Get away from it all and gain an inside view of an authentic working family ranch... ride the foothills, check cattle, fix fences, learn to rope the dummy or just kick back and relax. Set at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Canada this small working cattle ranch is the real thing. On 2 week programmes guests will experience cattle work and learn the basic techniques of working cattle and ranch roping. Riding experience would be beneficial for this but is by no means essential as on this horse riding holidaybeginners can also participate.
Why not combine your stay at the Ranch with a two day stay in the city for the world famous Calgary Stampede in July? Please contact Unicorn Trails for details.
14 days / 13 nights - cowpuncher
7 days / 6 nights - ranch stay, cattle drives & branding week
5 days / 4 nights - short break
There are many different programmes on this riding holiday and they vary with the time of year, work needing to be done and guests requests. Varying length of stays are possible on this ranch.
Short Break 5d/4n for those passing through Ranch stay 7d/6n probably the minimum needed to get to grips with cattle work Cow puncher 14d /13n for those serious about learning the ranch lifestyle
This is a genuine working ranch and you will learn about all this entails. On the longer stays, you will experience more cattle work and learn the basic techniques of working cattle and ranch roping. Riding experience would be beneficial for this but is by no means essential. There are a number of special occasions during the typical ranching year and these are detailed below.
Branding Week 7d/6n
Take in a traditional branding experience that even today, echoes the practices of the past. Help the crew gather, sort and brand; you're welcome to observe or pitch in and learn the basics.
Cattle Drives 7d/6n
The first cattle drive takes place in late May/early June and allows you to take the yearlings into the Forest Reserve.
Usually they are gathered on one day and then we drive them three miles to the neighbour's corrals. They will stay there overnight, and the next morning we combine the herd and move them between 15 and 20 miles into the Forest Reserve.
The next cattle drive's will take place in mid-July (weather permitting).
This involves taking up the heifers that have been with the bulls for six weeks and helping to drive the neighbour's cattle.
The fourth cattle drive takes place in mid-August when it is time to move the rest of the cow-calf pairs out west to the forestry.
The fifth and final cattle drive is the Fall Roundup. This drive takes place at the beginning of October as the cattle need to be out of the Forest Reserve by the 15th of the month.
We usually leave early from the ranch buildings and ride into the reserve from the back of the ranch. The cattle are gathered and pushed to the corral setup, which is located in the Reserve. At the end of the day we will return to the ranch for a well-earned rest and a wholesome supper. The next day will be very similar as all of the stragglers need to be found and corralled.
While the search is on for the stragglers, a group of ranchers will be separating the cattle as there are five ranchers with herds combined on the Reserve. When everyone has returned, each owner will leave with their herds at different intervals. The ranch herd will then be driven the seven miles home. This is two hard days in the saddle and we recommend that the rider be seasoned.
We would also suggest that if you are interested in a cattle drive, please book early as space is limited and these weeks are always the first to book.
NOTES - ALBERTA WORKING RANCH
There are 3 single rooms on the ranch. Single guests can have these at no extra cost subject to availability.
Please note that there is no riding on arrival and departure days. Arrival time at the ranch is after 3pm and departure time on your final day is before 11am.
Please enquire for transfer costs if arriving on a day other than a Sunday or departing on a day other than a Saturday.
Please note that all our ranch prices are fully inclusive of taxes and charges. Extras that are commonly charged onsite ranches which we include in our prices are: state taxes, local town taxes and accommodation tax. Gratuities are payable on site; 12-15% is commonly expected as the staff are paid largely via tips. We recommend a tip of approximately CAD$175. In addition our prices are guaranteed not to be affected by currency fluctuations once booked.
The weight limit for this ride is 18 st/250 lb/114 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
As we are specialists in our field we have extensive knowledge of all our products from details of accommodation and meals to number/size/type of horses to pace of riding ... and much more.
Should you wish to receive further details of this ride please click here.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
Includes all accommodation (supplement for en suite), all meals, riding and ranch activities, state tax.
For price details click here
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
International flights, transfer to and from Calgary Airport, tip.
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Reading List We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.
What you see on our web site is exactly how much your invoice will come to and this will not change once booked. Unlike some other companies the prices on our web site are fully inclusive of often hidden extras such as: VAT, Sales Tax, state taxes, city taxes, service charges, non-optional tips, fuel surcharges which can add 20% or more to the advertised cost. Prices are available in £ sterling, Euros and US$. Once invoiced, prices are guaranteed against adverse currency fluctuations. Contact us for package prices which include flights from the UK and see each ride for exact details of all items in individual itineraries.
Beginner - You've never been on a horse before or have had a few lessons. You may have trotted and may have hacked out at walk.
Novice - You've mastered the basic aids in all paces and can mount and dismount unaided. You're confident on a well-schooled horse in walk, rising trot (posting), and for short periods of canter in a school or even outside.
Intermediate - You're a secure and confident rider on a well-schooled horse at all paces including a fast canter in open country. You're happy to ride for several hours and may have some jumping experience.
Advanced - You're an experienced rider, confident and relaxed on horseback. You ride regularly and have an independent seat and soft hands. You're capable of handling a spirited horse at canter in open country and are happy to jump. You may have owned or shared your own horse and have experience of riding a variety of horses.