You’ll gasp when you first lay eyes on this upscale guest ranch that backs onto the Big Horn Mountain Range. From your bespoke, log-cabin accommodation decked out in western paraphernalia, to the gob-smackingly good food, to the herd of 100 nifty, quarter horses and mustangs to choose from, this working ranch is faultless.
What truly makes our heart beat a little faster is the diversity of riding landscape that you’ll be able to cover over the five days of riding. With over 650,000 acres of ranch land, you’re never going to ride the same trail twice. At cocktail hour over a crisp G & T you’ll discuss with your head wrangler where you would like to ride the following day. Then like magic, it’s organised and the following morning decked out in your chinks and cowboy hat, you’re picked up after breakfast and whisked off with your wrangler, fellow riders and trailer of horses to a riding destination that will make you grin from ear-to-ear.
This guest ranch is the perfect option for a family (they take kids from the age of 8) or a couple where one is an experienced rider and the other is new to the saddle. No matter what level of riding you’re at, you’re going to benefit from this horse riding program where every day is customised to your riding desires. You can choose to poke cows, take a riding lesson, summit a mountain and enjoy a saddle-bag packed lunch, or have a half day ride and then trap shoot or fly fish in the afternoon.
Your hosts and the team surrounding them are dedicated to making your riding holiday a lifetime memory and will move mountains, Big Horn mountains, to make you happy! Rest assured, this is NOT a nose to tail, dude ranch, no siree!
- Horse Breed:Quarter horses, paints and Mustangs.
- Pace:Variable depending on the terrain, with opportunities to trot and canter.
- Weight Limit:Maximum of 104kg / 230lbs.
- Type of tack:Western saddles.
- Seasons:The ranch is open from the beginning of April to early November. Shell is in a semi-arid climate, temperatures can vary widely in the Spring and Autumn seasons. Temperatures in the Summer season will be hot in the Shell Valley and much cooler in the Bighorn Mountains.
- Group size:Approximately 25 guests per week; this is limited in early spring weeks (April) to approximately 15 guests per week.
- Time in Saddle:Guests choose between half day rides (2 to 3 hours) or full day riders (5 to 7 hours).
- Riding Ability:Caters for beginners up to experienced riders, even professional riders.
- Accommodation:Western-style log cabins, built in 1992, are decorated with excellent furnishings in warm colours and kept sparkling clean and well maintained. Emerald green lawns surround the five duplex cabins, which are connected to the main lodge, other cabins and hot-tub by a well-lit pathway. The guest cabins are cleaned daily and sheets are changed mid-week.
- Ride Length:4, 6 and 13 night stays available.
- Inclusions:The price includes all horse riding activities from riding orientation, horsemanship lessons, cattlework with guides and wranglers and daily scenic rides across mountains, meadows and through canyons. The price also includes a mandatory 5% tax and 15% service charge, which includes all tips.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATES
13-night stays are also available, please enquire for further information and pricing.
Very limited 4-night stays are available in the Spring and Autumn seasons (NOT Summer). Please enquire for further information.
Children 11 years and younger receive a 15% discount off the package price.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes full board (cocktails and wine with dinner), horse riding activities from riding orientation, horsemanship lessons, cattle work with guides and wranglers and daily scenic rides across mountains, meadows and through canyons. The price also includes a mandatory 5% tax and 15% service charge, which includes all tips. Other activities included in the package price include trap shooting, fly-fishing, 4×4 tours, hot tub, archery, hiking/biking. This is dependent on the season you’re booking in.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price excludes international flights, transfers to and from the ranch and travel insurance.
Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments.
Why is the price quoted in USD?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.
With so many trails and oodles of acres to explore its impossible to list them all. This is just a sample itinerary of what is possible when taking our lodge riding vacation but believe me when we say, there is endless trails and change of scenery available on this amazing ranch ride.
Check-in time on Sunday afternoon is after 2pm. There are ranch tours at 3:30 and 4:30 which are optional but guests have the opportunity to see the area in which the ranch operates and be shown the barn. Cocktail hour is at 6:30 and dinner will follow at 7:00 pm.
Monday morning is a theoretical riding orientation followed by guests riding together with the wranglers in the arena. Because of the level of riding that takes place at this guest ranch, the experienced staff make sure globetrotters are mounted on a horse suitable for their riding level and pace. After the time in the arena, there is a short ride out around the nearby property before heading back for a wonderful, elaborate hot lunch. Monday afternoon provides guests with gorgeous scenic rides in the Shell Valley. The diversity of terrain in the Shell Valley is indescribable and rarely seen in any other area.
Days 3 to 6
Because the property limits guest numbers to approximately 25 per week, guests have the option to choose their riding and activities each day. This allows each guest to customize their riding vacation while at the ranch. Each night at cocktail hour guests meet with the General Manager or Head Wrangler to decide on their next day’s riding or non-riding activity.
At the ranch guests are always offered the opportunity to go on half-day scenic rides, all- day scenic rides and also a variety of non-riding activities such as fly-fishing and trap shooting. Cattle work is offered when available. Typically throughout the week cattle work is offered on two different days. Cattle work is not made up and is done at the request of our partner ranch and is real, necessary, authentic work. When cattle work is available it will be made known at cocktail hour each evening and guests have the option to participate or not.
After a delicious breakfast, guests check out and depart on Saturday morning. Check-out time is 10:00 am.
This working guest ranch is located in gorgeous north-central Wyoming in Shell Valley, shadowed by the Big Horn Mountains.
Most guests fly into either Cody, Wyoming or Billings, Montana and get to Shell, Wyoming by hire car (the drive is approximately 1hr and 15mins). There is also a transfer service available to riding guests to and from Cody, Wyoming. The cost is $150USD for the first person and $50USD for each additional guest, round-trip. Pick up in Cody on day 1 is between 12.30pm to 5.00pm. The first transfer departs no earlier than 7am on the last day, with drop offs generally being mid-morning. Please don’t book departing flights until after midday.
It is strongly recommended that you arrive in Cody a day or two early to avoid the stress of flight delays/cancellations affecting your holiday. Cody is a fun town in which to spend a day or two.
Check in is from 2pm on Sundays, with check out by 10am the following Saturday.
‘I cannot express how great this experience was – it exceeded every last expectation I had!
From the minute I was picked up from the motel I was met with friendly smiling faces. Once you drive through the front gates, the realization sets in: you are somewhere very special in the world!
Every day was different and filled with exciting experiences. The diversity of the rides was amazing, including but not limited to creek crossings, mountain climbs and loping though open fields. No two days the same! There was even the opportunity to move cows and calves and ride with wild mustangs.
Every rider was treated as an individual and given extensive options when it came to what sort of riding they would like to do. Every horse was relaxed, happy to work and extremely well looked after. Tom does an amazing job of matching people with the right horse. The staff were all kind, respectful, and went out of their way to ensure their guests had the best time possible. The worst part of this ride was having to leave!’
‘I’ve never ridden Quarter Horses before and was so excited to ride Western. And boy, what pocket rockets these horses were! The first two days I rode Cody, who was really responsive, easy to ride and loved to work. The last three days I rode Chester. What I loved the most about riding him was that when we were riding with the wild mustangs, his ears pricked in the direction where they were. He knew his kind were calling him. Magic!
As for the wranglers, they were amazing. We were actually talking the other night about how they made you feel so at home, and how lovely they all were. The accommodation was absolutely incredible, too – it far exceeded my expectations. And the food was fantastic, as well. I would definitely recommend this ride!’
‘Be it climbing a mountain to 10,000 feet and seeing the last snow of the season, or rounding up cattle for a day on our gorgeous horses, this was an unforgettable adventure.’
“Words cannot express my gratitude and appreciation that I had this opportunity. I would return in a heartbeat.”
“We came away from the ride feeling that the whole week was a bit of a life changer! We are going back next year.”
“All the horses were amazing… well educated, well mannered, well fed, well cared for.”
“It was an absolutely amazing experience. Wonderful horses and wonderful people made the trip even better than one could imagine.”
“Everything about it was value for money.”
“Every day was a holiday. So worth the money.”
Stories from the saddle
A hit with the ladies and an outstanding ambassador for the Mustang breed (he got his start in Colorado’s Extreme Mustang Makeover), Blacky is a charming little fellow found on our horse riding holiday in Shell, Wyoming. He might be small (13.5hh) but he’s always one of the most requested horses with guests often trying […]
Peter De Cabooter and his wife Marijn Werquin have been running their guest ranch in the beautiful scenic surrounds of Shell, Wyoming USA for over 20 years. While much has changed since their first year of operation, their ethos remains the same: to offer a safe, enjoyable and professional riding holiday for their guests. It’s safe to say […]
We couldn’t keep this one to ourselves, globetrotters! Anne Cowell recently had the experience of a lifetime on her horse riding holiday in Shell, Wyoming. From the very first moment she met the ranch staff, Anne knew this would be a trip to remember. And although her husband had taken a little convincing, not being […]