It’s that time of year again when New Year resolutions are formed - always with good intentions, but normally ditched alongside surplus Christmas puddings and unwanted presents a few weeks into January. Well, 2012 may be the year all that changes. The team at Top50 has come up with some New Year resolution ideas that you might actually keep – and they could be life-changing...
1. Curb your spending Dude ranch vacations don't have to mean blowing the budget - check out these special offers from USA dude ranch Alisal Ranch, Canada guest ranch Tod Mountain Ranch and Argentina dude ranch Estancia Los Potreros. These special offers and discounts will see you saving $$$s on dude ranch vacations in 2012.
2. Travel to another continent Journey south of the equator for a horse riding holiday at Snowy River Horseback Adventure in New South Wales, Australia. Ride in ‘Man from Snowy River’ country as you embark on horse treks along bush trails and mountain ash forests. Or venture to neighboring New Zealand for a horse riding holiday at Beaumont High Country Experience, an authentic working cattle station where you can try your hand at sheep mustering. This 18,000-acre high-country sheep station offers incredible terrain over which you can choose to go horseback riding, on ATV tours, or hiking.
3. Take more ‘you’ time Blood pressure rising to the max? Overworked and stressed out? Then vow to take some more ‘you’ time in 2012. And what better way to relax than get away from it all on a dude ranch vacation at a luxury ranch with a spa? Dude ranches such Triple Creek, The Resort at Paws Up, Lone Mountain Guest Ranch, C Lazy U Ranch and Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge all offer wonderful surroundings in which to relax, de-stress and recharge your batteries. Relax in the pool or hot tub, take a leisurely horseback ride through peaceful scenery, and relax in the tranquility of it all.
4. Shed those Christmas pounds! Feeling the after-effects of all that Christmas overindulgence? Beat the post-festive bloat and put a spring back in your step with an energising and invigorating horseback riding adventure at an authentic working ranch like Burnt Well Guest Ranch, Estancia Huechahue, Rancho Los Banos and Bonanza Creek Ranch. With long, fast-paced days spent horseback riding, you’ll soon be feeling fighting fit!
If you’d rather shed those extra pounds without having to exert yourself so much, you could instead opt for dude ranch vacation at a ranch specialising in healthy cuisine. After all, there’s no better way to detox than by sampling delicious healthy cuisine whilst on a western ranch vacation.Top50 recommends Echo Valley Ranch and Spa, which specialises in gourmet, healthy cuisine. Even special diets such as 'Eat for your blood type' are incorporated into its extensive menu!
5. Reduce your carbon footprint Go green with a dude ranch vacation at a ranch with ethically sound practices. Free Rein Ranch creates ethical menus based on locally sourced produce, as the Canada dude ranch advocates the '100 mile diet', buying as much produce from local suppliers within a 100-mile radius. Chico Basin Ranch uses traditional methods to complement innovative management programs to sustain the Colorado working ranch's natural resources, and its sister ranch, Zapata Ranch, takes a similarly holistic approach and runs recreation, education and outreach programs as part of its ethical strategy.
6. Learn a new language Take up Spanish, whether it's brushing up long-forgotten schoolday skills or learning from scratch. Best of all, it's a great excuse test your skills on a ranch vacation at dude ranches in Argentina – such as Estancia Los Potreros, Estancia Ranquilco and Estancia Huechahue. Ride with the gauchos and practise your Spanish lingo - and probably pick up some authentic phrases along the way!
7. Take up a new sport Ever fancied trying something new on horseback - Polo, for example? You can do just that on a dude ranch vacation at Estancia Los Potreros in Argentina. Or maybe try your hand at non-riding activities offered by one of the Top50 dude ranches, such as cycling, golf, tennis, water sports, skiing and other winter sports, or fishing. Top50 has hundreds of dude ranch vacations, working ranch vacations and guest ranch vacations perfect for trying something different.
8. Spend more time with your family Dude ranch vacations offer the perfect opportunity to reconnect with family, and family dude ranches are ideal for getting away with the kids. Family dude ranches such as Majestic Dude Ranch and Lone Mountain Guest Ranch offer brilliant children’s programs, and Elk Mountain Ranch even has a full children's program for 3-7 year olds.
9. Spend more time with your partner If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, head to one of Top50’s adult-oriented dude ranches with your loved one - such as The Ranch at Rock Creek, Bonanza Creek, McGinnis Meadows and Rowse's 1+1 Ranch Quiet and secluded, such dude ranches offer great couples' ranch vacations.
10. Catch up with old friends Call your girlfriends and get 'em on a ranch vacations at Rancho Los Banos in Mexico - the working ranch and guest ranch is offering a Ladies' Special in August 2012, the perfect excuse for a budget girlfriends' getaway.
Inspired? Browse all of Top50's ranches to find your own way to keep your 2012 New Year Resolutions!