A herd of horses galloping in a field in the United States

Kara Creek ranch with Ben Hobday

Spend a week on an authentic working ranch in the American state of Wyoming in the company of self-proclaimed “wannabe cowboy” Ben Hobday! Far from Ben’s usual international cross-country courses, you will ride in the grassy plains of Wyoming with a family of authentic cowboys: learn how to move and sort cattle, enjoy trail rides and "learn the ropes". This is a real working ranch holiday, where you will experience the practices of a modern cattle ranch and spend a week as a real Wyoming cowboy or cowgirl!
Book now Print the details for this ride
Ranches and Cattle Drives
8 Days / 5 riding days
From £1,620
Open to non-riders
  • Three horses standing in a field in Kara Creek Ranch in Wyoming
    The ranch has more than forty Quarter and Paint horses!
  • Two cowboys moving cattle in Wyoming
    Riding in the company of cowboys, you will learn how to move and sort cattle
  • Rider in the middle of the cattle in Wyoming
    Rider in the middle of the cattle in Wyoming
  • Western salon styled at Kara Creek Ranch
    Western salon styled at Kara Creek Ranch
  • Ranch holiday and working cattle vacations
    Peaceful cabins with lovely views!
  • Cowboy posing in front of the Devil's Tower in Wyoming
    Ranch owner Monte posing in front of the Devil's Tower
  • Rider western riding in Wyoming
    Be a cowboy for a week on a real US ranch vacation
  • Cowboys racing in Wyoming
    Enjoy occasional canters and the odd race!
  • A herd of horses galloping in a field in the United States
    A herd of horses galloping in a field in the United States
  • Man riding after a calf in Kara Creek Ranch
    Wrangler working cattle at Kara Creek Ranch



- Join a real western riding holiday accompanied by UK eventer Ben Hobday
- Play an active role in the day-to-day tasks on a ranch riding over varied terrain of more than 12,000 hectares
- Ride alongside the cowboys, moving cattle, sorting and monitoring herds of more than 4000 animals
- Enjoy the freedom of riding in the vast open spaces between Wyoming and South Dakota.

    Flight to Rapid City in South Dakota (not included).

    We recommend arriving in the mid-afternoon by 4:00 pm on time for the transfer to the Ranch. If you need to arrive on a later flight, we would suggest arriving a day early – we can help book a hotel in town if necessary. The ranch is a 2 hour drive from Rapid city, 15 minutes from Sundance in the state of Wyoming. Once at the ranch, you will have dinner with the team and enjoy your first evening at the famed Kara Creek saloon!

    Flights are not included by can be booked upon request.
  • Day 2 2 : RANCH - 4-6h riding

    Kara creek ranch
    IMPORTANT: The following program is provided as an indication, it is by no means exhaustive but reflects all the activities in which you will be asked to participate. Your time at the ranch is dictated by the needs of livestock, weather conditions as well as your expectations and your previous experience on horseback. Plans change quickly on a working ranch!

    You will head to the stables with the cowboys were they will allocate your horse - if you are not familiar with western riding, don't worry! The wranglers will use this occasion to train you.

    You will then set off to see the vast ranch on horseback. You will have a chance to get to know your mount, an experienced ranch horse, that will help you with your daily tasks on the ranch. You will also be introduced to the proper way to approach and interact with the cattle.
    You will head back to the ranch late in the day and enjoy a drink at the saloon before a hearty dinner prepared by the team. Dinners are taken family-style in the main house.
  • Day 3 3 : RANCH - 4-6 hours riding

    Kara creek ranch
    Today you will reunite with your horse and set off to see the vast ranch on horseback. You will be introduced to the proper way to approach and interact with the cattle. You may be able to join a mini round-up, helping rotate cattle between fields and checking fences or water troughs along the way. You will learn how to group the cattle and drive them smoothly in the right direction. Based on your abilities you will be asked to either herd them from the rear, to chivvy the reluctant cattle and bring back in line those making a bid for freedom.

    You will head back to the ranch in the afternoon where the team will give you a roping demo, showing you the proper way to use a lasso. Enjoy a drink at the saloon before a hearty dinner prepared by the team. Dinners are taken family-style in the main house.
  • Day 4 4 : RANCH - 6-8 hours riding

    Kara creek ranch
    Today is a full-day trail ride - a favourite destination is the land located at the foot of the Devil's Tower, a 200 metre high monolith that pierces the sky and dominates the horizon. This is a long ride, broken up by a picnic lunch along the way. You will also take the opportunity to check if there are any ill or injured cows or calves. Maybe you will be on the trail of an escapee or, often, having to return a neighbour's cow to their pasture!
  • Day 5 5 : RANCH - 2-4 hours riding

    Kara creek ranch
    After a hearty breakfast, today you might be driven from the ranch to herd a group of Black Angus cattle that graze on one of the ranch's many grassy plains. The horses will be in the trailers while you will be riding in the pick ups to get to your destination.

    Kara Creek's vast land crosses the Wyoming/ South Dakota border, this will allow you get a sense of the changing landscape from state to state.

  • Day 6 6 : RANCH - 5-6 hours riding

    Kara creek ranch
    Those who wish can get up early to help bring in the cavvy from the pastures and back to the ranch. This is an amazing experience and worth the early wake up call!

    After breakfast, you will saddle your horse and head out on another morning trail ride. The wranglers show you the best views over the ranch. In the afternoon, those who wish will be taken to Mt Rushmore in the early afternoon (2h drive each way), whilst those who prefer to ride will go on another ride, perhaps involving another round-up – by now you should have become much more proficient at it!

    For your final evening meal, you will enjoy a BBQ party with the team and, with a little persuasion, Monte will tell you some of his cowboy stories and Hawkeye will play the guitar!

    Dinner will be had at the ranch together with all the team.
  • Day 7 7 : RANCH - DEPARTURE

    Kara creek ranch
    After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport to catch your flight back home (plan a flight after 11:30 am)

    If you wish, it is possible to extend your stay at the ranch or explore the beautiful landscapes of South Dakota; the Black hills, Devil's tower, Deadwood, Yellowstone National Park... Ask us for more information!
  • Day 8 8 : HOME

    Arrival home.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included. The above prices are calculated on a double room basis for a 6-night stay.

- Return transfers from Rapid city to the ranch are not included and have to be paid for locally. Return transfer costs $200 in 2023 (cost is per car, not per person)

- Tips are compulsory in USA. The local team expects to get 15-20% of the cost of your stay - around $290-$380.

- The minimum group size is 6 guests. Maximum group size is around 15 guests. Riders may go out in different groups, depending on what is going on that day.

- Non-riders are welcome. Please note that the activities on the ranch as a non-rider are limited and a rental car is advised.

- An electronic travel authorisation (ESTA) is required to enter the USA. It is your responsibility to organise this. Please visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ and contact us if you need help.

- It is possible to arrive a day early and spend the night in Rapid City. We suggest this as it will give you an opportunity to get over your jetlag so you can fully appreciate your first day on the ranch. We can help book this.

- This holiday is only open to guests aged 21+.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English speaking ranch team


Horses and western tack


6 nights on the ranch - priced based on a shared room


Full board from dinner on arrival at the ranch to breakfast on departure

Additional equipment

Western equipment


Activities on the ranch
Laundry facilities which are at your disposal

Price doesn't include


Beverages and personal extras
Meals outside of the ranch


International flights that we can book for you upon request
Return transfers by car from Rapid city to the ranch - see above
Visa fee (ESTA) - this must be arranged in advance


Tips to the local team are compulsory in the USA and represent around 15% of the cost of your stay - payable locally
Park, museum and other site entry fees


Cancellation and travel insurance are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked in case of cancellation.



Hotel accommodation in Rapid City
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    25/08/2023 01/09/2023 £1,620 €1,831 $2,009 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info


The ranch has more than forty Quarter and Paint horses. They are trained throughout the year by the wranglers and are experienced ranch horses that are used to working with livestock. They spend the year turned out in the pastures living as a herd.

Horses on a working ranch are working horses and as such may not be looked after the way we do in the UK and Europe. However, they are healthy, happy, and love their job.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

A trip for intermediate and experienced riders. To get the most out of this trip, you should be at ease at all paces. You should be able to trot and canter outside in an independent seat with ease.


All 3 paces are used, although the majority of interaction with the cattle is done at a walk to keep them calm. Gently trotting, or 'jogging', is often used for covering long distances.

You will spend between 4-8 hours riding, depending on the ranch activities.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be asked to groom, tack and untack your horse. Someone will on hand to help if you have never used western tack before.

You may also be asked to feed and water your horse after the day.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

Experience of Western riding and cattle work is not compulsory for this holiday. You can enjoy it without any previous experience. If you have never experienced working with cattle, it will take you a few days to feel useful. That's completely normal!

Equestrian equipment

Western tack.
Leather straps to fix your jacket to the back of the saddle
Some saddlebags are available.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard. There are no helmets at the ranch.

Travel info


Accommodation is either in a private or shared cabin (2 bedrooms) or in a double room in the house.

The main house is a communal space where you will have your meals each day. Here, you can also choose to relax in front of the fire, listen to music or play snooker. This is a home away from home and your help will be appreciated when it comes to putting away dishes and clean up after yourself. A washing machine and tumble dryer are available for you to use.

The saloon is a recent addition to the ranch and is a place where riders gather after their rides and in the evenings for a cold drink and a bit of music. Neighbours and legends from the rodeo circuit are known to stop by a few times a week!

WiFi available.


Meals are taken family-style in the dining room at the lodge.

Breakfast: hearty breakfast with eggs, crispy bacon, toast, jam.
Lunch: simple lunches of salads, pasta, sandwiches.
Dinners: typical "cowboy style" with home-raised meat, potatoes, pasta and vegetables.


Wyoming’s outstanding features are its majestic mountains and high plains. Weather and topography have more contrast than in most other states. Surface elevations range from the summit of Gannett Peak in the Wind River Mountains, at 13,804 feet, to the Belle Fourche River Valley in the state’s northeast corner, at 3,125 feet.
Wyoming is located deep within continental North America, far from the moderating influence the oceans. Wyoming, therefore, has some long winters, but also some pleasant summers. A typical Wyoming summer day will start out bright and sunny. Clouds will appear on the western horizon about noon and thunderheads will develop mid-afternoon. Scattered, isolated thundershowers will dot the landscape in late afternoon and early evening.
Autumn in Wyoming is a pure delight. Most places will start to see snow in mid-September, but winter weather won’t start to stick until late November. For most of the two months in between, the state enjoys a special season called Indian Summer, with warm days, cool nights and spectacular colors. It’s a delightful change-of-season experience.

Guide and local team

The ranch is supervised by an environmental protection agency. The ranch's pastures and land are managed in an ecological and holistic way. The wranglers and the rest of the team are either employed or volunteers.

The team is very friendly and they do their upmost to ensure you make the most of your time on the ranch.


Tips are compulsory in USA. The local team expects to get 15-20% of the cost of your stay.

Packing list

- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold

- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend western boots or short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged.
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful.

- Pyjamas

Other useful items
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding - there are no saddlebags.
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

Medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!