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Live out your cowboy dreams with Ranch Rider

4th November 2011 Print

Ranch Rider has added five new ranch stays to its US collection, the tour operator’s 2012 brochure now featuring a cowboy school and a tailored horsemanship holiday.

Tony Daly, Managing Director of Ranch Rider, comments, “All of our new ranches are focused on the lifestyle of the real working wrangler, but this year we’ve also introduced options for those who want to dig a little deeper into the traditions and ways of the west.”

The Padlock Ranch, combines luxury and authenticity, the working ranch’s lodge featuring plush western décor. Straddling both Wyoming and Montana, there are half a million-acres to explore, guests branding in June, driving the herd through the Big Horn Mountains in August and gathering the yearlings in September. Owning over 10,000-head of Mother cows, May is the ideal time to learn the ropes of a cowhand, riders moving cow and calf pairs across the cowboy state. For those who don’t want to kick up the dust like a greenhorn, there’s even a cowboy school – a more intensive and tailored course where you can get under the skin of the west. 5-nights £1,189pp (two sharing). Excludes transfers and gratuities. Departures May to October.

Only two hours from Yellowstone, the wildlife viewing opportunities at Montana’s Hidden Hollow Hideaway Cattle & Guest Ranch, are said to rival those in the nearby National Park. Photo-safaris feature on the list of activities, and adventurers can enjoy “after supper” 4X4 drives to view the more nocturnal animals. With 220-head of Red Angus cattle, visitors also have the option of rounding up the herd, or alternatively saddling up for flexible half day and full day rides, the ranch taking only eight guests. Ribbon racing, balloon toss and the famed “egg ride” are some of the more unusual horseback games, tours of “Diamond City” (a ghost town located on the property’s 25,000-acres), and gold panning treks showcasing the region’s historic past. 7-nights from £1,119pp (two sharing). Excludes transfers and gratuities. Departures May to October.

Due to the popularity of horsemanship, many ranches run special clinics, but at Oklahoma’s Highpoint Horse Ranch it is the main focus of the stay. Taking only three guests, the owners offer tailored and intensive courses with professional trainers in both the indoor and outdoor arena. Guests can also try their hand at pond fishing, enjoy a local rodeo, or make the most of Oklahoma City, the state capital located only one hour from ranch. 7-nights from £705pp (no single supplement). Excludes gratuities. Departures April to October.

At the Klondike Ranch in Wyoming, branding and cattle driving are all part of the programme. The famous "Outlaw Cave,” a favourite hideout of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, features on inclusive tours, and regular overnight camp outs and rodeos are additional highlights. Trout fishing on Crazy Woman Creek is another popular pursuit, the intimate ranch taking only eight guests (14 years +). 7-nights from £1,095pp (two sharing). Departures May to September.

Offering winter sun holidays, the Williams Family Ranch in Arizona operates from September through May. Guests can enjoy early morning rides to view long abandoned mine workings, swim in the nearby waterholes, and even take a romantic moonlit ride at the day’s end. Based in the charming western town of Wickenburg, there is also the opportunity to venture off ranch and visit Ben’s Saddlery – one of the few remaining places in the state practicing this distinctly western art form. 7-nights £719pp (two sharing). Excludes transfers.

For more information, visit