Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Wild Western Weather

December 4th, 2014 by Amy

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When thinking of the Wild West one tends to imagine hot sunshine, beautiful mountains, majestic wild horses, and dusty old cowboys.  While some of those things are true and others have been somewhat tamed; the wild western weather still remains untamed and unpredictable.

Jackson Hole Wyoming is one of those places that is still a little wild yet filled with wonderful adventure.  Being in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem the area is prone to diverse weather patterns.  One thing you can count on with the weather in this vast area, is that no matter the season it could always snow on you.  Now, don’t let this turn you off and make you start thinking about that sandy beach vacation again….  Just because it could snow in July doesn’t mean that your experience will be any less amazing.

Weather in any mountain region can be difficult to understand.  Mountains produce their own weather and also make it difficult to see weather moving in; you just never know what to expect when setting off for a fun day hike or family horseback ride.  Most of the summer months are filled with warm, arid (dry) days and clear, cool evenings, and if weather moves in it is usually gone as fast as it arrived.  Some thunderstorms may only last about 10 minutes, and just because it is storming doesn’t mean the sun won’t still shine.  Then after the storm has passed the dust is gone, the air is fresh, the grass is green, and all is right in the Gros Ventre again.

This diverse weather pattern can turn the average day into a great story making adventure.  Just think about what the real cowboys and mountain men went through year after year, and take the weather in stride.  The horseback riding, and many other activities can still be enjoyed even when the weather is less than favorable.  A snowy June day can also give you a chance to relax by the fire, catch up with family and friends, and a reason to treat yourself to a soothing massage.  So, next time you are planning a vacation to the Jackson Hole area, remember pack a bit of everything, leave for activities prepared for anything, and take the weather in stride, because after the storm comes the most amazing rainbows!  Remember our guides and wranglers at Goosewing Ranch are trained to keep you safe, they have gear available for you to help you stay warm and dry, and will do their best to always make the best out of any situation.

Rainbow over Goosewing Ranch

Rainbow over Goosewing Ranch

Snowy Tipi at Goosewing Ranch

Snowy Tipi at Goosewing Ranch

Fire in the sky at Goosewing Ranch

Fire in the sky at Goosewing Ranch

 

Team Penning at Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming!

March 10th, 2014 by Amy

 

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Goosewing Guest Ranch Adds Exciting New Activity

Starting in the 2014 season, Goosewing Ranch, located in Jackson Hole Wyoming, will offer guest a thrilling new cowboy sport, Team Penning.  Grab your cowboy hat and jointhe fun.

Guest will now have the opportunity to experience the exciting sport of Team Penning.  Along with trail rides, archery, shooting, line dancing and numerous other ranch activities, this timed event will challenge guest to improve their horsemanship skills, in a fun and safe environment.  Wranglers will give helpful instruction to improve guest’s abilities.

Team Penning is a horse event to preserve the traditional skill sets of working cattle on horseback.  Humanely separating cattle from the herd using athleticism and horsemanship. 

In the herd, all cattle are numbered.  Three are marked with the same number, because each team of riders will need to sort all from the herd with a particular number. 

A mounted team of three riders cross the starting line.   The judge lowers his flag and a number is called out to the cowboys.  The cattle marked with that particular number are the ones the riders will cut from the herd.  When the correct cattle are separated, the riders maneuver them into a pen at the opposite end of the arena.  Once all are in the pen, time is stopped!   

There is no particular horse breed used in this sport but one with “cowiness” (cow sense) is always beneficial.  The riders on a team are allowed to call out to their teammates signally the position, speed or location of desired cow. 

According to the United States Team Penning Association (USTPA), the sport is, “…committed to creating a fun and family-oriented atmosphere that supports the welfare of all animals and fair competition.”  They go on to state, “They are more than cowboys and cowgirls chasing calves.  We are a family of horse men and women who truly value the lessons learned from riding as teams and taking ownership of our results.”

Goosewing Ranch, Wranglers are knowledgeable and can match the right horse to the skill level of each guest who wants to participate in this new activity.  Team Penning is as entertaining to spectators as it is fun for contestants.  

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For further information contact Goosewing Ranch Toll Free: (USA) 888-733-5251

Uniquely Wild

March 3rd, 2014 by Amy

Mountain sheepsLooking for a unique vacation experience filled with adventure, activity and western hospitality?
Even before you arrive at Goosewing Ranch, you get a taste of the beauty and glimpse of the wildlife the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has to offer.
Turning off of Highway 89/26 onto the Gros Ventre Junction Road, herds of “buffalo” (American Bison) roam leisurely through the grasslands on either side of the road. Bulls weighing approximately 2,000 pounds make a memorable and somewhat intimidating sight. You have entered their homeland as a welcomed guest. The numbers of these massive animals are on the increase after almost becoming extinct due to over hunting for their hides, horns and other valuable trophies. This is the start of your family’s adventure, a step back into the time of mountain men, Indians and the creation of this remarkable wilderness.
On your drive to the ranch Pronghorn Antelope are spotted in abundance, welcoming you to this land rich in history and unspoiled beauty. But this is only a small taste of what is waiting for you at Goosewing Ranch. Life slows down and you are engulfed in the magnificent surroundings.
While dining in the lodge you get a panoramic view of the splendor of the area. Horses leisurely graze in the lower pasture. Behind that is the Gros Ventre River, home to cutthroat trout and various river fish. Beyond the rapidly flowing water is a meadow, nestled between tree covered mountains. It is common to spot herds of Elk sauntering down out of the foliage to graze in the flat, grassy field. Then stroll back to the cover of the dense, lush vegetation. If you are lucky, you might spot a bald eagle perched on a tree branch, or fence post watching the activity in their territory.
At night, sit under the stars and listen to the wolves as they break the silence of the night. Imagine what the calls mean to their pack and to other woodland animals.
While horseback riding or exploring the area on your ATV, it is not unusual to see a moose and her calf. Or a bull lingering close.
The Bighorn species of sheep generally inhabit dry upland areas, from craggy mountains into semi-deserts. This species’ colors range from white to grey and dark brown. During the summer the males travel apart from the females and their young.
Bears are a little more difficult to find but are residents in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Gros Ventre Wilderness and the Bridge-Teton National Forest, all surrounding Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Black bears are likely to be spotted in forested areas near the edge or in clearings. Grizzly Bears are more prone to be found in large or open meadows. Last summer a mother Grizzly and her two cubs were seen several times in grazing land around the ranch. Remember if you see a bear, never approach it, keep your distance, they can run 25 miles an hour. The general speed of a horse is 25 to 30 miles an hour. That really isn’t a race you want to risk losing.
Don’t forget your camera. The opportunities to capture the presence of wildlife around the ranch are endless. Wyoming supports an abundance of wildlife in national parks, forest and wilderness. The geologic processes that resulted in varied terrain of Yellowstone and the Tetons have also determined where plants grow that feeds the wildlife.
Plant eating animals, survive where their food source can be found. Meat eating animals, follow their prey. Millions of years of geologic activity created the wilds of the Rocky Mountains and in the Jackson Hole valley, and account for the abundance of wildlife and plants found here.
The staff at Goosewing Ranch never tire of opportunities to share this wilderness experience with our guest. Are you ready for an experience of a lifetime?
Jay, Goosewing RanchTrout2012-07-18 04.06.09

Giddy Up at Goosewing Ranch

September 15th, 2012 by Amy

Horse TrottingMany guests that come to visit Goosewing Ranch have seen a lot of western movies and have seen the silver screen cowboys racing across the plains at a gallop and they want to do the same. They often do not know, however, that there are more than just two speeds for a horse. A gait is the rhythm that horse’s legs move at. It determines both the speed you are traveling at, and how you need to position your body to make riding more comfortable and controlled.
The slowest gait that a horse has is one everyone is familiar with, the walk. In a walk, the horse picks up one foot at a time and follows a four beat rhythm. An average speed for a horse to walk at is around four miles per hour.
The next fastest gait is the trot. The trot is similar to a jog and the horses’ hooves hit the ground on a two beat rhythm. The hooves move diagonally to each other. An example of this would be front right hoof and rear left hoof on the ground at the same time, and then switching to front left and rear right. As you can imagine, alternating between two sets of legs rapidly can cause the rider to get bounced around on the horses back. In Western riding the rider ‘sits’ the trot, which means the rider stays down in the saddle and lets their lower back absorb the shock. Sitting the trot is not particularly easy, or comfortable, so at Goosewing Ranch we encourage guests to learn how to post. Posting is an English riding technique where the rider falls into rhythm with the horse and rises out of the seat rhythmically to keep from bouncing off. An average speed for a trot is eight miles per hour. Contrary to what you see in the movies, people travel on horseback at a trot and not a faster gait because horses have a hard time maintaining a faster speed over long distances.
The lope is a three beat gait that is faster than a trot, and slower than a gallop. It is also known in English riding as cantering. A horse will propel itself forward on one of its hind feet, catch itself on the opposite diagonal foot, and then on the final beat catch itself on its remaining front foot. Basically the horse alternates between two feet on the ground and one foot on the ground. While this might sound more complicated, loping is much smoother than trotting and many people prefer it. The key to staying in the saddle while loping is to ‘sit deep.’ In layman’s terms sitting deep means ‘keep your butt in the saddle.’ You have to find the rhythm of the horse and fall into it while focusing on not letting yourself come up and out of the saddle. Loping speeds can vary quite a bit, but average between ten and seventeen miles per hour.
The fastest gait a horse can manage is the gallop. Galloping involves the horse driving themselves forward with all four feet leaving the ground. It is a very fast smooth gait, and requires an athletic horse and rider. It averages between twenty five and thirty miles per hour and can only be sustained for short distances.
There are other gaits that only certain breeds of horses can do, or horses with special training. Pacing, fox trotting, racking and running walks are some examples of these gaits. Hopefully this helps you understand a little more about how horses move, and how to make yourself move with your horse. We would be more than happy to help you learn more about all the gaits mentioned when you come to visit us at Goosewing Ranch.

English vs Western, Whats the Difference?

August 10th, 2012 by Amy

Guests often ask us what the difference between English and Western riding is, but the answer often isn’t as straightforward as they would like because there are many similarities between the two schools. One big difference is the saddles used in each discipline and why they are used.
Western saddles are designed for comfort and utility because they are a working saddle. Cowboys would spend their entire day in the saddle, and so their saddles were made as comfortable as possible while still giving them plenty of places to tie their ropes, and hang their guns. The most prominent feature of the western saddle is undoubtedly the horn. To the surprise of most novice riders, the horn is not a handle or place to rest your hand. The horn is used to dally(wrap) your rope around when catching cattle, dragging objects on horseback, tie things to, and for many other uses. Western saddles typically have high cantles, and pommels, which create a deeper seat to help you stay secure at faster gaits over uneven terrain. They also have large fenders which keep the stirrups from moving around unnecessarily. Saddle bags, tied on behind the cantle, are a common accessory for holding things while you are out on the trail. We provide pommel bags for our guests, which slide over the horn and secure under the gullet for holding lunches, water, cameras, and anything else they would like to take out on the trail.
English saddles are much lighter and have fewer bells and whistles than their western counter-parts. There is less leather between you and the horse, and therefore you can ‘feel’ the horse more. The lack of additional leather also gives you more mobility so you can maintain the proper posture for jumping. The stirrup leathers are very thin, so it is very important to keep your weight in your stirrups so they don’t flop around.
There are many other differences between the two disciplines from the typical clothing that is worn to the bits and reins used. One style is not better than the other because they are both trying to accomplish different things. If you are an English rider looking to be exposed to the Western style of riding, or if you have never ridden and you think that you would like to try Western riding, Goosewing Ranch is a great place to test it out and see if it is for you!

Diagram of a Western saddleDiagram of an English saddle

A word from one of our wranglers, Katie

July 28th, 2012 by Amy

     The end of July marks the halfway point of our guest ranch season at Goosewing Ranch. The horses and guests have been enjoying the 2012 season and have been up to lots of fun things.

We were able to cross the Gros Ventre River at the beginning of July. Being able to cross the river allowed us to explore the wilderness side of the Gros Ventre. The horses love riding through the river to eat lunch at Soda Lake or riding along Tepee Creek and Goosewing Creek.
The Goosewing Ranch staff enjoyed riding through the Fourth of July parade in Jackson Hole. We invited our guests that week to join us in the parade and everyone had a great time throwing candy and waving our American Flags as we rode by.

This past week our farrier(horseshoer) came to Goosewing Ranch to trim the horses’ hooves and shoe all 63 of our guest horses. Our farrier is Jeff Stuart from Idaho Falls. Jeff got to spend the entire week at the Goosewing Ranch working with the horses. The horses are very happy with their new pedicures and brand new pretty shoes. They are now, more than ever, ready for the second half of the guest season.

Goosewing Ranch incorporated a brand new activity this year… Equine soccer! None of our horses have ever played before, but the wranglers are having lots of fun acclimating all of them to the large equine sized soccer ball. Some horses are definitely more playful when it comes to soccer than others but they all love their new activity. The wranglers hope to incorporate equine soccer into our horse games and Goosewing Ranch Rodeo soon.

As the season continues, the Goosewing Ranch Rodeo has really kicked off. The wranglers invite the best timed and most improved riders to join us at the end of the day and compete in barrel racing, pole bending, egg and spoon and relay races. The guests love to join in by either riding or cheering and clapping along the arena fence.

We are all looking forward to the second half of our season and know there are many great rides to come!

Belt Buckles…A cowboys story…

June 22nd, 2012 by Amy


I am sure many of you out there have wondered what the deal is with the BIG belt buckles that cowboys and cowgirls wear… Of course the practical purpose of the belt buckle is to keep your belt closed, but it also can tell a story. Belt buckles come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, designs, and are unique from one to the other.
Belt buckles are sort of a cowboy’s resume, name tag, and family history all put onto a piece of silver plated metal. Some people will wear a buckle with their name on it, others like to have their favorite tractor or truck, and some their favorite sport or animal to hunt. But, for a cowboy it is usually a trophy to be worn with pride, and to show others their accomplishments. The family history comes in when it is time for a young man or lady to start their own rodeo career, but they haven’t a buckle of their own so Mom or Dad will pass along a buckle of theirs for them to wear.
Belt buckles are given for accomplishments in the “cowboy” world for such things as barrel racing, bull riding, team roping, tie down roping and more. At the local Jackson Hole rodeo contestants compete throughout the season for a chance to win a buckle. At Goosewing Ranch many of our employees wear buckles that they have either won or purchased. You can even buy a buckle with a picture of “Old Faithful” in Yellowstone National Park, or one with the Tetons on it.  Even guest ranches and working ranches have buckles made up with their brand on them.
Whatever your style or choice of buckle wear it proudly! Love live Wyoming’s Cowboys!

Employee of the Week…

June 11th, 2012 by Amy


Name: Andrey Glazov = Андрей Глазов
Date of birth: 18 of August 1990
21 year old, student of the Nizhny Novgorod Linguistics University
I was born and live in Nizhny Novgorod. But I like travel. I visited many countries. To some of them I have been because of my working as babysitter in Germany (all the countries are very near). The other countries I visited with the choir of my university. We sing the songs of many foreign languages. I’m keen of music and of the foreign languages. I study German, English and methods of teaching.
Every day I try to spend my time most eventfully. Besides studying the languages I like sports very much. I visited plenty of courses of different kinds of sport. My favorite sports are karate, swimming and swing dancing. Every summer my parents and me we are rowing on the canoe down the Russian rivers. I like nature and animals. I have a fluffy grey cat at home.
I have lots of friends. We spend our time together on weekends. The other spare time I can spend for playing the guitar or jogging and in the summer also for working in the garden, where my parents grow fruits and vegetables. My parents and I we are very united family.

From our head wrangler, Kris…

June 1st, 2012 by Amy

Well another spring has arrived and life on the ranch is as exciting as ever. The tack room is cleaned, and ready for a fun filled summer of horseback adventures into the Wyoming back country. We have 62 head of horses on the ranch, with mostly familiar faces, but a few new ones to learn. The horses have all wintered well and are looking fit for our guests. It is always a happy reunion when the horses return, both for them and the wranglers. We all get a good laugh watching them wonder around the ranch showing the new horses the routine of their life on a guest ranch.
All of the horses have been ridden and taken out on different trails into the Gros Ventre wilderness and Bridger-Teton National Forest. The new Goosewing Ranch wranglers are as fun to watch as the new horses. They are in awe of the terrain and vistas surrounding the ranch and on the trails we ride. They all are excited to learn more about the area and the horses they will be caring for throughout the summer. Every day is a new adventure. They remind me of myself and the reasons why I started leading trail rides. With eight wranglers this year we will be able to provide excellent service and a variety of trail rides daily.
The wildlife has been abundant both on, and near the ranch and on the trail rides. We have spotted numerous herds of Elk, mule deer through the thin foliage, and watched as the antelope move back into the valley. We have also spotted wolves, badgers, grizzly bears, eagles, and a few moose. The horses have handled the wildlife spotting’s, new wranglers, and various trail conditions like old pros. One never knows what to expect in western Wyoming where we are part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.
We are all looking forward to the vacation season starting in the Jackson Hole area, and can’t wait to entertain all of our guests by taking them on horseback adventures, touring Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and enjoying all the a resort ranch has to offer. The horses are “rearing to go”, the trails are drying out, and the wranglers are saddled up and waiting for all the different guests to arrive. We still have cabins available, so, it’s not too late to book your Dude ranch vacation at Goosewing Ranch. Come and enjoy our western hospitality!

What’s Cookin’ at Goosewing Ranch…

May 19th, 2012 by Amy

Woohoo… We are so excited to announce that the construction on our outdoor kitchen is finally coming together.  We hope that you will agree with us that this will be a wonderful addition to the ranch.  The new kitchen area or “Gazebo” as we are referring to it, is scheduled to be completed June 1, just 2 days before we open to our guests.

This is going to be a beautiful attraction with great views into our pool area, and horse pasture.  We will be able to serve meals, drinks, and just plain entertain in this great space.  I am most excited about the brick oven that will be going in soon.  Bring on the homemade breads, pizzas, and bake goods!

Now for those of you asking about weather, temperatures, and bugs:  we will be doing our best to make this an enjoyable space all season long.  The structure will be fully roofed, with lighting, a sound system, and inferred heaters.  For the mosquitoes, we have purchased numerous types of traps and killers.  We will be spraying the area early spring/summer, as well as operating mosquito traps during the season.

Come join us for some family fun in the Gros Ventre.  Our chef, Angel Garcia, will be serving up some amazing cuisine from basic ranch style food, to more gourmet meals.  Dude Ranching in Jackson Hole Wyoming has taken a turn and better dining is at the first corner, and it is no wonder.  With all the activities to do while on vacation out West you will develop an abundant appetite.  From hiking in the Grand Tetons, touring through Yellowstone National Park, horseback riding in the mountains surrounding Goosewing Ranch, or just relaxing at our Sleeping Indian Spa you will enjoy the delightful meals being served from our new Gazebo!

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