Andi has been a wrangler here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch for the past two years, going on three, and she has some great reasons as to why she loves this place! Andi has spent most of her life around horses and found her passion for these magnificent animals at a young age. She started 4H and got her first horse at the age of 9, and has been hooked ever since! She has done horse shows, trained several horses, and competed in barrel racing and other timed events before finding her calling here at Red Horse, a perfect fit as trail riding has always been her favorite.
Here at RHMR, it is important to us that all of our wranglers are passionate about what they do to make our guests feel welcome, and to have a blast doing it! Andi is a perfect example of this as she lives and breaths ranch life! She isn’t just here in the summer guiding trail rides, singing and playing her guitar, and guiding our many outdoor activities, but she lives on the ranch in the winter and helps take care of our herd and purchase new horses, something that takes a lot of horse knowledge and experience. In addition, as a local, she knows and appreciates how amazing this place is and the joy it brings to all those that venture here. Read more below about Andi’s experiences in northern Idaho and about her job at Red Horse Mountain!
How long have you lived in the Coeur d’Alene area? What do you love most about it?
—I’ve lived in CDA for 16 years now, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love the four seasons, love the lakes, trees, everything that makes the backdrop for the area. It’s super hard to not take it for granted.
What interested you in working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch?
—Betty, a RHMR housekeeper came out to look at a horse I had for sale. When I asked what he would be used for if she boughthim, she told me all about the ranch. I was down at college in MT when I applied and took the job immediately. I was excited to move back home.
What is your favorite aspect of working at the ranch?
—There’s a lot! Of course, I love the horses. The herd is so cool…to know each and every one of the horses is pretty special. I like to have conversations with them all the time. But always, the guests. It’s fun to see returning families and the never-ending smiles. When people arehaving fun, it’s the best. There’s no way you can’t have fun when they are.
Whether it is guiding a hike, kayaking, archery, etc., what is your favorite activity outside of riding?
—I really enjoy hiking and the water sports. Like I said, they are all pretty fun when you see that the guests are lovin’ it.
What is the most rewarding part about working with horses and taking the guests out on the trails?
–It’s everyday that I see someone’s reaction to a horse sneeze, or answer a question about why they rest their foot. I forget sometimes that my lifestyle is quite possibly far from theirs, and it’s just rewarding to see that people are having fun and making a connection with this huge intimidating animal. Seeing them progress throughout the week is awesome.
What would you say is an important thing to know about horses for a less experienced rider when coming to a dude ranch?
—Confidence. It’s okay to not know what to do! Your horse does, so just some confidence in the saddle and a little kick for encouragement is all they need. (Maybe a few wide stance squats before the vacation too…it may help with a sore butt at the end of the first ride)
As you know, a favorite activity at the ranch is the evening campfires and listening to you,Tom Lamb, and our other musical staff members play amazing music. How long have you been singing and playing guitar and what do you enjoy most about playing music for the guests here at Red Horse?
—About 4 years. It was a Christmas gift, so I just picked it up and have been plucking on it ever since! Its no surprisethat I am still quite nervous playing in front of people. This season, people were SO gracious sitting around that campfire listening. I couldn’t have done it without Tom and Gina.
With a herd of around 80 horses, is it possible to pick a favorite?
—My personal horse, Majik, is my favorite of course. I’ve had him for 13 years now! Ranch owned favorite horse….Remington.He was new tothe ranch when I was new, and he was the first horse I rode in the whole herd. It’s been love at first site from then on.
Favorite ranch food(s)?
—Ana, a kid’s counselor last summer, called me Food Monster Andi. That should pretty much explain my love for food here at Red Horse.
A big thanks to Andi for giving her insight into the life of a wrangler here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch! Check back for more staff bios!