Here at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch, we work hard doing what we love, and making sure our guests have the best possible experience is at the top of the list! A great deal of time is required to ensure the right trip is booked for each guest, from everything to choosing cabins, making travel arrangements, planning out weekly activities, to making sure dietary preferences are met. Jody Mitchell, our Office Manager, plays an extremely important role in making sure all of this happens like clockwork! Jody contributes her time and effort communicating with our guests via phone and email in coordinating their amazing dude ranch vacation, and putting a face to an email or phone call is always exciting on check in day. Jody is an Idaho native and has been at Red Horse Mountain Ranch for seven years, and has lived in Idaho for most of her life. She has worked in northern Nevada, Western Washington, New Jersey, and northern Alberta, but she feels that one of Idaho’s best-kept secrets, RHMR, is the place to be! Check out her Q&A to get to know her better and find out what Jody loves about working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch!
What is the best part about working at RHMR/the hospitality industry?
What could be better than working at Red Horse Mountain Ranch. I mean, just having that beautiful view off the back deck everyday instead of being trapped in a little cubicle is priceless. And knowing that we are providing a true getaway for families is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. And of course my favorite thing is that Cory lets me have not one but two dogs in the office, no matter how many times they have made him trip.
What is your favorite thing about living in the area near Red Horse, and northern Idaho in general?
Well it’s hard for me to pick a favorite thing; this area has always been home. But both sides of my parents’ families actually homesteaded in the area in the late 1800’s- very early 1900’s so I guess that makes me a true North Idaho Native. So I guess my favorite part of living here is living on the same land that has been in my family for over 100 years. I love that people are discovering how fantastic North Idaho is and all that it has to offer. When guests arrive at the ranch it’s like welcoming them to my hometown.
What brought you to or what interested you in working at a dude ranch?
I guess you could say it was pure luck. It was definitely an adventure right from the start. Had just finished going back to college at my advanced age and had just started working at another business in Harrison, when someone who was working at the Ranch called and said I should come and check out a job opportunity. I Started as the receptionist/check-in person, well actually we did a bit of everything that summer, and it just worked into what it is today. I like the part of the job that includes making sure all of the Staff is happy. For some reason they all seem to think that I can fix things and I do my best to help them out.
Everyone always loves your dogs and puppies! When did you start breeding dogs?
I started breeding dogs about, well let’s see, Nugget will be 4 in March, so it will be four years this July. Poor Mitch went to California to look for gold and I found my own Nugget while he was gone. Boy, was he determined not to like the Nugget, but let’s face it he didn’t stand a chance once he met her. Once I had my little cocker puppy, I just couldn’t wait for her to grow up, so the search was on for a nice adult cocker. And did I find just one? No I found two females and one male. Three weeks later we had our first litter of babies. Yes, I called them babies and not puppies. And life has never been the same since.
Our ranch probably wouldn’t be the same without its dogs! What about them do you think makes the atmosphere of a ranch more enjoyable?
I think that no matter how much fun people are having on vacation, they really enjoy the fact that they can still get there dog fix every day. Most guests comment on the fact that they are happy to see the dogs and how hard it is for them to leave their pets at home while they are on vacation. Dogs just seem to belong on a ranch.
You spend a great deal of time communicating and working with guests before they arrive, what is your favorite thing about check-in day on Sundays?
I think that finally putting a face with a name is the best part of check-in day. And of course being there to see that we have instantly exceeded
their expectations. I think more people then we know of are a bit apprehensive about the reality of Red Horse Mountain Ranch. They think they know, but I am pretty sure that more often than not our guests are very happy and relieved to see that we are exactly what we promised to be if not more. I can’t believe how quick the time has passed.
And of course, what is your favorite food here at Red Horse Mountain?
You know I love cookies, I have to beg Lauren to put fruit in the cookies so I won’t eat them. Sugar cookies, white chocolate macaroons. Oh, but wait, the carrot cake…how could I have not just said the carrot cake. Yes, I like real food, but it would be hard to choose just one thing. Although, we do have the best bacon ever.
A Few thanks from Jody:
Thank you to all staff past and present that have been a part of this place, it sure feels more like being part of a family then a job. Boy, just think of the things I have seen and the people that I have met made this so much fun to answer the questions. Still missing seeing the Bergen Family, love having the Seckington’s come back and visit every year. Loved introducing Phil Morris to Huckleberry Vodka with lemonade. I could just go on, the Esposito’s are awesome and the Jacobs family is priceless and along with Shawn & Judy, who added Allen to the Red Horse Family this year. Our guests make the ranch what it is. Thank you everyone and I can’t wait to see everyone this summer.
Thanks Jody for sharing about your experience at Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch! Check back for more sbout our wonderful staff members here at RHM.