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If you want to be a Wrangler on a guest ranch, you'll need to...

I recently returned from the Dude Ranch Association's annual convention at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch outside of Tucson. Going to association conventions is a great way for us to find out how CoolWorks is working for our employers. (And it's TONS of fun!) Guest ranches have used our site for years, (my first seasonal job was actually on a guest ranch) and we hope some of you have had great experiences working on guest ranches.

Many people who want to work on a guest ranch want to work with the horses, but guest ranch jobs aren't necessarily all about the horses. In fact most of the jobs are actually for the less horse inclined - housekeeping, serving, front desk, grounds maintenance, cooks, chefs, fishing guides, children and teen counselors, and more. But if you are interested in being a wrangler, there is a specific set of skills you must have. Growing up around horses does not always mean you're qualified for the job.

Before applying to be a wrangler at a guest ranch, make sure you have these *skills:

1. A strong working knowledge of horsemanship skills.

2. Your appearance should reflect the western image and assure the guests that you're in control.

3. Have current FIRST AID and CPS certification.

4. Your horsemanship skills will need to reflect the ranch's instructional program and riding policy.

5. You need to be able to handle horses on the ground and in the saddle.

6. Display concern for the well-being of the horse.

7. Be able to take control of a group no matter what the skill level.

8. Display good judgement in dealing with guests and horses in all situations.

9. You have to be able to anticipate potentially dangerous situations on the trail, and adapt emergency skills as necessary.


If you meet or exceed all those qualifications, then there are some guest ranches who would like to hear from you! Head to our Jobs on Horseback page to see what's available.


*List taken from the Dude Ranch Association's manual for Horse Safety and Adaptive First Aid for the Trail.



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Comment by Steve on February 7, 2011 at 12:57pm
Kathi,in 2007 i worked for the Elk Horn ranch just south west of Tucson and it was just great.Loved every minute of it.I worked as cook,dishwasher,baker,and what ever else needed doing.Gotta be a team player or forget about it.Got to do a lot of riding as well,which was fun. Setting up the BBQ.s once a week out in the desert was great!

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