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!
Posts Tagged ‘guest ranch’
June 22nd, 2012 by Amy
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!
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!
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!
May 4th, 2012 by Amy
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.
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.
April 15th, 2012 by Amy
Guest Ranches aren’t about a bunch of rough cowboys trying to find a way to make a living. It is about an honest, hardworking group of people that love the outdoors, and want to share a piece of their world with others. Modern Guest or Dude Ranches come in lots of sizes, shapes, and with varying accommodations. In today’s world a destination vacation needs to offer more than what meets the eye; they need to be able to prove to their clients the businesses sustainability. Goosewing Ranch is no different, and we would like to tell you a little bit about what we are doing to improve our guests experience at the ranch.
I like to think of the experience a guest receives at Goosewing Ranch as mixing leather and lace. You get the rough, tough western experience, all while enjoying cozy accommodations and modern amenities. Goosewing Ranch is doing its part to help maintain a healthy environment by using natural or “Green” cleaning products, bio degradable laundry detergents, and eco-friendly spa and bathing products. We offer Eco-sential brand shampoos, conditioners, hand, and body wash. These products break down and won’t pollute the ground water. We also offer locally grown organic oils in our spa. Get in touch with Wyoming’s nature while being pampered.
It is important to reduce, reuse, and recycle at any location, but being located in the Gros Ventre Wilderness and Bridger-Teton National Forest it is essential. Recycling not only reduces the amount of waste we have to pay to dispose of, but it also provides our employees and guests a sense stewardship to the environment. We provide all of our guests with a reusable water bottle at check-in and encourage everyone to fill it with our natural spring water that is available from every tap on the ranch. This water is excellent…not only is it from our very own spring, but it flows at a refreshing 42 degrees! We also try to limit and reduce the amount of energy, water, and detergents we use by asking our guests to reuse their bath towels. A hanging towel means you will reuse it and a towel on the floor means you need it replaced with a clean one. The ranch produces it own power through clean burning propane generators. The oil from these generators is recycled to a local business to be reused as a heating source.
Jackson Hole might have started as a hide-away for outlaws, but it has grown into a global attraction. With Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks neighboring both Gooewing and Jackson there is no wonder way we want to limit our footprint on this beautiful country. Our goal is to provide you, our guests, with the best vacation, while helping you experience all western Wyoming has to offer. This is an area full of history, adventure, change, mystery, and beauty…We want you and your grandchildren to enjoy the same majestic views and wildlife encounters those generations before enjoyed. Experience Goosewing Ranch the way Mother Nature intended. Check out our sustainability page on our website for more information.
March 28th, 2012 by Amy
The countdown has begun and your summer vacation is quickly approaching. Now begins the task of preparing and packing. Packing for any vacation can be a challenge, and a guest ranch is no different. Whether you plan to pick up some essential items in Jackson, or bring them from home, we would like to give you some suggestions on what to pack and expect…
Remember, Goosewing Ranch is located at 7,400 feet in the Gros Ventre Mountains, the sun is very intense, and the weather can change drastically very quickly. Typically the summer months in Jackson Hole are very enjoyable, with mild temperatures and a dry climate. Expect, warm, and dry days, with chilly temperatures in the evenings and nights. The weather can be very different as you travel from Yellowstone to Jackson to the Ranch. We recommend always carrying an extra layer with you while traveling through western Wyoming. The ranch, town, and surrounding National Parks are all very causal and laid-back… You will be welcomed into most establishments in causal summer attire, or your cowboy getup.
Aside from you cowboy or cowgirl gear we suggest that you bring along… sunblock of SPF 15 or high, lip balm with SPF, and make sure to apply throughout the day. Hats are a great tool in keeping you cool, and aid in sunburn prevention. A cowboy hat works well, because it keeps the sun off your face and neck, just make sure it is a snug fit or purchase a stampede strap to keep it on your head. We also recommend bringing a thin long sleeve shirt; this will also help keep you cool and from getting too much sun exposure. We have found that fishing or western button up shirts work the best. For horseback riding, you will want to have a comfortable pair of jeans, and slick soled boots with about a ½” heel. We recommend this style of boot for safety reasons; bulky hiking boots could get stuck and shoes without heels can slide to far forward being very dangerous for the rider. Boots are fun for a night of dancing also. There can be a drastic temperature fluctuation between day and night, so we suggest that you bring a fleece or light jacket, for those of you coming in June or late September, bring a heavier jacket or more layers. Don’t forget your bathing suit, shorts, t-shirts, and comfortable hiking or walking shoes for touring the local area and parks. If you are planning on rafting the Snake River or floating the Gros Ventre bring a pair of water shoes or sandals that will stay on your feet. We have a guest laundry facility located near our cabins for your convenience. We will provide all riders with rain slickers, in case of an afternoon shower. We also have a number of items available for purchase in of gift shop, such as, gloves, hoodies, vests, lip balm, bug spray, sunblock, ball caps, and more… In your cabin for your pleasure are hair dryers, robes, mini frig, coffee maker, and eco-sential bath products. If you are planning on going on an overnight pack trip we suggest bringing wool socks, warm hat, and an extra warm layer. Please feel free to contact at 1-888-733-5251 or 1-307-733-5251 us or visit our website for more information.
Suggested Items to pack: Camera (w/ extra batteries or charger)
Western style clothing
Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
Lip Balm w/ SPF
Hat (ball cap or cowboy hat)
Light jacket or Fleece
Slick soled boots with ½” heel (great for riding and dancing)
Thin long sleeved shirt (recommend fishing or western button shirts)
Jeans (comfortable to horseback ride in)
Water shoes (make sure they will stay on your feet in the river)
Hiking or walking shoes
Summer attire Phone Card (for placing long distance calls from the ranch phone line) there is free Wi-Fi available
June High and Low: 68 / 35
July High and Low: 76 / 42
August High and Low: 75 / 43
September High and Low: 65 / 33
March 20th, 2012 by Amy
As the winter is winding down and the locals in Jackson Hole are dreaming about their May vacations… the moose in the valley are still struggling to survive. Goosewing Ranch is home to all sorts of wildlife during the year and especially in the winter. We feel very special to be sharing our back yard with some of Wyoming’s most spectacular wildlife.
There is a lot said in the winter about wolves, and elk in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but at Goosewing Ranch we think that our Wyoming moose are equally as important. Moose are sort of a gangly creature, but their design isn’t without purpose… Moose are designed to be able to move through deep marsh lands and snow packs. Moose will feed on such plants as willows, and at times consuming up to 40lbs of the fibrous branches daily. The males grow antlers called paddles, for their shape. They shed these antlers annually. Moose are typically solitary animals, but will at times be found in small groups during mating season, or when calving.
We are fortunate to have moose in the Gros Ventre. I think the best part about being in the Jackson Hole area in June is that the moose are calving. It is a special moment when you get to see a mother with her newborn calf standing underneath her. Remember that moose can move quickly and are very protective of the babies. Always give them plenty of space, and never allow your dog to chase or harass them. Like with most wildlife in this area winter takes a toll on the moose. They need to be left alone and not disturbed. It is very taxing on their bodies to be chased or pushed through the deep snow. The amount of energy and calories they burn during the winter can be the difference between life and death in the spring. Give them respect and space to ensure their survival. Remember to be kind to the wildlife and don’t poach the powder, so we can always enjoy the moose…
Come share this corner of North America’s wildest country with us! At Goosewing Ranch, we combine the Wyoming wilderness ranching lifestyle with many of the modern refinements in life. It’s sure to be an amazing, memorable “Dude Ranch” vacation here in amazing Jackson Hole!
Connect with us at Goosewing Ranch!
Our Website – http://goosewingranch.com
Facebook Community – https://www.facebook.com/GoosewingRanch
Twitter Handle – http://twitter.com/goosewingranch
YouTube Videos – http://www.youtube.com/goosewingranch
“As the gateway to the Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is the epicenter of guest-ranch vacationing in North America. If one acknowledges that this is the area that sets the standard, then the Goosewing Ranch sets the gold standard.”
100 Best Ranch Vacations In North America
March 13th, 2012 by Amy
Our new website is live, the ranch is filling up, and my to do list is changing from winter projects to spring projects…so, I guess it is time for me to formally introduce myself. Howdy, I am Amy DeCarolis Worster…I am the one that has been sharing my thoughts, hints, and and stories about Goosewing Ranch and ranch life. I am also the General Manager for Goosewing Ranch.
I arrived in the Gros Ventre valley fresh out of college, and excited about a new beginning. What I didn’t know was that that new beginning would start with a 20 mile horse back ride to my new job as a wrangler. My truck broke down around lower Slide Lake, just out side the Grand Teton National Park boundary, and I did what any true cowgirl would do… No, I didn’t wave down the first passing vehicle; I unloaded my trusty horse, jumped on bareback and proceeded to my new job at Goosewing Ranch. Soon realizing that I should have looked at the map first…I didn’t realize that I was still about 20 miles from a hot shower, bed, and paycheck. Well, after riding by a few passing vehicles, and fighting off wild animals (just kidding) Sheela and I finally arrived at the most beautiful place in the West, Goosewing Ranch. I was greeted with some strange stares of fellow employees wondering if I rode this little mare all the way from Indiana. Now, Goosewing and the Jackson Hole area has become home for me and Sheela.
I have been with the ranch now for about 8 years, and have made not only lasting memories and friendships, but a life for myself that includes Goosewing Ranch. I married my best friend and partner in adventure last September on top of the mountain where we met 7 years ago, Monument Ridge. I truly enjoy showing off this beautiful area of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton, Jackson Hole, and most of all the Bridger-Teton National forest and Gros Ventre Wilderness. I think there are times when I am more excited to show someone a spectacular mountain view on horseback than they are to see it. I am the proud momma of my four legged, pointy ear, dogs and horses, and couldn’t imagine life without them.
I hope that you will enjoy the information that will be shared, and find it helpful. Come visit the Ranch and let me show you, what I think, is the best of the West!