If you’ve ever dreamed of being an authentic cowboy or cowgirl then a working ranch vacation is the ideal opportunity for you to experience first hand the Wild West life. A working ranch vacation is a memorable lifetime experience of being a truly living the Western life.It's an adventure you will remember for years to come.
What is a Working Ranch?
First of all, working ranches are usually much larger than guest ranches and dude ranches. Working ranches usually still breed and raise their own cattle and horses. They are usually situated on hundreds of acres of land with large herds of freely roaming cattle. Most working ranches welcome, and encourage, guests to participate fully in all aspects of working ranch life. Ranch guests can help herd in the annual round-ups in the spring and fall depending on their level of fitness and horse riding ability. A working ranch vacation is not somewhere to go for something luxurious but it if you are looking for some real Wild West adventure with some real life cowboys then it may be just the vacation you are looking for.
Working Ranch Activities
Working ranches have a variety of activities you can enjoy. What activities are available will depend on the ranch and time of year. The busiest time of year at a working ranch, and perhaps the most thrilling, is the annual roundup of the cattle herd. In the spring the cows are let out to pasture and in the fall they are brought back to their winter quarters at the ranch. In between these times, working ranches care for their horses and other ranch livestock.
Photo courtesy of Bonanza Creek Guest Ranch
In addition to all the ranch work activities, there are lots of other activities to enjoy, such as jamborees, rodeos, hayrides, calf, roping and horseback riding. When it’s time to kick back, there’s fishing in nearby streams and good ‘ole yarn-spinning around a campfire.
What a genuine working ranch may lack in luxuries is more than made up for with its spirit of adventure, sense of camaraderie and satisfaction of a day well-spent. It’s getting to know a working ranch way of life and learning new skills or improving your horsemanship under the friendly supervision of experienced ranch hands.
Working Ranch Amenities
Working ranch accommodations and amenities vary from rustic cabins to lodgings at the main ranch/guest house or even self-contained cottages ideal for family groups. Meals are usually supplied in the vacation package and enable the guests of working ranches to feel right at home.
Photo courtesy of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
Some working ranches have swimming pools to cool off in after an exhilarating day in the saddle herding cattle.
Although most working ranches encourage their guests to participate in the actual working life of the ranch, guests can still enjoy themselves just soaking in the Western ambiance .In addition, some working ranches now offer specialized programs such as yoga and others at various times of the year.
A working ranch vacation is the ultimate western adventure and as close as you can get to the Wild West. Whether it’s a first-time visit, or a seasoned full hands-on approach, there’ll be memories to savour and cherish of this very different type of vacation.
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