A Day in the Life of a Ranch Babe

Have you ever wondered what goes on at a North Idaho guest ranch during the unpredictable month of March? Through rain, snow, hail or sunshine, the ranch-hands continue their work on the ranch. Follow Emily through her day and learn just what a ranch babe does to help the ranch prepare for spring.

Emily starts the day out by helping Grandma to make beds in the guest rooms.  She makes sure the quilts are  on exactly the way she wants.
The ladies who come for quilting retreats need some help too.  Emily loves to help them sew.

Next, its time to head to the barn to ride horses.  This time of year, everyone is riding horses to prepare them for the summer guest ranch season and the young horses are getting a refresher course.  All the action takes place in the indoor arena because everywhere else is covered in snow, ice or mud.  Emily likes to supervise the riders, dogs, and cats from the hay stack.
The horses stand in the alley, waiting patiently to be ridden.  This is Chance sporting Emily’s saddle. Yes, that’s a big horse (16.2+ hh) and yes that’s a tiny saddle (8″ seat).

When she is not supervising or riding, Emily is just outside the barn checking the mud levels.  
All that work tuckers a girl out! After a quick lunch break, Emily is ready for a nap.  Anywhere will do, even the kitchen counter is a good spot to catch some z’s.

After lunch, the sun is out so its back to the haystack to supervise the cat and soak up some much needed vitamin D.
Now its Emily’s turn to ride! She loves to ride with grandma and tell the horse exactly what to do.  “Walk, trot, whoooooooaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, walk, whoooooooaaaaaaaahhhhh, trot”,  she tells Blue.

Blue is nice, but Chance is warm and comfy.  There is no better place to rest your head.

By the end of the day, this ranch babe is worn out.  A bag full of horse blankets in the tack room makes a nice place to rest.

Contest Winners!!

Congratulations to our 12 contest winners!!!  
Ellen Zirkle Larsen
Jim Tasker
Fred Wurden
Connie Barbeau
Alex Mueller
Cathrine McClintick
Gene Rowley
Connie Eigell-Smith
Jane Derr Betts
Tyler Ribail
Shelly Thompson
Liz Luiz
Each of these 12 winners will receive one raffle ticket for the Dude Ranch Association Ranch Raffle.  The drawing for the ranch raffle will occur on April 1st.  The winner will receive a week long guest ranch vacation at whichever ranch their ticket came from.  In the case of these 12, the winning stay will be here at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.
Winners:  A raffle ticket with your name on it will be sent directly to the Dude Ranchers’ Association.

P.S. Happy First Day of Spring! Did I mention that we have 4-5 inches of fresh snow and it’s still coming down.


Ranch Cookies

I thought I would share with you my most favorite cookie recipe.  This is my grandma’s Ranch Cookie recipe that comes from our family recipe book.  I love to make these in the summer for our guests as an after lunch dessert.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Contest Update!

Contest Update: Only five days left until our contest to win a chance for a week stay at our ranch is over!  What you may not have known is that you can up your odds of winning.  Our contest is offering 12 raffle tickets to 12 individual winners, but you can also purchase these raffle tickets as well.  Tickets for the Dude Ranch Association raffle are $20 per ticket or 6 tickets for $100.

Our contest is giving you a chance to have one of 12 tickets by becoming our friend on facebook, but you can guarantee yourself a ticket by purchasing one (or more) from us.  The proceeds from this raffle benefit the Dude Ranchers Association Educational Trust Scholarship Program.  This program works to provide scholarships to students who work at guest ranches and are pursuing a career in the guest and dude ranch industry.  This program in dear to my heart because I received one of their scholarships while working toward my degree in Resort Recreational Management.

To find out more about the Dude Ranchers Association Educational Trust Scholarship Program, visit www.duderanchhistory.com.

If you would like to purchase raffle tickets, you can call me or Janice (my mom) at (888) 863-9066, or you can email us at [email protected]


Win A Chance For A Week Stay At Our Guest Ranch!!!

Hey all you Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Facebook fans, now is the chance for your “fanship” to pay off.  Not a fan yet? Simply “like” us on Facebook and you will be entered into our contest as well.
What are you being given the chance to win?  We have purchased 12 tickets for the Dude Ranch Association Ranch Raffle.  12 lucky WPGR Facebook fans will win one of these raffle tickets.  The Dude Rancher’s Association represents over 100 of the best Dude Ranches and Guest Ranches in the West.  The DRA is presenting this raffle for a one week vacation for two people at our ranch.  All the proceeds from this raffle benefit the Dude Ranchers’ Educational Trust Scholarship Program and Heritage Center.  This program helps to educate persons wishing to pursue employment or careers in the dude ranch industry and to protect and preserve the history of dude ranching.  I am especially appreciative of this program because I received an extremely helpful scholarship from them while attending college. Visit their website at www.duderanchhistory.com .
All you have to do to win one of these 12 raffle tickets is be a fan of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch on Facebook!  We will be drawing the winners of these 12 tickets on March 20th.
For more information about the Dude Ranch Association, visit www.duderanch.org.
This prize is not redeemable for cash or credit.  Some exclusions may apply.  Need not be present to win.  The vacation must be enjoyed within one year of the drawing and is subject to space availability. There is a 1 in 3000 chance for the ticket holder to win.
 The raffle drawing will be held April 1, 2012.
Make sure that you are a fan of Western Pleasure Guest Ranch on Facebook then check back here on March 20th to see if you are one of the 12 winners.

Have you made your Valentine’s Day plans?

Have you made your Valentine’s Day plans?
Take your sweetheart on a unique Valentine’s Day outing that they will remember for years to come.   Enjoy a romantic sleigh ride then treat them to a delicious, five-course dinner in an intimate, candle-lit setting with live music.   Extend the evening into an overnighter when you book one of our rooms or cabins.  Your overnight lodging includes a full, hot breakfast.
On Valentine’s Day, Tuesday the 14th, the menu will include:
  • Appetizer – Shrimp Cocktail
  • Soup – Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Salad – Watercress Salad with Shaved Mushrooms and Radishes, dressed with a Sherry-Honey Vinaigrette
  • The main course buffet will include:
    • Roast Prime Rib of Beef with Aujus and Horseradish Cream
    • Slow Baked Salmon with Honey-Dijon Marmalade
    • Steamed Asparagus or Broccoli
    • Scalloped Potatoes
    • Warm Bread
    • Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
  • Dessert: Chocolate French Silk Tart with Almond crust or Frozen Lemon Mousse with Raspberry Sauce
Prices for this evening are as follows:
Dinner – $37.50 per person
Sleigh Ride for two: $75.00
Dinner, sleigh ride and cabin package – $310.00
Dinner, sleigh ride and lodge room package – $270.00

    *Reservations Required
    *For sleigh rides of four or more persons the price is $19 per person
    Can’t celebrate on the 14th?
    Join us Saturday, February 11th for a Mediterranean dinner.  Make the evening even more memorable by adding a sleigh ride or an overnight stay.
    Dinner on Saturday, the 11th will include:
    • Appetizer – Suvlaki with Slow Roasted Olives, Oranges and Almonds served with Grilled Crostini
    • Soup – Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup with Yogurt and Lemon
    • Main Course –
      • Grilled Lamb Kebobs served with warm pita and Tzatziki Sauce
      • Maussaka with eggplant Tomatoes and feta or Greek Grilled Vegetables dressed with a sauce of fresh lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, paprika and cayenne
      • Spanakopita
      • Tabouli
      • Greek Salad
    • Dessert – Baklava
    Prices for this evening are as follows:
    Dinner – $25.50 per person
    Sleigh ride for two – $75.00
    Dinner, sleigh ride and cabin package: $291.00
    Dinner, sleigh ride and lodge room package: $251.00
      *For sleigh rides of four or more persons the price is $19 per person
      *Reservations Required
      The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch does not have a beer and wine license so we cannot provide you with alcohol on either of these evening, however, you are welcome to bring your own.
      This is a BYOB event
      For more details or to make a reservation call:
      Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
      (208) 263-9066

      New Shipment of Western Merchandise

      I just got in our biggest shipment yet of western handbags! After pricing them and setting them out on display, I have to say I am coveting a few of those bags. So please, for my sake, stop by and buy yourself a new handbag (you deserve it!) before I spend the rest of my paycheck on them. Do you think I can justify one handbag for each day of the week?

      We also have bling belts, necklaces,wallets and bling cadet hats.


      Has Spring Sprung in North Idaho?

      Has spring sprung here in North Idaho? Well no. The only thing you can be sure of about the weather around here is that every year it will be different. So if someone tells you, “winters in Idaho are mild”, or “Idaho winters are treacherous”, don’t believe them. The truth is, we never know what to expect! One winter may bring skiffs of snow and horseback rides on dry ground by Valentines Day. Others lead you to believe that earth’s pole has shifted and a new ice age has begun.

      For now we have too much ice and too little snow for sleigh rides or horseback rides. Those of you who love to ski, however, are in luck! Schweitzer still has some of the best snow-pack in the nation with 92 runs and 8 lifts open for traffic. Rumor has it that snow is on the horizon so don’t give up on your cross country skiing, snowmobiling or sleigh riding winter get-a-way plans. According to the Weather Channel, the Sandpoint area should see snow in the air beginning Sunday. The chance of precipitation rises as the week goes on, however so do the temperatures. The average yearly temperatures for the following week (Jan. 22-28) range from 54oF to -22oF. So if you are visiting the area or a seasoned native, plan on warm sunny days spent outside enjoying the fantastic scenery, or bitter cold spent inside stoking the crackling fire, drinking warm hot coco, and counting the layers that you will need to prevent frostbite.

      Don’t let the diversity of the weather scare you away. It is these changes that amplify the beauty, wonder, and adventure that is North Idaho. No matter what season you choose to visit, summer; winter; fall; spring or mud, you are sure to be enchanted by what I believe to be the most beautiful place on God’s green earth.

      Christmas Tree Sleigh Rides

      Can you believe it? It’s already the time of year to start thinking about getting your Christmas Tree. Everyone seems to have a very different idea about the perfect time to get a Christmas tree. Some set up their tree on Christmas Eve, which, I must say, is not enough time to enjoy the dazzling sight and soothing fragrance of a Christmas tree. Some get their tree up sometime after the first of December because, of course, you can’t start thinking about Christmas until the calendar says “December”. Others set their tree up the day after Thanksgiving as family is still about to enjoy decorating together. And then there is the crazy, way too prepared, extreme few who decorate their tree before Thanksgiving. That’s just not right!

      Whatever your Christmas tree tradition, consider adding a new tradition that will gather the whole family for some simple old fashioned enjoyment. Consider this memorable outing, where you will load up on one of our horse drawn sleighs and enjoy a scenic ride to the tree lot. There you will pick out a fresh cut locally grown Christmas tree. Then gather the family and your tree and ride the sleigh back to the lodge where you will be served fresh popped popcorn, hot chocolate, and coffee.

      We will be offering these rides starting the day after Thanksgiving, running through December until we run out of trees. Call to make a reservation at (208) 263-9066. $90.00 for a family of four (this price includes the tree), $15.00 for each additional person.


      Isaac and Libby’s Wedding

      On September 10, 2011, Isaac and Libby tied the knot! For those of you who don’t know, Isaac is my little brother. Their beautiful, country wedding (complete with a tractor) even made it into the Spokesman Review. Rather than spend several pages describing the beauty and uniquness of the wedding, below I have shared several of my favorite pictures to tell the story.

      I just had to share this picture of my little girl, Emily. She was the flower girl.