Dear Friends of WHR,
Been busy since the first of the year getting into the winter groove here at the ranch, with daily feeding routines for Wil and his small herd of horses & cattle, of course his chickens, too. Always accompanied by his tractor riding sidekick, “Rifkin,” his cat. Then there is Wil’s favorite form of exercise workout... splitting just a days worth of firewood! This comes from his love of the northern bush country winters of B.C. where he spent 4 winters at 50 below, with a herd of 20 horses and firewood pile bigger than his cabin, back in the 70’s! Well, not much has changed, just scaled down and Eagle Valley is a milder valley to call home. Just right to give one purpose for these slow days of low sun and cold nights.
This is our first winter in 40 plus years that we haven’t been running around in pursuit of finding new geldings or putting on a clinic to make it through the winter months, or keeping an active schedule of schools and horse clients coming to our former AZ Outpost property. This time of solitude has been special for us, much needed for the recharging of creative juices. Been writing and posting more videos on the gelding page, "Whiz Man" the chocolate chestnut video is now up, and the "Japser," our flashy sorrel is coming soon. Actually it feels really good, as we have rekindled the fire and reconnecting slowly with some clients & friends planning for some special events for this year. Recently working the horses here at the ranch, but the muddy hills have had to be avoided for the time being.
Spring feels like it is around the corner as the past week we’ve experienced a Chinook of warmer weather, it was just right for Beverly's 60th Birthday January 26th, but now it’s back to freezing at night & possible snow this week! She celebrated the finishing of our sun-room enclosed porch on the cabin, to give us that extra room in the winter and a warm Arizona feel on the sunny days!
The birds have been chattering around the bird feeders and the short pasture grass shoots are trying to sprout, only to be blanketed by snow again I’m sure. The mountains have plenty though. As we look around the bend into Spring we have dates open for customers wanting a special Horseman’s Retreat from Covid restrictions. We’re socially distanced out here in Eagle Valley canyon country… the bunkhouse is always open, the campfire embers awaiting your arrival… and there are plenty of corrals un-occupied!
Come join us anytime, but here are our slated dates for 2021:
April 22-25 Early Spring Tune-Up Ranch Retreat
May 13-15 Spring Tune-Up Ranch Retreat & Trail Training
June 7-12 From Foundation to Finished Training Program
June 13-15 Cow Working Clinic
June 19-22 Beverly’s Cowgirls Only! Ranch Horse Retreat is a must for any aspiring horse woman and her horse….be there!
These will be limited to only small groups of 2-6 students. Contact: Beverly for details 541-893-6535 or email@example.com Details will be posted by March 1st, deposit deadline.
Note! Should these dates not work for you…contact us to set up a Private Clinic Session by appointment.
Happy “In the Bridle” Trails…
Beverly & Wil Katie Ranch Dog & Rifkin
WHR Grapevine News... Pics from Christmas &
the Passing of a couple Great WHR Geldings
Since we refuse to join Facebook, (wink!), here are few extra pictures from 2020 we thought you'd enjoy....Wil & I at the Sun Circuit Quarter Horse Show while visiting Grant Lindaman's G2 Performance Horses in Scottsdale AZ, Beverly participating at a Scott Grosskopf Ranch Roping Clinic at the Double Luck Ranch in Cochise, AZ , Summer riding at Phillips Lake Reservoir in Elkhorn Mountains and a few Christmas Greetings & Pictures sent by clients... 2019 Client, Randy Scalliotti in Montana ..."Yellowjacket" loves the Bar Lazy R Ranch in Montana. He is a gem of a friend! "
Congratulations 2015 client Lance Fox, now in Colorado, tickled that his daughter, astride his personal Wil Howe Gelding "Soula Hula", handsomely made the cover of the recent Horse & Rider winter 2020 edition.
Another Happy Camper....
2018 client Cathy Sewell, Sisters, OR
"Pumpkin is doing great, we went on numerous trail rides in the Sisters Wilderness this year-so much fun. He continues to be a wonderful horse I'm so glad I have him! (and he has me as is his person! ) We are so blessed."
The Gentle Giant, Everest Passes at 20...
"I'm writing to let you know that I had Everest put to sleep on the last day of 2020. He had been struggling with a
neurological disorder for the past several months. It was an extremely difficult decision to make, because he looked so good on the outside. Just as big and beautiful as ever! He is buried on our property, with 3 other horses I have loved. I will never forget the day that I picked up the phone and called your number in AZ. I spoke to Wil for almost 30 minutes, and then the rest is history. He talked me into believing that Everest would be the right horse for me, and he was! He gave me my confidence back through his kindness and patience, and of course, his good training.
I wish you both a wonderful new year, and thank you again for selling Everest to me! He was magnificent!
Best wishes always,"
Dear Linne', so sorry to hear of the loss of yes, such a truly magnificent horse as Everest. We too, held him in high esteem in our thoughts. He was a very, very special soul and horse. I remember the day we bought him in Tennessee...I never just get on someone's horse bareback in a halter and ride off in a pasture...but I did with Everest, we couldn't wait to get him home to work on him. So sweet, and kind a "Gentle Giant" and one of a kind...I write with tears in my eyes...so glad he got to represent the Pendleton Whiskey Corp. for you the past 5 years.
You did the right thing. So bitter sweet. We must give also give acknowledgement to his first owner we sold him to, Chuck Underbrink, now from Utah who owned him from 2009 to 2015, retired professional basketball player who at 6'8 could never find a horse he felt comfortable or suited on until he bought Everest. At 16.2 & 1500lbs he just looked normal under him. But with you, little Linne', he was a Giant. It was also in 2015, after recovering from Wil's broken back and injuries, Everest was the first horse he rode again. We were blessed to have him at that time before Linne took him home. What a grand individual he was.
God bless his soul.
Love you Everest.
Beverly & Wil"
We also heard from another brokenhearted horsewoman from southern CA who reached out to share. She was blessed to be given a former Wil Howe gelding from a widow friend who had lost her husband. "Docs Polecat" was his horse , he had ridden him 6 days a week faithfully for 5 years in Griffin Park, Los Angeles CA. At 22 this year he died. She had enjoyed him on the trails the last six years. Docs Polecat was a special gelding Wil was especially fond of, he was Peppy San bred & out of an own daughter of Doc Bar, like Wil's former cutting horse stallion we had for 12 years. Polecat was a phenomenal athlete & cow horse who could cut and go rope on him too. He took to our FFF program well and though new training for him, he made a beautifully handling bridle-horse Wil was proud of. "Polecat" successfully competed in his first ever Mountain Trail Trial in 2006 allowing me to ride him into a ditch filled with dry-ice fog and ride under a 25ft waterfall! One of the special ones, we have been blessed by so many. RIP Polecat...loved you too.
A Deeper Look at 2020…from Beverly's Soapbox
Heartfelt WHRanch Reflections….January 2021 in the “Proper Perspective”
With the passing of 2020 it all was feeling like a sigh of relief that the craziness of 2020 would be over and renewal & healing could be possible at both a personal, pandemic and national level and yet despite the challenges in Washington DC, we who live “Out West” rurally where ever, whether in Texas, Wyoming, Montana out on the big Basin amongst the pine & sage or…in your mind, will forge on, though delayed, disappointed and weathering a big blow, we’ll strive on. We must. It’s what we do….whether we miss a catch of heels, lose a calf at birth, get a flat tire on our trailer,.… we pick up and keep on and do what we can. Speaking of “doing” we all can do that one thing...shift our thoughts to God and gratitude and count our blessings and look long term, not merely at the end of our noses. It took 40 years with Moses to make the Promised land with a batch of dilatory, spoiled people who just “didn’t get it”. Love your enemies, not their iniquities, sounds a bit “Polly-anish” and counter effective, but it’s actually the Gospel of Jesus, and it we must move forward… but with a turn, and change of heart & tactics.
Everyday do your share & try and make this American experience a better thing… instead of complaining about things we didn’t receive and don’t like. Anger is weakness and we already know what that looks like. We end up losing everything in the long run, mostly ourselves and the connection to God Almighty who we profess to embrace. "Let us reason", He said to the people of Isaiah’s time. Let us learn to talk, debate, converse and effectively convey our concerns for this country and its people. Persuade through rational truth. You say "we’ve tried"…well, keep trying. Don’t be blind to what’s happened in history as it repeats itself, research and it teach it to those around you. The pendulum swings and will continue to…Cling to what’s true, honest and righteous as we all ride out the storm.
This has been a long time coming, the ugly take over of this country’s core values & freedom. That slow steady movement that has gotten momentum. Conservative ideals when balanced with compassion are an easy sell. Stay sane, stay focused, stay informed, communicate and work with your elected officials through communication, letters and local & national policy changes in the making. Be the change you want to see, right in your own back yard and local community as well. The radical movement that isn’t America, needs to be challenged… in our schools and at home. Take time to visit & learn about the schools, colleges & universities to understand what’s going on there. We’ve already lost a generation or two through our laziness to look up and see down the road what we’re teaching our young people, forgive them… they just don’t know what they are doing… they have lost family, God and a sense of hope for the future! The most important institution that can effect this country is the family, strong marriages centered on a faith in a God that is sovereign,… let’s take the time to care enough to set our cell phones down, (which has replaced God) and teach children about the true and real leader of this world instead of letting the evil one dictate His forces in our homes, our communities, our country and world. We know who wins in the end…let’s show them the truth and start living it.
Wil and I have spent 4 decades working with horses and teaching people the importance of leadership with their horses, because the horse inherently needs a leader to survive! They are social animals, emotional and full of fear, but when given boundaries, consistent fair leadership and discipline, they thrive, are happy, productive & safe to be around …sounds like society doesn’t it. We do need a leader, the right leader in our lives, the government can only do so much, they are not our guardians, parents, kings or queens. We only have one to answer to… the one true God above all, the Lord Jesus Christ. They all say on the news, let’s pray… pray to whom??? Cast your cares upon the one who is Almighty. Lay down your burdens, your pride, your expectations… and move forward free and brave with God as your leader. You might impress yourself what He will do with you if you let him. Life and horse training go hand in hand. What you put out is what you get back in horses and life, as you sow so shall you reap, as you think so are you. We have always said it and always will. It has been our life’s work relaying that one simple message.
I have finally finished a "set aside project" I started a few years ago. I have written a short, concise gospel account of our From Foundation to Finished Horse Training Program parallel to how God works in our lives, just as we do when we work with a horse through the 10 Steps. The writing is different, it’s deep, but it’s simple too. Just one of many creative things I’ve been trying to find the time to complete and share. I think more than ever there is an audience for it as so many have all contemplated internally what really is important in our lives this past year. As it follows the our horse training principles, it is about surrender, turning from our ways and allowing someone sovereign in our life to control you and yielding to that direction & guidance with an attitude of willing cooperation. Ultimately this leads to a redeemed life of freedom within the confines of self-control or self-carriage. It’s a beautiful view at humanity through horse training and I look forward to sharing before too long.
When one thinks of the idea of surrender…one can take that wrong, Daniel in the Lion’s den didn’t surrender…he trusted… Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego didn’t surrender in the fire, they also trusted the only one who can be trusted to save them, the Lord God. Equally as key is the humble heart, under fire, creating space for a relationship that knows no fear, but reverence and mutual trust, as the outstretched hand of a friend and savior who offers us life. As we gather up ourselves, climb back in the boat, and the saddle, take stock in the changes about us, keep your eye ever on the prize…on the opening clouds in the sky ahead of us…and never fear,…He is with you always.