“Everyone wants to be John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, don’t they?” Jeff Sayers is grinning as he unbuckles his dusty chaps after another thrilling day in the saddle.

I didn’t travel to Arizona with any underlying Wayne, Eastwood or even Westworld-style cowboys-and-indians fantasies, but within an hour or two of being on the ranch, I was a convert: whistling the theme tune to The Magnificent Seven and feeling totally at ease in Stetson and leather boot combo.

On these ranches, the history and soul of the Old West is just a coating of dust away. After ten days at three very different ranches across Arizona, not only did my wife and I learn how to ride a horse Western-style – and do battle with rattlesnakes…


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