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.