CATTLE DRIVE VACATIONS – FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Dryhead Ranch offers exciting horse riding experiences at our working ranch spring, summer and fall. Cattle Drives are the dreams that peak childhood adventures watched on “Raw Hide” or “Gunsmoke” each Friday night from cowboy western movies. Riding a horse through the open grasslands of Montana, Yee Haw. Fun for the whole family can be wrapped up in a working ranch vacation. Eating wonderful home cooked food and roasting marshmallows around a peaceful campfire. Fun. Fun. Fun.
WHY WOULD A RANCH BE A FUN VACATION FOR KIDS
Kids and families and horse loving adults are perfect for working ranch vacations. Great moments to work together, bond with teenagers, achieve bucket list dreams and do something different on a horse. Cows move slow with their young calves and the outdoor air and pushing cow challenges give kids a great “What I did for my summer vacation” adventure stories and writing compositions for school in the fall.
Millions of children go to Disneyland every year. Just as many kids hit the beach or go skiing. Those are great close to home weekend things. Traveling close to home is so full of hands on experiences that develop character. There is so much to see and experience if you come west and plan a week being a cowboy at Dryhead Ranch. Riding a horse is fun as you move cows, watch eagles hunt, watch a coyote run across the meadow and search for an arrowhead near the teepee rings. Each day offers different adventures. These are the things kids read about in their school books; Indians and arrowheads, Cowboys and horses, Prehistoric animals bones and Wild animals in the West. Seeing them with their families is beyond wonderful. Kids change when they have a job to accomplish and doing it together changes their attitude toward siblings and adults.
ARE WORKING RANCH VACATIONS JUST FOR FAMILIES
Dryhead Ranch offers amazing weeks for adults who love horses and want something different to experience on a horse. Mountain trails behind cows and calves going to spring pasture. Canyons full of creeks, trees, nature, and keeping those horses moving along toward ranch headquarters. We have lots of single adults who come alone because they don’t have a friend who loves to ride horses. But they find lots of horse loving friends at the ranch and they become friends and share working together that makes friendship bonds for years to come. Many come back every year with the group they met when they were at the ranch riding horses and laughing and loving the quiet peacefulness of the outdoors.
DRYHEAD RANCH IS THE PERFECT FAMILY VACATION
- Dryhead Ranch understands family. Born out of a multi-generational passion for the cattle industry, this family-ran working cattle operation is focused on a tradition that formed the country we all love. They know that part of the greatness of our nation comes from the quality of our pasture-grazed beef. That’s why they love to show visitors around and help them get a feel for the life of a real working cowboy. For the folks at Dryhead Ranch, cattle is about more than just paying the bills. It’s about building a bridge from the past to the future.
Grandparents and grandkids | Parents with grown children | Grandpa, grandkid, uncles
Dad and daughter | Mom and son
Every combination of “family” we have had at the ranch. It is always a win win. The laughter, the silly “umbrella” game and the sharing of life. Horses give you lots of wide open spaces to enjoy that can’t happen in a car and the pace slows down to cow time, so everyone can think, and dream. Jake or Jess always finds a spot to challenge your abilities. “Hey, my new friend. Ride up that hill and bring back all the cows that you see!”
THE DRYHEAD FAMILY
Great grandma, Iris.
Jake and Jess and four busy kids, two girls, and two boys
Donna the cook.
Matthew the cowboy.
Kristen the office girl.
Gary (spring and fall) cowboy/guest helper.
Debbie life long friend and organizer of details
Everyone rides at some level. All have a part in the whole experience. It takes a ranch to raise kids and guests and keep them all involved and challenged and happy. This is our life. We work at it everyday 24/7. Some more intense than others. That is what a family is. We believe in God, he makes our life have purpose. The kids bring energy and noise and direct where life is going to go. It is not the same without children. We demand manners, politeness, respect, work and smiles. We are a family.
CHILDREN AT THE DRYHEAD RANCH
Our children live and work here. Kids are happier when they have something to do and a purpose in doing it. We have kids as well as guests wash their own dishes and saddle their own horse and treat that horse with respect and kindness. These horses will take them anywhere safe and help them work cattle and help them feel a sense of accomplishment. So, loving animals is something that is a good thing when you come here. We ride 5-6 hours a day and kids are welcome to come along and learn, so make sure this is part of the decision when you think about coming to a ranch. We recommend that parents do a few riding lessons so that everyone in the family is familiar and comfortable around horses; leading, saddling, brushing, riding, turning, stopping. We don’t offer babysitting options or organized individual child activities. We have a creek that offers many hours of water, mud, and creative fun activities and the our kids don’t ride every ride.
REAL LIFE VACATIONS WITH REAL LIFE LESSONS
- Our website has a testimonial page. These testimonials are written by guests from all over the world who have spend a week with us or several weeks with us. They have written to tell us their feelings about spending a week with us. Each has a lesson learned, a feeling realized to take home with them. If that is all we accomplish, then we have achieved our purpose. Making people slow down and think about their life and how it can be better is a wonderful thing. Horses bring peace, thoughtfulness and challenge. Wide open spaces relax the turmoil in our lives and let God talk to us. Who doesn‘t need that.
SEE WHAT OUR GUEST HAD TO SAY!
One of my favorite images from MT last summer at the Dryhead Ranch was chosen as the Opening Shot in this month’s February 2020 issue of Western Horseman magazine! Watching James ride Yeller and rope his calf was truly one of the highlights of my trip. The determination and seriousness on his face is priceless! Lol Good thing two grown cowboys were nearby to help out. -Pam Gabriel Photography
The future belongs to the few that are still willing to get their hands dirty. Thanks to all the farmers and ranchers for keeping us well fed. -PhyllisBurchettPhoto
So excited to open the May edition of Western Horseman magazine April 2020. It be honest, during all of the craziness that is currently happening, it’s been very hard for me to stay positive about my small business. The opening shot couldn’t have come at a better time for me! Stay healthy and happy, my friends! I hope to photograph you all in the coming months. -Hilary Bishop
Well, its back to reality and back to work for me today! I’m still dreaming of the aroma of sage in the pastures in Montana and the thundering hooves. -Roam Photos
I got to photograph some colt starting while out in Montana. It was amazing to watch the way they communicated with their young horses and Jake and Matthew were kind enough to share stories and technique with us while calmly working with each horse! I’m sharing a couple of the most exciting moments here, but all in all it was a pretty calm affair. -Fast Horse Photography
14 years ago and still thinking about my experience everyday. Unforgettable. -Camille Brit
A place to meet old and new friends. Every year I learn a little more about the work of the cowboys, a little more about how to handle horses. It’s a place that decelerates. All work is done in cow time. After the holiday is before the holiday. So I look forward to next year -Andreas Will, Germany
Such incredible memories of my week on the ranch. A long time dream of mine and I just don’t have words for the “wow” moments I had on that trip. Hearing the cowboys bring in the horses that first morning, galloping to catch up to and turn the strays, the stars at night, to name a few! Thank you for the memories I will forever cherish -Maureen Knibloe
Solitude. Peace. Adventure. Friendship. Great food. As close to the real West as could be. Treat that childhood cowboy wanna-be to something special. -Jimmy Addis
I had a great time at the Dryhead Ranch. I loved my time in the saddle experiencing Montana and getting to know the family. It left me the best kind of tired, ready for a good nights sleep after a delicious dinner. I’d like to think that stay gave me the clarity of mind to make the best decision of my life…to move out to Montana and enjoy riding my horse surrounded by it’s beauty…Read More→
There is no place better to see beautiful scenery and enjoy the cowboy lifestyle. Every time I go, I learn and grow thanks to the outstanding team at Dryhead. Thank you all so very much! -Ken Fisher
For me it was the most beautiful travel I’ve never done!!! It was a dream since I am 10 years, and I really hope I could come and see all of us one more time… -Isabelle Isa
Still my favorite place on earth! I dream about it every night.. My feet itch to get back only I will probably never leave again.. From the feeling of family epic horses and a once in a lifetime experience.. Nothing could ever top the Dryhead. It healed my soul in so many ways I couldn’t begin to explain..All I can say is thank you and hopefully see you all real soon. -Caty Greve
I can honestly say that this was one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. Great food, great staff and some of the best scenery you could ask for. I’ll be back, and it won’t be fast enough. Jen was great in getting us started and getting us anything we needed during my stay. Jake was great with me while working with the cattle and horses as a novice rider, and the food was…Read More→
Sore muscles and a dirty face has never felt so magnificent! Having the privilege of joining the ranch family, building relationships, working hard, and experiencing the majesty all around, was truly an unforgettable experience. -Monique Gilbert
Friendly welcoming and had a fabulous time on this true cowboy hands on experience with fabulous horses. Good homemade food set to your dietary requirements. Clean and homey accommodations. We felt like family and have returned for a second time. Hopefully we get to go again. -Michelle Robinson
This is a great place with great people—and the real deal, nothing fancy, which greatly contributes to why I keep coming back. It doesn’t matter whether you are with a big group of people, or the only guest, which, by some strange coincidence, I have practically been the only guest most of the times I have been to Dryhead. The scenery is amazing. And you can be sure of a lot of riding on good…Read More→
Once in a lifetime experience never to be forgotten. You really do become a part of the family. -Pat Hofmann
I just came home from a week at the Dryhead Ranch and wanted to thank Iris, Jennifer, Jackie, and Jake for the greatest vacation I have ever had! I have always wanted to see Montana and this experience was more than I ever hoped for. The bunkhouse, food, horses, scenery and hospitality shown by this wonderful family is something I will always fondly remember. I came home with answers and this really did change my life in a…Read More→
Third time and keeps getting better! A big thanks to Jake, Sky, Jennifer, Jackie, Cannon, Suzie, and everyone else at the Dryhead for making my third trip to the ranch so much fun. We really got to experience a little bit of everything last week! The other guests and I really got along and seemed like had I had known them for years instead of just a few days. The warm family atmosphere at the…Read More→