La Reata Ranch

About the Ranch

La Reata is a working & guest ranch in the prairies of Southern Saskatchewan, located directly next to the South Saskatchewan River respectively Lake Diefenaker. A working & guest ranch is a ranch with both normal ranch business (i.e. cattle and fields) and room for guests who want to have a farmstay holiday.

At La Reata, we have two different areas to separate the two businesses. If you follow the road to the ranch further straight on, you reach the 80 acres big main ranch: with corrals for the cattle, a training arena for riding and rodeo, the vehicle fleet - consisting of a few trucks, tractors, trailers and other useful farm machinery - two, three sheds with tools for the horses and general maintenance work and the main house for the owner of the Ranch, George, plus another house for the ranch helpers - at the moment, just me.

To reach the guest ranch, you already have to turn shortly after the main ranch gate to follow a less used dirt road until its end, in a valley next to the lake, with a few trees and bushes between the houses of the guest ranch - a few cabins to sleep in, a saloon, a community and cook house with a terrasse and view over the lake and another small shed next to a corral for the horses.

The guest ranch is about three kilometres away from the main ranch and George usually just calls it the “camp”.

The herd of horses runs free in the area around the guest ranch and gets confined to the corral at the camp only when there are guests visiting. The cattle - except for a group of Longhorns grazing at the main ranch - lives outside in the area west of the ranch all summer long.

(My) First Impressions

La Reata, when I saw her for the first time, looked to me like a ranch straight out of a storybook, with the red-white barn, the pickup trucks and the animal pens. It smells like hay and cattle and horse, and a little like leather and oil around the sheds. You can hear coyotes howling in the evening and sometimes you see deer grazing in the yard, early in the morning.

It is, at the same time, very quiet and very loud out here. No motor noises are audible, except for the rare boat crossing over the lake, or a small plane circling over in the evening. Everything else is all nature. Wind in the grass and the leaves, cricket noises, calls of birds of prey and prairie dogs and singing of songbirds.

And all around, an infinitely wide, infinitely open sky, that already showed the very first day, with a wide range of colours and various different clouds passing through why Saskatchewan is called Land of Living Skies.

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