Every position on the Ranch is special, but we must admit: our guests hold a singular fascination with the cowboys and cowgirls of our Wrangler department. We shadowed three hardworking Brush Creek Ranch cowgirls—Maria, Bailey and Paxton—for a look into what a day in their pre-season life really looks like (hint: it’s not just riding off into the sunset!).
8:00am: The first thing we do is start the tractor. While the tractor is warming up, we clean out stalls and turn the horses out.
8:30am: Water tanks need to be filled. We also fill the water bowls for the Ranch dogs, and feed them breakfast. We call Ranch dog Chongo “Head of Security” since he helps us keep the horses from escaping when we move them inside to the stalls. The Ranch dogs follow us around all day – they love being outside, even when it’s snowy.
9am-noon: A lot of our time is spent feeding. We go around to the different pastures on the ranch feeding hay to cattle and horses. Some horses are a bit underweight, so we feed them special grain. Over on the TZ Ranch, we feed the bucking horses (those are the wild horses that guests would never ride). On average, each horse eats about 20 pounds a day! With nearly 120 horses on the Ranch, that’s a lot of feeding we have to do in a single day.
Noon-1:00pm: Working outside all day means it’s important to get proper nutrition ourselves! Lunch is served with the other Ranch staff. Socializing with real humans—not just horses!—is always nice.
1:00p-2:00pm: In the late winter and early spring, a lot of our focus in on hiring the best staff possible for our upcoming season. The interview process is extensive: we Skype interview all of our candidates.
2:00pm: DANCE PARTY! Paxton is currently teaching Maria how to do the Wobble. We dance a lot during the workday. There’s actually a stereo all throughout the barn and arena, so we play music while we’re cleaning out the barn or working with horses. Yes, we play some country but we listen to all types of music!
2:15pm-3:00pm: Uniforms have to be ordered and ready once our staff arrives in mid-April, so we’ve been “shopping” quite a bit! Big western retailers are constantly sending us catalogues. Making sure we have the right sizes takes a bit of time, as well as ensuring there’s enough time to get every article embroidered with the BCR logo before we give all the clothing to staff.
3:00pm-4:30pm: If the weather’s good, we’ll try to ride in the afternoon. The horses need to be ridden in the off season, so we make sure to give them adequate exercise and loving. Some horses might need added rehabilitation or cleaning.
4:30pm-5:00pm: We’re always purchasing new horses. We look through horse catalogues and do a lot of research before attending a horse show. The shows are almost always in Montana. We attend about 2-3 per year.
5:00pm-6:00pm: The end of the day is spent cleaning the arena, barn and stalls: mopping, sweeping, and organizing and taking inventory of the tack room. We also park the tractor and get it ready for the next morning. And of course…we might have another dance party!