Westkill Tumble Weed Ranch Inc. began existence in 1958 when my parents, Chester and Jinx, purchased a summer camp for boys in the beautiful Catskill Mountain valley of Westkill. The camp had a horseback riding program which my parents expanded so that each camper got their own horse, for their exclusive use all summer long. After a couple of years the program was changed allowing girls to come to the ranch to experience the riding program.
The slogan "A real western ranch in the east" summed up the experience The campers / ranchers had the total responsibility for the care of their horse. Spending up to 8 hours a day riding and caring for the horse assigned to them, they quickly became competent horsemen and responsible young folks.
The ranch was situated on approximately 1000 acres and was bordered by lands belonging to the state of NY known as the Catskill Park. This offered a virtual limitless opportunity for riding horses and the program included all day rides and overnight camping trips, taken on horseback of course.
The ranch closed in 1986. During it's years of operation the ranch had a profound influence on the lives of hundreds of your individuals. Every year I am contacted by a couple of former ranchers, and they always tell me the stories of their experiences. They all have fond memories of the place and relate how the experience helped shape their lives.
There is now a group on Facebook , formed by one of these former ranchers, open to all that attended. The Facebook group is a great place to contact other former ranchers and to share stories and photos of time spent at the ranch. Please sign on to Facebook and join the group "Tumbleweed Ranch Alumni". Share your experiences and photos. I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd J. Syska