Ranching Holiday Types
USA AND CANADA RANCH TYPES
The ranches shown here generally fall into three categories, although some ranches can be a combination of the following descriptions. These are provided as a guide only. For clarification on a particular ranch, please contact Ranch Rider for more information.
Working ranches are an integral part of the West. They earn their main income from raising livestock and crops and take in guests to supplement the main ranch income. Depending on the ranch chosen you may get to participate in the daily ranch activities that can include checking cattle, moving cattle to new grazing, cattle drives, branding, sorting cattle, checking fences and water etc. What you do is very dependant on the time of year and if you just want to ride along and observe that is fine, whatever you decide you will surely get an insight into cowboy life. Try it, become a real cowboy or cowgirl!
These are ranches that are primarily designed to give a western experience, they may or may not have cattle on the ranch. They earn their main income from the guest ranch side and as such usually offer more activities than working ranches, as well as better facilities. Although they may offer other activities, riding remains the prime activity. These ranches are especially suitable for all types of rider and can cater for the beginner upwards. You can expect a very warm welcome and you may arrive a guest but you will leave a friend.
GUEST / WORKING RANCHES
These ranches are really the meeting point between an out and out guest ranch and an out and out working ranch. They tend to have many of the amenities of a guest ranch but also earn part of their income from the working side, by running cattle or horses. There is usually a chance for the guest to help with the various activities relating to the stock but also have the luxury of the many guest ranch amenities.
These ranches tend to be very upscale and offer a wide range of activities. Riding is only one of the main activities; there could be tennis, golf, massage and spa treatments, sailing, and 4×4 jeep trips along with the traditional guest ranch activities. The ranch accommodations do tend to be very luxurious and the food is usually gourmet.
While riding is a big thing , dude ranches are geared to catering for a wide variety of interests and ideal for those people who want a "something to do all the time" vacation. A full weekly programme of western activities is usually included in your holiday price - such as wild west shows, rodeo visits, square dances, barbecues and a host of sports and outdoor activities. Cabins or lodge rooms are provided. Many ranches have Child Counsellors during the main season. When it comes to riding, abilities can range from novice to experienced at most Dude Ranches making this option great for families.
HORSE / CATTLE DRIVES
If being a cowboy is one of your dreams then a cattle or horse drive provides the ultimate cowboy experience, being part of a team to do a vital job, spending all day in the saddle, building up a partnership with your horse and reflecting on a job well done at the end of the day. All this and the chance to see fantastic unspoilt scenery. Accommodation maybe out on the range in tents or back at the ranch in more comfortable accommodations.
What better way is there to really get into the unspoilt wilderness areas of a country than on the back of a willing horse. On our pack trips and ranch combination trips you will experience unrivalled wildlife viewing, visits to places usually inaccessible to man, and the chance to follow in the footsteps of the Native People and the first white explorers to these great lands. Accommodation tends to be mainly in tents but can include the occasional ranch or lodge night.
N.B. These definitions are very broad and in some cases the ranches can be a combination of two of the definitions.
These are large estates or cattle ranches in Argentina and offer great riding experiences working the cattle, general riding or even Polo for the more adventurous. They offer great food and some are even set in their own vineyards.