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Dude, Where's My Vacation?

What is a kid who grew up in one of Boston's Italian neighborhoods doing advising vacationers about dude ranches?

Jim Balzotti , author of "Custom Ranch Vacations" has been fascinated with horses since he first climbed on the back of a mount as a teen-ager.

After graduating from Amherst College, he moved to Arizona where he started a ranch of his own. While transporting his horses from Massachusetts to his ranch in Arizona, he discovered a need that a group of ranchers shared.

Buy "Custom Ranch Vacations" or other Jim Balzotti books
It was easy to find a motel for yourself but difficult to get stable space for horses. That led to the publication in 1994 of his "U.S. Stabling Guide."

Since then he has written "Jim Balzotti's Best Guest Ranches and Horseback Riding Vacations " and his new book, "Custom Ranch Vacations."

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He has also written articles for Western Horseman and The Pet Gazette.

In his visit to The Saturday Early Show, Balzotti will review some of the Western-style family vacations listed in his book. Whether you're a beginner horse rider, intermediate or just want to pet the horses and go play golf, Balzotti 0says he can find a dude ranch perfect for everyone. He has personally visited every ranch listed in his book, 118 in all.

For more details, visit Jim Balzotti's official Web site.

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