Most girls who love horses are perfectly content to visit horses a few times a week for their horse riding lessons, or to look after a small horse on their Edmonton property. Some, however, don't just love the animals themselves, but the whole horse lifestyle. People who make their livings from horses tend to live on ranches where the horses play a crucial part in helping to herd stock animals like cattle or sheep. While you probably won't be able to convince your family to buy a ranch, you might be able to get them to take you to a dude ranch.

A dude ranch is a lot like a regular ranch on the surface. There's the home where the family lives, the horses in the fields, the barns and cattle or sheep that make up part of the family business, but there's a crucial difference. All or part of the family income comes from having guests come to stay on their ranch. In this way, they make part of their money from farming their land and part from tourism, which gives people like you the chance to experience the ranch lifestyle.

Most dude ranches offer packaged vacations where you get your accommodations, meals, and activities all included in the price of your visit. It's like staying at an all-inclusive resort hotel, but instead of being on a beach, it's on a farm. If your family has a large parcel of real estate and no idea what to do with it, you might consider founding a dude ranch, as tourism is one of the industries experiencing the most growth in North America.

When you stay at a dude ranch, you'll be introduced to the ranching lifestyle without all the harsh parts that you would have to endure if this was really your life. No waking up at the crack of dawn to do chores or fixing fences. The owners will guide you through all the fun stuff, like horseback riding, cattle and sheep herding, and rodeo skills like roping and even horse jumping. There might even be an Ottawa equestrian photographer to take vacation pictures of your family having fun.

There are many different places where you can find dude ranches, but near the city is usually not one of them because the land is too expensive and more likely to be turned into the suburbs. The American west, such as the states of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado are great places to look for dude ranches. There are also plenty in the Canadian prairies, particularly in Alberta and even British Columbia. If you want a really exotic experience, you can travel to Australia and stay at one in the Outback to go down to South America, where they raise a lot of cattle.

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