Georgie Guerin’s Stay at Kara Creek Ranch, Featured in Horse & Hound Magazine in the UK

We loved having Georgie Guerin stay with us this August at Kara Creek. Georgie has written an article for a magazine called The Horse and Hound in the UK. Check out her finished piece that was printed in January 5, 2024 issue. Thank you for writing such lovely words, we are so happy that you enjoyed your experience with us!

Article- The Real Wild West, By: Georgie Guerin

A RESOUNDING “yee-haw!” was my reaction to the idea of a ranch holiday in Wyoming. Where exactly is Wyoming, you ask? So did I, and a quick Google search told me it’s in the Mountain West region of the US, bordered by Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. The search also informed me that Wyoming was known as “the cowboy state” – it sounded right up my street.

I met Robyn, another ranch guest, at Heathrow airport, and by the time we’d sat through two flights and everything that came with them, we arrived at the ranch looking like we’d been friends for years. Waiting for our connection in Texas, we were even asked by a fellow traveller (with cowboy hat and rope) if we were famous English riders (with riding hats in hand). In our dreams.

Organised by Equus Journeys, our home for the next week would be Kara Creek Ranch. We would be staying in cabins and eating family-style meals in the house together with all other guests and staff each morning and evening. Living like a real cowgirl.

“I could barely lift the saddle halfway up my horse”

As a group of holidaymakers, we were a mixed bag of horsey folk with a few pairs but lots of solo travellers, too. We ranged in age from 19 to mid-50s, and we covered all spheres from professional riders to happy hackers, while others hadn’t ridden regularly for a considerable length of time.

I often find that anyone who goes on riding holidays spends a lot of time worrying about their ability in advance, but in western tack you’re suddenly all on a pretty level playing field. I was confident I wouldn’t have a problem being in the saddle for hours on end, but I hadn’t considered I would need help tacking up. Not only did I not know how to fasten a cinch, but I could barely lift the saddle halfway up my horse.

ON our first day, we only had time for a short ride as we were heading to a rodeo. This worked out well as you didn’t have to hold on for long if you hadn’t found the right horse during the matchmaking session before we saddled up.

I’d been paired with Cleave, a dun horse with leg markings that reminded me of my own dun at home. He was fairly steady and incredibly sure-footed – a great way to start my western experience. We were guided by Chris, a volunteer who’s been returning to the ranch for many years, and Hanna, who was over from Sweden on her second volunteer season. I had so many questions and was eagerly soaking up everything they shared with us.

Jo Van Kampen’s Stay at Kara Creek Ranch, Featured in Aqha UK Journal Magazine

Some of our guests (friends) love to write about their time with us at Kara Creek Ranch. Thank you to Jo Van Kampen for writing such an awesome article about her stay with us in 2022. We hope to see you again soon, Jo!

Article- My Week at Kara Creek, By: Jo Van Kampen

My friend and I booked a week at Kara Creek Ranch on a whim, a recommendation from a friend, we had no idea of how life changing it would be. Snook Ranches run cattle on 70,000 wild acres of prairie and mountains the height of Ben Nevis where the air goes thin, in Wyoming and Montana, and yes, it’s just like in ‘Yellowstone’. The destination on the flights was the first giveaway.. ‘Sundance, Wyoming’. Magical. It took 10 hours to fly there from grey old Newcastle, as we flew into another world. It was a further 2 hours to drive to the ranch, with Wilbur, who was entertaining company and we had the first glimpse out of the windows of the old truck into rural mid west America on interstate 90, indian country. Buffalo country. I was intoxicated on the country.

Before I even got there I felt I’d arrived in a place I should have been to a long time ago. We arrived, and our log cabin was wonderful, covered in authentic western roundup posters and cowboy gear,  well equipped kitchen, a/c and two en suite bedrooms.

We got allotted our horses, suited to our riding aspirations for the week, I was given a palomino gelding who was the best horse I have ever ridden. Honest, safe, fast, cowy when needed, with a switch off button. He made my week for sure.

The riding.. Well it isn’t for the faint hearted or novice! The group leaves after breakfast, you tack up your own horse,  there’s a job to do this isn’t a trail ride. This is cowboying, and the horses are tough. The cowboys have their instructions and the guests are there to do it with them. The riders who want an easier time stay at the back, they’re looked after, but for the real riding you keep up front, keep a close eye on the cowboys, and when they set off.. You go. Fast! They can spot cattle in the trees like radar, and the job in the fall roundup is to ride up into the forested mountains, at the ranch lands, or trailer horses behind the big RAM dually trucks to Moskee, Montana, or Devils Tower, into wild untamed country, and find pairs (cows and calves) and drive them down into the flat valley grassland.

When I say up, and down, I mean extremely steep slopes, no tracks this is extreme off road riding, over a thousand fallen trees, slopes you think are impossible to ride. The quarter horses are as sure footed as mountain goats, raw, tough animals, who never put a foot wrong. You have to go off alone sometimes, you spot a cow you go drive it, and they don’t like going down! They constantly try to break away so it’s on you to hone your cow skills and do a good job!

It’s the best thing I have ever done, me and my boy were at the sharp end all week, I wasn’t missing a thing! It’s 6+ hours a day in the saddle plus travelling in the duallys towing the big iconic 11 horse trailers, country music on the radio, gas station for snacks, but it’s invigorating, not tiring.

Food is home cooked and served in the ranch house, evenings are spent collectively in the Kara Creek Saloon where the drink is free and the pool table is never empty, it’s where you realise wild west Americans are like every cartoon character you grew up with, by now the fabulous accents are normal to you and Britain seems a previous lifetime ago. Hawkeye is a legend! Famous old Texan bronc rider who was very successful and lived to tell the tale! Amazing characters, bull riders, bronc riders, just all in a day’s work.. By now you don’t even think of flying home!

It doesn’t feel like a holiday, it gets right into your bones, and you find a big bit of yourself you realise has been missing your whole life. A peace. At night, when all’s quiet, go outside your cabin, look up at the infinite galaxies of stars in the unpolluted sky, and listen to the distant packs of coyotes in the mountains howling to eachother in the inky blue darkness, it’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

My friend, who had absolutely no idea this was going to happen, came back and within weeks she bought herself her first quarter horse. She ain’t ever ever gonna let this feeling go.

Kara Creek Ranch, Sundance, Wyoming 82729

My Travel to the USA – Kara Creek Ranch

The video of my days in the United States at Kara Creek Ranch in Sundance, Wyoming. 0:00 – The trip 1:25 – The ranch 6:03 – The job 8:23 – The branding 11:08 – The tourist 14:19 – Ending

Good Vibrations

Kara Creek Ranch featured on Kabel Eins

Kara Creek Ranch was featured on an episode of Konny and Manu as they traveled through the US! Konny and Manu, known for their travel and adventure shows on Kabel Eins, are from Germany. They are often featured in programs that document their journeys to various destinations, exploring different cultures, traditions, and landscapes. Watch the video below to view Konny and Manu’s adventure at Kara Creek Ranch!