Posts Tagged ‘working ranch vacation’

New Haven Working Cattle & Guest Ranch

Friday, April 14th, 2017

From May through October join this family owned and operated Wyoming working ranch for a truly unique vacation and experience what a true western lifestyle is all about. With a maximum of 10 guests at a time guarantees that your vacation will entail a more individual experience.  Immerse yourself in the day to day operation of the ranch as well as take part in various other ranch activities. Since the goal of the ranch is one of sustainability New Haven mimics the grazing behaviour of large migrating buffalo herds which historically roamed the prairies. This means lots of time in the saddle since frequent cattle moves are necessary.

Wyoming working ranch

As well as working cattle on the ranch’s own property New Haven also works cattle on their neighbour’s properties. Here, you won’t find head-to-tail riding but rather more authentic horseback riding opportunities. When not moving livestock or checking reservoir fences you can learn how to rope, practice team penning or simply go on a scenic trail ride and marvel at the wide-open spaces and abundant wildlife. As each day passes you will feel as if you have traveled back in time to a simpler way of life.

At the beginning of your stay you will be matched up with 2 horses both of which will become your working partner for the week and guests are encouraged to get involved in the training aspect as well. Riders must be at least 16 years old and physically fit and willing to learn in order to handle demanding work and terrain at times. Experienced riders will love the many varied challenging rides at New Haven. You might just find yourself climbing up a steep canyon wall, crossing creek bottoms or going after a stray at a full canter. Not to mention trying your luck at cutting in the arena, roping livestock and going on a night ride.

Wyoming working ranch

Situated on the grounds of an old ghost town where over 150 years ago the first settlers, called “homesteaders”, came to the area, you will discover old buildings and machinery found all over the ranch. Life was difficult back then and the small farmers were up against a rough climate, down-and-dirty cattle barons, hostile Indian tribes and the depression of the early 20th century. Many gave up and left. Today you can explore the area and imagine what life must have been like so many years ago.

Wyoming working ranch

Old ghost town

At the end of the day settle into one of 5 comfortable rustic bedrooms in the lodge or bed down in the cabin. A furnace and wood stove will keep you warm when needed and central air conditioning cool on more humid nights. Soothe tired muscles in the outdoor hot tub and gaze upon a star studded sky or play a round of pool with fellow guests or simply kick back on the balcony with a view of the Missouri Buttes. Feeling adventurous? Ride your horse down to the lake and stay in a tipi for a night or two. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Feast on hearty home-cooked meals served buffet style in the lodge or ready packed for the trail. Weather permitting once a week guests are treated to a BBQ by the lake. Aside from horse related and working ranch activities guests can try their hand at pistol and rifle shooting or trap shooting. Also swimming/boating/fishing in and on the ranch’s lake as well as hiking and wildlife watching opportunities are available. Schedule permitting guests can even attend a rodeo, Western dances and horse sales. And you definitely won’t want to miss out on the ranch’s organized trip to Devil’s Tower during your stay.

Wyoming working ranch

New Haven lake

This summer book your vacation at New Haven Working Cattle & Guest Ranch and see why many guests choose to come back year after year.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation today!

Happy Trails!

Riding the Range Cowboy Style!

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 2017 3rd  issue

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam  and the deer and the antelope play……

Almost everyone even remotely acquainted with western folklore is familiar with this refrain from a classic American folk song, “Home on the Range” written in the early 1870’s by  Dr. Brewster M. Higley.   Later on the original verses were slightly modified, set to music and recorded by various big-name singers, Bing Crosby being the first in 1933 and later by Frank Sinatra and Burl Ives.   Home on the Range has since become the unofficial anthem of the American west and the State song of Kansas.  This paen to a “cowboy’s life” also happened to be President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s favourite song.

Montana Guest Ranch

Riding the range

Home on the Range’s popularity with its images of the old wild west still resonates with die-hard riding enthusiasts and city slickers alike who relish the thought of a truly authentic western experience of long days riding the range, herding cattle and sleeping out under a canopy of stars.  What could be more exciting to a real western aficionado or a relatively newbie to horseback riding than the adrenalin-rush of riding outdoors on the range, honing equestrian skills and the joy of living a dream.

The good news is that this isn’t just something to dream about since various working ranches offer a limited number of guests the experience of being part of the daily ranch routine of actively riding the range, moving and herding cattle under the expert guidance of family owners and ranch hands.

One such ranch is Horses N Courage, which warmly welcomes guests to its Big Sky back-country spread at Sawmill Canyon south of the Snowy Mountains in Martinsdale, Montana.  Horses N Courage is a rustic working guest ranch which truly evokes the spirit of Home on the Range, owing to the deer, elk and antelope population along with moose, coyotes and bears that inhabit their breathtaking 2,000 acre private range land with its wide open pastures, rolling hills and high mountain views.

Montana Guest Ranch

Horses N Courage

Family owned and operated by Kent and Sarah Hereim since 1997, this working cattle ranch offers 4 day/3 nights riding packages, consisting of range riding on the property of up to 6 hours daily in the saddle according to comfort level and expertise, herding or moving cattle across different terrains and streams.   In addition, there is hiking, wildlife photography or soaking in the nearby White Sulphur Springs.  You can also practice dummy roping skills.

The ranch can accommodate up to 8 guests in four comfortable tents, each containing two cots, sleeping bags, warm blankets, lantern, table, chair and wash bowl. An immaculately clean outdoor toilet and shower are close at hand.

Hearty down-home meals are ranch-prepared and eaten in a communal dining tent.  At night, a campfire and ‘smores add to the western ambience after a hard day in the saddle before tumbling into bed in your cosy tent.  As a BYOB ranch, guests are advised to bring their own alcohol and that smoking is not permitted in tents or on the trails.  There is no wifi or cell phone access thereby providing an “off the grid” break from the cares of normal city life to better focus on the spectacular Montana surroundings and a chance to truly reconnect with nature.

Guests are welcomed at Horses N Courage ranch during the beautiful Montana summer months when the weather is usually warm, dry and sunny. Rustic Working Ranch Riding Vacations are offered on these dates, June 28 – July 1st      (8 spots available) and August 24-27 (4 spots available). For more information please contact the ranch about this and other innovative packages available.

Horses N Courage Ranch provides extensive range riding activities and outdoor camping for a really different, fun kind of ranch vacation. No frills but plenty of thrills!

 

I was born under a wanderin’ sky, wheels are made for rollin’ and mules are made to pack, I’ve never seen a sight that didn’t look better looking back…..

Written for the musical, Paint Your Wagon in 1951 by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe, this beloved western song exemplifies the spirit of a roving cowboy, always saddling up and moving onto someplace else, such as New Mexico, where the next working ranch is located.

D. H. Lawrence wrote, “I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had.”

Known for its dramatic landscapes of plains, mountains, plateaus and desert grasslands, it’s not difficult to understand the impact New Mexico had on the renowned English novelist, who made Kiowa Ranch in Taos (now known as the D.H. Lawrence Ranch and a popular tourist attraction) his home during the early 1920’s where he wrote The Plumed Serpent.

Burnt Well Guest Ranch lies in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains at an elevation of 4,200 feet, about 40 miles from Roswell, the city of UFO fame, in the sunny arid climate of southeastern New Mexico.   Burnt Well has a long and colourful history of cattle breeding that goes back to the family’s patriarch, Ivan Chesser, who purchased the property in 1950.  Current owners and operators are his son Kim, wife Patricia and their 3rd and 4th generation family. The Chesser family are so passionate about ranching and their way of life, it prompted them to open up the ranch in 2002 to guests wanting to immerse themselves in the lifestyle and daily operation of a working ranch.

New Mexico working ranch

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

The ranch mainly uses quarter horses and not a regular dude string.  Avid horse riders will be pleased to learn there is no nose to tail riding at Burnt well.  Open pasture riding is the norm, unless you opt for a mountain trail ride for your day trip during the 6-day package. Overnight campouts are available as are all types of cattle work depending on the season. Riding and roping lessons are offered to interested guests.

Cattle drive packages are the crème de la crème for physically healthy, adventurous adults, who love to ride, sleep out under the stars, rough it a little and take home never-to-be-forgotten bucket list memories.  This year’s Chisum Challenge Cattle Drive is from October 2-8, 2017.                       For details, please refer to the ranch website.

Ranch dining is good, wholesome food, be it Mexican-themed fare or lots of “cowboy cuisine” such as brisket, chicken fried steak, grilled steak, lamb chops and plenty of country-type cooking served family-style in the main ranch house or outside around the campfire.  The meat served at Burnt Well is Chesser’s own natural beef and lamb….all superbly prepared by Patricia, who can sometimes be persuaded to entertain guests after dinner with her fiddle playing. Occasionally, local musicians are on hand to add to the general merriment.

Guest ranch lodging consists of a comfortable hacienda containing two bedrooms each with its own private bathroom; one bedroom can accommodate a family of 6, the other a family of 4.  There is also a great room, pool table, kitchenette, laundry room, separate bath & horse trough shower (called the privy) and a hot tub on the porch. Guests are allowed to bring their own beverages to consume on the premises.

Burnt Well Guest Ranch is open all year to guests and exudes typical western hospitality with generous, caring hosts who strive to make their guests feel like family.  The ranch offers an exciting array of daily riding activities, packages and the chance of a lifetime to participate fully in the general routine of a genuine working ranch in beautiful New Mexico.

New Mexico working ranch

Live the life of a cowboy

Both of these working ranches offer exceptional opportunities to realize a truly special dream vacation where you get to enjoy a hands-on experience of what a working cowboy’s life is all about and if you’re really lucky, you might even catch a glimpse one moonlit, starry night of galloping ….♫Ghost Riders in the Sky….. and the sound of…..  ♫Yippie yi ooh, Yippie yi yay….. fading into the distance as you fall blissfully asleep.

By guest author Sheilan Dove

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Happy Trails!

Be a Cowboy for a Week at a Working Ranch

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

For your next vacation why not consider a working ranch. A working ranch differs from your typical guest ranch in that guests can choose to take part in a hands-on ranching experience as well as other fun activities.  If you have ever dreamed of being a cowboy or cowgirl then this is the ideal vacation choice for you. So grab a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and take a look at these two working ranches and book your vacation today!

Burnt Well Guest Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico 

Burnt Well Guest Ranch is an authentic working cattle and sheep ranch. They take on a few guests per year on the side to help supplement their ranching income. Because they can only accept small numbers this means that your vacation will be tailored to your needs. Whether you are an avid rider who would like to participate in actual ranch work or whether you are just a beginner who wants to work on your riding skills Burnt Well can accommodate you.

If you are looking to take part in a cattle drive be sure to contact the ranch in advance to see which dates are programmed for these events. They offer two types of working ranch vacations: Dude Ranch Style and Authentic “Old West” Style

On the Dude Ranch style cattle drive any number of cattle are driven from point A to point B. This drive could be from one to ten miles. You will typically sleep and eat most, if not all, meals at the ranch house. You may have the occasional sack lunch in the saddle bags. Since they are a working cattle ranch on 15,000 acres there is always plenty of cattle work to be done. The need to round up cattle and drive them various distances to pastures or pens could have you in the saddle from many miles and/or hours a day. The ranch can take about any age and any level of riding experience. This type of cattle drive is very common, if not the norm, at Burnt Well with most regular ranch stays.

New Mexico Cattle Drive

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

The Authentic “Old West” Style drives are a little more active for guests as you will camp out on the trail for at least three nights; however it can be four or five nights depending on the drive. You are usually in the saddle between five to ten hours a day. They start early, driving cattle by sun up and will try to be at camp by early afternoon. This drive can be between ten and fifteen miles a day depending on the location.

Burnt Well provide a “cowboy” bedroll very similar to the ones cowboys had to use on cattle drives. The bedroll is a three inch mattress made up with sheets and blankets and rolled in a tarp. (Those cowboys probably didn’t use sheets, but they did have a padded bedroll with blankets which was rolled up in a tarp to keep out the dust and rain). They also provide cots for those who are a little squeamish about being right on the ground. Burnt Well has plenty of “cowboy” teepees in case of inclement weather and an outdoor privy. Your comfort is in their best interest.

New Mexico Cattle Drives

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

Hot meals are cooked in a Dutch oven and over a campfire for breakfast and dinners. You pack your own lunch right after breakfast from the wide variety of choices laid out for .Nightly campfires, a blanket of twinkling stars on a New Mexico black velvet sky and sweet fiddle music are some of the things to be enjoyed on these drives.

The Authentic “Old West” Style cattle drives are adult drive only and for those who are in fairly good shape since you will be out on the range land for the duration of the drive. You will be actually driving cattle for miles and living out under the stars just as the cowboys did before trains and trucks came to being. At times the weather can be trying and unpleasant. This drive is for adventurous adults with plenty of stick-to-itiveness! The stuff memories, stories and bucket lists are made of.

 

Laughing Water Ranch, Fortine, Montana

During selected weeks in May and September adults can sign up for a cattle drive at Laughing Water Ranch. For the first few days you will only be trail riding so that you can get acquainted with your horse and make any needed adjustments. There will also be a “Cattle Clinic” to prepare you for what to expect once you join the herd. This is a great opportunity to see some breathtaking Montana scenery.

Then it’s time to get to work. Depending on the week you come out to the ranch, you will be rounding up, sorting, branding and moving cattle from their winter pasture to summer range in May or from summer range to the home ranch in September. The horses really love it and you’ll love it too. It gets you off the beaten path – chasing cows and calves that have their own ideas of when to stop, and where to go.

Montana Cattle Drives

Laughing Water Ranch

You will be working approximately 170 head of cattle. The cattle belong to their local Judge and rancher, Terry Utter. Terry will be joining everyone on the drives and he is as helpful as he is entertaining. After a day of working cows your appetite will be hearty and the camp cook will put out a spread like you can only get out west.

When the workday is done you will gather round the campfire for some entertaining story- telling and lots of laughter while you discus the day’s events. Guests will have the choice of either staying at night at cow camp, or returning each evening to the comforts of The Ranch. Cow Camp will be set up with spacious wall tents with comfortable cots. Remember to bring your sleeping bags, slickers, and sense of adventure!!!

Montana Cattle Drives

Laughing Water Ranch

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.

Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Laramie River Dude Ranch

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Located in Glendevey, Colorado, this historic guest ranch which also operates as a working ranch, dates back to the 1890’s when it was first operated as the UT Bar Dude Ranch for over forty years. Today, you will still find some of the original structures from that time period. Guests at this dude ranch will experience genuine western hospitality on behalf of the Burleigh family and their staff as well as spectacular vistas of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Horseback riding is the ranch’s specialty so if you love to ride then this is the ideal vacation choice for you. Experienced wranglers accompany each small group of riders across tens of thousands of acres of shaded groves of Aspen and wildflower dotted hillsides all of which include the opportunity to see abundant wildlife. While atop your horse you might just see antelopes, elks, eagles, coyotes or a moose or two so be sure to bring your camera along.

In addition to horseback riding you can also choose from a range of activities suitable for families, couples and single travelers. Your vacation can be as active as you want it to be or you can simply relax in the ranch’s hot tub or curl up in a comfortable chair and read a good book. Laramie River Dude Ranch offers exceptional opportunities for fly-fishing, naturalist led hikes, wildlife adventures as well as a full children’s program.

Colorado Guest Ranch

Laramie River Dude Ranch

For those guests who would like to experience the life of a true western cowboy if only for a short while there are lots of opportunities to work cattle while staying at the ranch. Laramie River Dude Ranch has a small herd of cattle which requires team penning twice a week. They also have scheduled and unscheduled opportunities to help neighbors work their much larger herds. Be sure to book in advance if you are interested in their spring and fall cattle drives since space is limited.

At the end of each day a comfortable room in the main lodge or a cozy cabin awaits you. Meals are served family-style and after a full day spent outdoors in the fresh mountain air you are sure to have a healthy appetite! Whether you are dining out on the trail or at the ranch meals are always an event at Laramie River. It is the perfect opportunity to make new friends and discuss the day’s adventures.

Guests from all across the country and around the world continue to discover the timeless beauty of this Colorado guest ranch. For your next vacation why not consider Laramie River Dude Ranch?

Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Red Reflet Ranch

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Next time that you are looking for a working ranch which is also a luxurious resort why not consider Red Reflet Ranch located in Ten Sleep, Wyoming? Situated on 27,000 acres in the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains you will find landscapes that vary from red rim rock to rolling foot hills to aspen forests, limestone canyons, and mountain meadows. The ranch features outstanding facilities, superb food and an experienced staff all in a beautiful natural setting.

Your vacation at Red Reflet is all-inclusive and offers you unlimited activities. You can do as much as you want or simply choose to relax it’s up to you.  When cattle operations allow guests are invited to try their hand at being a “cowboy” by riding with the wranglers to look over the herd and to move them as needed. Other experiences include cattle drives to branding and gathering. Horseback riding is always a favourite activity at the ranch as well. All riding levels can be accommodated and an experienced wrangler will match you to the perfect horse for your riding ability. Enjoy the many trails on the ranch and explore the breathtaking scenery and natural wonders. You can also take lessons for roping, barrel racing or get some tips on how to improve your riding skills.

Wyoming Guest Ranch

Red Reflet Ranch

Other fun activities include taking an ATV out for a spin in a guided or unguided tour on one of the many trails available at the ranch.  Or how about fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and rifle and skeet shooting to fill your days? And for the more adventurous there is rock climbing and zip lining on the ranch’s private 4 course fast Zip Line. When you feel like doing something less active you are welcome to help the resident chef prepare the meals and learn new techniques while doing it or spend the afternoon cooling off in the outdoor pool which has a spectacular view of the Canyon and Red Cliffs. These are just a few of the activities available so be sure to check everything out before going so you can start planning your days.

Guests at the ranch enjoy 5 star luxury while staying in one of the chalets. The various expansive and well equipped chalets sleep from 4-20 people depending on your vacation needs and are built like a home featuring incredible views and luxurious living spaces. The wraparound terraces are ideal for stargazing at night and if you use the ranch’s Meade telescope you can even see the Milky Way and various galaxies! Mealtimes at the Red Reflet Ranch are always memorable occasions too since almost everything on the table has been grown or raised on the Ranch and then prepared by their resident executive Chef.

So next time you are considering a vacation with your spouse, family or friends consider The Red Reflet Ranch where your western experience will far exceed expectations for you and everyone in your group.

Happy Trails!