This morning I was enjoying the warm sun shining on my face as I was taking a walk in Memphis, Tennessee. Most of year is spent working and enjoying life at Spur of the Moment Ranch, but once in a while I too need to getaway and recharge my batteries so that I can be the best that I can be when I get back home and show all of you who visit us the hospitality that you are expecting and deserve. Prior to arriving in Memphis, both Skip and I attended the Carriage Operators Of North America (CONA) Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The conference was hosted at the Embassy Suites Airport in Oklahoma City. The southern hospitality that we enjoyed at the hotel was second to none.

The Carriage Operators of North America (CONA)  is a group of people who own commercial ventures that involve horse drawn vehicles across the continent. It is a group of people dedicated to making sure that the art of horse driven vehicles is maintained and shared with others as a part of our history; that education about the safety and techniques involved in driving horses is maintained ; and that the horses involved in these endeavors are well taken care of. Skip and I have enjoyed being a part of CONA now for over 5 years, and Skip serves as a board member in the organpization at this time.

Our presentations at the conference brought in Lyle Peterson to discuss proper use of the driving whip and the Achenbach style of driving; as well as safety measures to help prevent accidenets while driving horse drawn vehicles. Although the word whip to some people conjures up a bad and evil visual, people need to understand that it is for the horse an extension of our hand, and is there to guide the horse and enhance our communication with him through the art of touch.

Dr. Lew Sterrett was an inspirational speaker about the 5 Distinctions of Leadership. Debbie Shadid, publisher of Oklahoma Wedding Ideas spoke about what is new in the Wedding Industry .Although Skip and I do not do weddings through the ranch with our Percheron Thorn, there are many commercial operations that do a large wedding business.

Another avenue that the group explores are local horse related industries and activities. On this trip, we enjoyed a presentation of mane and tail braiding; and draft pairs hook-up; and driving at Express Ranch outside of Oklahoma City. We took in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; as well as touring the Remington Park Race Stables prior to enjoying our annual banquet on the sight.

Tonight Skip and I will be enjoying dinner with James Hutto and his wife in downtown Memphis. James is the owner of Valeo Marketing, the company that helped me reinvision our ranch website. Tomorrow we will be making our way back to Spur of the Moment Ranch. When you are contemplating a visit to Spur of the Moment Ranch, think about making a carriage drive with Skip and our big black Percheron Thorn. Enjoy a ride on our conmfortable wagonette, take a step back in time and imagine what life was like before vehicles were invented.