Perhaps truly the dreamy dream job for horse lovers, running a guest ranch requires a bit more elbow grease than romantic notion may provide. While a fun and exciting job, running a successful guest ranch requires a high level of organization and experience.
What You Need
This is a management position, so contact with the animals will be more limited in larger establishments. More than a love of the animal and lifestyle, this position requires a thorough knowledge of the hospitality industry and even strong speaking and marketing skills. Great communication skills are essential, as is basic health and field training.
A firm understanding of horseflesh and human nature, an engaging personality and highly organized management skills are solid foundations of a good ranch manager.
As always with horse jobs, descriptions vary from place to place. In larger facilities ranch manager duties will only encompass the stables and animals, while at smaller ranches responsibilities may include everything from maintenance to chief. Ranch managers will generally be required to manage various members of staff (from stable hands to waitstaff), oversee animal feeding and care routines, coordinate guest activities and keep an uneducated public safe.
This can be a seasonal position and often training, room and board are included in the job.
Manage ranch staff schedules and duties
Develop and oversee daily animal care and feeding routines
Provide educational supervision for an uneducated public
Supervise outings, demonstrations or clinics
Maintain animal health schedules
Keep a working ranch making revenue
The requirements for this position will vary tremendously, some places will require a high school diploma, others will want years of experience on top. That combined with the seasonal nature of ranches means that not only does the job vary but so will the pay. Different types of certification may be required based on the responsibilities of the position.
A few places to start if you are interested in a career as a guest ranch manager.
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Dude Ranchers Association
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