Being from the Tri-state area we do not get many authentic farm experiences. Our visit to West Coast Ranch felt like we were visiting friends at their ranch instead of customers who called for a horseback ride. When we arrived we were told we could just look around at our own leisure. We walked around and saw the chicken coop, a baby lamb, baby goats, llamas, donkeys, horses, cows & emus, to name a few. We had been to the Naples Zoo the day before and this was a much more hands on experience! The owner (I can't recall his name) came out with a bag of lettuce and gave it to my daughter to feed to the baby lamb (not thru a fence, with the lamb in it's pen). Then his 2.5 year old daughter came out with her grandpa, grabbed my 9 year old daughter's hand and said "come one". She took her to shed to find 6 week old kittens, picked one up and said "here". We all held kittens and enjoyed her company too! By then our horses were ready for our ride. I am not an experienced rider at all and these horses were very well-trained. Besides our guide (the owner) we were joined by his daughter (on his horse) and their 3 dogs (purebred australian cattle dogs). We had a great ride through a beautiful trail. When we returned, we went to visit the goats (a mom and her kids which were born in February). The 2.5 year old and my daughter went inside the goats little shed & played chase to catch them. We visited the emus and fed them leaves off of the tree. They took us to the donkey pen and showed my daughter how to lead a donkey and get on and ride one! While we were they the owner came over to show us a 1 week old emu baby! He took it out of the incubator just to show us. Needless to say, what we thought was going to be a 1 hour horseback ride turned out to be an almost 3 hour experience! In conclusion, if you want a laid back visit to a farm and enjoy a horseback ride you must visit West Coast Ranch. There is nothing contrived or commercial about this place, it is the real deal. So if you feel the need, bring your own Purell and enjoy the experience!!!
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