Category: Crew and Guest Adventures

So you want to work at a Dude Ranch

 
Dude ranches. Guest ranches. Whatever you call them, they offer incredible experiences with potentially life-changing benefits. And we’re not just talking about for the guests. For the people who come to work, there are tremendous opportunities and experiences as well. If you’re doing it right, being a part of a guest ranch staff is being part of a whole new family—a RANCH family—who share a common goal of providing an unforgettable vacation for others, while having an unimaginable adventure of their own. Here are the best tips for aquiring dude ranch employment. Can you picture it? Waking up on a cool morning to the sounds of horse feet (unless you’re one of the wranglers and then uhhh…YOU’RE LATE!) coming in, getting a hearty breakfast from the kitchen and then spending your days laughing and sharing with the ranch guests you’ll want to keep in touch with for years to come? Eating... Read More

A Week in the Wide Open Spaces

 
Those of us living in urban areas... ...are frequently glamorized by the idea of wide open spaces, which explains why I found myself in Sheridan, Wyoming last month. With an itinerary that would have been hard to resist, I booked my airline reservations and pulled out my Western wear. It would be an eclectic trip, including everything from horseback riding to a spin in a 2016 Rolls Royce. Personally I was happy to forgo anything that involved getting on a horse, but I was chomping at the bit, you should pardon the pun, for a ride in a Rolls.  Other enticements included a day of plein air painting, a Native American pow wow, a scenic flight over the area in a small plane and a visit to at least one authentic western dive bar. How could I resist? Never mind that I don’t do horseback riding, I still love dude... Read More

What Ranch Adventure Will You Have This Summer?

 
A Funny Thing Happened On My Way to Getting Old By Laurie Hartman, Wrangler Hello from one of those folks usually a day late and a dollar short, a jack of many trades and master of few, a perpetual student of the School of Hard Knocks, a late bloomer. But better late than never, right? I’ve had lots of ideas over the years, some good and some bad, and half my life was over before I got the idea to apply to be a guest ranch wrangler. I can’t recall how or when or why the idea came to me, but once it got in my head it would not go away. I questioned my sanity. I was 53 years old, thirty pounds overweight and well, frumpy. Age will do that to you. At least that’s what I’d been telling myself, like when I bought bigger sweatpants and when I... Read More

The Cowboy Way or So They Say

 
By Tatyanna Zaleski, Wrangler You found a job posting for a wrangler and you thought, “Sure, why not?” So you took a leap of faith and found the one thing that makes you love life just a little extra. You found the dream job; you just wish it wasn’t so seasonal.  You applied, got hired and now, you’re here. Your suitcase is unpacked and you’ve hung up what little reminders of home you’ve brought with. You’ve met the boss and tomorrow you’ll start the greatest adventure of a lifetime. This is what it was like my first summer at a Dude Ranch. I’m on my third summer and I don’t know if I can give it up just yet. Being a wrangler, working in such breathtaking places and with incredible animals, it’s an addiction. They tell you it will be the worst best summer of your life. After those words, most... Read More

Lucky

 
By Samantha Cook To spend a summer in the pristine mountain wilderness of Southern Colorado is a beautiful gift denied to most. I, however, was given that privilege. There are no words that will be able to adequately describe the adventures I had, the landscapes I saw, or the relationships I formed—but what are words for if not to make a feeble attempt at such a thing? About 30 of us showed up at Rainbow Trout Ranch in the middle of May, ready for a brag-worthy summer job. I was one of two that was lucky enough to receive college credit for my time, though for  me that meant stumbling my way through an office position that my brain was unfit for (despite being a fresh college grad with a business degree). Friendships were formed instantly, through pre-season raking, hilarious games of Apples to Apples, and full-staff nighttime outings. It wasn’t long... Read More

Don't Squat with Your Spurs On

 
By Danielle Ottis Some of our guests ask, and many more wonder in anxious silence, "How do I answer the call of nature while on a trail ride?" Here are a few tips from a seasoned trail guide and trail rider. #1 Go before you leave. Remember that time when you were a kid, headed out on a road trip with the family, only minutes after departing and you declare "I gotta go!" Likely Dad's response was, "Why didn't you go before we left?" This is a good scenario to learn from when preparing to head out on a long trail ride. #2 When nature calls, don't answer it. Put nature on hold until the ride is over. #3 Sometimes you just can't put nature on hold. Believe me I know. I spent one summer guiding trail rides while pregnant and the call of nature was just NOT going to wait. In this... Read More

Life on a Jackson Hole Dude Ranch

 
By Adriene Henderson Photo Credits - Tom Rafalovich Three years ago I made the decision to pack up my life and move to a Jackson Hole Dude Ranch. It was the best decision I have ever made! I knew I would have fun, make new friends, and try new things during a summer adventure. However, what I didn’t know was that I would have the most amazing summer of my life, make lifelong best friends, learn countless new skills, and my summer adventure would quickly become a permanent lifestyle change. After three summers—and one winter!—working on the ranch, I am sure of one thing, each summer will begin with a group of young people from all over the country who will quickly transition from strangers, into friends, and finally into a perfectly dysfunctional and incredibly loving family. Words can’t describe the types of relationships that I have developed on the ranch,... Read More

Never Too Late To Be a Cowgirl

 
By Jay Wright I have spent my adult years raising children and working a full-time rewarding office job. The kids were very active and participated in rodeo events; everything from barrel racing to bull riding. Life was full of driving across the state, spending time with my kids, feeding horses and of course those occasional trips to the emergency room. Such a bonding experience to spend time together getting stitches or a cast! My tribe grew up, went off to college and became very responsible adults. My job was still good but I was just tired of the same ol’ thing. Fortunately, I had reached the age to retire and had been with the company long enough to be eligible to do so. But after being so busy for many years, what would be rewarding and fun enough to fill my time. I KNOW! Ever since I was a child, I wanted... Read More

5 Tips for Scoring a Last Minute Dude Ranch Job

 
By Patty Ceglio, Web Recruiting & Seasonal HR Specialist for CoolWorks.com Summer is almost here and while most dude ranches are currently staffed, there a good number still filling last minute vacancies or increasing staff to meet business demands. Cool Works, a national board for jobs in great places, has experienced a 30 percent increase in summer job listings this year and currently has 152 posts for employers pushing to fill positions in the next few weeks. While urban summer jobs may be in decline, there are more opportunities in 2014 than in recent years for last minute job seekers to land a position at a guest ranch.   Cool Works offers these five tips to job seekers hoping to land at a ranch this summer: Check Your Bucket List – For job seekers who don’t know where to start, identify locations of interest or activities you’ve always wanted to... Read More
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