Selecting a Ranch
How do you choose the ranch to match your dreams?
Riding should be your first consideration - choose the riding environment that appeals to you; open meadows, prairies, mountain trails or southwestern desert. The location of the ranch determines the terrain. Then, choose the type of riding you'd like; working livestock, cattle drives, pack trips, team penning and arena games or daily trail rides. All ranches fall into one of the following categories - which will help you make the best choice:
Working Dude Ranch.These are working cattle or sheep operations. Your horseback riding adventures will be determined by the ranch's livestock and the work related to them. Be prepared to experience these activities first hand.
Dude Ranch. Horseback riding is central to these ranches. The cowboy in you will experience Western riding and a variety of outdoor activities.
Resort Dude Ranch. Horseback riding is featured, and these ranches offer an array of diverse activities and onsite facilities. These are tend to be the larger ranches.
Your next consideration should be the time of year - typically, the ranches in the northern states (and cooler climates) are the busiest in the summer months, while the southern ranches offer warm weather riding in the winter months. The number of guests that a ranch can host will also be something to think about - a stay at a ranch with only eight guests is a dramatically different experience than choosing a ranch that serves eighty or one hundred guests. The difference is most noticeable in the dining and social experiences.
Your accommodations are also an important consideration - ranch atmospheres range from rustic to luxurious, and everything in between. Ranches are always extremely clean and comfortable, but if you need hair dryers, TV's, Jacuzzi tubs, a daily massage and wireless Internet to make your dream vacation, just choose your ranch accordingly. With over one hundred unique ranches in the Association, we have one to match your dreams - perfectly. As you narrow your choices down to a couple ranches, call and explain to them what's most important to you - they'll help you make the best choice.