By Marina Samad
It only takes one trip to beautiful Wellington, Florida, to realize that elite stabling can be nicer than the average home. However, there’s a whole world of glorious housing for horses geared towards the Western community that many English riders haven’t had the chance to explore. Thanks to Reyne Hirsch, host of Ride TV’s “Ridiculous Ranches,” show, now everyone can get up close and personal with these properties as Reyne travels the country from ranch to gorgeous ranch.
“Ridiculous Ranches” is a reality show airing on RideTV staring Reyne, a luxury buyer’s agent, and her client’s journey to find their dream ranch. Each season of “Ridiculous Ranches” is dedicated to one buyer Reyne helps match with a ranch. “He or she is looking for a home that’s peaceful, can work great as a weekend getaway for the family, or perhaps a retreat for a few key employees,” Reyne said. “It needs to have a great space to entertain, and not be too close to the hustle and bustle of a major city, but close enough should they need something.”
“Ridiculous Ranches appealed to me as I always thought the show ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ should be brought back,” she said. Reyne and show producer Chris Hatchett had experience working together in the past, so she was excited to take on the project. Reyne’s experience in luxury artifacts and properties lends itself well to the show, where she’s able to combine these interests into helping find a buyer their dream ranch. “I specialize in luxury art and antiques for a living,” she said. “It just made sense to have a host that really is a buyer’s agent for the well-heeled.”
Reyne also had previous experience with horses, beginning with her mother. “When you grow up in Texas, you have a horse, or know someone who does,” Reyne said. “My mother had a horse growing up, she had another one when I was a teen, and I often rode horses on the beach or away on trips when there was a horseback excursion.” Reyne’s daughters also took to riding right away, and competed in both English and Western 4-H events in Ohio.
Every property on “Ridiculous Ranches” is for sale. Perhaps the most intriguing part about hosting a show like this is the necessity to travel to different parts of the country. “We showcase ranches across the nation,” Reyne said. “So the viewer will really get to see the differences between a ranch in Texas versus one in Montana, Colorado or Kentucky.”
One experience that stuck out in Reyne’s mind was taping at a cutting ranch in Weatherford, Texas, famous for its cutting ranches. The barn had stalls for 65 horses, and was climate controlled. Reyne also noted the physical structure of the barn, which she felt contributed to the property’s overall appeal. “What I loved the most was the barn itself: the wood paneling and ceiling; the wrought iron hammered straps on the doors; the cobblestone floors. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one nicer! Basically, a dream estate that most of us could only dream of.”
What does one look for when choosing a “ridiculous ranch” to feature? “We tour some of the most expansive properties in the United States that are on the market,” Reyne said. However, the properties are not chosen simply based on size and price. Reyne notes that being big and expensive does not make an estate unique; the properties must be extra special, in addition to having an equestrian facility. “There must be some element of over-the-top you can’t find just anywhere.”
When asked about her favorite elements of the ranches she has seen, Reyne said that there are qualities about each one that she liked. Reyne likes the idea of having a gathering place for friends and family. She added that open spaces for trail riding are ideal, as well as an arena. “Buying property is such a personal thing,” she said. “I know in the past I’ve looked at houses for a year, and when I saw ‘the one’ that spoke to me, I didn’t want to look at any more. We have several more ranches to view this season. Time will tell if I show one that stops them in their tracks before we get to the last one.”
Photos courtesy of Reyne Hirsch and RideTV