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“A Transplanted Texan gets his boots back on”

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Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
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A TripAdvisor Member
“A Transplanted Texan gets his boots back on”
Reviewed 16 July 2004

Just have to put my two cents in about my recent trip to Rancho-Oso.

There are three types of accomodations at the ranch.

If you want to rough it you can stay in the covered wagons, which is something like a tent, with cots inside. If you have a large group going, it would be neat to rent several of the wagons, because they are arranged in a circle(maybe 5 wagons to a circle?) and in the middle of them is a large fire pit where everyone can mingle as the sun goes down.

Second type of accomodation is "bring your own". Most of the campers at the ranch were RV'ers. There was ample parking and hookups for your own motorhome. It is one of the few places that you can bring your own horse as well and many of these travelers did. There are corrals and arenas to board your animal during your stay.

We stayed in the cabins. There aren't very many so get your reservations in early, but they adequately kept 4 adults comfy in a queen bed/ and a bunk bed.

First thing we did when we arrived was reposition the picnic table to the back of the cabin to get it out of the afternoon sun. Other than a small grill to contend with and meat eating(chicken-burger) yellowjackets, we found the "almost camping" weekend a delight.

If you aren't one to do your own cooking make sure to stay at the camp on Fri-Sat-Sun. That is when their food facilities are open. I think you make reservations and pay in the morning. We arrived late Sunday so didn't get a chance to experience any of their cooking.

I did get a chance to ride on a long excursion with the same guide as the previous reviewer. I actually liked the solitude and was not expecting a narrated guided tour (during my 3 hour ride). His job I felt was to show us the way, keep the other horses from galloping off, and remind us not to get too close to the horse in front. Anything else he added in the form of tales/asides/answered questions were bonuses in my opinion. It was an incredible ride from the bottom of the valley to the top of a high mountain/ridge. I felt the ride for days after(in my back and legs) so be prepared.

My only negative comment about the whole stay was the fact that the pools were "OVERLY CLORINATED". Bring googles, and visine because it will burn a hole in your pupils.

And no matter how hard I tried, my cell phone would not work. WOW---peace at last........

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 30 June 2004

My wife and I visited Rancho Oso for a 3-hr guided trail ride in late June 2004. The trail itself afforded beautiful views of the Santa Ynez Valley, but the ride, overall, was disappointing. First, the guide, Devon, was a big disappointment. He seemed to have a contempt for novice riders that made him a poor choice for a guest ranch. Instead of offering instruction he scolded the riders like children and even got argumentative with his geusts, often saying things like "Well, if you don't keep him under control, that's not my problem." At one point he was scolding a rider for not keeping a horse in line -- while leading us through a yellowjacket nest. We never stopped for photos and he had next to nothing to say about the country we were riding through, except maybe that he'd like to find a giant pearl in the local fossil bed and rule the world with it. Then there was my horse. My wife got a very good horse ("Bandit"), but mine ("Lippy") spent most of the ride trying to toss his reins off and sling slobber on me. I am a novice rider, but I HAVE ridden enough horses to know that this was bad behavior and not the result of poor handling on my part. Trouble is, the Oso staff knew this horse acted like this (hence the name "Lippy") and put novice riders on him anyway.

This was not an enjoyable ride. It was three hours of fighting with Lippy and listening to Devon nag people. It was supposed to be the finale of a week-long stay in the Santa Ynez area, but turned out to be the low point of the trip.

By the end of the ride we had both long decided, without any discussion, that there would be no tip. We'd paid too much already. Maybe the Rancho Oso staff thought we were just jerks, but we usually tip generously. We've been on a few rides before. We know good guides and good horses when we get them, and Devon and Lippy were the worst we've had so far.

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Additional Information about Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort

Property: Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
Address: 3750 Paradise Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105-9777
Region: United States > California > Santa Barbara
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 187
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The spirit of the Old West abounds in this family-oriented rustic ranch setting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Oso Hotel Santa Barbara

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