I've written about dude ranches before, but what's the difference between a dude ranch and a guest ranch? Kit Morgan here and I'm going to tell you.
First off, as a refresher, a "dude" was what cowboys back in the day called big city slickers. Nowadays it means a guy and nothing more. But a hundred years ago or so, "dudes" liked to visit ranches and get a taste of ranch life. Okay, so what's a guest ranch then?
Ranches of a hundred or more years ago used to offer weary travelers food and shelter. It was a regular practice and ranches often offered this hospitality to travelers on stage coaches as well. Sometimes a route covered a long stretch between regular stage stops, and the occasional ranch was the only respite along the way. This became such a common practice that over the years, folks started paying the ranch owners for their stay. About the time the 1920s rolled around, folks began paying for the ranches for their stay and even stayed for a week or more as a vacation. Ranchers were happy to oblige.
Both types of ranch experiences include horses and most don't require you to have horseback riding experience. The ranch should have trained ranch hands that know how to handle horses and can match a rider with the best mount.
Dude ranches have loved serving their guests over the years and pride themselves on delivering a good ranch experience. The same can be said for guest ranches, though they're happy to pamper you to boot! Whichever you decide to experience, you can look for dude and guest ranches with a website called ranch seeker. I had no idea there was such a thing! It's fun to check out so go ahead and browse your future ranch experience!
Until next time,