Posts Tagged ‘Montana Guest Ranch’
March 3rd, 2011 by Debi Naccarto
February 16th, 2011 by Debi Naccarto
Do you ever wonder what the horse is thinking when s/he encounters the wildlife out on a ride? It never ceases to amaze me. How come I get spooked but they just do the old “ho hum” deal and move on? I must admit, I’m grateful that this is the response I get!
Our guests love to see the animals when they go out on a ride. Sometimes we chuckle and tell them we’re going to ride where we “set the stage to see the animals” . It’s a real treat to see an elk, a moose, a deer, a wolf, and especially a bear when out on a ride. June is the best month to try and catch sight of one in the wild. As the weather gets warmer, the animals head for higher ground and can only be spotted in the very early morning or late at night. September is also “optimal wildlife viewing time” as well.
Moose are really tough to spot and pretty much keep to themselves. They usually have their calves in June as well. We typically have a “resident moose” at the ranch and mom and her baby can be seen around the ranch if you’re lucky.
And last, but not least, everyone is always on the hunt for the Grizzly Bear! This past year we had guests who had never seen a bear on their rides, and have been coming to the dude ranch in Montana for years. Well, Boone took them out on a fantastic ride and they saw seven bears in one day!!
Every day is a different experience and so is every month. But I can tell you this-it’s always exciting for both guest as well as wrangler! And even though the horses are pretty much cool, calm and collected, I know they are always happy to head back to the dude ranch for a bite to eat!
January 27th, 2011 by Debi Naccarto
TOP TEN MONTANA DUDE HORSES FOR THE YEAR 2010
The Covered Wagon Ranch is pleased to announce our Top Ten Dude Horses for this past season. We are really proud of our entire herd, and each horse contributes in some way to the overall success of our operation; but these are the stars of the show. The Top Ten are as follows:
10. COLONEL – Colonel is a big, black gelding who handles many of our larger riders with confidence and ease. This year he provided 38 guest rides, and two wrangler rides for a total of 40 out of the possible 96 riding days.
9. BUSTER - Buster is a smaller, sorrel gelding with a fair amount of age on him.
Very gently and friendly, he is pretty darn solid in the mountains, even with his very
crooked from leg. Riders who can keep him from enjoying the green grass (at his
convenience) really like his stable personality. He had 39 guest rides, 1 wrangler
ride, and 2 crew rides for a total of 42.
8. EMERSON – Emerson is our Tennessee Walker who is very comfortable for our
guests riding pleasure. He is noted for his high socks on each leg. He came to
us about 4 years ago from Kentucky, and has taken to mountain life quite well.
We have never worried about Emerson missing a meal, he seems to always maintain
a rather rotund figure. Emerson provided 40 guest rides and 3 wrangler rides for a
total of 43.
7. TRIGGER – Trigger is a good sized, and handsome palomino gelding. A favorite of
many guests, he has always been a very dependable mountain horse with a very
steady mind. He and his good buddy Chisum are always reluctant to go to pasture
on Saturdays, and are often seen being pursued (and probably cursed) by a couple
of wranglers way behind the rest of the herd. He gave 43 guest rides and 3 wrangler
6. RENO – Reno is a handsome sorrel ranch raised gelding. He came to us from
Georgia, and has become a really nice mountain horse. A couple of years ago he
quickly became a wrangler favorite, and the past two years has performed quite
well as a guest horse. Reno provided 44 guest rides and 2 wrangler rides for a
total of 46.
5. PROXIMO – Proximo is a very tall (well over 16 hands) palomino appaloosa
gelding. He had suffered a very serious leg wound two years ago, and was used
sparingly in 2009. This year one of our wranglers took him under his wing, and
used him for leading guest rides as well as wrangling horses to and from pasture.
He provided 48 wrangler rides out of 96 possible.
4. SIXGUN - Sixgun is a beautiful blood red bay gelding with a “zorro” star on his
forehead. A perennial favorite of the ranch, he has always performed at a high level
for our guests. He provided 49 guest rides, and one wrangler ride for a total of 50.
3. TUGBOAT – Tug is probably one of the best “kids” horses on the ranch. He is a
tall (upper 15 hands) and handsome bay gelding. Tug has a great mind, a very
kind eye, and is truly a gentle giant. He has been a Dude horse all of his life, and
does his job extremely well. Tug gave 49 guest rides, 1 wrangler ride, and a crew
ride for a total of 51.
2. PRIZM – Prizm is a tri-colored paint of medium size who had an exceptional year
for the ranch. He has always been unnoticed in the past, and seems to just do his
job without fanfare. He finally got recognized for the solid horse that he is, and
quickly became a favorite of all of those who had the opportunity to ride him.
He provided 44 guest rides, 7 wrangler rides, and 1 crew ride for a total of 52.
And finally, drum roll please…………. The number 1 horse at the Covered Wagon Ranch, for the third straight year is…………
DEUCE – Deuce is a very special horse on the ranch, and very quietly, confidently,
and reliably performs his job at the highest level. He is a ranch raised gelding who,
before coming to the ranch, had performed as a roping horse on a working cattle
ranch. Since coming to us, he has shown a great mind in the mountains, and can
still “get after it” if called upon to do so. He is an extraordinary Dude Horse, and we
are really proud of the excellent service that he provides our guests each summer.
Deuce provided 59 guest rides and 1 Wrangler ride for a total of 60 rides out of the
possible 96 days.
Congratulations to these great Montana Dude Horses for being the best of the best. If you have the pleasure to join us at the ranch, tip your hat to the hardest working employees at the ranch, for they are the true essence of the Dude Ranch experience.
March 12th, 2010 by Debi Naccarto
Horse of the Year 2009
The Covered Wagon Ranch is proud to announce that we had two horses tie for Horse of the Year in 2009, Joseph and Deuce. These two stars of the Montana Dude Ranch industry both provided excellent and flawless service on 47 days of the possible 95 work days of their season. Please come and visit the Covered Wagon Ranch this summer, and when you do, tip your hat to these great Montana dude horses.
Joseph is the patriarch of the Covered Wagon Ranch. A true gentleman of 25 years, he has lived on the ranch (according to our records) for over 20 years. His specialty is the younger, less experienced rider; but this year (because of his good size and wonderful temperament) he helped several adult riders enjoy their stay as well.
Deuce has been a favorite on the ranch since JT and Debi purchased him 3 years ago as a ranch trained gelding. Currently 13 years young, he gave many of our intermediate (and higher) level riders a great experience through the course of the summer. His gentle and steady personality leads us to take him for granted sometimes, but this is the second year in a row in which he has been the star of our herd at the end of the season.
Please give a round of applause for these very hard working employees and trusted steed!
March 4th, 2010 by Debi Naccarto
There is nothing quite as spectacular as the wildflowers in Montana, especially when you get the chance to ride a Montana Dude Horse and get up into the back country of our beautiful state. The view you see here was taken by J.T. while taking a ride to Upper Tepee Basin-one of our campsites that we either ride to or take horse pack trips for our guests. Montana has a rich flora which belongs to several different ecosystems. The wildflowers make up one of the largest groups of the species. The wide variety of wildflowers found here is because the state covers areas belonging to the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest humid areas and Intermountain areas in between. Western Montana, where our ranch is located, is mountainous and has many lakes, streams and meadows.
There are so many varieties of wildflowers that we see on our rides and our hikes. Some of the plants you will see include Glacier Lillies, Dwarf Larkspur, Pretty Shootingstar, Moss Phlox, Fairyslippers, Arrow-leaved balsamroot, Indian Paintbrush and Sticky Purple Geranium to name a few. The list goes on forever.
Now you don’t have to be on the back of a horse to enjoy the flowers at our Montana Dude Ranch. Maybe you’re enjoying the Montana wildflowers while doing some incredible flyfishing in Montana in our pristine rivers, streams and lakes that surround our guest ranch.
Or maybe you just want to sit on the deck of your cozy historic Montana log cabin
But whatever you do, or wherever you are, at our ranch, riding our horses or hiking and fishing in our spectacular country, make sure you always take time to smell the flowers! (Many thanks to Ted L. for the photos)
February 27th, 2010 by Debi Naccarto
I thought I would take a little time and go over some fun facts about our horses at the ranch, as well as horses in general. We all love horseback riding in Montana, and even if we don’t ride at our Montana Dude Ranch we still love the animal. I just love watching their behaviour, don’t you? So I thought I would take a few minutes and just share some insights to bring a smile to your face!
First, we all wonder if horses, and animals, can really talk. Well here’s a little clip I watched the other from Saint and Alfie “chumming it” in the pasture:
Every time I watch this, all I can think is that they’re goofing around and then decide to tell each other it’s time to go run around the pasture for a while, and then they take off!
I also love to just watch the animal run. One of my favorite times is when the wranglers run the horses down the mountain Monday mornings and move them into the corrals-ready for work!
But best of all, we get to love them, and I know they love us too! There’s nothing better than hugging your horse