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Pryor Mountains Working Ranch


Itinerary for Pryor Mountains Working Ranch



Ranch Week Schedule

During the winter the head wrangler stays at the ranch and cares for our mare band in the spring creek pasture and our guest horse cavvy and older colts in the south pasture. The creek has been frozen so he has had to pump water everyday as well as keep the ice out of the tanks. Riding in below zero temperatures creates special challenges for keeping horses on their feet and our riders safe also.
Winter also brings time to research stud and mare bloodlines so that we can put together our mare bands in the spring and create the kind of horses bloodlines that are most popular for ranch raised horses.
May and early June are the weeks we brand our calves. With 800 head of calves to brand this takes several weeks. Montana and Wyoming are branding states and it is federal law that each calf, as well as each cow, carries our )S( brand. We rope each calf from a well trained cow horse and drag them to the branding fire where we have calf holders (guests and cowboys) hold the calves and one of the cowboys brands the calf. Vaccinations and ear marks are given (by guests) and we start over with another calf. We brand about 100 calves each day.

May - In May we begin trailing the cattle north to the ranch. It takes four days to trail cows to the ranch which is located on the East slope of the Pryor Mountains in Montana. The trail follows the historic old Sioux Trail as we begin with bentonite hills, go single file through Horse Thief Canyon, trail by Lockhart Ranch and into the Dryhead country. Each morning begins as the cook heads for the cookhouse and our wranglers head with their horses out to gather in the cavvy. There will be several horses that each guest will ride during the week. Horses are picked by our head cowboy according to the riding abilities of each guest. They are carefully chosen to give you a challenging experience as well as a safe one. Your horse will be your favorite memory by Friday.

June, July and August are the months that we ride each day, caring for cows and calves and making sure they stay within our fence boundaries. June also begins the choosing of mare bands and adding stallions for the breeding season. These babies give the cowboys the opportunity to break and train the horses. The mini horse drives give you the opportunity to gather and rotate the mare bands on the best grazing areas. Guests love moving these horses and the smaller band of mares make it easier to teach beginners how to trail and handle horses.

July and August
gets us into our ranch rodeo activities. We bring in several animals to be able to practice sorting and working cattle out of a herd. At times the excitement level is keen but teamwork is the key. Every week we have a campfire, and you will prepare your tinfoil dinner to cook on the fire. We love the conversation and friendships that happen around the fire, as we eat marshmallows and brand your chinks or clothing with )S(. If you have dietary needs, just let us know, as our cook wants to make your eating enjoyable and healthy.

September
thankfully brings cooler temperatures during the day and the welcomed chance to ride all day. The fall weeks mean longer days and lots of riding. All our cowboys share in the gathering of 15,000 acre pastures and bringing each cows and calves to the ranch to give pre-weaning shots and again two weeks later to wean the calves.
After the calves are weaned and hauled to Wyoming we pregnancy test our cows and hope for a 100% pregnancy rate for the next year. These large gathers are a thrill few get to experience. 
This is an opportunity to ride in big country somewhat alone gathering 800 or better head of cattle and moving them 6 - 8 miles back to the ranch to be worked in a large set of corrals.
97% of the USA's cow herds are in groups of less than 50 cows.
97% of the people who own cattle have a job in town and have the cow herd as a second income or a hobby.
Ranches who have 800 head of cows are rare and even more rare is the privilege to ride a cow horse with real cowboys and gather cows on thousands of acres of open, beautiful, grassland country that is untouched by human influence.

September and October are full of gathering to wean calves and pregnancy test cows.  Gathering mares to do the registration papers on the weanling colts and trailing the cows back to Wyoming. 
The guest season ends in early November.
We always have something going on and whatever time of year you choose to come and ride with us we always have a real ranch atmosphere for you to experience. 

This ranch is unique in that we share all of these skills with our guests to help them feel more confident in handling their horses at the ranch or at home. Our goal is to give them the feeling and achievement of a hands on horse experience. 

2019 RANCH WEEKS - WORKING CATTLE AND HORSE ACTIVITIES ON RANCH 
May 19th-25th - Sorting cows and calves. Doctoring calves, gathering into trap to brand.
May 26th-June 1st - Gathering mares and putting stallions with them in mare bands.
June 2nd-8th - Sorting cows and calves. Doctoring calves, gathering into trap to brand.
June 9th-15th - Brand and sort cows to rotate pastures.
June 16th-22nd - Finish branding and doctoring calves and fixing fence of our ranch.
June 23rd-29th - Trailing cows to summer Fish Bird and Guus pastures.
June 30th-July 6th - Closed
July 7th-13th - Pushing cows and calves up on mountain pastures and in Spring Creek Pasture, doctoring calves and fixing fence.
July 14th-20th - Checking heifers on south pastures, riding neighbors to bring back strays, doctoring if needed.
July 21st-27th - Riding mountain pastures, check salt licks and doctoring if needed.
July 28th-Aug. 3rd - Checking cows, calves and horses on Flat Coulee Pasture and Bassett Pasture.
August  4th-10th - Pushing cows and calves back up on mountain pastures.  Riding young horses.
August 11th-17th - Checking mare bands, removing studs.  Watching pasture conditions for grass conditions.  Halter breaking colts and riding young horses.
August 18th-24th - Riding southern pastures check heifers and mare bands.
August 25th-31st - Pushing cows and calves back up on higher mountain pastures for grazing. Pregnancy test heifers.  

2020 RANCH WEEKS - WORKING CATTLE AND HORSE ACTIVITIES ON RANCH 
May 24th -30th - Branding, doctoring calves, gathering into the trap to brand.
June 7th -13th - Branding week. Gathering to trap to brand.
June 14th -20th - Branding calves returning pairs to mountain pastures.
June 16th -22nd - Finish up branding and take cows to distant pastures.
June 21st -27th - Checking horses and doctoring calves and fixing fence of our ranch.
June 28t -July 4th - Moving cows to summer pasture.
July 5th -11th - Closed over the 4th of July.
July 12th -18th - Working with young horses. Moving cows to summer pasture.
July 19th -25th - Rotating summer grazing pastures. Working with young horses.
July 26th -Aug. 1st - Checking cows, calves and horses. Removing stud horses out of mare bands.
Aug. 2nd -8th - Pushing cows and calves back up on mountain pastures.  Halter breaking colts.
Aug. 9th -15th - Checking pastures. Doctoring heifers. Outside riding.
Aug. 16th - 22nd - Riding southern pastures check heifers and mare bands.
Aug. 23rd -29th -  Pushing cows and calves back up on higher mountain pastures for grazing.
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Pryor Mountains Working Ranch
Tour Code: WRWY02
8 days / 7 nights ~$2,025.00
Dates : May to Oct

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
ABeginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
BNovice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
CIntermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
EAdvanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
   
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
   
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
   
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
   
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
   
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
   
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

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Accommodation
Tack: Western
Horses: Quarter horse
Pace: All paces, some long days in the saddl...

Airport: Billings MT
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