Archive for the ‘Dude Ranch’ Category

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

“Working goats” is when you have to handle them for any reason.  We needed to “work goats” because it was time to check to see if they needed worming, a few needed some extra attention due to some feet problems (they will be sold) and last but not least the young bucklings (little billies) needed to be castrated. Because of this crazy heat wave we have been having we were forced to work goats in the evening after dinner when the temperature had dropped. This also allowed all the employees to be available to help, so we called it the Goat Party.  Guests were also invited.

275 head of goats waiting for their turn to be looked at. The boys caught the goats, I (Amy) checked them and Tember wrote down numbers and notes.

Nathan, Cowboy Cody's little brother, was visiting so he was lucky enough to get an invite to the party.

Both wrangler and rock climbing guide helped out. Morgan was in charge of giving tetanus shots to the goats getting castrated.

The guests that came to the party decided it was more fun to watch.

Barry said it was much easier to have another tall cowboy hold the goats in an upright manner instead of having to put them on the ground to do the job. The old way is hard on his back.

The party ended about 10:30 p.m. that evening.
The next day at dinner there was a special treat for all of the party goers to try…

You've heard of Rocky Mountain Oysters...well this isn't the Rockies and these are a little different so we called them Ozark Mountain Nuggets. Cowboy Cody prepped them for Chef Nick.

The finished product.

Time to try them out. We were both impressed and surprised at how many guests tried them.

Some of the kids trying them.

No worries. A pork chop dinner arrived shortly after the nugget tasting ended.

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Getting ready.

When we started out in the dude ranch business we were very traditional in our activities. We had horseback riding, cookouts, hikes, fishing, tomahawk throwing and canoeing. As the years have gone by nontraditional dude ranch activities have made their way to our schedule, rappelling, rock climbing and the via feratta. This year is no exception. We now have a new feature that most of you would know as “the screamer”. Quite a few amusement parks have them, ours may not be as high but it is just as much fun and quite unique as it is built from bluff walls and a tree. Name ideas have been suggested on what we should call ours, Cody Johnson said we should call it “The Pants Polluter”. Whatever we call it, it’s a lot of fun and you should come and try it.

Here is a video of our kids trying it out in the beginning. Quite a few modifications have happened since.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

If you ever want to challenge yourself mentally and physically this is the activity to try.  Many people get off of of the East side Via Ferrata feeling  proud and accomplished.


The start.

It's like a playground for kids and adults.

The cable bridge...



Cody Johnson coming up one of the more difficult routes.

Taking a break.

We saw this guy on our hike out. A good way to finish things up.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

When Barry and I worked at the Heart Six Ranch in Moran Wyoming (where we met), it seemed almost every steak cookout it would rain.  All week long the weather would be warm and blue skies, picture perfect you might say but for some reason when the cookout day would roll around so would the dark thunder clouds.  Here at Horseshoe Canyon we will go through the same thing for a brief period of time.  It’s almost like mother nature is playing games.

Two groups of horse back riders and a wagon full of people had headed out for the cookout site.  The third ride was about to get on it’s way when the sound of thunder rumbled in the distance.  The group in the wagon, who had stopped at the lodge on it’s way to it’s destination, all decided they were not having a cookout due to the thunder and the rain drops that had started to fall.  When Barry returned to head on out the wagon was empty.  Shortly to follow the two groups of trail riders retreated to the barn where guests and wranglers stripped saddles before the rain really hit.  Horses were unsaddled and turned loose in record time.  Thanks everyone. 🙂

So the cookout became a cook-in.  The food tastes equally as good and the company the same, you just are not eating it in the great outdoors.

The abandoned wagon.

Morgan serving the Mahi Mahi

Kate Star and her youth group. This is her 5th year to bring a group like this to the ranch.

A farewell photo.

At the end of the week many families have become friends.  E-mails and phone numbers are exchanged and sometimes plans are made to come back the next year at the same time.  We love this job.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011


The start of the season the grass starts to green but the blossoms and leaves have not started yet.

Spring Season + Spring Break = KIDS!

...and their parents. 🙂

Waiting for the "riders" to arrive at the cookout site.

Hints of greener days and leaves starting to show on this hat and jacket day.

Spring at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch brings baby goats - lots of baby goats.

Like last year we had a litter of Anatolian puppies born April 6 - there are 10.

The blossoms come out and the grass starts to grow - Dogwood tree

Barry Johnson coming back from the wrangle.

Great day for fishing.

Danny wanted a photo with his fish but the fish was a little too much to stand close to.

Jason (climbing guide) - wet ropes = heavy.

At the first rain drop, Danny and I packed up our fishing gear and made it back nice and dry.

Rain or shine there are always barn activities.

Oops - Jason slipped on the rope lowering Angie down.

Sloan could go no higher, the ceiling was in the way.

Sherman Mountain Boys

Spring is one of our favorite times on the ranch (next to fall). It is ever changing and most of all full of great families – new and old.  There is plenty of time to come and enjoy this wonderful and interesting time of the year with us.  It’s not over yet.

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Just before spring break hits and guests start coming in we welcomed back Tyson/SVI.  This is their 3rd year to hold their “team building” at the ranch. They are such a great group to work with and we really enjoying having them every time they visit.

The first challenge...

Mike explaining things.

The winners of the challenge got to ride in the wagon down to the ranch. The rest of the teams had to hike.

Our staff and children. Tember, Jason and Cole where the guides for the teams.

Barry talking about the ranch before the trail ride.

Lea our "German Cowgirl". She said I shouldn't take her photo because she looked like a "durf". We finally figured out she meant a dwarf like on Snow White.

Barry explaining the in's and out's of the trail ride experience. The how's, why's and what for.

Cowboy Cody demonstrating it.

Thanks for coming and see you again next year!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

      I hope you and your families all wintered well.  The weather is turning warmer and the horses are feeling good and starting to walk on fresh iron.  I think I even saw a hint of green when the snow melted…We have stayed busy this past fall and winter and have added a few new activities for 2011.  The eastside Via Ferrata for starters is world class fun and includes a caving section and a single cable bridge across a 60ft span of bluff…spooky! 

            We are offering a late spring discount you may want to take advantage of…I know the kiddos are still in school until the end of May, but if you can get here we are taking  20% off the spring rates from April 25th thru May 29th.  The summer is filling nicely, and the rates are still holding at 2009 levels.  Remember as a returning guest you get an additional discount as well.

            If you are in the facebook world and haven’t added us as a friend or “liked” us, please do.  You can keep in touch with us and find out about new stuff or last minute deals.  We also love to see your pics from the Ranch.

            I have a favor to ask…If you enjoyed your stay here; please consider writing a few comments on or another site like Yahoo or Google.  We rely on your good experience to help spread the word about the Ranch.

            We would love to see you back this year and will do everything we can to ensure you have a wonderful time and one the children will talk about the entire year…

                                                                                                                                                                    Have a great day!
                                                                                                                                                                    Barry, Amy, kids, and all the  
                                                                                                                                                                    H.C.R. Staff

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Mother nature has brought us some “real” winter weather this season at the ranch.

The first storm was supposed to be the “big one” but we seemed to dodge the bullet.

1st came the freezing ranch. It turned to sleet. We were relieved when it turned to snow.

Barry & Marlin heading down to get the tractor to roll out some hay for the livestock.

Goats and horses waiting for the hay to come.

One of the petting zoo goats.

Marlin thinks he needs to go everywhere I go.

The kids (4 legged) seem to be handling the snow and cold okay.

This guy found a nice warm spot.

Storm #2

More snow than storm #1

Blue sky!

I see a goat dog - hello Mischief

Storm #3 was the biggest.  We received 18″ to 20″.

Driving down the ranch road.


Snow monster!

The weather man has said that our weather is going to only get warmer from here on out.  Fifty degrees by Sat and in the sixties next week.  It is hard to believe as we sit looking out the window at all of that beautiful snow.

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Wonder what happens during the winter months at Horseshoe Canyon?  Projects… Oh you mean what does the livestock do during the winter months?  Not much.  They get a well deserved break after a season of trail rides.  As you can see below, in the photos, the horses just kind of hang out and eat hay.


Thistle - hairy winter pony. She will be one in April. Time goes by so fast. It seems like we were just waiting for her to be born.




The goats are equally as busy  this time of the year with the exception of them “baking” more goats – they should start kidding in April.

Lisa is starting to show. She is known for having triplets.

We always have a few early kiddings - this little guy was a day old in the photo, born Jan. 23.

This little girl is his twin sister. I have never known a goat to have twins that looked just alike. It is not unusual for them to be born different colors.

Occasionally we have surprise kids - either from purchasing a goat that turns out to be pregnant, how this kids came about or from some unauthorized breeding of young buck/billies. Which we frown upon at Horseshoe Canyon.

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

2010 was a great year here at Horseshoe Canyon Guest ranch.  Here is a little recap on what went on with our family in the year 2010…


Creed is in love with Dodge Vipers.  One of his requests on his Christmas list was a Doge Viper tire.  Maybe he realizes getting the entire car is not going to happen, so asking for parts of the car is better.  Creed loves being outside and dirt/mud.  School can be a trial at times because you are required to sit still and concentrate on things that don’t interest you. J  We asked him what sport he wanted to do when he reached Jr. High and he said NASCAR.  Creed keeps us laughing.


Sierra is now in the 4th grade and reminds us a lot of Cameron when it comes to school work and sports – competitive.  She has found a love for basketball, which makes her Grandpa Johnson excited and hopeful for another basketball player in the family.  She also loves her horses and rides whenever there is a spare.  She also loves her dog Marlin, you will find him on her bed almost every night snuggled up next to her. I think the feeling is mutual.

CODY (13)

Over the summer Cody discovered a love for rock climbing. I think he eats, dreams and thinks about rock climbing more than anything else.  He was a big help this summer working along side of Jason in guiding guests.  He is a great host.  He has competed in a couple of bouldering competitions as well.  Cody hopes to participate in more of those as time goes on. Cody loves the outdoors.  If we would let him he would live on the ranch in his hammock.   He also runs x-country (a bit forced) and plays basketball (forced as well at first), he has been a great team member even though neither sport were his idea.  He entered the world of Jr. High this year and I think he likes it.


This year Cameron turned 16, what? I don’t’ see how this is possible and plan on investigating the situation because Barry and I are not old enough to have a 16 year old right?  Cameron has been running like crazy.  He attended the BYU x-country camp again for the 4th year in a row. Cameron did very well in both the state track meet (5th in the mile) and the state x-country meet (7th).    He also enjoys his academics and is awaiting his score from his first go at the ACT. Cameron, like Cody, was a big help around the ranch this year. He helped in the horse department taking out trail rides.  Occasionally you will also find him running the gift shop.


2010 – what did I do in 2010?  It flew by so fast, I do know that.  I headed out to Utah and ran the Wasatch Back of the Ragnar series, we were team Huffin & Puffin.  That was an interesting race – 12 runners, 188 miles and 24hrs +. Will I do it again?  Not so sure.  Barry gave me a new bow for my birthday, which I love and hate all at the same time (when the arrows don’t go where I tell them).  I was able to get a doe with it in October.  I am still serving in the Primary at church with some wonderful people.  The children are great and remind me of where I should be going in my life.


Barry stays busy managing and running the ranch.  It is not an unusual sight to see him guiding a trail ride one day and fixing a water heater the next.  I get tired watching him keep up with everything he does.  He is still serving as the Young Men’s President at church.  Barry and his father headed out to Dubious, WY this year and went bow hunting for elk.  They camped, hiked, hiked some more, camped and hiked and hiked.  Barry was able to harvest a young bull. They loved it so much they hope to make it back next year.


We had another good season at the ranch with a few changes here and there. One of the biggest changes is that Martha and Jerry, Barry’s parents, retired from the Ranch office and handling the reservations and we now have Jaime Chalmers doing that.  Jaime lives right up the road and she used to wrangle for us way back when.

So that was our 2010 in a nutshell.  We are looking forward to 2011 and what it might bring!