Learn buckaroo basics at Blue Sky Ranch | ParkRecord.com

Learn buckaroo basics at Blue Sky Ranch

Cowboys are some of the most-beloved characters in U.S. history.

They have been the subject of songs, books, films, paintings and sculptures since the 1800s and are still popular today.

To give people a taste of what it’s like to ride, rope and tend cows like a real buckaroo, the Blue Sky Ranch in Wanship has started its Cowboy for a Day program that gives people an authentic ranching experience, said Hattie Gardner of Blue Sky Adventures.

"At the Blue Sky Ranch, we really do offer the whole Western experience and we want to stay true to the cowboy way of doing things," Hattie said during an interview with The Park Record. "We are a working ranch and we do have to move the cows out and do things like that, so, why not have some fun and have people come out and actually experience those things with us."

The next Cowboy for a Day session will be held Saturday, July 14, and will include lessons about how to cut, sort and calm a small herd, as well as how to command a horse for basic riding techniques.

Although the event will feature a basic horsemanship session, it is designed for those who have ridden or are familiar with horses, Gardner said.

"It’s for horse people, and mainly for adults, because they are riding right alongside the horses and it might be dangerous for a younger person," she said. "But I would also say it is open to experienced riders aged 13 and older.

"Keep in mind it is a long day," Gardner said. "Everyone is on a horse pretty much from 9 o’clock in the morning until 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

"They do get some breaks to do some roping and have lunch," she said. "We also have a tavern we ride to for a break and to have some drinks and then ride back to the barn, and that’s the end of the day."

The schedule is as follows:

  • 9 a.m. – Cowboy breakfast
  • 10 a.m. – Saddle up
  • 10:45 a.m. – Basic horsemanship and ground work sessions
  • Noon – Ride to the outdoor arena alongside the herd and learn how to hold and sort the cows
  • 1:30 p.m. – Lunch and roping practice
  • 2:15 p.m. – Driving the herd to pasture
  • 4 p.m. – Break at the Tavern
  • 4:30 p.m. – Return to the barn to unpack and groom the horse.

    High West Distillery caters the breakfast and lunch.

    "The food is incredible and so good," Gardner said with a laugh.

    The Cowboy for a Day events debuted on May 19, this year.

    "It’s still pretty new," Gardner said. "After July 14, we’ll have other sessions on August. 18 and September 15, but next year, we’ll have more than one session a month during the summer."

    The Blue Sky Ranch, which spans 3,300 acres, was established in 2007.

    "That’s when we started doing the dude rides and some of our summer adventures," Gardner said. "Back then we operated through another outfitter who brought in the horses for the rides."

    Two years ago, the ranch began recruiting horses on its own.

    "We do offer other activities, like archery, which has become popular with the movie ‘The Hunger Games,’" Gardner said. "We also have a trap shooting range, and give guided hikes, and people can come do mountain biking, paddle boards, yoga hikes and kayaking, all year around, weather permitting.

    "We’re excited to offer Cowboy for a Day because the horse events are our main focus at the ranch," she said. "We’re all horse people and into the western thing."

    The next session of Cowboy for a Day at Blue Sky Ranch, 2071 S.R. 32, in Wanship, will be on Saturday, July 14. Other sessions will be held Aug. 18 and Sept. 15. Cost is $175. To register, call (435) 336-2646 or visit http://www.blueskyadventures.com .

    For a glimpse of a recent Cowboy for a Day session:

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