Pryor Mtns Horse Drive

Wyoming USA: (HDMT01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/wy_pryor_hd.aspx

Introduction
Wyoming USA
The Pryor Mountains Ranch is an authentic working cattle and quarter horse ranch located in the Dryhead Canyon on the east slopes of the Pryor Mountains. We invite you to join us and experience a lifestyle you’ve only seen in the movies - here you can experience first  hand a real horse drive or round up, cattle drive or branding of your own calf and riding an agile and well trained cow horse. Horse drives and round ups in the United States are becoming a rare experience. Working with horses is a wonderful thrill and we want to share this unique love with all of our guests that come to Wyoming to visit the ranch. All of us and all our guests share the common bond of loving horses. The Pryor Mountains Ranch offers a great opportunity to see horses in their natural environment and working with them in a special way.

The Bassett family has raised their horses in this country for most of their lives. They have always been able to winter them at the ranch, however, with the introduction of wolves into the area, and also with sightings of lions during the last few years, they started to experience killings of our colts over the winter. Therefore, it has become necessary to change the schedule by starting to trail these horses out of Montana and into Wyoming for the winter, and back into the ranch in Montana in the spring. We will trail the horses out of the ranch in the fall after all of the fall cattle drives, and we will trail the horses back into the ranch in the spring before the spring cattle drives.
These drives will cover 50 miles - between 8 and 15 miles per day. You’ll be riding between the Pryor Mountains and the Big Horn Mountains along the old Sioux trail or across open grassland prairie like the Indians did 500 years ago. We like to stop and take time to enjoy the historic sites near the ranch so everyone can learn about the buffalo jump or pictograph writings and old homesteads. We enjoy teaching the lost art of roping and will teach any of our guests who would like to learn how to hold, coil, and throw a rope.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a stationary ride, so all nights will be spent at the ranch, except the last night, which is spent at a hotel in Billings (usually the Dude Rancher Lodge).

Description
The ranch comprises about 37,000 acres, which include a canyon, the original Indian buffalo jump, and different elevations of mountains all around the canyon. During the time at the ranch you will stay in the bunkhouse or in one of the cabins. Normally, each night on the horse drives we pickup our guests at the stopping places and return them to the ranch for a good supper in the cookhouse and an opportunity to return to their rooms and use the bathroom facilities. Towels are provided for the trip. The Lodge is a big meeting room where we give out the pommel bags and accessories and sign the Rider Releases. There is also a small store in the lodge with basic ranch needs, gloves, vests, Tee shirts, cowboy hats, scarves, etc. There is a cookhouse building which is the main gathering place for social things and for meals. Limited WIFI is available at the ranch.

Bunkhouse
The bunkhouse is a remodeled old milk barn built back in the late 1800 and early 1900.  It has been divided into 4 single rooms on the ground floor and 4 different size rooms upstairs, which was originally the hay loft.  We have built 2 bathrooms at the end of the porch, and 2 more bathrooms at the end of the porch of the Lodge, just across the road. We have blended old and new in a western way by leaving the old log look and mixing it with hot water, heat, and electricity. The bunkhouse has an inviting front porch to sit on and enjoy a quiet moment to yourself or share cowboy stories with other guests.

Cabins
Down the canyon from the bunkhouse we have 3 cabins. The cabins are decorated with old ranch pictures decorate the walls from Montana cattle drives gone by. The cabins do have private bathrooms. If they are available, they can be reserved by paying the cabin upgrade cost.


Meals
All meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 7 are included. Our ranch home-style meals are served with hot homemade breads. Meals are served buffet-style, allowing for further interactions as you dine with other guests and the cowboy crew. Breakfast and dinner are served at the ranch while lunch is packed and taken while out the ride. Breakfast is hot and hearty, just the right way to start the day on a cattle drive holiday. If the day’s work takes us far from our headquarters, our cook will provide sack lunches to pack with you on your ride. Snacks, lemonade and cookies are always available for the raiding anytime you are in need of refreshment.  Dinner is a time to tell the day’s stories, trade jokes and wind down after a day on the range. It is great fun to retell each day’s adventures and challenges while enjoying specially, prepared home cooked meals. We guarantee you will not leave with your belt on a smaller notch. Hard work generates vigorous appetites and we promise you will not go hungry during your vacation. Each week we serve tender angus beef steaks, top sirloin roast, healthy vegetables, fresh salads, homemade desserts, and lots of chocolate chip cookies for the kid in all of us. One of the meals we are famous for is our Indian Tacos! We promote beef on our ranch from pasture to plate.

Since we are located on the Crow Indian Reservation, Government Regulations does not allow alcohol be on the land.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions if given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

We ride from Monday to Friday - no riding on arrival and departure days.

Riding Level
Adults only. All paces and levels of riding will be experienced during each ride, so riding experience is suggested. Trailing and herding horses gives everyone a chance for a faster pace, as well as times to walk. The riding days can be long and the weather will be variable. We will be riding in all types of terrain. Barren badlands, sage brush and rocks, mountains and canyons, grassland meadows and wide open spaces. All types of horses will be part of the herds we move: mares and foals, young stock colts and fillies, guest horses and studs. Each will have its own challenges and adventures.

Staff
We are a family owned and operated working guest ranch. We have a normal staff of eight people who live at the ranch throughout the season. We have two full-time cowboys and two seasonal working cowboys or cowgirls. The other family members help out when needed. On occasion, we have neighboring cowboys who come to ride colts, or fill in at peak work times.

Horses
The Ranch has been raising registered American Quarter Horses for over 40 years. We gather our mares only a few times a year, and we are proud to say that our foals hit the ground in big, rough country, without human intervention. Before we ever lay hands on them, they already know how to handle themselves in rough terrain, cross water, and navigate the elements of nature.
We have cavvy horses, mares with foals, studs, yearlings, 2 year-olds we begin training, and then the riding horses the cowboys have personally or take in to ride for other people. We normally have around 150 horses on the ranch during the season.
We pick horses that will complement each guests riding ability and our cowboy crew shows each guest how to brush and prepare their horse to ride.  You will saddle and bridle your own horse each day, which increases the bond of rider and horse. 
During your stay, you will usually ride two or three horses per week. We usually do not ride the same horse every day. It is easier on the horses if they are given days off from being ridden. This also increases your riding ability as you learn the habits of each horse and test your ability to adapt to each horses personality.

Bringing your own tack
You are more than welcome to bring your own western saddle if you should choose. You can bring it on the plane with you, but we recommend shipping it ahead of time. Just let us know if you plan to bring a saddle and we can plan accordingly.

Bringing your own horse
The ranch is at an altitude of 4800-5600ft with a rocky, mountainous terrain. Most horses cannot travel and work in those conditions without an adjustment period. In addition, we cannot risk the health problems that an outside horse could bring to our herd of horses who are not normally exposed to outside diseases.

Itinerary

These spring and fall drives give experienced riders the thrill of watching a cavvy or horses move through beautiful high plains desert country as we trail horses from winter to summer pastures.
Each horse drive will move different horses. Sometimes we will trail baby colts with the mares, sometimes we will move young horses in training with cavvy horses who know the way and how to stay together. Sometimes we will move mares and studs to special pastures where they spend the summer season. Often we will move the horse cavvy that we pick our guest horses out of. Each requires a different level of experience and skill. A loose horse can outrun a saddle horse with a rider anytime so we will show you how to control a herd of horses and move them in a way where we can control them and take them where we want them without hurting the colts or running horses out of control. Western movies make it look like horses can run forever and that everyone runs everywhere but responsible horse people know that a walk or a canter are much more healthy and realistic.
The Horse Drive take five days and will cover 50 miles as we trail horses up Horse Thief Canyon through the Caroline Lockhart ranch into Deadman Creek and onto the Crow Indian Reservation.
We will pick you up in the afternoon on day one at the Billings, Montana, airport. We will then travel to the ranch. We will bunk each night at the ranch and eat breakfast and supper meals there while we drive to our horse cavy each day. We will trail these horses over the 45/50 miles back to our Wyoming winter pastures (reverse in the spring). We will return you to the Billings, Montana airport in the afternoon of the last day.

Spring Horse Drive
We will be gathering mares and colts so we can remove the colts and then trailing mares to spring pastures on the Pryor Mountains. Our second horse drive will be taking young potential riding stock and our fillies to our training facilities.

Fall Horse Drive
We will be trailing our horse cavvy and young riding stock to winter pastures three or four days and about 50 miles from the ranch. These pastures have not yet been purchased.

Roundups
These weeks will concentrate on working the horses at the ranch, making mare bands, and checking mare bands.

Mini Horse Drives
We have found that the spring and fall horse round ups are hard for less experienced riders and so we have designed mini horse drives to attract the novices to these weeks where we can teach and move slower with our horses so guests can learn confidence and skill so they can successfully join a spring or fall horse round up.
These drives will be one day or two days long. The drives will be at the ranch and we will be moving young stock from pasture to pasture, stud and mare bands out to summer grazing and small groups of the horse cavvy down to Hough Creek for vet appointments. These groups of horses will be small in design for inexperienced participation and learning. Mini horse drives will be a part of the regular ranch weeks with emphasis that week especially on horse moving.

We furnish a pommel bag to keep your camera and gloves and hand warmers in along with other important items you might need as you are riding out all day, like snacks. Most riding days we will take our lunch as most of the time we are riding in terrain that does not allow our lunch suburban to come. We will stop several times each day so you can take pictures or remove a jacket or get things out of your pommel bag or just let everyone get off their horse and rest.

Working with horses is a wonderful thrill. We share this unique love with all of the guests that come to the ranch. All of us and all those guests who come to spend a week at our ranch in one way or another share the common bond of loving horses. The ranch offers some unique opportunities to see horses in their natural environment and work with them in a special way.


Sample Itinerary  

Sunday
We are available to provide pick up for any guest at the airport or the Dude Ranch Lodge or Clocktower Inn in Billlings, Montana, as near to 4:00 P.M. as possible. 
We will drive to the ranch, meeting other guests in Lovell, Wyoming, who have elected to drive and we will all drive into the Pryor Mountains to the ranch for supper and room arrangements.  We will have a orientation meeting at that time for schedule instructions for the week.

Monday
Breakfast on ranch schedule, travel to Wyoming for saddling and trailing horses to inspection corrals for first day.  Horses need to be fed and watered and saddles need to be stored for the night.   Guests are encouraged to participate in all things needing to be done with the cowboys. Lunch is brought to wherever the herd might be at lunch time. Supper will be served at the ranch at night.

Tuesday
Breakfast on ranch schedule, travel to inspection corrals to ride for the day.  Horses need to be fed and watered and saddles need to be stored for night.  We have corrals at Hough Creek for the horses to be cared for there.  Guests are encouraged to participate in all things needing to be done at that time.  Lunch will again be brought to wherever the herd might be at lunch time.  Supper will be served at the ranch at night.

Wednesday
Breakfast on ranch schedule, travel to Hough creek corral to ride for the day.  If all goes with plans, we should reach the ranch by late afternoon.  Horses need to be fed and watered and saddles need to be store in the barn for night.   Guests are encouraged to  participate in all things needing to be done at that time.  Lunch will again be brought to wherever the herd might be at lunch time.  Supper will be served at the ranch at night.

Thursday
Breakfast on ranch schedule, and horses will be worked and trailed to new pastures.  There are also horses on the ranch and they will need to be worked and arranged.  Guests are encouraged to participate in all things needing to be done at that time.  Lunch will be wherever our guests are riding at that time.  Supper will be served at the ranch at right.

Friday
Breakfast on ranch schedule, the ranch comprises about 33,000 acres and horses need to be gathered and arranged to complete the schedule that needs to be done with horses on this first week of the season.  We have about 150 horses, mares, stallions, cavvy horses, and horses in training of all different ages and that is what our guests we will working with during this whole week.  Lunch will be either at the ranch or wherever the guests will be riding on the ranch.  Supper will be at the end of the day.  We will hold a farewell meeting and make settlement with store purchases.

Saturday
A lite breakfast will be served and loading for the return to Billings.  We usually arrive in Billings about noon.  We will take pictures and exchange goodbyes with cowboys and other guests before leaving the ranch.  Any of the guests that have driven their own vehicles will be ready to leave with our vehicle at the same time.
Drop-off to your hotel in Billings for the last night.

Sunday is your last day for this trip. After your last night at the hotel, you may take a short taxi ride back to the airport for your flight going home.

* Subject to changes. Weather, an open gate or missing horses can change the schedule immediately.  We encourage our guests to take changes with us whenever they happen. Thank you for understanding.

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2019 HORSE ROUNDUPS AND DRIVES 
April 7th-13th - Horse Drive from Wyoming winter pastures to Montana Ranch.
April 19th-20th - Real Ranch Horse Sale – Billings, Montana.  (Open week at Ranch)
June 2nd-8th - Gathering mares and adding stallions for the breeding season.
Oct. 13th-19th - Registration of weanling colts, haul colts to Wyoming, sort fillies and put mares out to pasture for the winter.
Oct. 27th-Nov. 2nd - Horse Drive to Wyoming.

2020 HORSE ROUNDUPS AND DRIVES
April 12th -18th -  Horse Drive from Wyoming winter pastures to Montana Ranch.
April  17th -18th - Real Ranch Horse Sale – Billings, Montana. 
May 31st -June 6th - Gathering mares and adding stallions for the breeding season.
Oct. 11th -17th - Registration of weanling colts, putting mares out for the winter.
Oct. 25th -31st - Horse drive to Wyoming.


Rates and Dates for Pryor Mtns Horse Drive

Rates include:

Accommodations (bunkhouse) with shared bathrooms, last night at a hotel in Billings, all meals except dinner on Day 7, 4 riding days plus 1 day in Cody, taxes

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20197 day horse drive, AP, last night in Hotel B&B$2025
  • B
    20197 day horse roundup, AP, last night in Hotel B&B$2025
Minimum Deposit: ~$500.00 per person

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 Transfer from Billings airport or hotel at 4 pm, pp, return
- to be paid locally
$100
2019 Upgrade to cabin with private bathroom (dbl), pp $125
2019 Upgrade to cabin with private bathroom (single) $150
2019 Extra night in Billings (single/dbl) $125
2019 Single supplement (last night in Billings) $65

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2019 10/13 - 10/20 8d / 7n 7 day horse roundup, AP, las... 6 /12 Expired
A 2019 10/27 - 11/03 8d / 7n 7 day horse drive, AP, last ... 6 /12 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Gratuities, transfer, dinner on Day 7

Other Info
Meeting: Billings airport or Dude Rancher Lodge
Airport: Billings Logan International Airport
Transfer: Billings Logan International Airport or the Dude Rancher Lodge, in Billings

Climate:
                                                Lovell area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

30

37

49

59

68

78

87

85

74

60

44

32

Average Low Temperature (°F)

5

12

22

31

41

50

55

52

42

31

19

8

Average High Temperature (°C)

-1

3

10

15

20

26

31

30

23

16

7

0

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-15

-11

-5

0

5

10

13

11

5

-1

-7

-13

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

1

1

1

3

4

4

2

2

2

2

1

1

Source: NOAA


Seasons
As always weather is unpredictable in the mountains. Be prepared for temperatures anywhere from the low 30's F (nights) to the high 70's F (days) during spring and fall. Temperatures sometimes reach the 90s F in the summer, but the nights are cool, particularly in the mountains. Even in summer months, snow in the higher elevations is common.

What To Bring:
During the summer weather is quite dependable normally, but in the mountain one needs to be prepared for all conditions at all times, since things can change in a very short time. May, parts of June, and parts of September can have cool days. Warm jackets, spare riding pants and riding boots are essential. We also recommend a wind and rain breaker and hat. Rain slickers can be rented for $10 a week. Don't forget your sunscreen! Linens and Towels are provided at the ranch. Bring some cash for gratuities or shopping in the store (they do accept credit cards as well!), but cash is needed if you choose to leave a tip.

We suggest that you bring clothes that will layer easily: long sleeved shirts, vests, jackets, chinks or chaps, sweatshirts, cap or better still a wide brimmed hat, gloves, wildrag or scarf, spurs, and of course your camera. (we do rent a pommel packet with spurs, strap, scarf & water bottle for $5.)
Standard equipment for riding are boots with a heel and perhaps hiking boots when we are not riding. A rain slicker is a good idea or we also rent these. It not only protects from rain but it is great for breaking the wind, if we have some.

The ranch has a small ranch store with all sorts of items and gifts, so it's a good idea to wait and see if you need it. How about sunscreen, chapstick, gloves, slickers (no ponchos), pommel bags, chinks, cowboy hat, wildrags, stampede strings, belts, S belt buckles, and several gift items for your return home. Instead of saddle bags we recommend pommel bags which fit over the saddle horm. The ranch store stocks most items. Because we are so remote it is impossible to return to town to pick up extra items. If you don't have some of the items mentioned above, we have a small ranch store, which carries most of these items. In addition, if you don't want to purchase the items listed above, we have rental items available for your convenience. Bring your guitar, if you want, and share our campfire. Brush up on your storytelling and jokes --- getting to know each other is a #1 priority.

This list is only a guideline for you
  • Travel documents and Voucher
  • Flight tickets
  • Passport
  • Visa (check with your consulate)
RIDING GEAR
  • Two Pairs of Riding Pants
  • Riding Boots
  • Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)- not available to rent, so please bring one if you choose to wear one.
  • Riding gloves
  • Sun Hat or Stetson
  • Rain Coat, Windbreaker- available to rent
PERSONAL CLOTHING
  • Warm Sweater and Jacket
  • Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
  • Jeans
  • Shorts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Pyjama
  • Bag for dirty clothes
  • Sneakers
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
  • Personal Toiletries
  • Moisturizing Cream
  • Personal medications
  • Sore cream (for an emergency)
  • Sewing kit
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Camera and enough extra film and batteries
  • Belt pack
  • Address book and pen (for postcards!)
  • Sun tan lotion and lip balm
  • Flashlight, extra Batteries
  • Pocket Knife (not essential)