This authentic working dude ranch combines a touch of luxury with fantastic horse riding, horsemanship and cattle working opportunities. Situated in Shell Valley, Wyoming, the ranch focuses primarily on horse riding and provides excellent horses for all levels of rider - those just starting out are treated with patience and given the help of professional trainers, whilst the seasoned rider will be matched to a responsive mount and can enjoy the company of experienced guides and talented cowboys. Approximately 250,000 acres provide spectacular scenery for trail rides whilst the 1200 head of Black Angus cattle mean that there is plenty of cattle work and drives to be done. This is genuine cattle work required to keep the ranch in operation! Non-riders can enjoy excellent fly-fishing or other activities such as hiking, cycling, mountain tours or a trip to the shooting range. Stays are geared towards adults or families with older children who have some equestrian experience and who can enjoy the same activities as their parents.
The horses at this ranch are trained using Authentic Horsemanship (AH) methods and the trainers provide horsemanship clinics regularly. The wranglers are trusted professionals and skilful at matching guests with a horse which will provide them with a safe but enjoyable experience, whether out exploring the scenic Wyoming landscapes or working the stock. These horses must have the athleticism required to work cattle and the sure-footedness to tackle challenging terrain, as well as the confident attitude needed to face new things. The riding here is not "nose-to-tail" - the rides are tailored to suit the groups and are designed to be rewarding and varied. A diversity of scenery is also encountered during the cattle drives where authentic ranch work is combined with spectacular countryside. With around 80 horses and roughly 25 guests per week, the horses are regularly rotated and given the opportunity for rest. The cattle are dealt with in a low stress manner with good horsemanship playing a key aspect. During this cattle work you may even have the chance to see some wild horses who share the grazing.
Aside from the sensational horseback opportunities, holidays at this ranch bring a host of other delights. Guests are accommodated in western-style log cabins which provide a warm and well-maintained base from which to enjoy their stay. Beautiful lawns surround the cabins and the main lodge, hot-tub and swimming pond. There is also a choice of casitas or, for those wanting even more luxury, there are separate "homes" about a 10 minute walk away (see accommodation details below for more information). Food is an important aspect of this ranch stay with hearty western fare and gourmet dinners playing an enormous role. Delicious homemade breakfasts, tasty sandwiches (for the all day rides) or high class lunches and dinners are served in the dining room. The loft bar is the perfect spot to meet for cocktail hour every evening and to sample the complimentary appetisers!
The ranch strives to offer world class hospitality in all regards and prides itself on the quality of the staff, all of whom are treated as part of the ranch family. As an authentic 100-year old working cattle and horse ranch, with four generations of ranching experience in this same valley, you can be assured of the "real deal". All-inclusive stays combine outstanding horse riding, excellent food, quality accommodation, pampering and great hospitality for the ultimate western vacation.
NB. The ranch horses have Saturday afternoons and Sundays off work so there is no riding then.