RanchSeeker Blog

Riding ADDventures for Teen Girls at Horses N Courage, LLC

6/21/2018 12:00:00 AM

Riding ADDventures for Girls is a therapeutic, horseback riding camp for the ADHD teen girl in your life! If she is looking for a riding adventure and wants a sisterhood with other teen girls who share in the same struggles of trying to squeeze their creative, energetic, ADHD self into the public-school mold. ADHD is NOT a failed version of normal... it is simply a different way of being!

                                                                                       

Our Riding ADDventures for girls is a 4-day, 3-night, experience! Your teen will sleep in a luxury camping tent under our big Montana, mountain sky!

 In the saddle your teen will learn horse safety and western horsemanship. Our primary focus is safety, fun and skill advancement. In that order!                                                                               


Out of the saddle, your teen will enjoy art projects, team building activities and powerful campfire conversations. Our intention is to give your teen tools to help her develop a healthier self-esteem, gain confidence and self-awareness. Mindfulness and compassion skills help self-criticism and will help your teen to become more confident!

It’s first come, first serve, so be sure and contact us early to reserve that tent ahead of time.




Dates

2018

July 26-29, 2018 (13-18 years)

2019

July 11-15, 2019 (14-16 years)

July 18-22, 2019 (13-15 years)

July 25-29, 2019 (16-18 years)-

For the original source article with more details click HERE 

 

Some Additional Info about Horses N Courage, LLC 

Located in Sawmill Canyon in Lennep, Montana this family owned, and operated dude ranch combines dude ranching culture with good old western hospitality to make your vacation experience a memorable one. Open to guests from June 1st until September 1st Horses N Courage, can accommodate up to 8 guests at a time so that your stay at the ranch can be customized according to your vacation needs. You’ll arrive as a guest but depart as a friend.

The ranch offers unique accommodations for those looking for a different kind of ranch experience in the great outdoors. There is no cell phone coverage or WIFI available so that guests can disconnect in order to re-connect with each other as well as their surroundings. Choose from either a wall-tent or a cowboy-teepee.




Wall-Tents: Clean, cozy wall tents, sleep up to 4 adults comfortably and are furnished with comfortable cots, warm fluffy sleeping bags, extra blankets, throw rug, lantern, a mirror, lawn chair, small table with a wash bowl and a pitcher. The clean, old fashioned out house toilet is a short walk from your tent.

 Cowboy-Teepees: Teepee’s sleep one adult or 2 children comfortably, with a cot(s) and a fluffy sleeping bag, extra blankets, a table, lantern, throw rug, lawn chair, a washbowl, pitcher and a mirror. The clean, old fashioned out house toilet is a short walk from your teepee.

Shower: A large, wood-sided outdoor shower that is a self- standing little structure with propane heated water. It sits behind the cook tent, facing the trees, ensuring that you have the utmost privacy!

 Guests enjoy rustic, hearty ranch-cooked meals that are prepared outdoors and served with all the western fixing’s which include ranch raised natural beef, big mountain breakfasts and substantial lunches. All that clean fresh air will have you asking for seconds but make sure you save some room for s’mores around the campfire at night! If you require a special diet, be sure to note it on your contact form in advance, so that the ranch can accommodate your needs.

 So whether you are interested in the Riding ADDventures for Teen Girls package or just a guest ranch vacation be sure to mention that you heard about Horses N Courage first through RanchSeeker’s blog.

Happy Trails!

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

Spend Spring in Style with a Life-Changing Ranch Vacation

5/1/2018 9:51:00 AM

The following blog post was featured 1st in  Ranch & Reserve Magazine's Vol 3 Issue 1 

In the midst of bleak wintry months, when darkness falls early and daylight hours too short, it’s hard to imagine the eternal hope and promise of spring. We tend to forget the sheer essence and joy of a spring season; the whiffs of crisp fresh air blowing down the street; fleecy white clouds scudding across iridescent pale blue skies; buds beginning to burst; tender green shoots poking above ground and early daffodils wafting gently in the breeze.  


                              


Spring heralds the perennial rebirth of earth and renewal of all life forms; a primeval force that is rooted deep in the human psyche which is celebrated in various ways by various peoples, such as Stonehenge, an English prehistoric Druid monument, where followers gather to observe the precise angle at which the sun rises over the ring of massive standing stones during the vernal equinox on March 20th when day and night across the globe is of equal length.

The coming of Spring, was so integral to its culture, that the ancient Mayans bequeathed to the world the UNESCO archaeological site of Chichén Itzá in Mexico, which hosts countless visitors to its Kulkulkan Temple at the dawn  equinox, all hoping to glimpse a mythical serpent slithering along the steps of the pyramid owing to the effect of light and shadow created by the early Mayan architects and astronomers.

The First New Moon of Spring honoured by the Cherokee tribes, involved much traditional feasting, music and dancing as decreed by the seven “principals” or elders, who determined the appropriate dates in March to proclaim the arrival of spring.

And not least….the sensational avant-garde ballet and orchestral work Rite of Spring by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky which premièred in Paris, May 1913 and portrayed earthy pagan Russian rites.  Despite its somewhat rowdy reception by the audience, the musical score has become an acclaimed concert staple.

These and many other spring festivals, events and ceremonies welcome the advent of spring, which usually falls between March 20th and ends June 20th within the Northern hemisphere.  Springtime is what pulls us out of ourselves, to shake off the winter doldrums and embrace the earth awakening out of its deep winter sleep.  And…. what better place is there to experience this annual resurgence of life firsthand than at an authentic working ranch, which offers the opportunity to see gangly new calves, cattle being driven out to pasture, wildflowers in bloom and spectacular landscapes.

Horses N Courage a unique Montana dude ranch, is one such place to experience that primordial call of nature and get back to the basic, simpler things of life.  Situated in Sawmill Canyon, in beautiful Big Sky country and surrounded by amazing mountain scenery, this rustic working ranch is owned and operated by the Hereim family and can accommodate up to 8 guests at any one time between June 1st and September 1st.  With such a small number of guests, the warm and caring hosts soon have guests feeling right at home!   

Accommodation at the ranch campsite compound consists of comfortably equipped Wall-Tents for up to four adults or Cowboy-Teepees suitable for one adult or two children.  An immaculate clean old-fashioned outhouse is a short walk away.  A self-standing, large wood-sided outdoor shower with propane heated water sits behind the cook tent, facing the trees for absolute privacy.




Hearty ranch-cooked meals are prepared and eaten outdoors on a friendly communal dining table and include such mains as ranch-raised natural beef with western style fixings.  Big mountain breakfasts and generous lunches will satisfy even the hungriest appetite.   Guests are also encouraged to bring their own smores for the nightly campfire, favourite snacks, soft drinks and alcohol if desired.  If you do have any dietary concerns, please advise the ranch at time of booking.

This down-home kind of ranch is the perfect place for experienced horse-riders to spend many hours in the saddle honing their skills and for intermediate riders to gain valuable practice time in the saddle. Depending on ability and comfort level, guests can ride up to 6 hours a day, exploring the 2,000 acres of private ranch territory while observing abundant wildlife.  Special thrills include herding and moving cattle or trail riding among alpine meadows festooned with wildflowers and breathtaking vistas of Big Sky country. 



The ranch offers packages of 7 days/6 nights or 4 days/3 nights with wall-tent or cowboy-teepee accommodation and three western meals per day. Non-riding activities include mountain hiking, photography, rope lessons or soaking in the natural hot springs at nearby White Sulphur Springs. In addition, the ranch hosts a Women’s Healing retreat and other Well-Being events during the summer months. Please see ranch site for details. Horses N Courage is a WiFi free ranch, which allows guests to totally disconnect from the constant clamour of cell-phones, to live truly in the moment and recharge their own inner life source.

Our other featured ranch, The New Haven Ranch in Hulett, Northeastern Wyoming, lies on the edge of the Black Hills and is a fulltime 4-generation family-run and operated genuine working ranch. The ranch is flanked by timbered canyons, high plateaus and sage brush prairie land. Its central focus is all about raising cattle, riding horses and caring for a menagerie of ranch animals.  New Haven is not your average cattle ranch and sits on the grounds of an old ghost town with a long and colourful history.  The ranch property was originally founded by homesteaders over 150 years ago before being driven out by, “dirty cattle barons.”  


                                  


Open to guests since 2003, the minimum one-week stays, available from May 19 to October 13, offer experienced and intermediate riders age 16 and up, an invaluable, up close opportunity to participate in all the many adventurous aspects of a working cattle ranch, such as moving cattle, checking fences and reservoirs, rounding up strays, roping practice and cutting as well as loading and shipping cattle. The ranch is an advocate of the “Parelli Way” style of natural horsemanship.  As a fully functional, busy ranch, it assigns each guest rider two horses for the week and advises that riders should have previously ridden in all three gaits and be able to sit in the saddle for up to 3 hours. 

Other activities to be enjoyed for riding and non-riding guests are hiking, wildlife spotting, swimming, boating and fishing for trout at the ranch lake. The Devil’s Tower, an ancient volcanic vent and the first ever National Monument, is 30 minutes away. Mount Rushmore and the gold digging town of Deadwood are less than 2 hours.

Accommodation consists of 5 comfortable bedrooms with private baths at the Guest Lodge which can house up to 10 guests.  The attached kitchen and dining room provide three good, satisfying ranch-cooked meals a day or lunch out on the trail and all-day snacks.  The ranch produces an astonishing variety of home-grown beef, lamb, goat, geese, ducks, game birds, trout, eggs and vegetables. The lodge has furnace and woodstove for heating or A/C during the warmer months. 




For leisurely evenings after an active fun-filled day, what could be more relaxing than kicking back on the guest lodge balcony with new-found, like-minded guests admiring the Missouri Buttes; maybe a friendly game of pool in the recreation room or sharing a soak in the hot tub under a pristine star-studded night where cares are forgotten, and the world is suddenly fresh and new again.

Spring is such an awesome, magical season…. it’s a sign of things to come with life spilling over in joyous abandon, a time to reassess and discover what truly is important in this life and nothing could be better than a spring ranch vacation to kick start an exciting year ahead!

Let RanchSeeker  help you find that perfect ranch to reacquaint you with that glorious feeling of being alive!

Happy Trails!




Where Should I Go on My Next Ranch Vacation?

4/9/2018 12:37:00 PM

Trying to decide where to go on vacation is never an easy task. Nowadays there are so many different types of experiences to choose from and a guest ranch vacation is just one of them. RanchSeeker can help you find that perfect ranch vacation that suits your needs. Perhaps you have always dreamed of living the life of a cowboy for a week, or maybe you just like the idea of spending some time in the saddle as well as taking part in other fun activities like hiking, shooting, fishing or simply relaxing in a place that is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. 

Each ranch that you will find listed on our website literally offers “something for everyone” all you need to do is pick the one that best matches your vacation criteria. RanchSeeker’s website provides several ways that you can search for your dream western vacation all of which are user-friendly but if you prefer you can also contact Ashlie@ranchseeker.com for additional assistance. 

Maybe you already have an idea of what you would like to do on your ranch vacation but perhaps you are unsure of where you would like to go especially since there are so many great destinations to choose from. Let RanchSeeker help you with that. Below you will find the 1st installment of several blogs that we will be posting over the next few weeks that describe popular ranch vacation destinations with links to ranches in those areas that you might be interested in checking out in more detail. 

Arizona

There’s really nothing that says “the West” more than the Desert Southwest, and there’s nothing that says “Desert Southwest” more than the Grand Canyon State of Arizona. If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure experience in the Desert Southwest, you’ll find it at any Arizona dude ranch. From the history of Tombstone to the high desert country of Wickenburg, from the beauty of the desert surrounding Tucson to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon itself, there’s nothing that compares to an Arizona ranch vacation. Get away from the crowds, breathe in the crisp desert air and look out over amazing vistas—all this and more is waiting for you at an Arizona dude ranch. Some favorites are White Stallion Ranch, Stagecoach Trails Ranch, and Sedona Ranch.



Photo Courtesy of White Stallion Ranch

Ranches in Arizona take advantage of the desert landscape and diversity of topographical features to attract visitors. Imagine horseback riding through the Arizona desert or eating breakfast on the front porch watching the sun rise over the desert. This is possible at Arizona ranches. With the warm and comfortable climate, many of ranches in the Grand Canyon State are open year-round so it doesn’t matter whether you go in July or December.

California

A California ranch vacation takes advantage of the comfortable climate and variety of picturesque landscapes to attract visitors. From the picturesque Sierra Nevada landscape around Taylorsville, to magnificent ocean views from the Coffee Creek Ranch and Marble Mountain Ranch along the Northern California coast, to the always-sunny weather of Santa Barbara County in the southern part of the state, California dude ranches truly have something for everyone. You may not think of a California dude ranch vacation when you think of the The Golden State, but spectacular Western dude ranches abound in California.



Photo courtesy of Marble Mountain Ranch

Colorado

Colorado dude ranches take advantage of the state’s mountainous, Rocky Mountain landscape, and outback living to attract visitors 

Colorado is known for its spectacular scenery, and it’s no wonder. From the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains, the landscapes of Colorado are as vast and as varied as the many Colorado dude ranches that are scattered throughout this great state. Whether you want to experience a sample of the Old West lifestyle or just take it easy and enjoy a little rest and relaxation, you’ll find it all on your Colorado dude ranch vacation. 



Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Ranch

Known as the “Centennial State” because of its entrance into the Union in 1876, Colorado has a rich ranching history. That history is evident today in each and every Colorado dude ranch. In addition to soaking up local history, your Colorado ranch vacation will give you the opportunity to enjoy everything from skiing, snowshoeing and sleigh rides to golf, white water rafting and mountain biking. A Colorado dude ranch truly offers something for everyone in the family!

Being centrally located in the US, guests from anywhere won’t have to travel far to visit a ranch in Colorado. During your Colorado ranch stay, you’ll be able to participate in cattle drives, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and swimming. Some Colorado ranches are also working ranches, so you will be able to experience what it’s like to live like a cowboy. Try these favorites Laramie River Ranch, Latigo Ranch, Vista Verde Ranch and Colorado Trails Ranch


Georgia

Ranches in Georgia attract visitors using the natural wonders of the region including the coastal plains in the south to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the north. With its rich history and spectacular climate, Georgia dude ranches offer guests year-round accommodations and a heavy dose of Southern hospitality. Enjoy the many museums and historical points of interest in this Southeastern gem. Georgia dude ranches in the Historic Heartland district, located within an hour of Atlanta, provide visitors with magnificent countryside and beautiful weather no matter what time of year you visit.

A favorite dude ranch among visitors is the Southern Cross Ranch.



Photo courtesy of Southern Cross Guest Ranch

Idaho

Idaho dude ranches take advantage of the Rocky Mountain landscape and exciting outdoor activities to attract visitors. 

Imagine going for a mountainous hike first thing in the morning, white water rafting in the afternoon, relaxing next to a warm fire with your hot chocolate in the evening. All this and more is possible at an Idaho ranch. On subsequent days during your stay you may find yourself  horseback riding, relaxing in a hot tub or pool, or even rafting. One favorite is Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. 



Photo courtesy of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Idaho offers guests some truly spectacular scenery. Known as the “Gem State” because of its rich gemstone deposits, Idaho dazzles and surprises visitors with its geographical variety and stunning natural wonders. Each Idaho dude ranch takes full advantage of the state’s incredible scenery. From rich farmland to spectacular mountain locations, an Idaho ranch vacation will offer virtually any type of wilderness experience you can imagine.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog so that you can read next week’s installment about great locations for your next vacation.

Happy Trails!


Experience Life as a Cowboy at Klondike Ranch

4/2/2018 5:54:00 PM

If you have ever wanted to experience the life of a cowboy if only for a short period of time, then this historical Wyoming working cattle ranch is the vacation choice for you. Klondike Ranch is so much more than your typical dude ranch. Here, there is no head-to-tail horseback riding. Ninety percent of the spring, summer and fall is spent horseback riding and working cattle every day.

For those looking for a real adventure be sure to sign up for the overnight camp out at the ranch’s mountain cow camp. Spend 1-2 nights camping out either in one of their bunk wagons or in a tent under a brilliant, star-studded sky. Feast upon open fire cooked meals prepared by the “cow camp chef” while taking in the majestic beauty of the bighorn Mountains. Private outdoor bathroom facilities are provided to ensure your comfort.




If you would rather  spend all your time at the ranch then there are modern, rustic, comfortable cabins, each with their own private bathroom some of which feature kitchenettes and living areas as well. Meals are served family-style in true ranch fashion. You’ll dine on home-cooked, healthy, hearty meals while enjoying good conversion with new friends seated at your table. If you are out on an all-day trip a sack lunch will be provided.

While staying at the ranch you will have the opportunity to become a “ranch hand” if this interests you. This means helping out with the day to day “chores” like: fencing, doctoring livestock, cutting and baling hay, and irrigating pasturelands. Guests love to learn new skills and immerse themselves in the life of a true cowboy.




But that’s not all! Klondike Ranch also provides first-class fishing opportunities, hiking, rodeos, photography excursions, exciting historical tours and other experiences for you to choose from while on your Wyoming vacation.

 There truly is something for everyone!

 Get Adventurous

  • Move cattle on a Real, Working Cattle Ranch
  • Sleep Under the Stars on Overnight Camp-outs
  • Discover the Past on Historical Tour

 Relax & Unwind

  • Relax and Soak in Fresh Mountain Air
  • Fish Crystal Clear Streams
  • Capture Breathtaking Scenery with your Camera
  • Unwind Under the Stars in Our Outdoor Hot Tub

 Become Family

  • Sit Down with us for Family Style Meals
  • Get An Inside View & Become a Part of Wyoming Ranch Life
  • Enjoy Modern, Comfortable Accommodations with Rustic Charm

 


Check out what past guests had this to say about their visit:

 “Fantastic holiday, we all wish we’d been able to stay longer!!”

Joyce M. Aberdeen, United Kingdom (Klondike website)

 

“Live the life of a Wyoming Rancher ~ Beautiful scenery, Well Trained Horses, Amazing People”

GaPulley. Barnard, Missouri (Klondike website)


 “I have had a dream of being a cowgirl and my week at Klondike Ranch made that a reality.

Patty, Richard, and their family are a warm, welcoming group of people who not only make you feel like part of the family but are there to share their knowledge of local history, the workings of a cattle ranch, and their dining room table for amazing home cooked meals.

The horse I was pared with for the week, Stormy, was a great match as she was gentle and responded well to my attempts at proper commands. Throughout the week, we had the opportunity to ride around the ranch as well as in the mountains with the cattle. I have not seen anything more beautiful than the views around Klondike ranch and loved ever minute of my week there. The hardest part of my week was leaving to come back to reality.”

AEDO1,Falls Church, Virginia ( TripAdvisor)

 

For an authentic western experience choose Wyoming’s Klondike Ranch and fulfill your dream of living the life of a cowboy or cowgirl.

Happy Trails!

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

Welcome to the Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch

3/13/2018 3:12:41 PM

If you are looking for upscale luxury, a culturally diverse atmosphere, personalized guest care and spectacular natural surroundings then this Wyoming guest ranch is for you. The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch, located in Shell, Wyoming (east of Yellowstone National Park) combines a real working cattle ranch with great horseback riding opportunities as well as world class fly-fishing and old west hospitality.




With no more than 25 guests per week and a 1:1 staff guest ratio as well as access to 85 horses you will find that the owners and staff are actively involved with your well-being during your guest ranch vacation. In addition to riding, working cattle and fly-fishing, they offer an array of non-riding activities and adventures such as trapshooting, archery, canoeing, hiking, biking, 4x4 tours, and other exciting activities to fill your days. While riding you will experience a unique variety of terrains, biodiversity, climates and scenery since elevations in this area range from 4,200 to 13,200 feet. And with close to 650,000 acres to explore you will seldom ride the same trail twice so be sure to bring your camera! The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch is a Riding Guest Ranch with great horses for all levels of riders. Along with Quarter Horses and Paints the ranch also have a growing number of well-trained Mustangs for their guests to ride.




The Hideout Guest Ranch & Lodge, although more of an adult orientated ranch, also welcomes families and is an ideal vacation choice for solo travellers. Many of the ranch’s guests are repeat vacationers. They come back because of the warmth of hospitality, the high-end pampering and excellent, healthy food created by their culinary schooled chef. Accommodations include western-style log cabins that were built in 1992 and recently renovated guest casitas all of which feature your typical creature comforts from home. There is a swimming pond and hot tub for guests to use as well as emerald green lawns and well-lit pathways which connect to the main lodge. While staying at the ranch you will be treated to hearty Western fare and gourmet dinners and the view from the dining room, where meals are served, is simply spectacular! Open all year round the ranch offers many different rates and packages, so you are bound to find a time of year and package that best suits your upcoming vacation needs.




Happy Trails!

Let RanchSeeker help you find your ideal guest ranch vacation.

 


New Haven Working Cattle & Guest Ranch

4/14/2017 4:09:55 PM

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

4/6/2017 4:07:12 PM

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Let RanchSeeker help you find your next vacation!

Happy Trails!

Cowboy Texas Hash Recipe

3/14/2016 2:41:29 PM

Bring a part of the dude ranch experience back home with you. Being a cowboy is hard work and hard work requires good wholesome food. Texas Hash is a popular and hearty way for cowboys to start their day with enough protein and nutrients to provide energy for the day ahead. You may not be wrangling cattle during your day but everyone works hard and could benefit from a good start to the day. This  delicious Texas hash recipe comes together quickly for those busy mornings and could even be made ahead and heated in the morning. The cast iron skillet will ensure your meal cooks evenly throughout, and (if seasoned properly) will give it amazing flavor. Even better is that it cooks up in one skillet so you have fewer dishes to wash afterwards! This Texas hash recipe is also great for dinner too!

Skillet Texas Hash

Ingredients

3 1/2cups OBrien Style frozen hash brown cubes (see note) 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 strips of bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup prepared salsa
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
sour cream and sprigs of fresh cilantro to garnish

Instructions

1.Preheat broiler.

2.Place potatoes into a microwaveable bowl with the water, cover tightly and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Drain well.

3.Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place bacon and oil into the skillet and cook until bacon is crisp, 4- 5 minutes.

4.Add garlic and cumin and stir until fragrant. Add the potatoes and salt and cayenne pepper and continue to cook and stir over high heat until potatoes are beginning to crisp.

5.Stir in the salsa, then sprinkle cheese on top and broil 3 4 minutes until bubbly. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro before serving.

*If you have cubed frozen potatoes without the O’Brien seasoning (onions, red and green pepper), you may want to add some of those things along with the garlic, stirring until slightly cooked. Adapted from this recipe

Beach Vacations vs Dude Ranch Vacations

1/17/2016 4:30:59 PM

People spend their time dreaming about their upcoming vacations and all the exotic destinations they could possibly visit. There are many different choices and beach vacations are an extremely popular one. What can beat gorgeous weather, amazing sandy beaches and a crystal blue ocean? However, if you are looking for a more active holiday, a western dude ranch vacation is sure to get you the best value for your money. Here’s why a vacation at a Dude Ranch is sure to be more fun than a beach vacation: Tourist Free Holidays Nothing is worse than a lack of privacy or not getting enough peace and quiet when you are on a holiday. Spending your holiday at a Dude Ranch is the best way to avoid crowds of tourists and get some peace and quiet to yourself. Beaches are almost always crowded with hundreds of people. If you are hoping for a low-key holiday destination where you can just relax, a dude ranch holiday is the perfect option where you can socialize when you please and also find areas for quiet reflection.

Beach Vacation

Comfortable Weather While a beach vacation is perfect while it’s sunny and you are enjoying yourself on the sand, you might be seeking some cooler temperatures in the evening. To make the most of the great weather, head over to a Dude Ranch for your holidays. In some locations, dude ranches are perfectly warm and cozy during the day but cooler in the evening so you can enjoy a nice brisk evening walk. If you visit a dude ranch in the Winter, you can take advantage of the beautiful snow white wonderland or temperate climates in locations such as Arizona.

Family Friendly While there are many opportunities to have fun at the beach, children often get bored once they have finished building their sandcastles and playing in the ocean for the second day in a row. After that, children tend to complain about how sandy or how wet it is and want to go back home. Rest assured, Dude Ranches provide children a perfectly safe environment to play and have fun. In addition, Dude Ranches offer a wide range of awesome activities, such as hiking, swimming, horseback riding and rafting, which will not only keep the adults entertained but also the kids happy.

Incredible Views Sure, nobody can deny a sunset on at a deserted beach is gorgeous but compare that to the experience of being so close to nature and even wildlife. If you truly want your vacation to be exotic, go for a ranch vacation. Not only does a ranch vacation guarantee you a better view but it also allows you to get closer to nature. Imagine going horseback riding alongside deer, moose and elks. It is really a fun way to spend some time appreciating and enjoying the wonders of nature.

dude ranch view

What’s better for socializing On a beach vacation there are so many tourists jammed together that the most you really get to do is exchange a few words. At dude ranches, many often have family style dining where you will be sitting with the same guests for every meal. Also, you will most likely run into common faces while doing activities. It’s very common to form long lasting friendships from meeting at dude ranches.

dude ranch dining

Ready to try a dude ranch vacation? Be sure to check out the hundreds of ranches offering holidays on Ranchseeker.

Happy Trails

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