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Horsing Around at the Tennessee Dude & Guest Ranch

6/16/20

The Tennessee Dude & Guest Ranch in Dunlap, Tenn., offers much more than trail rides for the families and horse enthusiasts who flock there from around the world. Visitors arrive as guests and leave as friends after a full immersion in life on a Tennessee dude ranch.

A long dirt road leads to the ranch and transports visitors to farm life, offering expansive views of the Sequatchie Valley, a narrow valley near Chattanooga that is lined by Walden’s Ridge on one side and the Cumberland Plateau on the other. The ranch features a large house and barn surrounded by rolling pastures and woods. Horses peek their heads out of their stalls to greet guests.

It doesn’t take long to feel like you’ve discovered a little piece of heaven on earth.

Founded by Tammy and Chris Young in 2002, this working dude ranch is also a nondenominational Christian ministry, incorporating lessons about horses from the Bible and ancient history. “There are over 217 scriptures about horses in the Bible, and we use those to learn about horses and God,” says Tammy.

Visitors can schedule a week-long dude ranch vacation, a shorter farm stay, or a ranch-and-ride day trip (four to six hours). Experiences are customized for guests based on age and ability.

Visitors are assigned a wrangler for morning and afternoon training and horse adventures, and each guest gets their own horse. Days are spent working with wranglers on wrangler on riding skills, safety training and animal husbandry.

The ranch is more than a dude ranch, offering camps, agricultural training and international mission work. Each summer, the ranch hosts National Horse Camp for beginner to intermediate riders ages 8 to 15. The ranch also works with orphans in Honduras and accepts college-age interns from around the world.

The Youngs operate a small private school on the property, the Sequatchie Valley International Preparatory Academy, which trains students in farming, ranching, agribusiness and ministry.

To learn more about the Tennessee Dude and Guest Ranch or to make a reservation, visit their website or call 423-554-4677.

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