Archive for the ‘Family vacation’ Category

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

For us, August means the end of our summer guest ranch season, school starts and the county fair.   We really enjoy fair week.  There is a parade, horse show, livestock show, exhibits, rides (kids favorites) and the rodeo.  Last year the Newton County Fair brought in a Little Britches Rodeo.  If you think rodeos are just okay you should try watching a Little Britches competition.  The rodeo consists of competitors that are 19 and younger.  They do everything from mutton bust’n to bull riding (smaller version of the big guys).  There is just something about watching “the youth” competing that makes it a worth while and  entertaining event.  I have great respect for the little guys who get out there and try.



Steer riding


13 year old team roper.

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Horseback riding is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think, “dude ranch”.  Saddling up and heading down the trail, listening to the horses feet hit the ground, can be very therapeutic. It’s good for the soul.

Typical Monday Morning Trail Rides – “Get to know your horse.” 


Scooby is one of our kid's horse that has been her for about 10 years.

The Ozark rocks make for a scenic ride.

"Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys..." 🙂

Ookii (Anatolian Shepherd) decided to take a rest and hang out with me while I took photos.

You will ride past or through the herd of goats probably more than once.

Rusty has been her for the past 8 years. We purchased him at an auction from an Amish boy.

Tember riding one of her favorite horses on the ranch, Ricky Bobby.

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.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

4th of July is one of our favorite holidays for several reasons, we get to see many of our friends and family, we get to shoot of an obnoxious amount of fireworks and we get to honor our fellow men and women who sacrifice so much to keep this country free.

Jeff Ash setting up the display.

Jerry Johnson flying his power chute, waiting for it to get dark.

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.

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.