Picking a Ranch
Tubing, copyright Bandera
Convention & Visitors Bureau
Don't know the difference between a filly (a female horse) and a foal (a baby horse)? Not to worry. The Bandera Convention and Visitors Bureau can help rookie ranchers pick the right spot for their family; their handy printed brochure and website describes each area facility.
Two of the most family-friendly spots: Mayan Ranch and Flying L Guest Ranch. Both offer trail rides, swimming, inner-tube trips, fishing, and evening entertainment, as well as children's programs staffed by trained professionals. Kids can learn basic roping, riding, and other cowboy skills, or get down and dirty on scavenger hunts and in silly mini-rodeos.
Wherever you stay, make sure to ask about the age groups and riding levels they serve, and any hidden costs. Most ranches charge a flat rate per person, which includes lodging, meals, and activities.
Bandera is also home to more than 30 family friendly guesthouses and B&Bs, each with its own unique character. Most don't have on-property horseback riding or outdoor programs, though proprietors will readily direct you to reputable local outfitters.