Somebody out there must have a need for a "ranch hand" that will exercise and ride the horses and take care of them, and even better, be together with a loving family since I'm on my own and my family is scattered all over the US. So the mid-west sounds fantastic, there are beautiful ranches in the mountains as well different states, I just want to be around the animals I love more than anything. My goal in life! Is it reachable?
Working a guest ranch is not like the real thing, on a cattle ranch there is a lot of work to be done not just riding or caring for a horse.
There is feeding, long grueling days in the saddle during heat and cold, even sleeping on the ground once in awhile,always the feeding and care of livestock before you can care for yourself, it portrays a lot of glamour and nostalgia, but it is not something suited to just anyone, it is a hard life, if you get the desired results it is a very rewarding experience.
Speaking of wanting someone with more experience, it is even hard for a woman with lots of actual hands on ranch experience to get hired. I was married to a rancher for years, we ran a lot of cattle on private and BLM land the total was 185 mi. long by 85 mi. wide.(Comprised of 6 separate ranches)
That takes a lot of riding and a lot of hands (13), evey day of the year, in the spring we worked the fields(I rode) in the summer we harvested hay (I ran a swather and a baler) this was a 24 hr. a day job for 3-4 people ( the only time we shut it down was when the dew got on the tires) then that was only for a few hrs.
The baling was mostly done at night with a little dew to keep the leaves on the alfalfa, we always had to watch for rattlesnakes during haying as the snakes liked to crawl under the bales, or they would get run thru the baler so you always had to watch when you rolled the bales or picked them up!
The grass hay was harder to cut as it would get wound up in the conditioner, so then the conditioner was removed, it didn't cure as fast a the alfalfa and we would usually have to rake it (turn it and "fluff")(female version)
I bred, raised and started the majority of the AQHA horses, the hands did not ride these, we had a remuda of some 125 head of horses for the hired hands, some of them had their own horses they brought to the ranch.
I ran one crew and my boss ran another (we married later), I kept the books, had to sign all checks, make out any purchase orders, cooked, somewhere in here I worked in an afternoon to make homemade bread, rolls cakes and pies, phew, did the shopping once a month in town 165 miles S of the ranch, by the way our closest neighbor was 30 miles distance and my 2 girls went to school in a little town 70 miles NE of the ranch they spent the week at another ranch a few miles from the school, came home on Fri night and back on Sun.
It was hard work, it was dirty work,it had to be done in the heat and in the cold, there was a lot of laughter,
humility, humbleness, and pride won and shared by everyone!
I would never trade those days and memories for anything in the world!
And I would go back and do it all over again given the chance!
that's exactly what I'm sayin' There are actually a few out there..but they are wanting someone with more equine education and experience than i have and it would have to be a big guest quarters for me and my daughter.