I wish I could say I’ve been better about posting but I’ve been too busy working and having fun so I don’t feel too guilty. As of tomorrow I will have officially lived in the Tetons for a month — I can’t believe how fast it has flown by.
As promised, I’ll chat a little bit about my daily schedule here at the corrals. I work about ten hours a day every day I work, which is five to six days a week. I definitely didn’t expect to work as much as I do but I enjoy my job immensely and it’s nice to bring in the money.
Our corral has two main fenced in areas, a catch pin, a chute and a pony pin. The back corral is where the horses stay all night. The front corral is where we tie them up during the day, unload guests and feed lunch. The catch pin is for holding horses after rides and in the morning. It is connected to the chute where we saddle, unsaddle and let guests feed treats.
A standard day starts at 5:45 when I’ll wake up, throw on my Western shirt, boot cut jeans, boots, belt and cowgirl hat. I’ve upgraded my outfit quite a bit since I’ve gotten here. At first I didn’t want to invest any money in work clothes but it’s actually fun to dress for the job appropriately.
I get to the corrals around 6:15 and grab coffee before herding the horses into a catch pin and chute. We have fourteen horses at the corral, and we saddle all fourteen in the chute at the beginning of the day. By the time we’ve saddled, fed and tied the herd it’s about 7:00 and we all head to breakfast. On an average day there are three wranglers working.
After breakfast we take out the first ride at 8:00. The horses are saddled all day but we put in their bridles and feed bags right before they go out. We also re-brush them, fly spray, paint hooves, etc. while we wait for the guests. While the 8:00 ride is out we clean the back corral and waters. Horses poop about once every four hours, so you can do the math for how dirty the back corral can be.
Once the 8:00 ride comes in we feed out hay and then go to lunch ourselves. Next up is the 11:45 and while that ride is gone we do most of the other chores like wipe down, sweeping, mopping, cleaning feed bunks etc. We also give pony rides on occasion if we have enough staff. By the time the 11:45 returns right about 2:00 we turn right around to get out our one hour ride of the day at 3:00. While that ride is out we feed out for dinner and finish any extra chores we can fit in — cleaning tack, raking the front corral, bathing horses. The best part of my day is always when we take the halters off the horses from the 3:00 ride and they race to the back corral to eat. It’s nice to see them really move even though they work hard during the day. After we make sure everything is locked up we almost always sit out for some beers.
I suppose that doesn’t sound as exhilarating as I might have hoped but when you have the Tetons in your view all day, there are few things better. Next week I’ll go into more detail about the actual trail rides we take out, what it means to be an interpretive guide and more!
The food continues to be mediocre here. One month of not cooking and I’m going out of my mind just a bit.