Wranglers, need advice and want to learn more!!! Please look inside!
Hello! And thank you for opening this thread!!! Okay, well I'm 15 and have been thinking A LOT about my future. I want it too include hands on working with horses and people. So far I've come up with Wrangler at a Dude Ranch or Trainer! I have been leaning strongly towards becoming a Wrangler which is why I opened this thread =] When I was younger I worked as a Wrangler up at a local campground that offered basic horseback trail rides. There were only about 7 horses in a string and I always had an adult Wranglers help because I was too young to run things bymyself down there. We'd go out for an hour long ride three times a day on weekends and wednesdays. I started there when I was eight till I was 13 with a year break in between when I was 10. I know you're probably thinking "Yeah right kid, you didn't work you just went along for the ride!" I did work though! I pulled out horses, groomed them, saddled and bridled, led trail rides, taught people the basics to riding, gave people information about the area around and different plants and such. I even taught the other adult Wranglers, coming in, the ropes of how the place worked. The last year I worked there I even taught the Wrangler how to ride and the basics. Long story, but anyways I do know a little bit about being a Wrangler and dealing with the public. It's especially harder when you're younger because adults don't really listen to you. Anyways, I was wondering if some of you wranglers out there with experience with working on a real dude ranch could enlighten me on it? I know you have too put in long hours that wear on you physically and mentally, you need to be a good people person, horse knowledge is a must, and all that stuff. I'm planning on becoming CPR and First Aid certified which I've found is acquired by most ranches, plus it's just good general knowledge to know. Well, you see I'm not sure what I really want to know. Maybe how life was like for you? How many hours did you put in, and did you find it worth it? What happens when the season is over? Did you make enough money to support yourself through the off season, or did you get another job. Is a year-round position better than seasonal? Can you follow the tourists, like work up in Colorado for their season, but then go down to Arizona for that season which is kind of the opposite of Colorado's? Did you enjoy meeting new people? What are some things that are a must if you want to work on a dude ranch? ect... I just want to know general knowledge about dude ranch life from people who've experienced it!!! Also, I know it doesn't make the greatest of money. I'm not into material objects, give me a place to sleep and some food and I'm happy so long as I can work with horses! I love the outdoors, I live 7 miles from the nearest black top road/town. I have good forest savvy and such. I'm not afraid to work hard and get dirty. Please tell me about some of your expereiences, and if you think I'd make a good Wrangler? I'm willing to learn, and I have family up in Montana with working cattle ranches that I'd like to stay with to learn more about ranch life. Any and all replies will be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!! And sorry about such a long post!
Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. -Emerson