The community at Wilderness Trails Ranch is truly a rich one – with chefs, artists, a massage therapist, dogs, melodic birds – the list could go on. Of course, most visitors to our ranch are eager to meet our horses and wranglers, and they are a lovely crew. To this aim, each week from now until the end of July six horses and one wrangler will be featured here on our blog.
Rick and Red, our gentle giants, are Belgian Draft Horses. They have been with The Ranch for ten years and team up to provide our weekly hayrides. Being in their presence inspires awe, and the opportunity to benefit from their considerable strength and grace during the hayride is a highlight for many. They are also our resident stars as they have been featured in several movies.
Ember was born on The Ranch in 2002, the year of the fire – hence his name. Ember, a Morgan Quarter Horse, is super gentle and playful - ideal for beginning riders to help them build confidence and develop a deeper sense of joy while riding.
Tigger is a favorite among guests because he is highly responsive. He is a perfect fit for people with riding experience. Tigger was born on The Ranch and was Lance Robert’s private horse for many years. The evidence of his loving training is evident to those who ride him. He is a Quarter Appaloosa Horse and has half-brothers who also live with us here at The Ranch.
Lenita, a Paint Mare, requires a confident rider. For those looking to build a relationship that requires more attention, Lenita provides a more complex riding experience. She is appreciated by our wranglers because she calmly walks to and waits in her stall each morning. Lenita was born here at The Ranch and is known for her lasting love for Sideburns, another one of our horses.
Willa’s eyes will tell you how kind she is, and, indeed, this Percheron Quarter Horse mix is a favorite. She is highly responsive and enjoyed both by beginning riders looking to build confidence and experienced riders who want to enjoy a week of ease. Her strawberry-roan coloring is unique, and those that ride her may find themselves enchanted.
“I don’t remember learning to ride” smiles Kathryn Forynski as she watches the horses graze. An unsurprising comment considering that Kathryn’s mother first took her up into the saddle when she was only four-days old. Kathryn grew up riding Arabians in Bedfordshire, England where she was also an event rider in cross country, jumping, and dressage. She will tell you about it – with her customary reserved sweetness – if you ask. Kathryn has been with The Ranch since 2008, and she greatly enjoys the relaxed approach of Western riders. She respects the gentle power of horses, and the feeling of oneness that often arises while riding ties her heart to them even further. Part of what keeps Kathryn coming back is the trail riding; “There’s always something new to notice” she says. And she’s keeping her eyes open for elk shed because she wants a pair of antlers to paint pink and hang on her wall.
By Jan Roberts
Gene and I just returned recently from the Clearwater, FL. area where we visited with family, friends and took some time to relax before we head into our 43rd summer at Wilderness Trails. Wow! Where have the years gone??
We enjoyed getting our toes in the sand on the beach, and having the opportunity to see "Winter", the dolphin who was the star of the movie, A Dolphin's Tale. What an amazing story, and what wonderful care she receives at the aquarium in Clearwater Beach. We were able to see the trainers fit her with the prosthetic tale which enables her to swim more naturally. Very heartwarming!
Over the years we have been so fortunate to develop relationships with our "ranch" animals--horses, dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, all of whom become part of our family. The attachments are strong and lasting. We still recall experiences from our early years at the ranch and how our animals created lasting bonds that have been so meaningful.
Our animal friends are so dependent upon us for their survival. We, as caretakers, provide food and nutritiion, water, health care, excercise, a secure and safe place to live, companions, plus our love and compassion.
We saw that love and compassion in the trainers who work with "Winter" on a daily basis, and we can certainly relate to their commitment to the creatures in their care. We have nursed many of our animals back to health, when at times it seemed overwhelming and almost impossible.
Our animals have instilled a satisfaction and commitment that has become instrumental in developing who we are....it has done the same for our children and eventually, it will be important for our grandchildren as well. Our lives are enriched because of these wonderful members of our ranch family. Our guests throughout the years, have grown to to love, respect, and appreciate them as much as we do.
So here's to "Winter" and the many amazing animals that have touched our lives!