If you love animals, we mean really love animals, you might want to spend your life around them. Maybe even make your living with them. Of course, many people automatically picture years of veterinary school, but there are many other options for animal lovers to create their dream jobs. Starting a guest or dude ranch is one of those options. Here are some things to weigh if you are considering opening your ranch to the public.
This is a major factor in a guest ranch. You need to be able to accommodate enough guests to make it a profitable enterprise. Yet, you want to do that without creating a hotel feel. You want to preserve a homey and rugged feel to the enterprise. If your property happens to have a large farmhouse that can double as a bed and breakfast, you are a step ahead of others. If not, think about adding rustic cabins throughout your land to help maintain the right atmosphere.
This is another biggie. Horses and cattle can result in serious injuries and you want to be sure you are covered. Even if your animals are the sweetest ones ever to set four hooves on the ground, make sure you have adequate ranch insurance to cover you against potential liability.
Where is your ranch located? You want to find a property that is close enough to an airport or other major sources of transportation to be convenient, yet far enough away that it feels remote. Try to stay no more than one to two hours from a transportation hub off-ranch entertainment options.
The climate can affect the operations of your ranch in many ways. You want to be sure you have a long enough high season to sustain you through leaner months. Keep in mind that people may not want to spend hours in the saddle when it is extremely hot or bitterly cold and plan around temperate times.
Owning a ranch is, without a doubt, hard work. It requires planning and often tiring daily tasks. However, careful planning can help you start a career that allows you to embrace and encourage your passion.