. We started to an eventful ride in the west part of the ranch. We passed a dead cow which was only some bones and a rest of coat. An Italian couple was very fascinated about this skeleton. The man had to go behind the dead cow and his wife took a picture of them both. I said he should step with his foot on the cow like a successful hunter but I guess this was too much Wild West for them. Later we crossed a water hole. My horse (it was a poor horse - it had no name and so I called it "Ugly Back" - not to be mean to it but this name described him best ...) jumped in and out - no problem, just a few mud drops on my shirt. One Italian guy followed me - full of trust in me. His horse jumped in only one or two feet beside my way - dived in till the top of its tail, jumped out really frightened, fell on its knees, got up - and the mud dropped out of the shoes of this Italian guy. I started to laugh that much and the same time I tried to apologize that I showed him this way. But - I was only a guest too - so anyway - why should I apologize?
Its is nice to remember all these things while writing you.
Take care, hope to hear from you soon - and some greetings to Francis (I won't forget him with the rope - the whole day!)

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