BANDERA, Texas - Some guests have never touched a horse let alone ridden one. Many have never danced the Texas Two Step or gazed at a night sky where the stars shine like space beacons. At Mayan Dude Ranch, folks of all ages get a chance to be cowboys.
“I think people are fascinated by cowboys because they represent a much more simplistic lifestyle,” said Kelly Orion, Mayan Dude Ranch office manager. “People who are confined every day in a city want to get out and see the magnificence of the wide open spaces … Out here it is so quiet that you can hear God speak.”
Bought 63 years ago by Don and Judy Hicks, Mayan Dude Ranch is located in Bandera County, known as the Cowboy Capital of the World. The Hicks are now retired but still work on the ranch, as do most of their 12 children and their families. “I grew up here and love it,” Orion said. “I went off to college at Notre Dame but came back. My two brothers were recently deceased but all the rest of the family lives and works here.”
The ranch has 68 accommodations ranging from one to three bedrooms, all with private baths. Many have wood-burning fireplaces. An all-inclusive destination, the price includes accommodations, activities, two guided horse rides a day, and three delicious meals, plus complimentary beer, wine and sodas.
Cowboy guides lead a 50-minute trail ride in the morning and again in the afternoon. Riders follow single file on horses that are well trained for leisurely treks. Spread over 348 acres of beautiful country 47 miles northwest of San Antonio, the ranch stretches from river lowlands to high hillsides. Facilities include a pool, tennis and basketball courts, fishing, horseshoes, ping pong and volleyball. Hayrides, campfires and cowboy entertainment also are favorites.
“Our strength is our repeat guests,” Orion said. “That is why we have been so successful.”
Mayan Dude Ranch