RanchSeeker Blog

Thanksgiving at Coffee Creek Ranch

10/13/2016 4:10:20 PM

Thanksgiving is an annual tradition that brings families and friends together around a festively decorated table where one can find oven baked turkeys, freshly made cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casseroles and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is also a wonderful opportunity to plan a quick getaway with your loved ones and let someone else do the cooking for a change. Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal surrounded by majestic mountains and beautiful scenery and instead of curling up on your couch at home this year sign up for a horseback ride or take a hike through the woods. If this sounds tempting, then you should consider heading on over to Coffee Creek Ranch for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday.


Coffee Creek Ranch, located in Northern California is 367 acres of natural, pristine wilderness that lies along the banks of the Coffee Creek. For fly fishing enthusiasts, this is a dream location. If pack riding or shorter trail riding is more your style, they tailor to suit your needs to ensure your expectations are exceeded. Everything about Coffee Creek, from their comfortable and cozy cabin accommodations, to their freshly prepared, delicious hearty meals says that they want to be sure their guests’ stays are truly enjoyable. With budget friendly options, Coffee Creek is definitely a contender for one of the best guest ranches in California.


Open for Thanksgiving this California ranch cooks up a big traditional dinner for its guests, family, and friends in the area. The day after is usually spent looking for and cutting down a Christmas tree to get a jump start on decorating for Christmas! Friday night’s special meal consists of turkey enchiladas with a Mexican flare! In the evening, weather permitting, everyone gathers around a warm, cozy bonfire to celebrate the season .All the winter cabins come stocked with wood for the wood burning stoves for those chilly nights.


Book now and experience a Western Thanksgiving at Coffee Creek Ranch the ideal place to celebrate family and give thanks for your blessings.

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!

Ode to Autumn & Ranch Delights!

10/6/2016 4:04:05 PM

The following article 1st appeared in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s 10 issue

As Keats wrote, “Tis the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and depending on where you live the onset of autumn can represent different things to different people.  It can herald the end of long, lazy, hot days of summer as leaves on the trees change from crisp green to vibrant shades of red and yellow or it can simply reflect a much-awaited drop in temperature and humidity in much warmer climes. Regardless of where you are located on the map, autumn is often considered a favourite season by many of us. As days become shorter and winter approaches, we can bathe in sunlight yet enjoy more temperate weather making it an ideal time for planning various types of outdoor activities.

For families it signifies the beginning of a new school year, but for others it is a great opportunity to travel since plenty of vacation destinations offer tempting packages to suit a variety of budgets once the busy summer season is over. With so many attractive deals “out there” with or without children, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you. If spending time in the saddle, participating in diverse outdoor activities, and being surrounded by spectacular scenery appeal, then a guest ranch vacation would be an ideal choice. Check out these four enticing Fall Ranch Specials in Wyoming, Georgia, California and Mexico and start thinking about the great outdoors and what to pack!

Spotted Horse Ranch (http://ow.ly/JRGB3042vZG)

Located near Jackson Hole this Wyoming dude ranch will have you feeling like you have returned to a simpler time similar to the old west. The pace although laid back is never boring!

Fall Special Details:

October 1st to Oct. 15:  Late Season 15% discount

Children under 6 years of age are half price and children under 3 years are free.

Rates are based upon the American plan, which includes the following:

  1. Newly decorated cabins, complete with goose down comforters and private baths.
  2. All meals, served family style in our dining room
  3. Horseback riding
  4. Fly-casting lessons on Monday afternoon
  5. Fly fishing in our private pond as well as in the Hoback River
  6. Barbeque cookouts with live entertainment, weather permitting on Thursdays
  7. A choice of a scenic or whitewater float on the Snake River (only on Thursdays)
  8. Swimming in Granite Hot Springs (only on Thursdays)
  9. Beer and wine are complimentary at happy hour, 5-7pm each evening, along with appetizers
  10. A Children’s Activity Director, Sunday afternoon through Friday
  11. Sauna located adjacent to the Hoback River
  12. Guest Laundry facility, detergent included
  13. Shampoo, conditioner and hair dryers in every cabin

For a chance to explore the Hoback Mountain Range in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the ranch offers you the opportunity of a true Western experience by enjoying an overnight pack-trip into one of their backcountry camps. This is a great opportunity for photo taking and/or fishing!


Spotted Horse Ranch

Southern Cross Guest Ranch 

t its finest at this easy to reach ranch located just an hour outside of Atlanta, GA. Delicious home-cooked  food, over 150 horses and unguided riding opportunities are the highlights at this a bona fide horse lover’s paradise.

Fall Special Details:

Take advantage of “FREE NIGHTS IN GEORGIA”

Sept 29 – Oct 6 or *Oct 30 – Nov 18

Midweeks – Mon-Thurs nights.

The longer you stay the better the deal:

3-nights: 3rd night FREE

4-nights: 4th night FREE + room upgrade for all nights

Weekend Rates

4-nights: 4th night FREE

7-nights: 2 nights FREE when booking their 5-night package rate ($780 & up)

Discounted night must be a night of equal or lesser value.

Promo Code: FALLFREE

Expires: October 31/2016

All-Inclusive Plan with 2x daily horseback riding – just $88/night per person!

Take advantage of the  lowest rates of the year – Valid Nov 27 – Dec 18, 2016 on stays of 4 nights or longer, double occupancy (singles just $98/night).

 Promo Code: FALL88

Expires: November 30, 2016

***Specials above may not be combined with other discounts or promotions. Reservations required, limited availability, new reservations only.


Southern Cross Guest Ranch

Coffee Creek Ranch 

There are many new modern ranches but if you are seeking an authentic dude ranch experience, look no further than Coffee Creek Ranch. This guest ranch was founded in 1900 and lies across 367 acres in Northern California. It’s surrounded by the National Forest and Trinity Alps and is adjacent to Coffee Creek of course.

Fall Special Details:

September 24th-30th

Cowboy & Cowgirl-Up Week:

Adults only week! $1175 per person arriving as couples or groups and Singles at $1295!

October 15th-21st

Cowboy & Cowgirl-Up Week:

Adults only week! $1175 per person arriving as couples or groups and Singles at $1295!

These specials include cooking classes according to guest’s wishes, game nights, fall bonfires, special hot cocoa, homemade ice cream and great fall-themed food to enjoy while staying at the ranch accompanied by the recipes to take home. It also includes two rides a day into a picturesque forest and if everyone is in agreement an all- day ride to one of the lakes nearby.


Coffee Creek Ranch

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch or Tierra Chamahua Eco Adventures as it is also known by is a genuine Mexican cattle ranch and wilderness preserve located a mere 55 miles south from the southeast Arizona town of Douglas. With over 30, 000 acres, exotic scenery and otherworldly landscapes you will be reminded of a National Park.

Fall Special Details:

175-185/night Especial de las Vaqueras [Cowgirls Special]

Calling all female friends or family members, sisters and mothers! Take part in the “Cowgirl’s Special” which applies to two or more cowgirls, for five or more nights, at a discounted rate of $175/night/”vaquera” (until the end of October)or $185/night during November and December, based on double occupancy. A savings of $70/ night off of their standard rates. Round trip shuttle from Tucson is included.

Enjoy short rides, long rides, trail rides and back country riding at its finest. Ride through ravines, hills, mesas, down canyons and up into the high sierra and make new memories that will last forever.

November Mexican Roundup [Corrida]

Experience an authentic  Mexican Roundup [Nov 6-13], or “Corrida,” with “vaqueros” (cowboys), horses, cattle, great food and ideal weather for  lots of riding, cattle drives, and cattle work. Only $1,400 per guest, double occupancy, $1,550 per guest, single occupancy for this seven night stay.

Thanksgiving Week at the Rancho [Kids 10 and under stay free; free nightly wine tasting from Latin America]

This Thanksgiving choose a different way to celebrate. Visit Tierra Chamahua towards the end of November and spend Thanksgiving Week from Nov. 20-26, for a 6 night stay, starting at $1,300 per guest, double occupancy, all-inclusive, with shuttle transfer from Tucson.

Your Thanksgiving package includes wine tasting from Latin American wineries, a delicious Thanksgiving Day meal, plus children aged 10 and under stay for free! Exceptional riding and hiking opportunities as well as pleasant, mild temperatures and incredible scenery round out this holiday special.


Rancho Los Baños Adventure Guest Ranch

With fantastic Fall and Thanksgiving Specials like these what are you waiting for?

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation.

Happy Trails!

Welcome to Willow Ranch Valemount

8/31/2016 3:54:53 PM

Super Natural British Columbia is home to many great guest ranches and Willow Ranch is one of them.  This newly built guest ranch features cozy cabins situated in the middle of the forest surrounded by views of the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains. Located only 5 minutes from Highway 5 the ranch is conveniently close to the town of Valemount making it the ideal vacation choice for a one night stay while travelling around Canada or perhaps even longer for those looking to kick off their boots and relax a spell.


Willow Ranch

There are 4 modern cabins to choose from: Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter all of which feature a kitchen, dishwasher and microwave for your convenience. A separate bedroom has a comfortable king-size bed and there is a pull-out couch in the living room for additional guests as well as a bathroom. Since they are located on McLennan Forrest Road ATV’s and snowmobiles can easily access them as well. There is also direct access to walking and horseback riding trails.

There are endless horseback riding opportunities available as the ranch is surrounded by crown land (forest and mountains) and there truly is no better way to experience the Canadian mountains than from atop a horse. Guests can choose from several types of rides that can be tailored to fit their specific needs and for those who have never ridden before there are classes available too!


Willow Ranch

Explorer Ride

1.5 hour ride which has everything that a good trail ride needs. It goes through forest, climbs up the mountainside with some great views over the valley. A very nice ride for any level rider, as the route can be adjusted to meet particular rider’s needs and abilities.

Viewpoint Ride

A half day ride through the mountains with amazing views.

Pony Trail

For smaller kids there is a pony ride, a fun loop which takes about 30 minutes. The horses are held by qualified staff members to keep it safe and fun even for the littlest kids.

Pony Experience

For 1st time riders there is the pony experience where qualified wranglers take their time to teach a little bit about horses, grooming and tack and afterwards guests can go on a shirt ride.

Be sure to ask about Willow Ranch’s fantastic combo deals like their “one night & ride” for travellers just passing through which combines their Explorer Ride with a night stay in one of their cabins. Of course the ranch can also help you complete your Canadian horse holiday dream by filling up your days with riding, horse whispering demonstrations and workshops. Whatever your needs the staff at Willow Ranch are happy to customize your stay to suit your specific vacation needs. For those traveling with their own horses and looking for somewhere to stop for a night or two Willow Ranch has pens with shelter ready that are big enough to keep two horses.


Cabin in the winter

Next time you are travelling through Canada be sure to consider a stop at Willow Ranch Valemount!

Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation!

Cowtown! Calgary’s Stampede City!

8/19/2016 3:43:33 PM

The following article 1st  appeared in  Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s  8th issue.

Many years ago, as a young, British immigrant, I found myself at the Calgary Stampede…..one of the most famous and largest rodeos in the world. It totally blew me away!  I had never experienced or seen anything quite like it. An amazing kaleidoscope of events, from a foot stomping, mind boggling opening Parade of marching brass bands, flamboyant floats, honorary marshal, parade queen and princesses to heart-stopping feats as cowboys and cowgirls showed off their skills and competed for major prize money in the huge Stampede Grandstand arena. The rodeo events were an eye-popping spectacle of calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and, most thrilling of all, bare-back riders exploding out of the gate astride big bucking bulls or broncos. Between various events, nimble rodeo clowns kept the stands laughing and rearing animals distracted, when a rider tumbled to the ground!  Every night, enthusiastic aficionados of chuck wagon racing filled the stands to hoot and holler and cheer on their favourite teams as wagons careened and thundered around the track.  After that heady rush of adrenaline, it was time for spectators to sit back and enjoy big-name entertainment at the evening concert, climaxed by a brilliant firework display at the evening’s close.

During the day and into the night, good-natured crowds jostled and pushed their way around the various venues, trying to take in as much as possible.  Vendors hawked their wares and sold everything from hot dogs and cotton candy to the latest kitchen gadgets. The constant hustle and bustle was an infectious mix of good times and fun-filled days that invoked a true carnival atmosphere.  Among the major attractions, was an authentic Indian Village recreated on the banks of the Elbow River, representing the six local tribes, replete with tipis, native art and tribal members resplendent in ceremonial dress and traditional attire.  Other big draws were the many agricultural exhibitions and magnificent prize livestock on show in the cattle sheds, polished and groomed by their proud owners, as visitors gingerly picked their way around bellowing animals and sawdust strewn floors!

Free pancake breakfasts, free barbecues and impromptu street parties were hosted at countless outdoor venues around town… western hospitality at its finest and a sure-fire Stampede staple.  Saloon-type restaurants did a roaring trade happily serving up large plates of steak and eggs to customers from early morning ‘til late at night. White Stetsons, cowboy boots and blue jeans were de rigueur as everyone got in on the act to celebrate Stampede week. Calgary residents and visitors alike lived and breathed in a bygone western era, which then, as now, remains the true essence of the Calgary Stampede.

But what exactly is the Calgary Stampede and how did it come to symbolize and define Calgary as Stampede City, hosting the largest, richest, most successful rodeo festival to date?


Basically, the Stampede is a 10-day annual Rodeo, Exhibition and Agricultural fair held every July in Calgary, a prosperous modern city situated at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers surrounded by foothills and prairies in the Province of Alberta, about 80km from the east range of the Canadian Rockies. The Stampede is run by a “not for profit organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.”  Thousands of volunteers help to make the annual Stampede possible, which bills itself as, “The Greatest Show on Earth!”  Only the present-day midway funfair is a for profit run business by an entirely separate entity.

But let’s go back to the very beginning when Calgary was truly deserving of its nickname Cowtown!   Like all great and enduring ventures, it has an uneven and colourful history dating from 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society put on its first fair and exhibition to encourage farmers to move west.  At that time, Calgary was a small town with most of the 2,000 population involved in farming, ranching and raising cattle.  The society’s fair enjoyed a modest profit and success which continued in one form or another until 1895 when poor weather, failed crops and declining attendance put an end to it.  However, in 1899, the Western Pacific Exhibition stepped in, took over the Victoria Park facility and resumed the fairs which began to grow annually. In 1910 the fair became known as the Calgary Industrial Exhibition.

The big break came in 1908, when the Canadian government chose Calgary to host the Dominion Exhibition and provided necessary funds. The city, seizing an opportunity to promote itself, invested a further $145,000 to build six new pavilions and despite a recession the Exhibition was a total success.

But the birth of the Stampede as we know it today, was the idea and brainchild of Guy Weadick, an American trick roper at the Dominion Exhibition, who later returned to Calgary and convinced four Calgary businessmen, Pat Burns, George Lane, A.J. McLean and A. E. Cross, forever immortalized in Calgarian folk-lore history as the Big Four, to back an authentic wild-west type Stampede.  The Big Four thought it would be a fitting, one-time only event to celebrate their lives as cattlemen, and so the first Stampede took place in 1912 as a joint venture with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition and was an instant success. It took another 7 years before Weadick managed to get the Big Four to sponsor another such event, which was the 1919 Victory Stampede to mark the end of W.W.1 and honour returning war veterans.   It too was an immediate rip-roaring success. However, it wasn’t until 1923 that the Calgary Industrial Exhibition, suffering losses and falling revenues, agreed to merge with Weadick’s Stampede group and form the “Calgary Exhibition and Stampede” which became a permanent fixture on the rodeo circuit.


With the discovery of the Leduc 1 oil well in 1947, far-reaching changes took place in Calgary having an enormous impact on the city’s future and that of the Stampede. The former small cattle and farming community was transformed into the present-day oil and gas capital of Canada and financial hub of Alberta. As Calgary grew, so did the Stampede, attracting notables from afar, including the Queen and Prince Philip twice, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope as parade marshals and six Hollywood-made films featuring the Stampede……some using actual footage.  But by the 1950’s it was evident that further expansion was necessary to accommodate the increasing number of attendees and rodeo events to ensure the continuing success of the Stampede.

With this in mind, the organization embarked on an ambitious building program, which included a 7,500 seat Stampede Corral in 1950 followed by a race-track in 1954. The Big Four Building (named after its four benefactors) was completed in 1959, the city’s largest Exhibition Hall at the time.  In 1961, the OH Ranch, in Hanna, Alberta was established to raise and breed cattle, horses and bulls for the Stampede’s six rodeo disciplines using humane methods. By 1968, the Stampede had grown so rapidly that it was extended to its current 10 days. The Roundup Centre came next in 1979 and served as the new Exhibition Hall and finally in 1983 the Olympic Saddledome took its place as the Stampede’s newest and biggest venue. Owing to the improved and expanded facilities, attendance rose steadily until it finally plateaued at around 1.2 million with a one-time peak of 1.4 million in 2012 at the Stampede’s Centennial year celebrations.

In 2007, “Exhibition” was dropped and the event was called simply, The Calgary Stampede. At the same time, the Stampede organization finally acquired additional lands at Victoria Park, expanding the original site, now known as Stampede Park.  Long-term plans include it being a year-round destination for both locals and visitors.  The Stampede Park complex is located in S.E. downtown Calgary in the Beltline district, serviced by a rapid transit line and consists of the following facilities:  the Saddledome and Corral, the Big Four building, the BMO Centre and the Stampede Grandstand.


In the years since my long-ago visit, many new attractions have been added to the Stampede, such as the ever- popular Midway,  an exciting Adventure Park , a Nashville North venue showcasing well-known country and western artists and the Transalta Grandstand, which features a troupe of talented young Canadian performers strutting their stuff in front of a packed house!

The horrendous 2013 floods, which decimated much of Calgary, threatened to cancel that year’s stampede, however, Stampede City literally pulled itself out of the mud and with the help of selfless volunteers the show went on… a testament to the indomitable spirit that has infused the Calgary Stampede since its inception. As a direct result of the floods, millions of dollars were raised from government and private donors for ongoing improvements to the Stampede facilities and future expansion projects.

In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to stay at a cattle farm 120km outside of Calgary and got to explore the neighbouring  high country and arid badlands, plus renew my acquaintance with Calgary’s downtown, now an imposing, sophisticated city of skyscrapers, condo towers and trendy restaurants. But at the heart of all this modernity, Cowtown is alive and well with a warm invitation to step back into the past and soak up the spirit of the old wild-west at the next Calgary Stampede!

Sheilan Dove/ June 29/2016

White Stallion Ranch Becomes a Member of Historic Hotels of America

6/15/2016 2:41:42 PM

RanchSeeker would like to congratulate the White Stallion Ranch and share the following press release:

Tucson, AZ – June 2, 2016    White Stallion Ranch was selected for membership by Historic Hotels of America in May.  To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old;  been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.   These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America.


Historic Hotels of America

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

White Stallion Ranch was established as a cattle ranch in 1939.  It has been owned and operated by the True family for 50 years as a Guest Ranch, and has been ranked the #1 hotel in Tucson on TripAdvisor for 5 consecutive years.

The True Family and their staff provide the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional dude ranch, carefully blended with the service and amenities of a fine resort.  The Ranch caters to: individual travelers, couples, families and small meetings and retreats looking for exceptional service, a warm, welcoming atmosphere and unique western adventures.

Video - https://youtu.be/OlJHqXIZ1TA

White Stallion Ranch’s Full American Plan Rates include lodging, meals and daily activities.  The Ranch offers horseback riding, tennis, hiking, evening entertainment, swimming pool, redwood hot tub, game room, movie theatre, petting zoo, gift shop and speciality rides with meals and snacks in desert settings. Rock climbing with a certified guide (gear provided) and Massage therapy are available on property for an addition fee.

Happy Trails!

His Best Father’s Day at a Dude Ranch

6/8/2016 2:38:22 PM

Father’s Day started in the early 20th century in the United States to celebrate fatherhood and to complement Mother’s Day. It was first celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA by Sonora Smart Dodd. She and her siblings were raised by her father as a single parent so she thought that father’s should rightfully have their own day of celebration as well. She proposed the idea to her pastor and the clergyman agreed and the first Father’s Day sermon was given on June 19, 1910.

Now Father’s Day is celebrated around the world and is on June 19, 2016 this year which is just around the corner. Have you decided how you would like to honour your father yet? If you would like to get your dad something different this year besides a tie, socks, dinner or clothing, how about an experience he will remember for a lifetime. Spend some quality time with him at a dude ranch. If your dad is an avid fisherman, hiker, outdoorsman then it’s the perfect choice. Even if he is not, who wouldn’t enjoy relaxing in the beauty of Mother Nature.

Here are some dude ranch vacation specials that are made just for Dad.

Coffee Creek Ranch

This northern California ranch is offering a huge 50% off for Father’s Day week (June 18-24, 2016). At this price you can take Dad, Grandpa, Uncle and more! It’s a stunning ranch located on 367 acres along Coffee Creek which is an excellent stream for fly fishing trout. There is also spectacular hiking in the nearby Trinity Alps. This is an all-inclusive dude ranch so once you are there you won’t need to worry about anything except having fun!


YD Guest Ranch

YD Guest Ranch in British Columbia is celebrated around the world for its rich history, rustic elegance, and legendary cuisine. High above the Village of Ashcroft, this newly renovated ranch now has glamping accommodations. For Father’s Day they are offering for the entire month of June all bookings with Dad include free meals. Also, if you want to send Dad on a memorable adventure with 3 of his buddies, they are featuring a Guys Getaway special. The Guys Getaway features a 2 night stay in an authentic tipi, archery lessons, ATV tour, horseback tour and all meals for $2000. This package is definitely a steal and something your Dad would love.


 Echo Valley Ranch

Echo Valley Ranch is a luxury guest ranch also located in British Columbia. They have a Canada Day special available which is perfect for history buffs. Take a journey through time back to the Cariboo Gold Rush and also enjoy a Canada Day celebration. Echo Valley Ranch has 2 world class spas so you can treat your Dad to some relaxing spa treatments . Gourmet farm to table meals are also included.


These are a few Father’s Day specials but you can always visit any dude ranch that is convenient for your family. Please view our list of dude ranches for one near you.

Happy Trails

Horseback Riding For Beginners at a Dude Ranch

11/23/2015 12:00:52 PM

Horseback riding can be both a thrilling and challenging experience since interacting with such a large animal requires a specific level of expertise and patience. When done properly, horseback riding can be exciting, therapeutic and relaxing all at the same time. There are studies that show that horseback riding is beneficial for intellectual and emotional processes. Also, you’ll gain an appreciation of the symbiotic relationship created between you and your horse.

horseback riding

Horseback riding is one of the main activities you can enjoy while on a dude ranch vacation. If you have never ridden a horse before, you can prepare yourself in advance before your trip. Horseback riding for newbies can seem a little bit daunting at first but once you get going you’ll catch on quickly. Here are some tips to help beginners get started:

1. Get a head start.
Find an equestrian center or horse ranch in your area and get some practice time in the saddle  or lessons before your trip. Most dude ranches will give beginners some instruction but if you want to arrive ready to hop on a horse and ride, taking some lessons beforehand will allow you to get ahead of the game.

Riding Horses

3. Get proper riding attire.
As a beginner rider, you must have a helmet specifically made for horseback riding. A riding helmet should be purchased since riding helmets covers more of the head and are designed to protect riders against falls while riding. Other types of helmets aren’t suitable for riding.

Boots needs to be flat-soled, pointed, and they should have a short heel, all to aid the simple removal of the boot from the stirrup in case anything goes wrong.

4. Prepare yourself mentally.
It is very important that you are able to control your feelings while riding a horse. A relaxed and calm demeanor is best as your horse can sense the way you feel. If you lack confidence your horse will sense this and will be harder to control. Remember, your horse doesn’t know that you are a beginner so act confident and trust yourself and each other. 5.Prepare yourself physically. Strength and balance work together to help you relax and communicate with your horse so you can have the best ride possible. There are various exercises available that can help strengthen a rider and make them feel more secure in the saddle. Many of these can be found here

5. Start with an experienced horse.
Once you start riding, it is very important that you begin with a very experienced horse so at least one of you understands the routine. As you become more comfortable in the saddle you will have the opportunity to ride horses more suited for experienced riders. As you do, you’ll soon realize they're all different, just like people.

Experienced horses

Horseback riding for beginners is very exciting and with the proper training you will be able to enjoy all that this fun activity can offer you.

Be a Cowboy for a Week at a Working Ranch

11/11/2015 11:18:50 AM

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!

What to Bring On a Dude Ranch Vacation

11/7/2015 7:44:36 PM

A dude ranch, or a guest ranch, is a ranch that opens it’s doors to people for tourism purposes. Especially for first time visitors, many people have a little dilemma of what to pack. Well, here is a generalized list of items you should bring on your dude ranch vacation.

Echo Valley Ranch & Spa

Shoes

Riding boots are an absolute must They should have a short heel which makes it comfortable for you to walk on uneven and rough terrain. They can be cowboy boots or another low heeled boot. Some dude ranches sell them  or offer a selection on site so ask beforehand. Some dude ranches have a formal dinner setting where you may need dressy shoes so confirm before you head out. Sneakers or runners are also recommended for other activities such as hiking or trail jogging. Some dude ranches have a pool or in the Summer months so flip-flops might be needed.

cowboy boots

Clothing

Casual attire is widely accepted and encouraged at most dude ranches. Jeans are a necessity for many dude ranch vacation activities so be sure to pack a few pairs. Padded pants, like cycling shorts, for riding are also advisable, especially for beginner riders. The other clothing you may pack will mostly depend on the weather and the season. If it’s Summer and the weather is bound to be hot and sunny, pack breathable light clothing. It will help to keep you cool but still protect you from the sun’s rays. Include light shirts, vests, shorts, jeans and light jackets. For protection from the hot elements bring a hat with a brim and sunglasses. If it is Fall or Winter and predicted to be cool, pack some heavier clothing for warmth and layering. Include wool or fleece jackets, long sleeve shirts, long pants, scarves, gloves, hats and socks. If you plan to be outdoors riding or on an excursion, bring a something to cover and protect your ears. Rain coats should be packed if it is going to be rainy at the ranch. Hats are essential to protect you against the heat from the sun. They should fit well to avoid being carried off in the wind, especially when riding. They don't necessarily have to be cowboy or cowgirl hats, baseball hats can also work. Most dude ranches sell hats as well so it's not necessary for you to carry one from home.

Cowboy-Boots-And-Hat

Gloves will be necessary if you plan to do a lot of riding or if you are attending a working ranch or cattle drive. Pick a pair that are made of flexible, but strong, leather. If you are planning to do any swimming or working out at the dude ranch, make sure you bring the proper attire for those activities as well.

Personal Items

Seeing as it is a dude ranch vacation, a camera/video camera should tag along with you. Make sure it isn't bulky because you may be carrying it with you on horseback and other excursions. Don’t forget to also bring the camera charger.  If you are planning on doing any bird watching or wildlife viewing a pair of binoculars will come in handy. Other essentials include phone chargers, hair dryers. Some ranches supply hair dryers so ask first because If they do, that's one less bulky item to carry.

Toiletries

Sunscreen and insect repellent are absolute musts for a dude ranch vacation. After being out in the sun or cold, keep your skin smooth with some moisturizer and chapstick. Depending on the dude ranch, you may need to bring your own shower items. You should always try to stay hydrated at the ranch so also bring a water bottle that's suitable for carrying around. Lastly bring and open mind and your sense of adventure. You may be exposed to new things out of your comfort zone. Throw caution to the wind and try something new!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

8/21/2015 8:24:24 AM

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch is a small year round guest ranch located in Rifle, Colorado. Nestled in a beautiful valley on the shores of a pristine mountain lake guests at the ranch are treated to the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains as well as abundant wildlife. Ideal for summer vacations, family reunions, wedding, business retreats, hunting opportunities and winter getaways since each package can be customized to start and end your days to fit your schedule. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the two trail rides that are offered every day. From atop a horse you will see the Colorado Rockies like no other way so be sure to take your camera. Each guest is matched to a horse that best suits their riding abilities. Whether you are a first time rider or have ridden your whole life Coulter Lake Guest Ranch has the horse for you. There are scenic walking rides and loping on most trails or you can choose to take lessons to improve your skills. You can choose to ride as often or as little as you like. When guests aren’t off riding they can often be found in the lake. With activities like kayaking, canoeing, fishing or simply swimming out to the platform to cool off on a hot day the lake provides kids and adults with hours of entertainment. And this being Colorado there are many other opportunities as well for avid fishermen to fish the superb trout rivers, nearby streams and mountain lakes. Hiking enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either since no matter what direction they choose beautiful trails await them.  For the more adventurous half day white water raft trips are available and for those that like to golf there is a course nearby. If you feel like a short drive you can also visit Colorado’s wineries and orchards in Palisades or book a massage at one of the spas in Glenwood.

Colorado Guest Ranch
Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

At the end of a fun-filled day of activities or a relaxing day spent by the lake guests can retire to their own cabin by the lake or among the aspen trees all within an easy walk to the main Lodge. Each cabin has 1-3 bedrooms, a sitting area, a private bathroom with shower, and a front porch with incredible views of the lake and mountains. For those nights that get chilly all but one cabin has a fireplace and all of them have heating systems. Meals are served either in the lodge’s dining room or al fresco at one of the outdoor locations. Expect family-style meals with a western gourmet flair. Coulter Lake Guest Ranch will provide you and your loved ones with a memorable vacation that will have you coming back year after year.

Happy Trails!  

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