Dear Friends of WHR, Not only was it a long, dry and hot summer, It's been a long dry spell hearing from us here at the WHR. We are all well and at it, as always. Beverly however, reaching her 50's, has started "Mental -pause" as we call it here, and has been pausing altogether! Having started at such a young age and been hard at it for 30 plus years, she is among many women in that age group now suffering from work and life burn-out. But with that said, she has only slowed from a hummingbird's pace to a Border Collie's. She is trying to follow Wil's more "smell the roses along the way" approach. While there is still much work to do and horses to ride, there aren't as many horses and they are all sweethearts that don't require much maintenance or real hard training. Just a mere brush-up round pen session and a day in the saddle and they are as good as the last ride. That is what the "good ones" are all about...pleasing, willing horses, fun to train and work.
We also have new help on the ranch, as we have more or less "adopted" a new horse training disciple who we have been mentoring. Oliver Rowland, 26, was in our month-long training program back in June and returned September 1 to resume his work with us and stay on as an apprentice. His is a unique story; of British and Dutch heritage, educated in Ireland and England, he is a "bush baby" from Tanzania and has seen and lived life in its rawest form among the native tribes and wilds of rural Africa, much like Pierre Bredilette from North Queensland, Australia, who worked for us back in the 90's. Those of you who were here during his stay at the WHR will never forget him. Oliver has those same qualities, talents and a burning desire for horses, training, and the Western American Dream...we hope to give him that opportunity.
Oregon Summer in Review...
May and June were beautiful here in Richland, green and lush from early spring rains, but with no high water. What a blessing! Our creek is now restored after the 2010 flood that gutted the bank. We have had plans to sell the home ranch at some point, but that has been put on the back burner for now. We realized that we've really only been here five years of the last ten, having spent the last ten winters in Arizona, so we have been doing much needed catch-up work and taking time to enjoy our Eagle Valley community.
Our June sessions went great, as Wil enjoyed all guys for our From Foundation to Finished course, which was attended by six accomplished horsemen with plenty of experience and savvy who really applied themselves, achieving their much sought-after goals and results. Two were return students; one attended our very first Charter School here at the Home Ranch in 1994. One student originally saw Wil 30 years ago at a horse sale in Kalispell, Montana. He was 19 at the time and had never seen anything like Wil's well-broke geldings. He never forgot Wil and for years he wanted to come to one of Wil's clinics. Now at age 50, a successful cowboy, horse trainer, and outfitter, he soaked up Wil's knowledge like a sponge, commenting that he only wished he had come years ago. These guys came from Montana, Washington, New York, Oregon, and Oliver from Africa. It is always interesting, because we keep it up-close and personal here at the Wil Howe Ranch. Real relationships are formed in this intimate atmosphere. When a student can relax, feel comfortable in the company of their teachers, and let their guard down, that is when true learning can take place and that is what we are after...changing people's lives through one horse at a time.
Later in June, after our Cow Working clinic, Beverly's Ladies Class went well as always, with gals showing up from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, and California. We also sold one of our buckskins (who never even made to the website!) to a happy client from Grants Pass, Oregon. We held some private clinics in July, which we always enjoy, including a returning month-long program student from Maryland who came to work and school cattle for four days, learning the WHR approach to safe, sane, and effective reined cow work, herd work, and sorting.
The rustic and simple WHR ranch itself, our relaxed approach, and the level of excellence we strive for in our students and horses, make what we offer a unique and fulfilling refuge for the truly "hungry horseman". We continue to fulfill the expectations of many students who feel the other popular glitz or run-of-the-mill clinicians have left them confused or empty and searching for more. We opted not to escape to Wyoming in August, but wished we had as all-time heat records made it sweltering hot and not conducive to riding. We did take off and spend four days in the back country camping with the horses, and took a few more days up there as the month wound down.
Wil turned 71 last month, and is finally getting back to fighting shape after spending the past year recovering from a near-death wreck that took place last September when a horse lost his footing on our creekside trail and tripped over backwards, launching Wil another five feet down into a pile of boulders. Needless to say, it wasn't pretty, and most would have perished. We don't say much about these incidents till after the fact, but Wil is a survivor and credits his victories to Jesus Christ our Lord. His faith is decades deep, well-tested, seasoned, and proven. We are convinced the Lord had His angels there to catch Wil and spared him for a good reason.
We recommend to anyone that has put off spending time with Wil but wants to learn from his vast reserve of horse sense and pearls of horse training and life... don't put it off! We have a few classes offered yet this fall and next year in Arizona (see our schedule above). Also, don't forget--we do hold private clinics here regularly with fairly flexible scheduling, and they can also be arranged at your place. Take advantage of it now, or a book may be all you'll get later! Grant Lindaman II - G2 Performance Horses
When we were in need last fall, Grant Lindaman, our former apprenticing trainer and now a non-pro rider, broke stride from his commitments and came up from Arizona to help out. He worked his reined cow horses while staying to help us finish the fall here and make our winter move to Arizona. He got his two-year-old Shine Like Hail aka "Frankie" schooled and started on cattle, and is showing the potential that Grant brought out of him, as he just won his first Reined Cow Horse Futurity with this handsome bay gelding in Pueblo, Colorado, in August.
Grant was also packing his fancy bridle horse mare with him and was just getting to know her when we hauled him to the Idaho Reined Cow Horse Futurity and NRCHA show last November. Well, he has had his share of successes this show season, as he got established training out of the Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona area; Grant and Missy qualified for the AQHA World show in amateur working cow horse, placing & earning money in several NRCHA shows and winning an AQHA circuit championship in Las Cruses, New Mexico.
Needless to say, we are proud of his accomplishments; but more important, we are pleased with Grant's sincere commitment to integrity and training his horses with a heart for the importance of a solid foundation, the respect for the process, and the tradition and the patience he knows he needs to cultivate to be successful in this demanding and tough sport of the reined cow horse world. He's at the big Reno NRCHA Futurity this week, and we wish him all the best. If you were able to go, we hope you enjoyed the greatest show on earth! It's where we're coming from when speak of broke cow horses, and it is our roots.
Grapevine News...More good news from our horse people...
Karla Pusatera from Corvallis, Oregon, is enjoying her new horse, Cecil, our big chestnut gelding we had in Arizona last winter that she re-named Jasper. She is an avid Mountain Trail competitor, and is taking Jasper through the paces this summer, preparing for her competitions this fall and next spring. She joined us last March in Arizona for training and bonding time with her new horse, which jump-started them off on the right foot. She is always seeking out unusual obstacles to expose her horse to, and he continues to bring her joy. "We ride five days a week, and he's adjusted to hikers, bikers, dogs, etc. with very minor spooks that only consist of him planting his feet like a good boy. He really enjoys getting out and is never in a hurry. Went to the spring OHC Mountain Trail Show in May, and he won the three-day Novice Horse Championship in his first class ever! He was a star; the judges loved his willing attitude and never refused anything. I don't think you could have found a better horse for me. I just love him bunches and bunches! Thank you!"
Jane Ely, of Kirkland, Washington, made a switch and "down-sized" this summer after dealing with some compromising health issues last winter, and is now astride our older "steady Freddy", Picka the Herd, and is enjoying his slower pace and docile temperment, though she misses the outgoing stride and energy of her former horses. Just being out there on the trail in your sixties says a lot, anyway, and we are proud of her grit...you go, girl! "Picka is surely the perfect horse for both Sherm and I. Right now, Sherm has him up in the mountains in Idaho. There isn't anything that this horse will not do. Thank you for knowing me better than I know myself. I want to thank you both for another happy summer."
Conrad and Sharon Plomin, of Phoenix, Arizona, are having the time of their lives with their new horses, Mighty Mouse and Scoot, which they purchased from us last winter and brought for several weekends of private clinics with us. Conrad is new to horses, and Sharon, who used to own 80 Arabians back in the eighties, is starting all over and couldn't be happier with the solid Quarter Horses and training they received. "I cannot tell you how much joy Mighty Mouse has brought to my life. I am so impressed everyday with what he knows and what I don't...he is so mannerly and giving; he has little resistance, but he knows I respect him and hold him accountable for what he should do, and he does it! As for Conrad, I have never seen him take to anything quite like he has with the horses...he loves it so much and is having the time of his life with Scoot. He now has a future that he is so involved with, and retirement does not look like a dead-end street. It has been very special, seeing him get so involved. I really would not be surprised if he ended up with a second horse!"
Sandy Yerton is another happy camper, back in the saddle with Moonshine after a several year lay-off. Sandy, who raised, trained, and showed Percheron draft horses for 25 years, is getting a kick out of riding again. She is an all-horse person, but wanted a finished "good one" to enjoy on the trails and for playing with cows this time around. She is old-school, and was thrilled to find a horse that would ride, neck rein, and perform so well in her 30-year-old silver Fleming bit and romel reins. Getting bonded-up at Beverly's Ladies Only horsemanship class in June, Sandy and Moonshine hit it off right away. Moonshine has been in our circle for six years now, and has made several of our clients very happy. "Out on the trails, he steps over everything I ask; saw few "boogers", but ride him to it and through it and he is as good as gold. I am very happy with him...still driving home with a smile on my face and contentment in my heart!"
Diana Zitter, MD, from Groveport, Ohio, and her sister, Linda Peck, DVM, of Findlay, Ohio, are back in the saddle, too. Diana has worked with us for the past two years, getting her farm set up and going with three WHR geldings now adorning her pastures and barnyard. Linda, who has ridden English hunt-seat for years, is enjoying her new versatile cow-horse turned hunt-seat gelding, Cassidy, whome she takes out on the wooded trails on Diana's farm. They have joined us for Beverly's Ladies Only class twice now, and will be coming back for more! "We rode today and the three amigos were perfect gentlemen. My friends are amazed at how well they just stand around, quietly hobbled, while we clean stalls and sweep up the barn. My farrier thought Britches and Morris were two of the nicest horses he'd worked on for a long while...I had to agree!"
Hope Redhawk, our Cochise, Arizona assistant trainer, graduated high school with honors and college scholarships this spring. To celebrate, she came for the month of June and worked for us, really advancing her skills and doing a fine job, helping out with our horses and students. We are very proud of her and will miss her dearly.
Fall WHR Gelding Round-Up
As our 2012 summer slides into autumn, we have culminated the season with another outstanding group of WHR geldings. Most are all super solid ranch cow horses, with seasoned trail experience, versatile and ready to fit into your activities. We have two premier geldings that we have owned and kept back for two years, Sparkanic and Bling, the four-year-old chocolate palomino seen in Cowboys & Indians magazine.
We also have Woody, who we've had for over a year; a few we've been working with since last winter, Gus, Snickers, and Waylon; Dunnit All, who we acquired this past spring; and a couple of previously-owned WHR geldings we are proud to have back in the string for sale, Wiley and Whisper. We recently got in two new bay geldings, Tony and Tiger, who are working through our program on WHR "probation".
These horses are like our kids, and we spend a lot of time personally putting them through the paces and our WHR "acid test" for reliability, training, using on cattle, and hauling them to the high country for mileage. Check out our gelding webpage and watch for more being posted. Better yet, give Wil a call at 541-893-6535 and get your dibs in early, as we are scheduling horse client appointments with mini-clinics this fall and taking deposits, too. Join our "committed to enjoy my horse" group of WHR happy horse clients, and ride a good one!
Hope you all enjoy a beautiful Indian Summer and are blessed with the quenching of some long-overdue rains. Try to make it out to our ranch this fall and join our classes for some trail miles in the mountains and cattle work the WHR way, where the learning of life skills through horses never stops. We will keep you posted as best we can when we get a free moment, but always know a phone call or e-mail to check in is always well-received and acknowledged. Till our trails cross, stay in touch and keep striving to create a good horse on the ground and in the saddle through patience, leadership, and fair discipline. Your horse will love you for it, and will aim to please, if you just keep it simple and lead...as Wil would.
Katie "the Wonder Dog" and the WHR Crew--
Oliver, Pauline, & Bonnie in Bookkeeping
Fall Courses & Clinics
October 8-13 Six-day fall combined Foundation to Finished and Cow Work School
2-4-6 day combinations offered Openings still available - call Beverly for details
October 23-27 Five-day Fall Colors Trail Riders Training Retreat with Horsemanship and Hands-On Mountain Trail Ride Coaching and Trail Competition/Obstacle work, all in the beautiful Eagle Caps and Hells Canyon Country of eastern Oregon. Students are responsible for supplying their own horse feed/hay. Fees: $1650
$ave Now! Pre-Pay & Return Rider Discount Deadlines October 5th Prepayment Price: $1485 Return Riders: $1155 Add $300 for WHR horse use fee.
February 1-5 Foundation to Finished February 7-9 Reined Cow Working February 21-24 Ladies Only Practical Horsemanship with Beverly March 7-10 Outback Trail Training March 18-23 Cowgirls Only Performance Horsemanship with Beverly April 1-4 Return Riders Only - Ranch Horse Versatility Round-Up
Visit our website for full course descriptions and prices.