Our goal is to provide an exciting adventure for our campers, rooted in the safe development of good horsemanship skills. All Ranch Hand Campers will proceed through the Ranch Handbook.
All campers get a Ranch Handbook, laying out the laws and rules of safety and respect on the Ranch, and ensuring safety for every camper and animal.
The Ranch Handbook contains skills tests that all campers will progress through. Some may progress faster than others. Ranch activity involvement depends upon passing levels in the Handbook.
Every guest arrives at the Ranch as a City Slicker - a visitor from out of town. They may enjoy meeting the animals, but will not handle or feed just yet. They may watch at chore time, but not participate.
Required skills: none.
Once they've shown basic horse knowledge and safety, Barn Helpers may halter, lead and feed horses - and are responsible for basic barn chores.
Required skills: know horse basic body parts, breeds and equipment. Show safe horse ground skills.
Time to meet your horse! Campers are responsible for this horse over the entire stay: feeding, cleaning, grooming, saddling, riding, working and creating an amazing friendship. Ranch staff assigns horses.
Required skills: ground work, saddling and bridling, confidence.
Riders will progress through the levels as they master horse and riding skills.
1 - Rides in the round-pen
2 - Rides in pasture
3 - Rides trails
4 - Rides with livestock
Riders who pass all four levels of horsemanship become Ranch Hands. Good Hands are hard to find, and an asset to the Ranch. Hands will garner a wage that can be spent in the Ranch store on items such as t-shirts, memorabilia and perhaps a treat.
Qualified Ranch Hands may participate in exciting events such as:
Pack your bedroll and pull on your boots. It's time to head to the ranch!
The ranch staff will evaluate your skills based on the application and perhaps a personal interview. You do not need to be an expert rider. You do need to be eager to learn, love horses and all animals, and be a good and respectful listener. With those traits, you will leave Burnt River Ranch as a qualified and confident Ranch Hand.
Campers are divided into groups of no more than three, based on riding skills. Each group has a Wrangler - their riding instructor and camp counselor. Wranglers each pass through the Wrangler-training program and are great riders, teachers and inspirational leaders. Oh, and they are also a whole lot of FUN!
If you're considering Ranch Hand camp, we know you love horses and will pass the skills easily. Some will progress faster than others, but every level is fun! So even if you don't become a Ranch Hand on the first day, or even the second - we know you'll have a blast trying!