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 ‘Jackson Hole’
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 1st, 2012 by Amy
They come in all shapes, sizes, heights, and colors…Some faded, some misshaped, and others perfectly formed. What is it that is so special about a cowboys/girls hat? To completely understand the bond between the buckaroo and their signature piece, one must understand the uses of the cowboy hat.
Unlike many other styles of hats the cowboy hat is quite functional. With its larger brim it makes a very useful sunshade for the face, neck, and shoulders. This same large brim also protects you when it rains or snows and you can turn your hat into the wind to protect yourself from the blowing dust storm, or hide your eyes in a poker game in Jackson Hole. A light straw hat will keep you cool in through the Wyoming summer and a heavy felt hat will keep you warm in the winter. Not only are hats great for protection, but they also serve a useful purpose as a bucket (we have all heard of the 10 gallon hat), or storage area…Cowboys are known for keeping pictures, poems, cash and tooth picks in their hats. Now if you have never had the pleasure of wearing a cowboy hat and experiencing the versatility then it is hard to explain why some cowboys get so attached…Breaking in a new hat is like starting a colt. You’re gonna have your good days and your bad days, but after you each get dirty, and take a few spills together you will be working as a team for years to come; and a cowboy never forgets his first hat or colt.
Jackson Hole has a lot great hat shops, but you don’t have to get a custom hat to fit in at Goosewing Ranch. A good hat should fit well, be comfortable, and serve the above purposes. I want my hat to be able to stay put on my hand while I am riding a bucking, runaway horse in a windstorm. But, the snug hat shouldn’t cause pain or discomfort; your hat should form to the shape of your head. A general rule of mine is if I can bend over like I am picking a horse’s foot and my hat stays on then that’s a good start. Hats come in all shapes…some are more round with a tall crown, while others are oval with a low crown. Each region is known for a different shape of cowboy hat, all serving the same purposes but each adding its own flare and style. If your hat isn’t a sure fit make sure you also purchase or construct a stampede string to go along. The stampede string secures to your hat and then is tightened under your chin to keep your hat on your head whether you’re in a wild horse chase through the mountains or just horseback riding in some mild Wyoming wind. Most western stores have a person on staff that can help you find the perfect hat; this person usually will be able to custom shape the hat to fit your head and your personal style. Take your time shopping, remember you and your hat will make many memories together, from galloping through the Gros Ventre, being smashed to the ground from the winds off the Grand Tetons, to surviving the family vacation into Yellowstone National Park. Each adventure takes you one step closer to forming that bond between cowboy and cowboy hat…Where will yours take you?
April 25th, 2012 by Amy
Rodeos have a long and vibrant history. The roots of modern rodeos can be traced back to the late 1700s and 1800s. Spanish ranchers who settled in Mexico brought over many of their ranching techniques and taught them to their Mexican ranch hands, also known as vaqueros. As Spanish influence waned in the 1800s the vaqueros moved north and passed on much of their knowledge to Americans moving out and settling the new western frontier.
As the West was settled nearby ranches began holding informal competitions between their outfits to see who was the best at doing ranch chores. Chores like breaking horses and roping cattle provided the basis for the modern day events that we see in rodeos. Many cowboys began to find themselves out of work as trains spread toward the west coast and the range lands were fenced in around the time of the American Civil War. The solution for these cowboys was to travel around and exhibit their skills in Wild West Shows, and local rodeos. In the early days the performers in the two shows were one in the same. The rodeos of this time period were still almost completely unorganized, which led to much confusion. Rodeos were put on by local communities and there was little communication between them. Many of the competitors didn’t know what events were being offered, or even what the rules were going to be until they arrived and paid their entry fees.
In the early 1900s rodeos began to be structured more and more by official rodeo organizations. These organizations put together a formal set of rules and judging guidelines. Eventually Wild West shows fell on the wayside and rodeos became more and more like we see them today. Rodeos were actually one of the first sports to have a dedicated governing body with the creation of the Rodeo Association of America(RAA) in 1929. Today we have the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association(PRCA) which puts on the famous National Finals Rodeo every year in Las Vegas. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Jackson Hole, has a rodeo every Wednesday and Saturday night. Rodeos have been popular on guest ranch and dude ranches, like Goosewing Ranch, for generations.
Rodeos have changed quite a bit over the years, but it’s fun to think about how rodeos have transformed from a simple competition between neighbors to the competitive sport it is today.
Other interesting facts about rodeos:
- The ‘invention’ of steer wrestling can be attributed to just one man, Bill Pickett. It is the only event that can be attributed to only one person.
- The most popular event in the rodeos in the late 1800s and early 1900s was trick roping, also known as ‘fancy roping’
- Women were a regular part of bronc and bull riding in early rodeos, but became publicly unpopular after a woman was killed in 1929
- There are many claims to the first rodeo, but the earliest recorded is Santa Fe, NM (1842)
Our Independence Day Special includes a trip in to famous Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the parade, lunch in Grand Teton National Park, rodeo, and fireworks. This is a great family vacation package…
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.
April 5th, 2012 by Amy
Planning a family vacation or personal getaway can be a very overwhelming… Just deciding a region to visit is difficult. What will everyone enjoy, what is our budget, where should we go, what do we want to do, what does the area have to offer; these are just a few of the questions that help narrow the search. Then the more people and different age groups you throw into the mix only seems complicates things. When choosing a vacation for a family reunion, or just a private getaway, western Wyoming has a lot to offer…This year escape to Wyoming, where there is something for everyone!
The United States has 58 National Parks, and Wyoming is home of the Nation’s first, Yellowstone National Park. Bordering Yellowstone is Grand Teton National Park, with breath-taking mountain views, and abundant wildlife. Touring the country’s National Parks is a great way to get in touch with nature, have an educational experience, and see some of the most spectacular parts of our country. Another great option while visiting Yellowstone or Grand Teton is to visit guest or dude ranch. Ranches are typically all-inclusive vacations, including everything from taxes and gratuities to lodging, meals, and activities. Some of the basic activities one might experience on a guest ranch are horseback riding, tubing or rafting the rivers, roping, line dancing, target shooting, hiking, mountain bike riding and much more. Guest Ranches that are members of the Dude Ranchers Association are held to many high standards of service and operation. By choosing a ranch from the DRA you are practically guaranteed to have a wonderful vacation. At Goosewing Ranch we provide our guests with abundant, savory meals prepared by our in house chefs, authentic western hospitality with modern amenities, activities to keep everyone entertained, and a spa for those who wish to relax or relive sore muscles after a day of exhilarating experiences. Also, enjoy viewing wildlife in the Gros Ventre valley, or exploring the Bridger-Teton National forest on one of the Polaris Rangers. Guest ranches aren’t just horses, and barbed wire, it’s more of leather and lace, a rustic setting with resort amenities.
It is important to remember that there are many different types of vacations available out there. Why limit yourself to the same beach vacation, when you can have an all-inclusive guest ranch vacation and visit a historic National Park? Don’t think “City Slickers”, think of a true family vacation with experiences that will keep you smiling for years to come.
April 2nd, 2012 by Amy
As the snow begins to melt and I am hearing all the birds chirping throughout the day, I can’t help but dream about the wildflowers in bloom. No matter where I see wildflowers, they always seem to take my breath away, and cause me to stop and enjoy the moment. But, in my mind there is no comparison to the wildflowers in the Gros Ventre.
Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Park are home to many spectacular sights and creatures; Goosewing Ranch is fortunate to be located in an area where we are surrounded by these things daily, and get a little of everything! Wildflowers will bloom during different times of the summer depending on the elevation. As you increase in elevation spring and summer can be slow to come into bloom, but as things dry in Jackson new life is forming in the mountains.
I have been fortunate enough to have ridden through many fields of wildflowers, and still the sheer beauty takes me by surprise… A feeling of happiness and peace just seems to rush through me when I crest a hillside to see all the colors of summer opened to the sun.
While at Goosewing Ranch you won’t want to miss the opportunity to horseback ride, and enjoy a picnic in a field full of lupine, Indian Paint Brush (Wyoming’s State flower), Columbine, and more. Not only are the flowers a beautiful sight and smell, but they also make for great photography opportunities. Different flowers are blooming at different elevations throughout the summer, but the prime time to view them close to the ranch is from late June until mid-August. The higher you venture the later you can see them. Visit Goosewing Ranch and get more than just a vacation get an experience that will live in your heart for years to come.
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 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!
March 7th, 2012 by Amy
Its the lucky month of March and time to make those final plans for a summer vacation, and Goosewing Ranch has something to offer everyone… Jackson Hole is a spectacular place, and June is a great time of year to experience Wyoming. There is abundant wildlife, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are open, and the area is coming to life after a long winter season. We will give you more than a vacation, you will get an experience of a lifetime!
Celebrate Goosewing’s Opening (June 3 – 10): During the early part of June the Gros Ventre is full of life…Elk and Moose are calving, hawks and eagles are fishing in the open streams and lakes, bears are moving about, and Goosewing Ranch is OPEN!! Book your experience and vacation now for the week of June 3 – 10 and receive 40% OFF our peak season prices. While at the ranch you will be able to experience ranch life, ride horses, enjoy classic ranch dinning, and be able to help us give back to the Wyoming wilderness we love so much.
Photography and Wine Paring (June 10 – 17): When you are in an area as unique and beautiful as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem it is key to capture your vacation on film. After a few days of photographing everything under the big Wyoming sky, there is no better way to relax than with wine that compliments good food. Book your stay at Goosewing Ranch from June 10 – 14 and receive insights from a Professional Photographer that we will have on hand. Enjoy all that the ranch has to offer while capturing your memories on film. Submit a few specified photos for the ranch to use to be entered into a contest; the winner will receive a FREE 3 night stay for 2 in 2013. Book your stay at Goosewing Ranch from June 14 – 17 and we will provide you with a trained somelier to share knowledge of paring food and wine. Enjoy great food, and great wine from us during cocktail hour and dinner. You can also book a complete week from June 10 – 17 and enjoy a full week of ranch livin’ and culture!
Family Reunions/Group Getaways (June 17 – 24): Summertime is family reunion time. Book your family reunion or group getaway with Goosewing Ranch the week of June 17 – 24 and receive a discounted group rate up to 40% OFF (depending on group size). Goosewing Ranch has various activities to offer even the most diverse group. The horseback riding in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Gros Ventre wilderness is practically endless. We have Polaris rangers for those looking to explore, hike, fish, photograph, tube the river, or just cruise the back roads. Plus, we have lots of other activities to keep even teenagers busy…target shooting, dancing, arts and crafts, and much more. We didn’t forget about Mom either, we also have a spa, sauna, hot tube, and heated pool. A getaway experience that everyone will love and enjoy!
Bond with each other, bond with nature (June 24 – July 1): Calling all Mothers and daughters, Fathers and sons, its time to get back to what matters and enjoy the company of each other. Book your vacation with Goosewing Ranch for the week of June 24 – July 1 and receive either a FREE overnight pack trip and numerous outdoor excursions for the boys, or 2 FREE massages and 10% off our spa menu for the ladies. Can’t stay the entire week…book a 3 or 4 night stay and receive 10% off our spa menu. Couples and other travelers welcome to book.
Please call 1-888-733-5251 or 1-307-733-5251 for more details. Space is limited… call now to experience the vacation special you are sure to never forget…
Offer expires April 30, packages may be subject to change.