Goosewing Ranch

Why Wyoming?

Wyoming tends to fly low on the radar when it comes to vacations. However, there are several gems that make this state stand out. In the northwestern corner lie Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park, which attract tourists in the summer and avid skiers and snowboarders in the winter. As a result of these famous spots, Jackson Hole has flourished.

Wyoming has a low population, clocking in at just over 580,000 people (as of 2014), but the national parks draw a big crowd to Jackson and the Greater Yellowstone area. Yellowstone alone entices about 4 million people per year; the heaviest concentration falls between May and September.

Just recently the Wyoming Office of Tourism launched a new slogan, “That’s WY.” Focused on bringing up tourism percentages, the slogan highlights all the beautiful, rugged, and wild things Wyoming has to offer.

Brian Ganther, the group creative director at BVK—the Milwaukee ad agency that created the campaign—says, “Wyoming takes Western culture and kicks it up a notch… You aren’t going there for an urban experience, although there is a growing amount of good food, music and culture.”

#GreatOutdoorsMonth #MountianBiking #Vedauwoo #ThatsWY

A photo posted by Wyoming Tourism (@visitwyoming) on

The hashtag has come alive on Twitter and Instagram, with a steady stream of pictures posted online that showcase the adventurous side of Wyoming. Whatever image comes into someone’s head about Wyoming, this new campaign is solidifying a positive perception.

Goosewing Ranch, located northeast of Jackson Hole, provides a perfect slice of Wyoming that is hard to replicate, and not often seen by visitors of the area.

Aside from being close to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the ranch sits on the Bridger Teton National Forest and is the perfect entry point into the Gros Ventre Wilderness. (True to its name, the wilderness has remained untouched by all motorized vehicles – accessible only by foot or horseback.)

So if you ask us why you should pick Wyoming, or why you should pick Jackson Hole as your vacation destination, just take a look at this piece of country that is still truly wild. Not many people get to experience our isolated paradise. That’s why.

Dude Ranch Family Reunion

2011 Tipi with Jeremy 111

Our ranch—with 11 cabins of varying sizes and maximum capacity of 35 people—is the perfect place for your family reunion. Whether your family is 4 people or 20, you will enjoy cabins that are within easy walking distance to visit your loved ones.

Goosewing Ranch is remote: an hour from the nearest town, with only one road in and out, nestled in the Gros Ventre River Valley. We are surrounded by natural, untouched beauty.

Our all-inclusive packages remove the stress from the family members trying to plan the reunion. The lodging is cozy and clean, we provide three delicious meals a day (plus snacks), and all ranch activities are included. We take the worrying out of your vacation—the only major decision your family has to make is which activities they want to do the next day.

Celebrate with Goosewing, where there’s something everyone can enjoy. Tour the area, with scenic views of the Tetons and other impressive landmarks; enjoy a family trail ride all together with knowledgeable wranglers; go explore the lakes and roads off the ranch in the UTVs provided at each cabin; try your hand at fly fishing, either taking a rod out on your own or taking a lesson on our stock pond; hone your aim and competitive nature (or simply have fun) with skeet shooting, archery, target shooting, and hatchet throwing.

We encourage guests to disconnect from their hectic lives and reconnect with each other. It’s easy to build memories that will last a lifetime when you can truly step away from your phone, tablet, and computer. Focus on the people who are most important in your life: your family.

Horseback Riding Vacations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Goosewing Ranch, Riding the River sweet

Ever dream of being a cowboy or cowgirl, but couldn’t seem to swing it in the city (or suburbs) where you grew up? Here is your chance to test it out with an all-inclusive vacation to Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming! We feature three to seven nights deep in the beautiful Gros Ventre wilderness only accessible by horseback—just like in the old days.

How it works:
You will arrive on the ranch, check in, and then head down to the tack room to meet your horse for the week. Having your own horse lets you become comfortable with your mount and develop a bond that will have you saying “Remember Josh? He was a great horse,” for years to come.

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Josh posing for the camera with a teenage guest

From beginners to experienced, we have a horse for everyone. This wide variety ensures guests can enjoy all aspects of riding, both on the trails and in the arena, as well as feeling safe and secure with their horse partner. Plus, our kid horses take their job very seriously—the quintessential babysitter when a child is out on a ride.

Catch a glimpse of the impressive landscape surrounding the ranch on different length trail rides, and either return to the ranch for a hot lunch or eat a boxed lunch on the trail with unbeatable Wyoming views.

Goosewing Ranch, Riding the Meadows 3

For people wanting to spice up their trail rides and have the necessary riding experience to do so, we offer advanced rides. Get a chance to go on a loping ride or swim with your horse in the river! And if you don’t think you’re capable of loping or riding bareback, take a lesson from one of our experienced wranglers and work up to it.

Whether you’ve never been on a horse or were riding before you were walking, this horseback riding vacation is the perfect getaway if you want to experience the vast remoteness of the Jackson Hole Wyoming region from the saddle.

 

 

This post was written by Sara Massery.

Celebrate Your National Parks with Goosewing Ranch!

morman barn and tetonsThis year, the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday, and to celebrate, fourth graders are being given free park passes for them and their families.

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest park in the United States. It was established in 1872 as an Act signed by President Grant. It wasn’t until August 25, 1916 that the National Park Service was created to protect and preserve our beautiful parks, and since 1916 over four hundred parks have been created. The NPS has grown tremendously over the years. They rely on 22,000 employees and 221,000 volunteers to maintain the parks—and no wonder they need so many people, as Yellowstone alone draws over 4 million visitors a year, usually between the months of May to September.

Goosewing Ranch makes an ideal location to stay while visiting the parks. Not only can you take advantage of the free park pass given to your fourth grader—visiting the parks with ease from our location—you can enjoy the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the beautiful, untouched wilderness that surrounds the ranch, as well. The UTVs available for guests are a fun way to get off the ranch and explore everything nature has to offer.

This is a historic year for the parks. By celebrating 100 years of service, the NPS campaign has shifted public focus to the future, and preserving National Parks for another 100 years to come. This will be a celebratory year to visit Jackson Hole.

For your child to receive his or her park pass, go to everykidinapark.gov. Passes are valid until August 31, 2016. This year’s third graders are eligible to receive their park pass starting in September 2016.

 

This post was written by Sara Massery.

All Inclusive Family Vacation

_SRS2021As a general rule of thumb, parents have a lot of questions for us, even after they’ve made a reservation.

What will we be doing? How does a typical day go? Will there be enough good food?

It makes sense to me to want to question these things. On the parent’s end, they’ve been planning, planning, planning. What to pack, when to leave for the airport, flights, and rental cars… the list goes on. But once they arrive at Goosewing Ranch? What should they expect? How should they prepare?

At Goosewing Ranch, guests disconnect from their hectic lives to reconnect with each other. Our remote location lends a helping hand to parents whose teenagers (or spouses!) won’t put down their phones. We want our guests to create lasting memories with their families through experiences and adventures.

We are an all-inclusive guest ranch, designed with families in mind—and the “all-inclusive” part relieves stress in our guests. In our rates, you’re securing your lodging, three meals a day (plus snacks!), and all the on-ranch activities you want to do. This means your schedule could be packed, from trail riding to archery lessons or skeet shooting; or you could have a trail ride in the morning and take a packed lunch in a cooler on your UTV (utility task vehicle) and go picnic down the road at Soda Lake. Or, hey, it’s been a busy week – relax by the pool in the sun.

But perhaps the best part of this all-inclusive ranch vacation is that you won’t have to fight the crowds.  Goosewing Ranch is a small guest ranch with a max capacity of only 35 in-house guests.  This allows us to customize your family’s dude ranch vacation package to fit your family’s needs, and fulfill all your cowboy desires.

This isn’t a cookie cutter vacation; this is a memory making, tradition changing experience that has something different for everyone in your family to excel.  Moms beware, you will have time to relax and enjoy a massage while you let us handle all the details; and Dads, you should note that the fishing is exceptional and only a short walk from your cabin. With activities like hiking, UTV exploring, mountain biking, horseback riding, team penning, fly fishing, target shooting, clay pigeon shooting, archery, hatchet throwing, roping, pool, spa, sauna, and lots of other adventures to be had we will have something for your whole family to enjoy together!

 

This post was written by Sara Massery.

Top Six Reasons Why to Plan Your Escape to Goosewing Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming This Summer

specials pic

Goosewing Ranch is a place to disconnect from your daily struggles and reconnect with what is really important: Family, friends, nature, and your inner self.

Here at Goosewing Ranch, we combine the lifestyle of ranching in the Wyoming wilderness with many of the modern refinements that make your visit with us especially enjoyable.

At 7,400 feet, the valley is the host to some of North America’s most spectacular game: elk, moose, mountain sheep, antelope, bear, eagles, geese, cranes, and much more–not to mention fantastic scenery. The Gros Ventre River, home to native cutthroat trout, runs through the meadows of our historic ranch.

With many different package options, we can truly customize the perfect all-inclusive vacation option for you. From pack trips to nights in Jackson, let us help make this year’s vacation the best ever. We invite you to come share this corner of North America’s wildest country just as it has been for over a hundred years – a working ranch reborn as an isolated retreat deep in the Gros Ventre River Valley.

1. Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th Birthday! Stay at Goosewing Ranch and include a visit to our nation’s first National Park: Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park is near Goosewing Ranch, and we can help you plan your self or guided tour of this historic and amazing National Park. From wildlife viewing to hiking around thermal features there is much to see and do.

2. Yes, there is Yellowstone, but there is also Grand Teton National Park. With many spectacular Grand Teton views from the Goosewing Ranch trails, you won’t have to leave your saddle to experience this mesmerizing mountain. I can already imagine your new profile picture…you on a horse with the Grand Tetons towering behind you.

3. Historic Jackson Hole is a great place to stay before or after your package with Goosewing Ranch. While in town you will want to take in the shopping, dining, and history, but don’t forget about a white water rafting trip, scenic float trip, the rodeo, and the old west shoot out on the town square. Let the Goosewing Ranch staff take care of the planning so you can relax and enjoy your true Western Vacation.mg_5628f

4. It is an exclusive and all-inclusive vacation. Goosewing Ranch is a small unique property that offers packages that are all-inclusive of lodging, meals, ranch seasonal activities, taxes and gratuity. Being all-inclusive makes planning and organizing your vacation much easier; just tell us what you want to do and we can arrange the details. You won’t have to make dinner reservations, plan daily activities, and think of things to do that will please everyone, we have you covered. Goosewing Ranch has a wide variety of adventure based activities for all abilities and age ranges.

5. A chance to experience the Wild West and get a taste of it all. We have a great package that offers a bit of everything from a luxury night in Jackson Hole, a one night/two day spectacular pack trip, and three nights of rustic charm and all-inclusive activities at the ranch. Don’t fight the summer crowds, escape to beautiful Goosewing Ranch.

6. Make memories through adventure and experiences. Goosewing Ranch offers guests many opportunities to create life long memories and new family traditions through adventure and experience. This is a place where you can disconnect from distractions and truly relax and recharge.

Autumn in Jackson Hole

Well the summer tourist season has drawn to a close.  It was another spectacular summer in the Jackson Hole area, and throughout Yellowstone.  But not all travelers have left and there certainly are locals still in the area… so what is there to do in Jackson during the fall shoulder season?   Well, there is a lot to do.

Goosewing Ranch closed to guests on September 23 for the 2012 summer season, but we are still at the ranch finishing projects and already preparing for 2013.  Without all the families on the ranch to take horseback riding we have some down time to really enjoy the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Hunting, fishing, hiking, and great deals are just a few of the things you can experience in Jackson Hole Wyoming during the autumn months.  Flights into Jackson Hole Airport are usually a little less expensive and all restaurants and hotels are offering discounted rates and deals.  The area itself is beautiful also.  The aspen trees are in full color, and the wildlife is abundant whether you are shooting them with a  camera, bow, or riffle.  Hunting is a big part of our local economy and it brings many thrill seekers to the area.  Contact a local guiding service or check out grosventrehunting.com for more information.  Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks also offer great touring opportunities.   With fewer tourists in the area you can travel through the parks with ease.  This is also a great time of year for hiking with cooler temps and spectacular views, but remember the wildlife is preparing for winter so tread with caution.  Fishing is still excellent also.  The steams are easily accessible and the trout are hungry.  With temps ranging for 65 degrees during the day down below freezing at night you will want to pack a variety of options.  But get out and enjoy the spectacular weather the autumn in the Tetons brings.

Make sure you check local listings for off season hours and specials, and also check with the local parks because each entrance and most venders have different dates of operation.  Remember not all of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are open all year.  If you like cooler weather, great deals, fall colors, small crowds, and lots of wildlife and scenery viewing then checkout the Jackson Hole area.  Most of the people in the area this time of year are hunters, locals, and singles or couples so pack a bag and enjoy the off season touring the Tetons.   I know those of us at Goosewing Ranch and in the Gros Ventre LOVE this time of year!

 

Giddy Up at Goosewing Ranch

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?

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

What the Heck is a Lariat?

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.