The USA is a melting pot of cultures all thrown together 200 odd years ago by the mass immigration to the ‘New World’ by pretty much everyone – Europeans, Asians, South Americans and so on.
Wyoming, known as the “Cowboy State”, is famous for its northwestern corner, which is home to two of the USA’s most magnificent national parks: geyser-packed Yellowstone and the majestic Grand Tetons. Towns, such as Jackson and Lander, are ideal bases for hiking, camping, climbing and skiing adventures in the region. There is so much to do in this beautiful state, especially volunteering on an authentic American ranch.
You will be based on the working ranch for the duration of your trip. You will be involved in hands-on activities including participation in chores, trail riding, horse wrangling, cattle gathering, branding and cattle drives. You will be carefully matched with a horse based on your riding experience and your goals for your 3-week project. The project will be tailored to your riding ability and interests as often as possible.
VOLUNTEER TASKS AND ACTIVITIES MAY INCLUDE:
Learning how a working ranch is run by getting involved in daily ranch chores
Looking after the horses and equipment – feeding, watering and cleaning
Cattle work such as checking the health of the herd, moving cattle when needed (on horseback), and fixing fences
Short trail rides
Long trail rides with lunch and overnight camping for 2/3 day rides
Wrangling between 40 and 80 head of horses
Team-penning (cattle work)
Basic roping lessons (on the ground)
The ranch occasionally has one day sessions for groups of children (under 12) to teach them about horses. Volunteers are welcome to get involved in these sessions when they occur as the kids love to meet the people with the funny accents!
You will have the amazing opportunity to ride and bond with your horse each day on the ranch. In your free time you may be able to visit local attractions including Yellowstone National Park, hot springs, historical centres, and rodeos. During your 3-week placement you will truly get to experience the Western lifestyle and country from the back of a horse.
A TYPICAL DAY AT THE RANCH:
6.30am Wranglers bring in the horses
7am Morning feeding
8am Horse assignment, grooming and tacking
8.30-9am Morning riding commences (arena/trail ride/all day ride/specialist activity)
12.30-1pm Lunch begins
1-30pm to 2.30pm One hour rest time if schedule allows
2.30- 3pm Afternoon activity – i.e. re-tacking horses for riding
6.30-7pm Supper begins
8pm Evening walk/games/down-time until bed time
Additional Information & FAQs
Minimum 18 years, maximum decided on potential participants’ health. Please note that the age range of volunteers at the ranch may differ, so please be prepared to work alongside other volunteers of different age ranges.
Please note: you may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
Your accommodation will be a 12 x 12′ fully-carpeted log cabin, with full electricity, nightstand and lamp, in Western style, with old-fashioned curtains in each of the four windows. Each cabin is fully heated and has an electric thermostat and a ceiling fan attached to the overhead light. All of the cabins have shaded front porches with chairs, old-style horse-shoe hooks mounted on exterior walls for hanging and drying outdoor gear and clothing, and charming old-time cowboy porch lights. There are no bathrooms or running water in the cabins, these are located in a separate building.
Close to the guest cabins is the Hub, which has a full professional kitchen, spacious dining room with heavy log tables and benches for family-style dining with a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. There is a specially-designated area just for interns and guests with two big comfy couches for reading and relaxing, a CD player/radio, and a telephone. There are lots of board games, cards, books, a piano keyboard, guitar and banjo. There is no television on the ranch, but occasionally, movies may be watched on one of the ranch laptops.
There is an open kitchen, plenty of snacks and three full meals a day.
IS THIS TRIP FOR YOU?
You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. However, you will still have the full support of your in-country team and those at the project. If you are looking for a group volunteering experience we have plenty of options for you to consider.
ADVICE & SAFETY
Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.
You will be assigned a personal travel advisor who will co-ordinate your programme with you. Feel free to contact them at any time before you go, or when you are on your travels.
In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our staff at any time should you need to.
1. Is previous horse riding experience essential to join the programme?
No previous experience is necessary as the Ranch offers instruction. Rides are tailored to all levels of horsemanship experience and disciplines of riders. Riders are matched to appropriate horses for their abilities, so the beginners are comfortable and the advanced not held back. A unique feature of our programme is that riders also have the option to stay with one horse or learn from the experience of riding several horses during their stay.
2. Are riding helmets provided?
Please bring your own riding helmet to the Ranch. We strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet at all times whilst riding.