The Dude Ranchers’ Association was founded to preserve, protect, and promote dude ranches' unique vacation experience and identity. Though guest expectations have changed and ranchers have had to change with them, the core principles of dude ranching and the DRA remain the same:
- Horses are central to any dude ranch experience.
- There must be adequate stock, tack, facilities, and trails for the riding program.
All will be well cared for.
- Attention will be paid to horse and rider safety.
- Hats symbolize the special emphasis on the Western atmosphere and appearance.
- A genuine, friendly Western welcome with staff, food, accommodations, facilities, and activities to authenticate it.
- Dude ranch vacations began as long stays where relationships developed and guests had an exclusive and complete ranch experience.
- Dude ranch guests will be on an American plan.
- Even amidst today’s pressures for quick visits and short vacations, ranches should encourage week-long stays (6 or 7 nights).
- Regular multi-day dude ranch guests should not be significantly or adversely affected by any non-dude ranch business.
- You are at least as good as you advertise, if not better.
- You operate your business with integrity.
- You have a heart for developing friendships with your guests and demonstrate it in your actions.