There is a reason you see horse trailers and cowboys in Jackson Hole. The horse is still the only way to cover much ground in a day in The Tetons, Gros Ventre Wilderness or The Wind River Range. For those working cowboys, it is still a way of life that has been going on since the homesteaders arrived in Jackson Hole in the 1800’s.
You can get a taste of the way they work by spending a half or full day on horseback. There are rides suitable for almost anyone. You can go to the top of the Gros Ventre Wilderness or take a half day trip on a gentle trail. Either way it is something that completes the Jackson Hole experience. Let our concierge staff make arrangements in advance with one of our preferred outfitters to ensure the best experience.
Horses are understood by the men and women who wrangle them today in Jackson Hole. Wyoming has a proud cowboy heritage and has even adopted “Cowboy Ethics” from The Code of the West as the state code. The Code of the West: Alive & Well in Wyoming gives and idea of how those of us that call Jackson Hole and Wyoming home feel about life.
If you prefer to make your own arrangement, here are two of the outfitters that we recommend. We are always glad to take care of these details for you.
Jackson Hole Rodeo
Yup, we still have the real rodeos in Jackson Hole. And there are some pretty good hands. A lot of these guys do it for fun but you will also see the real deal. These are some of the toughest athletes around. Getting up close and personal with a 2,500 pound bull takes a little courage. It is excitement for the whole family.
Bull riding is the most dangerous event in the rodeo. During the event, a cowboy attempts to ride a lunging, running, ducking and diving 2500 pound bull for 8 seconds using only his legs, balance and a short length of rope!
Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding
This is a real contest between horse and rider. For 8 seconds the bronc does everything he can to get that cowboy off his back. Leaping, bucking, kicking and anything else he can think of. Cowboys are judged on technique and scored accordingly. The rider can be disqualified for touching the horse or himself with his freehand, not spurring correctly, or losing a stirrup. Bronc riding skill goes far beyond simply staying on the explosion of astounding horse power.
Horse and rider are a team in this event. A calf is released from a pen and as is followed by horse and rider sprinting from the holding area. Once the contestant is close enough, he or she ropes the calf. After the calf is roped, the rider jumps off his horse even before it stops. The horse comes to a dead stop and keeps the rope taunt so the calf can’t get up while the roper ties three of the calves legs together. This is the same technique that was used at branding time, just a little faster.
This event is for the cowgirls. Participants run a clover-leaf pattern around three barrels competing for the best time. When you see the bumper sticker that says ride like a girl it will have a whole new meaning. These gals can really stick a horse. That means they ride really well.
The JH Rodeo Company