A 126 acre western playground dedicated to the majestic bond between horse and human.

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Welcome to joy ranch of south dakota

For those with disabilities or challenging life circumstances, we are a place to enjoy nature and participate in Equine experiences and other activities. All in a barrier free and stairway free environment that everyone can access.

For the general public, we are a place to horseback ride, jump in a lake, take a riding lesson, visit an 1880’s town, get married, stay in a themed hotel room, hold your next corporate event, camp out, eat something delicious, and much more. 

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aerial view of Joy Ranch of South Dakota

All about our mission

Joy Nelson started using horses as instruments of healing in 1989. Since then, she has seen the incredible impact they can have on those who have been significantly impacted by disease or disability. Our core mission is to provide these challenged individuals with the life-altering experience of deeply connecting with horses. 

Each time you purchase a service from us, be it a horseback ride, a night in our hotel, or a meal, you’re making our core mission a success. Thank you! 

Explore all of the fun at joy Ranch!

horse trail ride at joy ranch


From equine activities to exploring historic buildings and the great outdoors, Joy Ranch is packed with fun for the whole family.

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large group celebrating at joy ranch


Joy Ranch is perfect for corporate retreats, church retreats, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, reunions, parties and more!

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Joy ranch prairie church


Our pristine natural surroundings and long list of amenities ensure you and your guests will have an unforgettable experience.

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What our guests are saying

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This place is amazing! Comfy, friendly staff, beautiful views! We had so much fun at our overnight Christmas party! Recommend to anyone and everyone!
Anne M.
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Beautiful, well maintained, clean and perfect for family get-together! Very kind staff!
Mari M.
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Excellent place to stay, great staff and very good food!
Marilyn C.
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Wonderful place to relax and enjoy God's beautiful scenery!
Juanita P.
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Good and fun. The staff were good and helpful and kind to us.
Breanna T.
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Beautiful setting, wonderful accommodations, amazing hospitality
Elaine E.

Schedule your trip to joy Ranch today!

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