Ok, so my family of 4 has issues with horses....some haven't ridden in 40 years (& didn't do well then), some are quite tall and others not so. We don't fit a saddle well and just are not your typical ranch-visiting family. Having said that, we thought a ranch might be fun and others seem to like them. We picked Goosewing and hoped for the best! Since we weren't sure that a ranch was for perfect for us, we opted for 3 nights and rented a car to travel around for the rest of the visit (Jackson, Yellowstone & Cody). Goosewing was fabulous and my family of 4 did not want to leave!!
We arrived mid week, rented a sturdy car and drove the distance to the ranch. It was a long drive involving dirt roads and wilderness but, as we had been warned about the dusty, bumpy road and area, we found it fine. GPS coordinates can solve most things! On arrival, we were given a quick, sufficient overview of the ranch & activities, all questions were answered, we found our lovely cabin, and enjoyed a tasty dinner & wine. Then we had lasso lessons! Great fun was had & the videos are hysterical. Over the next 2 days, we took 4 hour rides along sometimes steep and sometimes gentle trails, carefully checked repeatedly by a wrangler for safety and comfort. Even on inclines, which were not our favorite, the wranglers were careful, encouraging and you always felt like they were in control of the situation. The horses were gentle, beautiful, tenderly cared for, and tended to follow the horse in front of them (yay), although sometimes we did take a bit of a detour---probably operator error. (There are more advanced rides and beginner ones...we did the easy ones). You chose your ride after dinner when the wrangler came around to discuss the next day's riding options and you also selected your box lunch items from a 6 sandwich menu (turkey & cheddar on ciabatta bread, ham & swiss on sourdough roll, veggie burger, etc---really nice options). After Horse Safety 101 and a visit around the arena until all were comfortable with their horse, we mounted after breakfast (you order what you want from an extensive menu of local items or enjoy cereals and tasty pastries), and headed off for adventures on the trail. They offer 2, 4 & 6 hour rides. We opted both days for 4 hour rides. (Had we been there longer, we might have taken the 2 hours rides each day to vary the days & degree of soreness). After enjoying 2 hours of unbelievable views of Tetons/wilderness, lovely streams, former coal mines or dry creek beds & snow-capped mtns along the way, we dismounted for lunch at a high plateau or beautiful old western cabin. Our sandwich lunch was greatly enjoyed along with the accompanying apples, trail mix and homemade cookies. Always generous, filling and tasty! The remaining 2 hours covered a different trail back to the ranch. Upon our mid-afternoon return, we drove around in our cabin's Polaris vehicle to see a different view of the area....secluded lakes, antelope or moose. There were also afternoon activities---the guys enjoyed shooting one day. We rested a bit before dinner on our porch and then enjoyed happy hour with tasty appetizers (smoked salmon, etc) & another wonderful meal. Dinner food ranged from chicken cordon bleu, beef brisket to grilled mahi mahi with seaweed salad. You could ask if you needed a different selection but we found the food tasty and varied, so we went with their choice. They came around to advise on wine and drink selections. After dinner, there was always an activity as the sun didn't set until 9:30 or 10. One evening was lasso lessons and another was a cowboy singing songs & telling stories. I think they also had line dancing, which I wanted to do, but you cannot do everything. Our cookout evening moved indoors as the temperature dropped and it was very windy.
Some have commented upon the cabin, but we found ours to be wonderful. We opened the windows at night (it was warm inside), and we were fine. The beds & quilts were very comfortable. Plenty of hot water. A real highlight were the people there. The activities director was friendly and accomodating. He even offered a special time for fly fishing lessons when we asked about when we might do that (afternoons might be windy and not best for beginning fly fishermen so you want them early). We didn't get to experience fishing as all were too happy with horses. The staff incorporated both european and american help. All were involved, interesting, friendly and great fun to be around...answering questions, asking you questions, making suggestions, and generally being welcoming and helpful. The other guests were also fun to be around and you could always learn from their daily adventures, either with you on a ride or at happy hour or dinner. Helpful in planning the next day! All things considered, Goosewing Ranch was a huge family hit....one that my children and husband are eager to repeat! Next time, we might stay a week and temper the riding with some relaxing fishing.
If you don't want a short, uphill walk (altitude issues may bother some upon arrival in Wyoming...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.