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USA, Wyoming - Black Hills

Do you want to be a cowboy at a solid "working ranch" in the middle of Wyoming's incomparable landscape? Then you have really found the right spot. Surrounded by the Black Hills Mountain range, you will find this authentic 30,000-acre cattle ranch. One day it's cattle that need to be herded in, the other day it's a fence that's broken. In true ranch spirit, the schedule is determined entirely according to what needs to be done on that day.

The ranch is run by two Italians, Ferdinando and Roberto, who are passionate about western life. They have about 2000 cattle and sheep, breed horses, harvest their own hay and have their own workshop, so there are always ranch chores to help with if you wish. The atmosphere is very familiar and relaxed, and you can ride as much or as little as you want. Since much of the riding is guided by what needs to be done at the ranch, no two days are the same, and each day is a new adventure.

All meals are taken together in the large wooden lodge in classic Western style. The well-cooked Italian/American food is served in buffet style, so here you will never go hungry. Upstairs there are eight bedrooms, all with private bathrooms, and there is also an independent log cabin with two beds for those who wish to live a little more secluded.
In the evenings, you are free to play billiards or ping pong in "the Old West style saloon" or just hang out and talk about western life out on the terrace.
At this ranch, you will not feel like a tourist, but like a friend and ranch colleague!

 

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Accommodation & Food

Your accommodation is provided in the purpose-built lodge which has eight bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. Rooms can be twin, single (for a supplement) or double. There is also a standalone cabin which sleeps two with a private bathroom for couples that would like more privacy. The entire lodge is built completely out of wood and all rooms are very comfortable. Bedding, towels, and hairdryers are all provided.

Meals are served in the dining room at the lodge and are primarily Italian-American cuisine served buffet-style. A typical breakfast could be juice, milk, coffee, tea, bread/toast, cured meats, cheeses, bacon, sausages, eggs, fruit, and yogurt. A typical lunch might be a home-made lasagna with salads. A typical supper: meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, with vegetables, bread, salads and potatoes/rice/pastas and dessert, drinks.
Drinks like lemonade, coffee, tea, juice, and milk are included. Canned drinks (Coke etc.) and alcoholic drinks are not included. Guests are welcome to purchase these in the ranch's very own bar.

Vegetarians can be accommodated although vegans cannot. In good weather, barbecues are often held outside for dinner.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact horseXplore with requests.



Horses & Riding

The ranch has 35-40 saddle horses between 3 and 15 years old for every level of riders from beginner to advanced. Most of the horses are Quarters with a few Paints and Mustangs all with great cow-sense. The ranch has an exceptional Registered Quarter Horses breeding program, of which they are very proud of !

Most of the horses are raised and trained by the ranch cowboys, ensuring that all the horses are trustworthy. From April to October the cowboys begin the training of the 2/3 years old that will become the new saddle horses of the ranch.

During the holiday every guest will have the chance to try several horses and find which ones they prefer. You'll be riding for 3-4 hours in the morning setting off around 8.30am and returning for lunch at around noon. Once fully sated and rested you'll saddle up again around 3pm and will ride for another 3-4 hours. When no cattle work is necessary, you'll just ride for fun, enjoying the beautiful landscape and exploring the canyons, forests and endless prairies. 

You are not required to wear a hard hat at the ranch although under 18's do need to wear one, along with a body protector. If you want to wear a hard hat/body protector, you will need to bring your own as these are not supplied by the ranch.
 


 

Program

The day begin with a good buffet breakfast: coffe, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, ham, cheese, cookies, eggs, etc. Around the table the cowboys will explain the plan of the day. You'll be able to ask any questions before it's time to go and meet the horses. The cowboys gather horses, free in the pasture into the corrals, where a horse will be assigned to every guest for the day.

During your stay you will have the chance to try several horses and find your favourite.
You will ride for 3-4 hours in the morning, return for lunch and will ride again in the afternoon for another 3-4 hours. When no cattle work is necessary we just ride for fun, enjoying the beautiful landscape through canyons, forests and endless prairies...surrounded by the beauty of these places. Free, but with total respect for the horses and the land.

In the evenings, you'll eat dinner all together in the lodge dining room, or maybe a barbecue outside if the weather is good. You can then relax in the saloon, perhaps brushing up your skills at pool or tabletennis.

Cattle work

April-June- Calvin Season You'll join the cowboys, riding out to the herd to check on the babies every day to make sure that they are ok. 
At the end of calving season there is a branding which is still completed like in the "old west”: horses, ropes, sweat and dust.

July-August During this time you'll join the cowboys in managing the pasture moving 1200 cattle to different areas. The cowboy will explain to you the technique used for the cattle drive.

August-October  - round-up season - It´s where your hosts will be deciding which cattle to keep on for the winter and which to sell. The cattle that are kept need to be moved to winter pastures. This is a full-on period of ranch work, and you can expect to be riding all day.

When you have time, you can go into arena and practice:
•    team penning
•    breakaway roping
•    barrel racing
•    cutting horse

Alternatively, you can spend a day relaxing on the shores of the beautiful lake that gave the ranch its name.

Rodeo Calendar 2023
- Hulett Rodeo June 10/11 Distance from ranch 30 min.
- Belle Fourche Rodeo June 30-July 4 Distance to ranch 1.15 hrs.
- Deadwood Rodeo July 23-30 Distance from ranch Ranch 1.30 hours.
- Ride Horse Feed a Cowboy Benefit Rodeo Hulett Aug. 19/20
- Rapid City August 23/27 Distance from ranch Ranch 2.15 hours.

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organizing team.
 

Other activities

As well as riding, you can hike and watch the abundant wildlife or relax by the beautiful lake that gives the ranch its name. Once a week, the ranch organizes excursions for guests to local sights such as Devils Tower, an ancient volcanic vent which was exposed by millions of years of erosion and is the setting of many movies and a holy place for the Lakota Indians. 
The old gold digger town of Deadwood and the famous presidential heads of Mount Rushmore can be reached in two hours or less. 

When time and the season allow, you can visit rodeos and horse auctions with your hosts. 
If you want to combine a ranch vacation with travelling though the Wild West, you should plan a trip to Yellowstone National Park in Western Wyoming, the Badlands in South Dakota or the battlefield on the Little Big Horn where in the 19th century General Custer and Chief Sitting Bull fought one last big battle.

Wildlife
Wild animals like deer, antelope, bobcats, porcupines, skunks, raccoons, prairie dogs, turkeys, eagles, beavers, coyotes, snakes, mountain lions may all be spotted.
 

Travel Information

Ability description: Trail Ride Level 2-3 >>

Included in the price: Accommodation, all meals, drinks (but not canned or alcoholic drinks), state/local taxes

Not included: Flights, transfers, canned or alcoholic drinks (these can be purchased at the bar on the ranch), entry fees for rodeos, meals outside the ranch.

Travel: Book flight >>  Fly to Rapid City Airport (RAP) 

Transfer: The weekly fee includes transportation to/from the airport on Wednesdays and Saturdays according to the following times:
-arrivals from 3pm to 8pm
-departures from 10am to 3pm
-At arrival we will wait for all guests scheduled for the day, accompanying those who arrive first to the various western stores etc.
-For different arrivals or departures transportation will not be 'guaranteed and in any case it will be necessary to make prior arrangements at a cost of $200 per person each way
-At the airport it is possible to request shuttle service and car rental.

Season: April 20 – end of October 2023, Wednesday or Saturday arrival, 3-night minimum stay.  We recommend a stay of 7 nights.

Single room: Can be booked with a supplement. For price click on” Book on request” under Dates & prices. If there is no one to share a room with, a single supplement will apply.

Group size: Up to 15/20 riders at the ranch. Divided in groups according to riding ability if needed.

Child discount: Children under 10 years, 50% discount if they stay in their parents’ room. 

Age limit for riding: Children must be at least 10 years old to ride horses and must pass a riding ability level assessment.  
-Children under the age of 18 may ride only accompanied by parents who will take responsibility for them 

-Individuals under the age of 18 must wear protective cap and vest. You must bring these accessories as the ranch does not provide them.

Weight limit: The weight limit is 242 lb/110 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Currency: US Dollar

Accepted Credit cards: Visa and Mastercard

Tipping: Up to the personal happiness of the guest.

Wifi: Yes

Electricity jack: Standard A is the one used in North America for ungrounded outlets. For earthed sockets, standard B is used instead, which has a third round metal pin for the earth. It is possible to connect devices/adapters of type A to sockets of type B, but not the other way around. 

Beach: Yes

Pool: No

Saddle bag available: Some saddlebags.

Special diet: Inform when booking.
 

Weather statistics

Dates and prices

DateDaysName of tripPrice from
22/04/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
26/04/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
29/04/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
03/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
06/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
10/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
13/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
17/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
20/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
24/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
27/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
31/05/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
03/06/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
07/06/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
10/06/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
14/06/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
17/06/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
21/06/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
24/06/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
28/06/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
01/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
05/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
08/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
12/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
15/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
19/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
22/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
26/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
29/07/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
02/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
05/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
09/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
12/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
16/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
19/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
23/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
26/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
30/08/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
02/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
06/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
09/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
13/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
16/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
20/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
23/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
27/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
30/09/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
04/10/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
07/10/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
11/10/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
14/10/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
18/10/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request
21/10/20238USA, Wyoming - Black Hills Ranch WeekEUR 1,970Book on request

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