The early sun spills down the valley between Terrace and Angle Mountains where it finally reaches the ranch with its gentle morning glow. Spoon, a Bay gelding, and the rest of the horses in the ranch’s herd trot back to the corral from the upper pasture where they spent the night. 

Ranch hands refill water and feed buckets, occasionally stopping to stroke a horse’s neck or scratch a nose. The day’s assignments will be coming soon. 

It might be a short day with just a lesson to give. Perhaps a group ride where our guest, for the first time on a horse, will see the Wyoming Spoon gets to see every day and bask in its beauty. Or maybe today’s the lucky day and Roosevelt, with his dreadlock mane, gets saddled for a weeklong pack trip deep into the Teton Wilderness.

It’s just another day in the life of a horse at the ranch. 

Private lessons

Hefe, a dapple gray pony mare, was tabbed this day to guide a 12-year-old girl on her first-ever horseback ride. Hefe got the nod because of easy personality and her ability to work well with young kids.

Elee Deschu, one of our experienced wranglers, calls the herd of 40 horses mountain athletes. 

“Each horse has a unique personality and story,” she said. 

The girl on Hefe completed an extensive questionnaire like any other rider that Elee and the other anglers use to make the best match between rider and horse. 

Joy of Riding with Others

Kathy, a bay quarter horse mare, joined a dozen other friends from the herd on a half-day group ride that meandered along the Buffalo Fork River. The trail rose through the trees before the group eventually reached a clearing atop a bluff that gave riders an amazing view of the Grand Teton mountain range.

Along the way, wrangler Aaron Deschu talked about how Dick Turpin found a spot along the Buffalo Fork where he established the ranch. He pointed out significant geographical landmarks and spun a few tales that may or may not have been historically accurate.

Star-Filled Nights

Roosevelt was loaded for a week-long overnight pack trip into the Teton Wilderness, a chance to explore more than 500,000 acres of pristine wilderness. He got to trot along some of his favorite trails while the guest took in the sights, smells and sounds.

Each day ended at camp where Roosevelt’s saddle was removed, and he got to enjoy dinner with the rest of the horses.

The riders enjoyed their own meals cooked over an open flame by the guides. They spent the evening gazing at the stars before retiring to bed.

The daily adventures let everyone explore the wilderness before eventually returning to the ranch.