Working as a Dude Ranch Wrangler

When people think of dude ranches the image of a wrangler, or maybe the Marlboro man, comes to mind. Wrangler jobs are the stereotypical dude ranch jobs. They are some of the best summer jobs if you want to be a cowboy.

You’ll be working outside playing with horses and guests all day. Waking up early is normal because you’ll need to be rounding up, grooming, training, and tending to the horses. When the guests arrive, you’ll assign horses, lead trail rides, and give lessons.

All day long you’ll be interacting with guests, so your customer service smile is a must. Some days you’ll cook their breakfast or dinner or enjoy a moonlit ride.

You’re job duties will overlap and take you out of your familiar cowboy realm. Sometimes you’ll be a fishing guide, an off-road driver, trash collector, trail repairer, manure manager, day hike leader, or campfire storyteller. Besides being a horse guru, you’ll be a working with guests to do everything they need done.

Pay is decent for what you doing. Imagine making $1,000 to $1,500 a month for the entire dude ranch season. All you’re doing is what you love, and they’re paying you!

Jobs are competitive. Apply early for these ever important dude ranch roles. When hiring you, your employer will look for horse experience, cowboy aura, positive attitude, sense of direction, hard work ethic, animal experience, safety knowledge, first aid and CPR training, cooking skills, ability to carry heavy loads at high altitudes, driver’s license, communication skills, and most importantly outstanding people skills. If you get this job, it will be a job you may decide to return to for the rest of your life. It’s awesome.

Children’s wranglers work with children. If you like being a wrangler and you also like kids this is the job for you. It will vary for each dude ranch, but you’ll be in charge of kids of all ages. Kids want to have fun and your job will be to teach them about nature, horses, and other dude ranch activities.

Your days may be devoted to Native American lore, archery, fishing, riding, orienteering, leatherwork, or anything else you want. You’ll still be up early with the other wranglers doing wrangler things, but your main focus is the kids and working with them. If you want this job, you’ll need to show all the necessary skills of a wrangler, but also have experience with children. The kids will love you and don’t be surprised if you get some new pen pals that think you are their hero.

Wrangler jobs are what made the American West. They are the jobs that make the dude ranch experience possible. The work is demanding, but fun. It’s the type of job you’ll be proud of – and the type of job that will make your friends jealous.


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