Work Ranch: A Place to Experience a Working Cattle Ranch

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Work, that’s what they do here. Work Ranch in San Miguel is a private, family-operated working cattle ranch and farm with 12,000 cattle-studded acres of trails that can get you, and your family and friends, away from it all for awhile on the back of a horse. The one thing that makes the Work Ranch so special is that it is truly a working cattle ranch. The Work family is involved with the daily operations of running the cattle ranch as well as extending the opportunity to ride to guests.

Ride Along with Kelly Work

Kelly Work manages the Work Ranch guided trail rides and just loves to take first-timers out on the first ride of their lives.  “It’s the coolest thing to see a rider up for the first time on a horse!” she exclaims. Kelly’s favorite and the most popular ride is the “Basin and Ridge Top Ride”. “It takes you to the top ridge where you can see the mountains in Big Sur to one side and the hills of Paso Robles to the other side. It’s just beautiful,” remarked Kelly.
SLO County Guided Trail Ride Guide

Kelly has been taking guests out on guided horse trail rides, across the Work Ranch, all year long for over 20 years. “Our horses are not skinny trail lugs,” she explains, “they are nice, working, fit horses who know their jobs and have a history with the trails.” This makes the horses easy to work for the beginner as well as the experienced rider.

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Tips for Planning Your Ride

When planning your ride she has the following advice, “Timing can be important. We plan the rides to avoid the heat in the mid-day. It is fun to plan a ride and finish with a self-provided picnic lunch or dinner.” Kelly will take out a minimum of two riders and a maximum of eight riders. One of her favorite things to do is to take out men and women who have served in our armed forces through a Soldier Recovery program. “These people are injured and many are disabled. It is cool to see a first time rider, especially one who is disabled get up on a horse.” Kelly explains. The horses can be a part of their healing as the horses take care of them and they care for the horses.

Work Ranch Family History

The Work Ranch has been run by the family for over 100 years and today the 5th generation of the Work family is being raised to appreciate the provision, beauty, and lifestyle that is unique to this family ranch. Work Ranch also has a cottage for overnight stays, or Farm stay experiences, they also host retreats, hunting, educational tours, and more. Kelly is also considering a program for a limited number of riders to have year-round access to the ranch through membership. “The insurance is limiting some of our activities right now, but we’re trying to work it out.”

Take Your Non-Horsey Friends

I personally have a few friends who have not ridden much at all who are game to go get up on a horse and experience riding with me and enjoy what SLO County has to offer. We will definitely consider riding with Kelly and experiencing the Work Ranch first-hand.

For more information, visit the Work Ranch website..

View at Work Ranch San Miguel View at Work Ranch San Miguel

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Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family.

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