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Canada

- Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch -

This Canadian Ranch is hidden in the beautiful Saskatchewan River Valley and has 14 kilometres of shore along Lake Diefenbaker. Here you are welcomed by George and staff, who has a working cattle guest ranch and a cow/calf operation where  cattle are herded in a traditional way using horses. When new calves come to the world every spring, the ranch work never ends.
Guests ride on well trained quarter horses, appaloosa and paint horses. The horses have a wonderful life, they live in a huge pasture and get rounded up in the mornings to start the day.
When you are a cowboy/cowgirl at a "working cattle-guest ranch" you follow the seasons and cattle rhythm. Everyone is welcome to participate in the work at the ranch which doesn't mean that you get to chase or herd cattle all day. Most of the livestock work takes place in early June, at the "branding event" and at the beginning of October during the "round up week". So if it is the work with cattle that attracts you, you should go for one of those weeks (must be booked way in advance).
If you visit the ranch throughout the summer, working with cattle is limited but you have the chance to do some 'working cattle' in the large outdoor arena where they keep some longhorn cattle close by. Lots of fun, you get do some working cow, sorting, cutting or moving an animal. You can also learn how to barrel race which is a lot of fun for everyone, especially cowgirls. If you get very good at roping you will have the chance to try some breakaway roping on the cattle. 
 
No matter if it is the season for livestock work or not, there will be many hours to be spend in the saddle. This is no trail or nose to tail riding, everyone can experience the wide open range. It's amazingly beautiful.

If you are not an advanced rider but in good physical condition you will quickly learn to keep up with the others. When you're out all day, the pace is often calm due to the steep terrain in many places. Saskatchewan is not flat at all. The ranch is also a perfect ranch to bring your partner or friend who has not yet experienced the thrill of riding.
 
You live in small comfortable cabins in western style. All melas are included. You start your day with a large breakfast at 9am. Lunch will be prepared and packed up for you to take out on the trail, every saddle has a saddle bag. Supper will be served at 6:30pm  and everyone is gathering again around the huge dining table where a lot of laughters and stories will be shared throughout the meal time. 
 

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The Program

You do plenty of horseback riding at this ranch, sometimes while working with cattle or sometimes while relaxing and soaking in the incredible landscape and wide open spaces. Everyone is welcome to participate in the ranch work, cattle included but only if available and necessary. The cattle herd must be checked almost daily and sometimes they need to be moved to a different pasture or moved back in case they got out. 
 
After breakfast, it is time to round up the horses in the huge pasture for the day's work. This is done by the staff with the help of a quad-bike. Most times the herd of horses shows up on their own. It becomes a routine for them and they come up from the lake or down from the hills to the paddock, or just show up at your door step by the cabins. After saddling up, everyone is off for a lovely day with lots of riding, checking the cattle herd, maybe fix fences or search for missing cows or calves. Normally you will ride 5-6 hours per day. They ride all different gates from walk to trot and gallop, or loping. No racing please since the terrain can be very dangerous due to hidden gopher and badger holes. The guide will let you know where you can let your horse go.
 
Those who do not have much riding experience can get some basic instructions or lessons in western riding at no extra cost. Everyone gets the opportunity to learn how to lasso on a roping dummy and if given you get the chance to work with livestock. The more interest you show, the more you can learn.

Accommodation & Food

You stay in western log style cabins. Each room has two double beds with a private bathroom/shower. There are also a couple of larger loft cabins for small groups or families. Total available capacity is 14 guests and they prefer not have more than 8 to 10 riders max in a group. The rooms are cleaned weekly or with each arrival. Bedding and toiletries are supplied.
 
Dinners are served in the ranches “cookhouse” and are tasty and plentiful. Everyone is gathering around the huge dining table where a lot of laughters and stories will be shared throughout the meal time with other guests from different parts of the world.
 
The ranch has its own saloon with a pool table, foosball, darts and country music coming through the speakers. People gather here every evening for a few drinks and fun games. If the weather conditions allow you will find yourself sitting around a campfire  listening to the crackling of the fire, the sounds of crickets and howling coyotes in the background. Alcoholic beverages can be picked up in advance or you can put in an order for your conveniences. Beer is available at the Saloon and can be settle up for at your last night at the ranch. 
 
The lunches consist of sandwiches, wraps or hot dogs which are packed in appropriate boxes which you carry with you in saddlebags, water is also supplied for the day trip. If the weather condition allow you will find yourself resting around a campfire where you either roast your sandwich and soon smell freshly brewed coffee. Resting for an hour is usual while you can either have a snooze, or just relax and focus on those things you can’t hear out here far away from your daily life. 
 
The well-cooked breakfast various every day and consists for example of scrambled eggs, toast, ham, fried potatoes, pancake, french toast, fruit, water, tea, hot chocolate or coffee.

They do not support Vegan or Gluten free dietaries. Vegetarians have to expect side dishes only (vegetables and salads) beside potatoes, pasta or rice. Vegetarian meals can be requested with a surcharge of $25 per person/day. 

Safe deposit box: No
A/C: No
Hair Dryer: At request.
Towels and sheets: Yes
Fridge: No (only one to share in the Saloon) 
 

Horses

The ranch has about 20 horses, most Quarters but also some Paints. They are well trained and there are horses suitable for both beginners and experienced western riders. All saddles have saddle bags.

Special Events

Branding the Offspring (first week of June):
One of the most popular events at the ranch is when the cattle are collected to be branded. Everyone has the opportunity to participate and learn how to catch calves, and more. You will need to be on the ranch a few days before to become familiar with how to do this and have time to get to know your horse properly. The actual branding usually happens between June 1st and June 4th.

Round Up Week (mid-October):
In the second week of October, the cattle are collected and driven back to the ranch. The cattle must be counted, drenched and moved to different pastures. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to handle cattle for those who love to ride.

Other activities and excursions

When you are not in the saddle, there are many other things to do. During the summer you can swim, canoe, water ski or go on the lake below the ranch with the ranch’s own little motorboat. There is also the chance to go fishing on the lake.

The ranch’s large area encourages exploring on foot among the rolling hills, where in the pristine wilderness you can see deer, coyote, skunks, owls, eagles and pelicans. Or perhaps you prefer to find your own private part of the 15 km (9 miles) long sandy beach.
The day often ends with little rope-play (lassoing), a visit to the ranch’s own saloon or just gathering around the campfire. Sometimes you go to the nearby White Bear Saloon, which is famous in the region for its special decor.

The region around the ranch has old ranch traditions. People often arrange joint excursions to local rodeo competitions, where cowboys compete to see who can stay on the bucking horses.

There are also many excursions for those who are interested in nature and western history.

Climate

Travel Information

Ability description: Outdoor riding, level 2-3 >>

Included in the price: 7 nights 6 days riding, full board incl soft drinks.

Not included. Flights, transfers, insurance, alcoholic beverages and extras not mentioned. 

Travel: Book flight/rental car >>  We help you book your flight if you wish.
Fly to Saskatoon. 

Transfer: Book and pay in advance with HorseXplore.
From Saskatoon airport to ranch about 2 hours.
Time: Depending on the latest guest arriving and the earliest guest departing. 
Arrival to Saskatoon airport Saturday latest at 7.00 PM and flight on departure day Saturday flight after 10.00 AM.
Price: 210 EUR /return/person (min. 2 persons). 

Arrival-/departure day: The rooms are ready for check in at 3 PM and must be left at 11 AM on departure day. 

Optional arrival/departure: You can choose another arrival and departure day (Monday and Thursday), just mail us on info@horsexplore.com . Transfer days to/from airport is Saturday, Monday and Thursday

Rental car: Normally, there is no need for a car, but if you want to continue on after the ranch stay you may want to have a car. 

Visa: Starting March 15, 2016, most travellers entering Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa. Read more here>>

Single room: Can be booked with a supplement. For price click on ”Book on request” under Dates & prices. If you are willing to share room, you will not have to pay a supplement if you are allocated a single room.

Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD).

Credit card: The ranch do not accept credit cards.

Tipping: Not required but appreciated.

Wifi: There is Wi-fi at another ranch about 3 km away.

Electricity jack: Adapter is needed, typical north American power supply 110 Volt.

Group size: Min. 2, max. 10.

Age limit: None, but 5 years old and compenent rider for riding.

Beach: 150 meters to lake.

Pool: No

Misc.:
Riding equipment to borrow: None
Saddle bag available: Yes
Special diet: Vegan- or gluten free food can not be catered for.
Smoking: is prohibited in all rooms, buildings, on porches, verandas and anywhere close to buildings. No smoking while out on the trails! They have one designated area for smokers. 

Dates and prices

"Book on request" means that we cannot confirm your booking immediately, but we will get back to you as soon as possible with a booking confirmation, normally within 24 hours on weekdays.

DateDaysName of tripPrice from
20/07/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,440Book on request
27/07/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,440Book on request
03/08/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,440Book on request
10/08/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,440Book on request
17/08/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,440Book on request
24/08/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,440Book on request
31/08/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,440Book on request
07/09/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,440Book on request
14/09/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,440Book on request
21/09/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,440Book on request
28/09/20248Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked. Round up
EUR 1,440Book on request
29/05/202515Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked. Round up & Branding
EUR 2,960Book on request
16/06/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
23/06/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
30/06/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
07/07/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,480Book on request
14/07/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
21/07/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
28/07/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
04/08/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
11/08/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Fully booked
EUR 1,480Book on request
18/08/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
25/08/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
01/09/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
08/09/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
20/09/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest RanchEUR 1,480Book on request
27/09/20258Canada, Saskatchewan - Cowboy on a Working Guest Ranch
Round up
EUR 1,480Book on request

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