Here you will find a collection of professional working ranches dedicated to raising and caring for herds of cattle, sheep, buffalo and even large herds of horses. Each ranch offers a unique opportunity for a limited number of guests to visit real working ranches and sharing with real working cowboys and cowgirls their special way of life. Over the years ranches have spent lots of time working to create programs that integrate guests into real ranch life safely and where guests can ride and work at their own comfort level while contributing to the day's work. Each ranch here truly tries to make sure that your experience will exceed your expectations. Most Working Cattle Ranches offer each guest learning opportunities about traditional ranching practices. Some even practice today what it called progressive ranching practices - living and listening to nature, using horses for almost everything that is done and raising livestock in a low stress environment.
Professional working ranches in the United States, Canada, Central and South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile), Australia and New Zealand have been in the past (and still many are today) closely guarded communities of people living off the land and savoring a "way of life" that has been handed down through generations. Most today are closed to outsiders and thus are called private ranches. Others like the ones described here, have opened their gates to guests coming from around the world to experience ranch life. These ranchers have chosen to diversify with guests who bring added excitement and enrichment to these working ranches. These ranchers believe it is important to share their way of life with urban folks so that they have a better understanding about what it takes to run, care for and raise livestock but also to live and care for the land - stewardship is what they call it. For many guests this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity and for many a life changing experience - one that truly touches ones heart and soul.
So what does it mean to spend time on a working ranch? It means being part of daily activities that would be happening whether or not you were present. You will get to know what a ranch looks like, smells like, how it tastes and how it feels. You will learn about the rhythm of ranch life. You will "toughen up", your eyes, ears and nose will be keener and your mind will expand. You will learn about horsemanship skills, gathering livestock from pastures that can be thousands of acres in size. You will learn about driving herds of cattle, mending fence, experience cows giving birth to calves and what it takes to care for the sick and injured. Often you might learn about irrigation, fixing corrals and in many instances learn about the principles of grazing practices and management. Chances also you see a variety of wildlife and work many times in the wee hours of the morning until the sun sets.
Besides the work you will come to live with the families kids, cowboys and cowgirls and come to care for them as they do for you. Most of the time guests become friends and often return because their ranching life experience has meant so much. They return because they feel a deep attachment to the ranch, the land and the people almost as if it were their own.
I can personally tell you that real working cattle ranch experiences are life changing. And while the work is sometimes hard and challenging it is also fun - a whole lot of fun! You will truly come away enriched, tired, inspired and filled with stories and memories that will last a lifetime.
So reach out find a ranch that meets your requirements, make the call ask a lot of question and don't be shy about it. Finally make your reservation and get ready to saddle up and ride.
Where ever you go we wish you safe travels and many more happy trails.