Posts Tagged ‘guest ranch’

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

 

Romance on a Jackson Hole Guest Ranch

February 12th, 2013 by Amy

2011 Girl and honeymooners 349

With it being Valentine’s Day and all we thought it was a good time to talk about Romance on the Ranch.   Yes, a Guest Ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming can be very romantic, in many ways…  Goosewing Ranch has been host to just a couple of very special weddings, but have embraced many honeymooners, and couples looking to escape and enjoy each others company in a very beautiful place.  We aren’t talking about the mushy stuff here, we are talking about experiencing new adventures together, horseback riding, wine tasting and relaxing by the pool and spa, treating yourselves to couples massage, dancing,  photography and more.

While at the ranch we encourage couples to get out and explore the area.  Whether on one of the Polaris rangers for a picnic lunch in the National Forest, or to either Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks.  No matter where you explore  there are endless options when it come to photography.  This is a great way to make those special moments last,  we can also arrange for some spectacular couples photos, with a natural back drop that you must see to believe.

What could be more relaxing and romantic than spending a long weekend filled with exciting days and warm evenings cuddled up with your sweetie, and a glass of wine by the fire…  That is what you get with a romantic weekend at a Jackson Hole Guest Ranch.  BUT…Goosewing Ranch is more than just a great place for couples, it is also a great place to celebrate your true love with the entire family.  This is a great way to make lasting memories that all your loved ones will cherish for years to come.  With lots of daily and evening activities everyone is bound to be fully entertained.  This is a great way to get the family together to celebrate and anniversary or reunion.  We will even prepare your favorite cake for all to enjoy.

Try something different this year; do something that your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers will be jealous of… embrace your love in a beautiful area, filled with natural beauty and adventure.  We can provide all your meals, lodging, ranch adventures, and a romantic setting for any occasion.  Let us help make your dreams come true at Goosewing Ranch.

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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!

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!

Yew Haw… Horses have arrived…

May 17th, 2012 by Amy

Giddy up… the horses have arrived and Goosewing Ranch is starting to feel like home again!  Big, tall, small, but not one is skinny… We have horses of all shapes, sizes, and colors; horses for beginner to experienced riders and something for everyone in between.  We are so excited to have them all back on the ranch.  It really is a long winter without them.  The horses have spent the last few months down in Star Valley Wyoming, and have made the journey through Jackson Hole to get up to the ranch.  Our horses are very lucky to get the winter off, which they earn after a long season of taking guests all across the Bridger- Teton National Forest and through the Gros Ventre Wilderness.

We have 62 head of horses on the ranch.  The majority of these horses have been coming to Goosewing Ranch for years.  The great thing about having the same horses year after year is that the horses learn our routine, and trails, and the returning wranglers know the horses and their personality which helps them pick the best horse for each guest.  Our horses are leased through Yellowstone Horse Rentals, similar to many of the local guest ranches throughout the Jackson Hole area.  These horses are the best at what they do.  They stay calm in intense situations, they are very sure footed in varying terrain and weather conditions, and know how to show every guest a great time whether galloping through the meadows, or meandering across mountain tops.

Of course each horse comes with its own personality and behaviors.  One of the more famous Goosewing horses is Snickers.  She is a big grey mare with more personality then one can imagine.  She is an escape artist, a belly scratcher, fence breaker, hobble runner, and the best darn horse to put beginner adult riders on.  Snickers will take care of her rider on the trail, she might not be the fastest but she won’t be “bear bait”.   Snickers best buddy is Goliath.  Goliath is a small pure black gelding who loves children of all ages.  He will cautiously carry the smallest of equine enthusiast through the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem to the more advance buckaroos on adventures excursions.  He is also very smooth and comfortable to ride bareback.   Stay tuned for more horse updates throughout the season.

Our wranglers are busy getting the horses in shape and ready for each of our guests.  No matter if you want to ride high for views of the Grand Teton, or low along the river we have trails and horses to take you everywhere.  Welcome back horses!

What the Heck is a Lariat?

May 4th, 2012 by Amy

Wrangler

The lariat is one of the most versatile tools a cowboy has at their disposal. I’m sure you know what a lariat is, even if you have never heard that term used. You would instantly know what I was talking about if I referred to it as a ‘lasso.’ Although most people use it as a noun ‘lasso’, is actually a verb. There is no faster way to flag yourself as a layman than calling a lariat a ‘lasso.’ Most of the people who actually use a lariat, however, often refer to it as a rope, and the act of using it, ‘roping.’

There are about as many sizes, styles, and options for ropes as there are for cars. You can get them in a variety of lengths, colors, levels of softness, and made out of a range of materials. The main thing lariats have in common is that they are slightly stiffer than ‘regular’ rope. A lariat needs to be stiff so the loop will stay open when it is thrown, and so the person using it can open and close the loop easily with one hand. The standard rope you see used at most rodeo events is made of braided nylon and is between 30 and 35 feet. These ropes are almost always used in the sports of team roping and tie-down roping. The goal in both of these events is to rope the cattle as quickly as possible. Although these ropes can be used for ranch chores, it is common to have what is known as a ranch rope for work around the ranch.

A ranch rope is a type of lariat that is much longer than its rodeo cousin. Ranch ropes can easily be between 50 or 60 feet long, and are generally not as stiff. Ranch roping is almost never the fast paced action you see in the rodeo arena. The big difference is that in ranch roping you have to deal with a herd of animals, instead of 1-on-1 in an arena. Ranch roping focuses on accuracy and controlling the movements of the animal. Much like a baseball player, ranch ropers employ a variety of different throwing styles. There is everything from your basic over hand throw to something called Johnny Blockers*.

You might be thinking that this all sounds good and well, but that it seems like an awful lot of work to learn how to lasso something. You would be right, but at Goosewing Ranch we would be more than happy to teach you. I have taught many people how to throw a rope in Jackson Hole Wyoming and it always seems like everyone else picked it up faster than I did. If you can throw a ball of any kind, I know we can get you lassoing something. I’m sure by the time your guest ranch vacation is coming to an end you will be hard pressed to stop lassoing your spouse, child, or dog. (In fact I can almost assure you that they will be politely asking you to stop).

*A Johnny Blocker is where you throw the lariat slightly in front of the calf, and then pull the loop back onto their head.

A mordern spin on an old way of life in Jackson Wyoming…

April 17th, 2012 by Amy

Wow… I can’t believe that the winter season is over and it is about time to open up Goosewing Ranch for another wonderful summer, and I couldn’t be more excited.

We are gearing up for a terrific summer vacation season… With lots of returning staff and a successful autumn of completing projects, this summer might just be the best yet!  The 2012 staff members will start arriving around the first week of May and continue arriving until the beginning of June.  Throughout this month staff will be trained, and facilities will be cleaned and prepared for our first guests’ arrival on June 3.  This year’s returning staff members include: Eric, the ranch foreman, Kris and Katie, head wrangler and wrangler, Will, activities director, Angel, head chef, Charlotte and Katia, lodge and housekeeping departments, and myself.  I am also very excited about the new staff members that will be spending the summer with us; they are all very enthusiastic and well qualified.  We have hired a few extra staff members for this season to better serve and meet the needs of our guests.

Aside from being well staffed, we have many new amenities available that will suite a variety of travelers.  Just because you are taking a family vacation to Wyoming and will be spending a week at a guest ranch doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice comfort.  After a day of hiking through Grand Teton National Park, or touring the geysers of Yellowstone National Park we invite you to relax by our heated swimming pool, gaze at the star filled skies from the hot tub, or treat your muscles to time in the sauna and a massage from one of our professional therapists.  The ranch not only has a variety of ways to relax and pamper you, but we also have new ways of exploring the Brider-Teton National Forest or Gros Ventre Wilderness.  New for the 2012 season is the addition of 10 Polaris Rangers ranging in capacity from 2 – 6 seats.  Now each cabin will come with a Ranger for the convenience of our guests.  This is a great way to get out to different hiking trails, go fishing, or explore new areas without soring you butt in the saddle.  For the more adventurous types we are offering 2 and 3 day pack trips into the backcountry.  This is a true western experience with many opportunities to view wildlife and take in the vast vistas the surrounding mountain ranges have to offer.

From offering a full Spa to pack trips, and ATV rides Goosewing Ranch has something to offer any vacation traveler.  These are just a few of the new and exciting investments that the ranch is making.  Check out our website for more details or feel free to give us a call toll free at 1-888-733-5251 or 1-307-733-5251.  Don’t miss out on a vacation of a lifetime at Goosewing Ranch, call today for rates and availability.  We also are offering lots of specials mention this blog post and receive a free massage! Offer expires 4/24/2012.

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