Archive for the ‘Ozarks’ Category

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

 

The fall foliage is on it’s way and the Ozark region is one of the best places to take in the magnificent color.  With the cooler temps and changing leaves autumn can be one of the best times to experience Horseshoe Canyon.  Horseback riding, cook-outs, riding the zip-line and rock climbing are an example of what you can do doing your stay.  Give Jaime a call and make your reservation. 1-800-480-9635

Peek color happens near the end of Oct - the 1st part of Nov.

Peek color happens near the end of Oct – the 1st part of Nov.

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Thursday, September 4th, 2014

We would like to thank all of our guests that came and shared the ranch with us for our 2014 summer season.  We had great summer meeting new families and reuniting with return guests.  We can hardly believe that summer is all ready over.  If you missed out, no worries, our fall  guest ranch season is fast approaching.  October is a wonderful time to come and enjoy the cooler temps and enjoy our autumn colors.  Give us a call today and book, it’s never to early!  800-480-9635

Fall colors

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

 

Afternoon Trail Ride

A ranch vacation is the perfect treat for all the family this year, so if you were thinking of entertaining your young ones with a trip to Disneyland in 2013 you may want to reconsider. Here’s what makes a trip to a ranch so very special.

Come and experience all the thrills of a ranching holiday this year and you’ll wonder why you didn’t go sooner. Choose from a Luxury Dude ranch, a Working ranch or a Family ranch and indulge yourself in the numerous opportunities a ranch vacation has to offer. Many families are fooled into thinking that a trip to Disneyland is the best option for their children but if you consider the pros and cons below, no doubt you’ll agree a ranch has everything to offer each family member and it’s a much healthier choice for everyone, too.

Value for money

A week’s trip to Disneyland will set you back in the region of $1,900 per person including flight, hotel accommodation and park entry. Be warned that hotels vary in standard and with so many guests being catered for, hygiene can be far from acceptable. As well as your initial holiday cost, you’ll need plenty of spending money because Disneyland is one big shopping temptation for children, and the array of fast food on offer doesn’t come cheap either.

While a ranching holiday will cost you that bit more (in the region of $300 per night, although this can vary greatly depending on the ranch and time of year), you will most certainly get what you pay for. The initial cost of your trip usually covers everything, so once you’ve paid you can relax without worrying about any hidden extra costs.The activities available at ranches are endless, so shop around to see what suits you best. For adults, there’s riding, of course, white water rafting and other water sports, fishing, golf, spas, tennis, yoga, mountain biking, climbing and much more. Younger travellers can take advantage of the children’s programs on offer – supervised activities which allow children to immerse themselves in the day to day running of ranch life or learn how to care for a pony days and weeks, too.

Healthy holidays

While Disneyland provides plenty of entertainment for children, it’s difficult to eat well. Pizza, burgers, chips and other fast food is widely available, but there’s a severe lack of fresh, healthy food on offer and when you do order, the cost is exorbitant. Then there’s the ride queuing time to consider (often more than an hour). With so much time standing around, children can easily become bored and a lack of exercise (combined with all those e numbers) can leave them hyperactive even at the end of a long day. Disneyland is packed out during the holiday season, so expect long lines, poor air quality and substandard restroom facilities.

If there’s one thing a ranch can promise it’s top quality food. Much of the produce is sourced on the ranch and the food will be fresh, tasty and healthy. With so much to do, the whole family can benefit from plenty of exercise if they wish and all the fresh air and outdoor activities will leave children waiting for their beds at the end of the day. For adults seeking a more relaxing vacation, choose a ranch where your children can get involved in the organised programs while you sit by the pool and enjoy a stress-free day in the open fresh air. Limited guests and so much open space will guarantee you a good night’s sleep and plenty of ‘you’ time.

Safety first

If you do opt for Disneyland then be sure to hang on to your little ones, because turn your back for a minute and they may be gone. Disneyland can be a stressful and rather scary place for parents, so be prepared for all the noise as parents shout to their children to stay close and not run off.

At a ranch, on the other hand, your children can run free in a safe environment – whether you’re with them or not. Whether it’s a Dude ranch with an organised children’s program or one that is simply family friendly, your young ones will be able to indulge in the ranch’s activities safely and securely. With so much space and so few people, they’ll be able to run to their heart’s content as they take in all that fresh air and finally experience true freedom – something that many children never get to do.

Stress or stress-free?

While Disney is a magical place, it’s most definitely not somewhere to go to relax and unwind. The crowds of people, long queues, screaming children and extra spending money all take their toll on parents, creating stress and worry. Bored children waiting in long queues are not always the best behaved, so prepare to contend with children having fits as they wait and wait – sometimes up to an hour and a half – for their ten minutes of fun.

Instead, why not tailor-make your holiday at a ranch so you can do exactly what you want, when you want? If you want to go horseback riding, you can. If you want to relax by the pool and leave your children supervised by a ranch professional, then go ahead. In fact, if you tell the ranch exactly what you want from your holiday, most will happily oblige. And if a particular ranch can’t cater for your needs, there will always be another one that can at www.top50ranches.com

Learning curve

What better way to learn new experiences than in a fun way on holiday? Sadly, Disneyland may offer fun, but the only thing a family will learn on a trip is which rides to queue up for again and which to avoid. Meeting Disney’s characters – Mickey Mouse and the likes – is the best education your children will get on this vacation.

While a holiday is generally somewhere to escape from education, learning new skills in a fun way is something a ranch can promise anyone, no matter what age. Learn all about the life of a modern day cowboy and take part in real-life cattle drives. Or why not take advantage of a Natural Horsemanship clinic where you will learn to handle horses in a truly professional way? Your children will also learn about the basics of life and be submersed into positive values as well.

Weigh it up

So this year, try something a little different. A ranching vacation is the new Disneyland – a magical place offering a whole range of exciting activities without the stress of crowds and plastic food! In a nutshell…

Disneyland – crowds of people, stress, poor-quality food, extra spending money required, the worry of losing children, long queues for ten minutes of fun, substandard air quality, varied hotel standards, grubby restrooms.

Ranch – relaxation, rest, security, no hidden extras, no queues, a wide range of activities, healthy, home grown food, space, comfortable accommodation, good air quality.

You know it makes sense!

Personal Note: Jody Dahl took her three children (aged 3, 5 and 11) to Disneyland in 2012 and here’s her account of her trip. “We did have a very fun and magical time – but note, relaxing it’s NOT! In fact, when we left the place we all needed a vacation to get over it! We greatly enjoyed all the Disney characters and fun rides, but also had to withstand loads of fits, losing our youngest child (which happens all the time there). You can’t take your eye from your child for even a split second. The food was poor quality (keep in mind, I’m used to very quality ranch vacation fare) and the feeling of grime all around you as you touch anything, combined with droves of people, makes you feel like you’re on the great migration. Two days was more than enough!”

 

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Grab your scarf, pull out the leaf rake and put some hot water on the stove for a cup of hot chocolate.  Fall has arrived.  It’s that wonderful time of year when the air becomes crisp, the sky has a different hue of blue and the leaves change into the most beautiful colors.   We were a little worried about the Ozark color because of the dry summer season but low and behold mother nature still gave us a work of art.  A canvas of reds, oranges and yellows scattered across the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch valley.

 

Oct. 15 – The color is starting to really show.

 

October 20 – More color.

 

October 20 – One of my favorite ways to look at the fall colors is horseback.

 

October 20 – Fall means breeding season for the goats. This is one of our bucks (male) enjoying the fall sun with a doe (female).

 

October 24 – more change in the color.

 

October 24 – The horses after a day of work.

 

October 24 – A beautiful fall evening.

 

October 24

 

October 24 – The color on the hills makes me think of a big patchwork quilt.

 

October 25 – The day the color is predicted to peak.

 

October 25 – Peak day for color. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see the breakfast cookout riders.

 

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

What is going on?  We were just in the mid 60’s and we blink for one second and what do we have? Snow!  It seems a bit early to be getting snow.  I wonder if this is a sign letting us know we are going to get more than usual this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

The 2011 season is over for the most part (there is still one more chance to book a ranch vacation this year – the week of Thanksgiving!) and we decided a staff trail ride on the Buffalo National River  would be fun.

All loaded up and ready to go.

When I said we "all" thought it would be fun, well Morgan (climbing guide) might not have thought it would be fun. But he was a good sport and came. Cody Johnson, also might not have thought it would be fun but trail riding meant missing school.

The plan was for everyone to go to the other side of the river and take a group photo. If you notice the wet pant legs on Cody and Barry... the rest decided not to follow.

Just imagine 6 other riders on that rock bank and how cool it would have looked. 🙂

Time to come back. The water wasn't too bad but the weather was not exactly swimming temps.

Oops, found an even deeper spot.

The Peanut Gallery.

Barry's turn to make his way back across.

Getting ready to get his legs wet, again.

We stopped at a place that is called The Suck Hole to eat snacks, and for some of us, dry off. This location got it's name because there is place under the bluff where the water is "sucked" under the rock and comes out further down the river on the other side.

Morgan climbing. He almost was the third person to get wet in the river when he couldn't find any holds to climb back up. Fortunately he finally found his way.

Missing two family members. Creed is a little two young for this length of a ride and Cameron is a responsible child and didn't want to miss school due to homework load.

Jason getting some R & R before we finish out last two miles.

Thank you to our 2011 staff for such a great year!

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.” 

Waiting...

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.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

SPRING SEASON

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.