2017 A Bar A Ranch Reunion scheduled for: September 12 – 17!
A Bar A Reunion Week
Reunite, Discover, Relax
- Reunite with friends, family, and staff alums, and your interests!
- Focus and discover new skills and deeper understanding of your favorite activities
- Relax and celebrate the beauty of the A Bar A with others
September 12 -17th, 2017
- Special rate for 5 nights (including lodging, meals, activities–please call us for current rate)
- In-depth workshops
- Guest artists-in-residence (see below)
- Guest presentations and performances
- Regular ranch activities, as always
Special Performances and Presentations
- A Bluegrass Musical Tribute: David Holt , Zeb Holt and Will and Deni McIntyre
- The Working Cow Horse: Mark and Suzi Dunning at Big Creek Ranch
- Nature Photographer Mac Stone
- Guest artists and art workshops with Veryl Goodnight, Ralph Oberg, Skip Whitcomb, and Dan Young!
Advanced Western Riding
Explore Back-country Trails
Long rides through September-gold aspen groves…bonding with your horse and your companions…exploring new country…we will have opportunities to ride trails on A Bar A and on Big Creek Ranch. Guided by Lissa Howe, you will learn more about the landscape you’re riding through, ranch history, and advanced back-country riding.
A day of working cow horse clinics at Big Creek Ranch, led by Mark and Suzi Dunning, will open up the world of the working cowboy. You’ll practice working with experienced cutting horses to separate a cow from the herd in an arena setting.
Watching from your saddle on a ridge-top as sunset lights up the clouds is an unforgettable experience. Evenings are chilly in September, but that won’t keep us from experiencing the beauty of sunset from horseback.
Guided Fly Fishing
There’s so much to think about when discovering new water; the hatches, the types of fish, rise forms, and rigging your rod, but they’re all telling us something! Learn from Benjy Duke and the rest of the guides on trips to all three ranches.
Ranch Photography Course
Hike and explore our Ranches with Mac Stone, award-winning professional photographer. Capture the action of 400 thundering hooves during the morning jingle…a perfect back cast in evening light…pronghorn racing through the sage. Starting with early morning light and shooting all the way through to nighttime imagery, you will capture action, landscapes, wildlife, macro images, and people. This group can expect to be active and fully engaged throughout the week.
Learn basic to advanced editing techniques to finalize photographs in a classroom environment. We will set up an editing studio so that all photographers will have a real collection to take home.
Painting and Sketching workshops
Have you ever wanted to paint the ripples on the North Platte River as it rolls past the Ranch…the Wrangler Tree against a Slim’s Draw sunset…the muscles of a galloping horse? We’ll have some well-known guest artists with us during the Reunion, each with a distinct style and approach to their art. There will be opportunities for observing artists at work as well as workshops.
Music and Entertainment
Bluegrass in the Round Room
Another very special night in the Round Room as we listen to bluegrass legend and four-time Grammy winning musician, David Holt as he’s accompanied by musicians Zeb Holt and Will and Deni McIntyre. We will travel back to the roots, learning about the instruments responsible for making American bluegrass what it is today. There will be storytelling, old-time music, blues, and some of David’s originals!
Ranch Stories in the Round Room
Bring your music and tell us stories. Let’s all have the opportunity to reminisce about the “good ole’ days” on the Ranch. We’ll share music, poetry, and stories about our fondest Ranch memories.
Biographies of Presenters and Hosts
Fly Fishing: Benjy Duke
Benjy Duke has spent the majority of his life with a fly rod in hand. Learning from his grandfather and dad during summer trips to the A Bar A, Montana, and across Colorado, he eventually landed the job of his dreams. He now directs the Expeditions program at A Bar A Ranch, leading guests across the Ranches’ 100,000 acres and 26 miles of private water on horseback and with fly rod. During college, Benjy worked for the A Bar A as a seasonal fly fishing guide. He also lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming working a summer for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, researching Aquatic Invasive Species. Benjy wrote a comprehensive stream report for the A Bar A that now is used as a training tool for new guides at the Ranch. For Benjy, fly fishing is not only his passion and job, but stems from three generations of fishing experience on A Bar A, Big Creek, and State Line Ranches.
Music: David Holt and Will McIntyre
Four-time Grammy Award Winner David Holt, along with Zeb Holt and bass player Will McIntyre, are some of America’s most gifted folk musicians, historians, and storytellers. They have toured together around the world. At the A Bar A, they’ll be telling stories, playing old-time music, blues, and some of David’s original songs. Will and Deni McIntyre are also well-known photographers, videographers, and authors—their work is showcased in the Three Ranches book and on our A Bar A website. The McIntyres and Holts currently produce a PBS series “David Holt’s State of Music” which features David with old-time music legends in the Appalachian Mountains. www.DavidHolt.com
Riding Hosts: Lissa Howe, Mark and Suzi Dunning
Your riding hosts have a broad range of experience and knowledge to enhance your riding skills and appreciation for the landscape you’re riding through!
Lissa Howe, A Bar A co-manager, first experienced the A Bar A as a wrangler for three summers after college. One of her favorite projects then was developing the Trail Map with Justin Howe. Her happiest memories include long rides through the backcountry of the A Bar A, Big Creek, and State Line. Her background in Rocky Mountain ecology and water resources, as well as Ranch history, helps enrich the riding experience.
Mark Dunning is a fourth generation rancher and second-generation manager at Big Creek and State Line Ranches. He and his family moved to Big Creek Ranch in 1976. He has spent his life around horses, from starting colts in high school to rodeos in college. He has also showed in numerous American Quarter Horse Association competitions, mainly riding cutting horses.
Suzi Dunning grew up on the South Fork of the Shoshone River near Cody, WY. Her family raised horses and other animals and she became deeply involved in the horse world. She has shown cutting horses as well as competed in jumping, dressage, reining, and eventing. Now Suzi enjoys taking their daughter Madi for rides and passing horse knowledge on to the next generation!
Photography Workshop Host: Mac Stone
Mac Stone spent two summers working at the A Bar A and creating thousands of incredible images of its landscapes, skies, people, and animals, as he explored far and wide. He is best known as a professional photographer for his work in the Florida Everglades. His 300-page coffee table book, The Everglades: America’s Wetland, was released in August 2014 by the University Press of Florida. www.macstonephoto.com.