Cattle drives were an important economic activity in the American West two centuries ago. Historians believed 20 million cattle were herded from Texas to Kansas before they were shipped to stockyards in Chicago and other cities in the east. While there are many cattle drives taking part in the west, this part of cowboy culture is vividly alive at some of the best dude ranches in North America.
If you haven’t experienced the joy and thrill of a cattle drive, here are five reasons that’ll drive you (pardon the pun!) to locate a dude ranch hosting this activity.
#1) Stepping into Cowboys’ Boots
Cowboys earned their name by herding and tending to cattle on the ranches of North America. Their distinctive gear, which comprises of high-crowned cowboy hats, high-heeled boots, leather chaps, spurs, and a rifle/pistol, has always fascinated people, especially on movie screens. With President Theodore Roosevelt further popularizing the American cowboy image through his writings, it’s no wonder that you’d want to be a cowboy yourself.
However, just stepping into cowboy gear won’t be enough for those who truly want to immerse themselves into this world. You need to get your hands dirty to appreciate their heritage; and what better way to do so than participating in a cattle drives? In addition to learning how to handle a large herd, you’ll enjoy the same feelings, smells and sounds which thousands of cowboys experienced before you.
#2) Discovering the Best Scenery Nature Offers
Most dude ranches are located near spring and summer pastures that allow you to appreciate the best of what Mother Nature has to offer. Cattle rides allow you to enjoy the wildest and most beautiful country. While riding, you’re bound to be mesmerized by the scenery surrounding you and even experienced wildlife up close and personal. Just think – the same scenes before you have attracted hundreds of city slickers in the past, driving them to set make their home there before opening it up to you and other guests.
#3) Stimulating Your Sense of Adventure
Nothing can make your heart pump loudly as chasing a cow that decided to go its own way. If you master dude ranch skills such as calf roping, you’re bound to be itching to flex your new learned expertise and show that errant cow who’s boss. And, you’ll get to work up a hearty appetite for the delicious, home-cooked meals waiting for you at the lodge. Rest assured that your adventures will be so memorable that you’ll bore everyone around you with cattle drive stories.
#4) Learning the True Meaning of Teamwork
Cattle drives are a major challenge for cowboys, which is why they’re used to handling this delicate process in pairs or in groups. By taking part in this adventure, you’ll become an active part of a team that abides by the orders of the trail boss. As you know that working together will get this job done successfully, you’ll start working with others and hone your teamwork skills. Your boss will love the dude ranch for the better, more cooperative employee returning from their holidays.
#5) Flaunting and Learning Horse Riding Skills
If anything, cattle drives are bound to help you flaunt your riding skills. After all, you need to be an experienced rider before signing up for this activity. However, there are some dude ranches that are willing to teach you how to ride a horse like a pro in a short time. Therefore, you’ll learn how to ride and practice in the open range. YOU can’t teach people how to ride like a pro in a short time perhaps change that sentence
So make sure to head to a dude ranch before its upcoming cattle drive. Search our extensive list of ranches by defining the ‘cattle drive’ criteria and book your spot before someone else nabs it.