To celebrate true cowboy culture, take along a good cowboy hat. Forget that curly, spray- painted thing you wore to Kid Rock's concert at Sturgis; you'll need a sturdy American-made straw to fully enhance your cowpoke 'tude while enjoying the ranch's extensive riding program.
Pick up a souvenir Tanque Verde Ranch bandana to wet for cooling under your hat. Bring sunscreen, a refillable water bottle and light long- sleeved shirt for riding; it gets brutal in the sun.
As for relaxation "equipment", bring a book and swimsuit for poolside R&R and pack a flirty dress (or relaxed jeans) for cocktail time at the Dog House Saloon where pretty Lisa, with her six-shooter strapped to her leg, kicks out refreshing signature Cowboy Cocktails including a Margarita Rita and Prickly Pear Marg.
Young chef Ben Drury serves up Southwest-inspired Ranch Cuisine three times a day but on Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can enjoy the Cowboy Cookout in Cottonwood Grove under the stars. Be sassy in your dancing boots doing the swing, line-dance and two- step taught after dinner by the cowboy wranglers. Yep, the same ones that taught you to lope!
All-inclusive rates for Tanque Verde Ranch start at $225 per person, per night and include accommodations, three daily meals and access to all of the pre-scheuduled activities and children's programming.
[Disclosure: Michelle Winner was hosted by TVR to review the resort's riding program.]