Texas may be known best for its oil but agriculture is big business there. Approximately 14% of Texans work in agriculture and the industry adds about $36.4 billion to the state?s economy each year. The state has more ranches and farms than most of the rest of the country. While ranches are traditionally thought about in terms of agriculture needs, but more and more people are looking to spend their vacation on a horse ranch. To understand the new trend it is important to know the difference between a ranch and a farm. Food is grown on both and they both take up a lot of land but there are differences. Farm land is used mostly for crops and dairy cows. The cows are kept in pens and are not killed for meat but kept healthy to produce milk. Cattle ranches are home to a completely different kind of cow. These are herded from the ranch to the market to be slaughtered to be sold as meat. A horse ranch is different still. Some people will take their vacation at a horse ranch and decide to open one of their own. These can be a lot of fun but take a lot of work and be a challenge. You have all of the stresses of running a hotel and then the stress that accompanies owning and caring for animals. You can find horse ranches for sale all over the country but some of the most spectacular landscapes are in the west. Some real estate you will see consists of working ranches that were converted to being guest ranches. This is important when you plan the activities. If you?ve seen the movie,?City Slickers,” you are already familiar with the idea of vacationing on a working ranch. In the film three friends go to a dude ranch to herd cattle to market. If you want to offer activities that mimic life on a real ranch, you need to buy one that is still being used for that purpose. Most of your guests will want or need horseback riding lessons. You will need horses for people of all skill levels and people to instruct them. Your customers may want to help care for the horses, let them! Other people might ask about bird watching or sightseeing. Some western ranches are near ghost towns. If you can, make arrangements for day trips. A greta vacation at a horse ranch may involve some time away from the ranch itself. And sitting around a campfire at night seems like a mandatory activity. You have a pretty large selection of kinds of accommodations you will offer. The level of luxury varies from horse ranch to horse ranch. Some are rustic and bare bones but others are extremely luxurious. You are really only limited by your imagination. Remember to stay at least a little bit flexible. If you try one thing and it really does not seem to work, try something else. Make sure you give each idea a chance to work before moving on to a new plan. Vacations at horse ranches are popular with families because they offer great chances to see the country, bond with the rest of the family and experience some adventure.
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