LONG DAYS IN THE SADDLE
The annual cattle round-up involves relatively long days in the saddle, especially for staff, with days starting between 5-6:30am depending on the day. “The day begins by saddling up one of our round-up horses, going out to the pasture and gathering the equine herd to run them into the corral. Once they are in the corral we saddle anywhere between 50-60 horses,” says Steph.
“Our typical day with the guests involves a morning and afternoon ride, typically about two hours each. Then we unsaddle, run the herd back out, finish chores, and start scooping the corral. Actual time in the saddle is about 4-5 hours each day. During our round-up weeks it’s more like 6-7 hours.”
LEARNING THE ROPES
“This year was special as we have a high percentage of guests who have been coming to do the round-up for years,” says Steph. “They’ve figured out what they are capable of and have learned how to work with each other, and they understand the flow of the round-up – so it was easier to get everyone organised and lay out the plan with this year’s group.
“We have a group of women who have met up at the ranch for over five years to round up, and we were able to witness some really powerful moments of them celebrating their friendships, working through challenges and some really profound personal struggles, and lifting each other up.
“We also had one of the prettiest falls we’ve had in a long time, so the weather and the colourful aspens (deciduous trees) were just perfect. That sure helps when you’re out on the trail all day to have stunning views! For next year we still have some things we are working through with our cattle partner, so we can’t announce any news yet, but there’s a lot to navigate in the cattle business with drought and fires, so that has opened up some conversations about interesting changes that we could implement.” EQ
If you’re dreaming of a ranch holiday, consider spending the next southern hemisphere spring at Vista Verde in Colorado and experience their autumn cattle round-up! For more enquiries on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, please visit www.vistaverde.com.
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