About the event
A week’s worth of horsemanship and cowboy-ing it up! Spend a week in the beautiful Arizona Desert on a course designed to teach you about a life on a ranch and riding on the trails.
This activity is not suitable for the majority of wheelchair users, due to poor wheelchair access, deep sand and no wheelchair accessible facilities. Exceptions to this rule have been made so if you feel like you can cope in these circumstances, please apply and inform the activities team.
You must be able to enter the USA
Your passport must have at least six months validity during the time of travel
Learn horsemanship skills and ranching techniques?
Have you ever had a dream of being a cowboy riding on the range and working with cattle?
Spend time at the world famous Arizona Cowboy College, and learn the methods of Real Working Ranch Cowboys
- Are there any restrictions to enter the USA?
Members must have an in date, valid ESTA.
- I’ve never ridden before, can I still apply?
Of course! The college covers all levels.
- Are there any mobility restrictions?
This activity can take most disabilities but please be aware in order to ride the trail you must be able to have upper body movement and be to hold yourself up sitting on a horse for prolonged periods of time
- Will it cost me to attend?
Blesma activities are free to all Members – the only expense is getting yourself to and from the initial meeting point. If funding your travel costs could be a problem, speak to your BSO.
- What is the selection process?
The activities selection process is done on a needs basis. Those who will benefit the most from attending an activity will be given priority. This is done on the recommendation of their BSO. Those Members who have not attended any activities before, or who have not attended that particular type of activity before are considered next. Once the initial list is selected, all other applicants go on the reserve list. Should someone drop out, the same process is applied to select someone from the reserve list.
- How much notice will I be given?
Currently, Members who are selected to take part in an activity are given three months’ notice. If this notice period is increased, it is highly likely that the drop-out rate will also increase.
If you are selected from the reserve list, your notification will depend on when the person whose place you are taking dropped out. This is why we ask Members to contact the Activities Team as soon as they become aware that they will not be able to attend an activity. In doing so. That way, we have the best opportunity to offer the place to another Member.
- How does the reserve list work?
Being on the reserve list does not automatically mean you will not get to attend the activity. In 2017, 54 per cent of people selected for an activity dropped out, meaning that almost half of attendees for all activities were selected from the reserve list. In 2017, 97 per cent of slots were filled despite the high drop-out rate. The remaining three per cent were mostly last-minute cancellations that were too late notice to fill (i.e. the day before).
- I have never been on a Blesma activity?
Currently, only 4.3 per cent of Members apply for activities. If you are one of the 95.7 per cent who hasn’t been on an activity before, perhaps because you have concerns about how you will cope, or you don’t know what to expect, please get in touch with either your BSO or the Activities Team directly on 020 8548 3519. They can advise on what might be suitable for you.
- Who will lead the activity?
Blesma Support Officers and Outreach Officers lead the events. In addition, of around 50 activities run in 2017, 22 were led by Members. We rely on Members volunteering to lead an activity, so if you are interested in doing that – please let us know! Do note that you will need to be qualified for some events.
- Am I deserving of a Blesma activity, what if others are more in need?
We do not discriminate! Activities are there for all Members and Widows to enjoy.