Colorado Dude Ranch, Zapata Ranch's Themed Weeks and Workshops

BY Jody Dahl | Thu 26 Jan, 2012

2012 Themed Weeks and Workshops, Direct from David with Zapata Ranch

A belated happy 2012 from our family to yours!

We love this time of year for so many reasons, not the least of which is the coziness that the much-needed snow offers (we know it will be here any day now!), but greatly because of the time if offers us for reflection. We have spent a lot of time this winter honing our offerings for 2012's themed weeks, with the goal of incorporating the requests of many past guests and also introducing some new spice to our variety.

This year's themed weeks & workshops offer something for everyone. If you're looking for that long-overdue getaway with your girlfriends, take a look at our Women's Week & Horsemanship Clinic. It's just the right mix of riding and relaxation. Want to spend some good, quality time in the saddle, with your family or friends? Our Pack Trip, Branding Week and Horsemanship Clinic were designed with you in mind. Perhaps one of your New Years Resolutions was to pick-up a new hobby? Check out one of our 3 art workshops, all led by nationally-acclaimed artists. Whichever you choose, choose quickly! Slots are filling up.

Whether you decide to join us for a themed week this year or a traditional Ranch Vacation, we look forward to having you. Keep an eye out for our newsletter, The Buffalo, which will give you the insider's scoop on all-things Zapata and might even have a special offer in tow. Trust us, you'll want to read it.

Branding Week
Dates: May 13 - 20, 2012
Cost: $1,995 pp, includes all meals, lodging and instruction

The week will be shared between Zapata Ranch and our sister ranch, Chico Basin, during the year's most intensive cattle works and branding.

Time on Zapata will be filled with rides in Sand Creek, which will be flowing as it does for only 3 weeks each year, rides with the bison and into Sand Dunes National Park. At the Chico we'll spend time branding calves and working cattle, and riding through the Chico prairie and arroyos. When nighttime comes we'll enjoy dinner over a campfire and a good night's sleep under the stars.

This is a week not typically open to the public and a time of year that we cherish more than any. It is a celebration of springtime, new calves and an annual gathering that we all look forward to!

Space is limited to 15 participants.

Pack Trip
Dates: June 17-24, 2012
Cost: $2,500 pp, includes all meals, lodging and instruction

Beginning with a night in the lodge, the pack trip starts the following morning from the Sand Dunes National Park where we'll head up into the mountains for 3 nights and 4 days of high mountain riding. We'll explore old mining country, take leisurely rides with magnificent views of the whole valley and San Juan Mountains, fish the alpine lakes and enjoy delicious food cooked over the fire. With nightfall, we'll sit around the campfire before retiring to the big, white canvas tent that will be our home and base camp.

The final days back at the ranch will bring rides with the bison, through the Zapata meadows and working with the bison and cattle herds for those not too tired from our mountainous travels! Intermediate riding ability is encouraged, though not required.

Space is limited to 12 participants.

Horsemanship Clinic
Dates: July 29-August 5, 2012
Cost: $1,995 pp, includes all meals, lodging and instruction

This workshop will be led by Zapata Ranch and Chico Basin Ranch general manager, third-generation rancher and horseman, Duke Phillips, and 25-year director of the riding program at Thacher School in CA, Cam Schryver. Both Duke and Cam are invited to speak around the country on conservation, horsemanship and what it means to be a modern day rancher.

Days will be spent with personal one-on-one horsemanship instruction, educational demonstrations, rides through the surrounding meadows and dunes and working cattle and bison on horseback. Applying working ranch horsemanship and riding by feel, you'll leave the week feeling a deeper connection to the magnificence of the horse and will understand how to better communicate with it. You are more than welcome to bring your own horse.

Space is limited to 15 participants.

Women’s Week & Horsemanship Clinic
Dates: August 22-29, 2012
Cost: $1,995 pp, includes all meals, lodging and instruction

What better way to spend quality time bonding with your girl friends than to come to Zapata for the week?

Days will be filled with rides through the expansive meadows amongst our 1,000 bison, working cattle, photo trips across the ranch to capture wildlife and hiking through the 700-foot tall sand dunes and bordering Sangre de Cristo Mountains with our naturalist. A horsemanship instructor will be riding along for each ride and offering instruction, as well as leading daily clinics. Evenings will bring cocktails and appetizers on the patio as the sun is setting, followed by dinners of ranch-raised bison and beef, and locally grown vegetables prepared by our gourmet chef.

After dinner, relax around the campfire, learn about astronomy from an expert and soak in the local hot springs pools. A massage therapist will be on hand to soothe sore muscles from riding.

Space is limited to 15 participants.

Nature and Wildlife Photography Workshop
Dates: August 5-10, 2012
Cost: $1,565 pp, includes all meals, lodging and instruction

Led by long-time Zapata Ranch and Chico Basin Ranch photographer, Stephen Weaver. Steve's knowledge of the ranch as well as the local San Luis Valley hot spots will put you in the right breathtaking places at the right times.

Join us for 5 days of nature and wildlife photography and learn the fundamentals of what exactly goes into making a quality outdoor photograph. Daily discussions will be held to explore the philosophies behind creating your own artistic vision as well as image processing techniques that help you achieve and meet your aspirations.

Space is limited to 8 participants.

Painting Workshop: Horses
Dates: September 23-28, 2012
Cost: $1,565 pp, includes all meals, lodging and instruction
This workshop, led by renowned artist Jill Soukup, focuses on drawing and painting horses. Discussions and exercises will focus on the importance of understanding equine anatomy, what makes good drawing and composition, and color. Activities will include photo opportunities (of horses running and up close on a bison tour), sketching and studying corralled horses, demonstrations and critiques.
Space is limited to 12 participants.

Photography and Post-Production Workshop
Dates: October 14-20, 2012
Cost: $3,200 pp, includes all meal, lodging and instruction

For the third consecutive year, Bobbie Goodrich and Susan Burns are returning to share their wealth of knowledge.

The days will be spent with ranch excursions and photo safaris - rising before dawn to travel to the Sand Dunes National Park and Medano Ranch to photograph the bison and sand dunes at day break, spending the day in our historic education center perfecting your images with post-production work, heading out as the sun sets to capture our 60-head horse herd running against the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and much more. This workshop is one not to be missed!

Space is limited to 15 participants.

Please visit Zapata Ranch in Top50 to book your stay, or contact Zapata Ranch direct at Zapata's website.

TAGS: dude ranch, zapata, zapata working ranch, colorado dude ranch, colorado working ranch vacation

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