My husband Jim (64) and me (Donna/60) are happy, upbeat folks with good positive energy. Jim is a world class musician who toured with such legends as Isaac Hays and Edgar Winter, and has also produced, composed and arranged music alongside other well known greats. Donna is a self-employed mortgage broker who originates loans in California and Montana. It is important to note that Jim has been recovering from a brain injury since May 2019 and has vertigo 24/7 and balance issues along with that. Prior to his injury Jim handled all of the day to day chores and workaway help was a luxury, now it is necessary and we appreciate our volunteers tremendously. Also, Jim has a tough time with lots of people in the same room talking so he does not spend as much time in the kitchen or at the dinner table as he used to
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Our ranch is for someone who loves the mountains, outdoors, nature, trees and animals. Our 20 acre property joins up to the US Forest Service land, with endless trails and roads to hike, ride (horses/bikes) and explore.
We have a 20 acre property bordering the US Forest Service land with 8 horses, 2 Aussie dogs, 40 chickens, and 3 cats. We also grow and bale hay for the horses once a year with harvesting in July (bucking bales in July and maybe also September). There are always fencing, sanding, staining, painting, gardening (organic)/weeding, housework (laundry, dishes, cooking, organizing, cleaning) feeding and watering the animals, horse area maintenance (including poop, poop and more horse poop and also dog poop), some furniture to refinish, plants to water and other projects. From mid-May to July we have irrigation pipes to move daily. Did I mention weeding? ;-) I would love particularly to have a person that enjoys and is experienced and confident riding and exercising horses, cooking, cleaning and dishes, and Jim would love to have someone help him with property maintenance projects, so someone willing to help with just about anything would be awesome, but riding/exercising the horses (other than feeding and poop) is not allowed if you don't have experience (Jim is recovering from a brain injury that happened after an inexperienced person was allowed by another workaway to ride a horse he should not have been on and the horse became overly sensitive to cues and they fell down together---despite the helmet, Jim was seriously brain injured - This happened May 4, 2019). Please note that horse riding hours applied to the 25 hours a week is limited to 2 hours a day, and anything over that is on your own time/not counted. We can usually accommodate someone whose desire is to enjoy the horses during the warm weather months of April (sometimes very chilly) through October (October is also sometimes very chilly), although if you want to come in the winter, riding in the cold and snow is okay as well. Since I'm always tied to my desk and Jim has issues with balance and 24/7 dizziness, he frankly has a hard time handling the horse related chores any more! Also, the horses would otherwise just sit around because Jim can't ride again yet and I don't have time due to my mortgage business. I absolutely love, love seeing people enjoy our horses and putting them to work and the horses love it too! We have a large riding arena and small round pen for working with the horses, plus both English/dressage saddles (for arena work, although we don't have horses trained for dressage) and Western saddles (for trail rides). There are endless trails in the forest straight from the back of our property, plus we have a 3 horse trailer to go to other nearby trails, including crossing creeks, etc. if a person is skilled at pulling a horse trailer. Our neighbor John (retired police officer) loves to ride our horse Ranger, and he is sometimes willing to haul the horse trailer and take our workaways to other fun trails. We have Ranger and Whisky (Palominos), Little and Sally (Quarter Horses), Hondo (Quarter Horse Paint), Lance (Egyptian Arabian), and Boo, half Arab and half Paint Quarter Horse. Old guy Chance (Quarter Horse) is retired. The minimum daily chores include feeding/watering all of the animals (dogs/horses/chickens), kitchen stuff (dishes/cleaning countertops, etc), horse poop in/around the barn and anywhere near the house, weeding/watering/maintaining the garden during gardening season, making sure the chicken nests have plenty of shavings and the chicken coop is clean. We almost always have more than one workaway, so this stuff can be done within the 3.5 hours per day (which equals 25 hours per week/per person), which should leave you plenty of time to enjoy the horses.
There are queen/full sized beds in two private bedrooms on the main floor (one with a TV), a queen size bed in a private basement bedroom with a TV, one twin sized bed in another basement area with less privacy, a kiddy play area with a bed (private, but you have to duck going in and out), plus a wall tent being built in the woods with an outhouse and compost toilet which is more primitive. We usually only have workaways in the 3 private bedrooms, but have had to rescue a few workaways unexpectedly who needed to leave where there were and have ended up with overflow (into the less private rooms). There is one shared full bathroom and a bathroom with a toilet and sink off of the great room where there is a 70" HD TV with surround sound, fireplace, play room with pool table and poker table and amazing views.
There are abundant rivers, lakes, hiking areas, fishing, and a ski area 30 minutes away. Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks are within a reasonable driving distance as well (4-5 hours). Please note that we are in a rural area about 10 minutes from the small town of Darby, 30 minutes from the larger town of Hamilton, and 1.5 hours from the City of Missoula. There is no public transportation, so we are happy pick up/drop off our workaways at the Missoula, MT, airport (we usually send a workaway to drop off/pick up because the long drive is hard on Jim since his brain injury). If you have a driving license and insurance, you can borrow our old ranch truck to go exploring nearby if it is not in the shop being repaired. We also have an Audi A3 for the airport and grocery runs. I am always intensely working in my home office in the loft above the kitchen so you won't see much of me during the work week and Jim has been less social and chatty due to his brain injury, but you will see him chopping wood and doing laundry and other chores and cooking in the kitchen sometimes.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our internet comes from a wireless tower, is unlimited and pretty good although not as fast as cable internet
Plenty of space to park
yes, please let us know what you have in mind. Dogs only (our cats do not take kindly to strange cats)
More than two
25 hours per week, 3.5 hours per day
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