Ranches - a definition and introduction
Perhaps 100 years ago the first town people had the wish to
spend their vacation on a real ranch far out west. This is how it
started. Soon there was need to provide more accommodations for the
increasing nnumber of guests on a ranch. Some ranches
specialized in that field and made it their major income. Some
others offered just a seasonal opportunity for visitors to spend
time on the ranch, mainly when the staff wasn't too busy with the
daily routine on the ranch.
Ranch vacation in its most authentic form, on so-called "working
(cattle) ranches", means mostly physical work and a lot of
hours (lessons) sitting in the saddle.
E.g. you can join a cattle drive and depending on how large the
herd is and whether it is scattered to the four winds on the ranch
property (sometimes several hundred square km / 10s or 100s of
thousand acres) this can take a couple of days.
Other examples of daily routine on a working ranch are: repair
fences, keep trails in good condition, feed animals, etc. etc.
In spite of all this physical strain it by far not a cheap pleasure
to spend your time on a ranch.
According to the grade of comfort you enjoy (that means the
quality of accommodation and service) the price per week is between
700-1.100 US$, sometimes even more.
Naturally nothing is a "must". The visitor who is simply
seeking nature, peace and relaxation wil be welcomed in the same
On a ranch everything happens on voluntary basis.
In addition, many ranches offer recreational activities like BBQ's,
campfire evenings, rodeo's, lasso
lessons, fishing excursions, horse riding and lessons (just for
leisure), accompanied walking tours, horseshoe throwing.
They more a ranch offers they more it is considered as a
Dude/Guest ranch or even a lodge or resort. Latter ones provide
mostly no longer this original cowboy experience as working cattle
ranches do, but they are fully guest-oriented and make your stay a
very luxurious pleasure.
Provided that one knows what one wants to do it's important to
know the differences between ranch types, the meaning of
classification you read: then it should be easy to find the 'perfect