Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holiday Season to ALL! Mother Nature is delivering a VERY white holiday season this week! We are so grateful for another wonderful year of delivering high quality horsemanship programs to our community and friends. This year we are pleased to have served: *37 students between the ages of 4 and 18 in our weekly horsemanship lessons *25 5-8 year olds in Little Star summer horse camps *18 special elementary school students in the Let Em Ride program *16 students in our Horse Care classes. None of this could be accomplished without the generosrity of many volunteers and donors and our fantastic 4-legged staff. Warmest wishes for peace, joy and connection with loved ones this winter. We look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My friend Henry There is a difference between just riding the horse and making a connection with a horse. Henry showed me what it felt like to have a great relationship between horse and rider. Most of the time we were speaking the same language. Henry gave me so much; he gave me the ability to grow as a rider. And trust me looking back at photos and videos I (we) have improved immensely! When I first heard of Henry, I didn’t really know what to think. I heard he pulled A LOT. But I also heard he was a great jumper. I needed desperately for some confidence in jumping. I had just finished my last show with my pony Midnight. And I was ready to move on to another horse, but who? I know this may be hard to believe. But I had a dream about riding Henry. I dreamed about going to my first recognized event on him. (Looking back, I find it weird that I dreamt about riding him and here I am writing about how much he gave to me as a rider!) And so I started to ride him, and I took lessons and spent time with him, so I knew him inside and out. Then I started jumping him. Henry gave me confidence in my riding, to think to myself I can do this, I can conquer all obstacles. And with hard work the two of us, as a team did. As we grew as a team the movements got more challenging. And even though it was hard, especially for him, he kept moving. Henry also showed the fun parts to riding a great horse like him, to go cantering across a field and to feel completely comfortable and free. Through hard work and great times we got to this place that was very special. I understood him, he understood me and we where a great team. If you are a rider than you know what I am talking about. To feel connected to a horse is the best thing ever, to be an inseparable team. It seems not until something is gone from you, you start to appreciate them even more. And how much they gave you. Henry pushed me higher and gave me a true feeling of horse back riding. I will never forget that amazing place we got to; I will never forget the fun times we had. But most importantly I will never forget how much I love him and how far he has taken me. With the confidence he has given me, I feel confident with any horse I jump. And to me that is very important!  Now that I realize he was being ridden by me and used lessons with a neck injury it makes me appreciate him even more!! I LOVE YOU HEN!
Sparks Fly ~ Runner Up for 2012 MVRU Horse of the Year This lovely Welsh/Welsh Cob mare likely received many votes due to her user friendly size and temperament. She is sweet, smart and, obviously, CUTE. Her willing and obedient nature have made 'Sparky' a favorite in summer horse camps and weekly lessons. Her athleticism and smarts also make her a great asset to the Moccasin Lake Ranch Equestrian Team. In addition, she is a terrifc bareback and trail riding pony!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012 Horse of the Year Results It is only fitting on this election year that we had a close race for Horse of the Year. All the votes have been counted and the winners are .. HENRY
.. and SPARKS FLY !
More horse info...! We have updated pictures and listings on our staff page, take a look! Check out changes on our website:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Late Fall & Winter Classes!
Designed to complement our horsemanship classes by providing learning time related to healthy horse-keeping practices and related subjects, these classes are intended for a broad audience ranging from complete beginners to experienced horse owners, both children and adults. Read more...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Let Em Ride has begun!
Take a look at last year in this short video clip.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Student Profile - Lily Holston

Lily Holston
Lily at 10 years old

 Lily began riding when she participated in the
Let Em Ride program seven years ago. For many years she had made it clear that there was NO WAY she would get on a horse. And then, once she did, there was no holding her back!

Lily at 15 years old
 Now, at almost 15, she  confidently catches, grooms and tacks up her own horse.  She rides independently at the walk and trot and canters on the lunge line. Currently she is learning some dressage figures and CONSIDERING riding in a dressage show next June. What progress this young lady has made!  Look at that nice position ... heels down, straight line from elbow to bit ... which takes such hard work and focus to maintain.  We are so proud of Lily!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fall Session

The days are starting to get a little shorter, so it's time to start thinking about fall riding here at the ranch.  Deadline for registration is September 5th.  Fall Session will run from September 10- October 26th.  MVRU will also be offering Four Friday's to riders who are 5 & 6 years old.  To download the registration information go to our website

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Feel & Influence

A note about horse riding and feel from Dr. Glass, MD, who practices at Northwest Child Neurology in Bothell and Bainbridge island. Horseback riding today:
 "More modern, classical equitation refers to the essential roles of "feel" and "influence," and these two elements serve as foundation for riding today.
"Feel" is the ability to perceive-subconsciously and consciously-the sensory input from the back of a horse: movement, speed, symmetry, position, tension, and many other attributes. After having felt this input, a rider may then "influence" the horse, and the horse's response will be largely determined by the appropriateness and clarity of the individual aid, calmness of the rider, focus of attention, and, most importantly, the timing of communication or readiness of the horse.
Influence occurs by the feeling the right time and the right manner. Like a toddler developing greater autonomy, understanding, and intention, a horse cannot rightfully be forced "to do", but a rider can set the stage and cultivate best choices in such a manner as to positively influence the horse's desire to perform.

Hence, riding is not simply a process of backing a horse and moving along, but rather a complex process of integrating sensory input ( the feel), motor output (the influence), communication (largely nonverbal, between horse and rider), and finally, the spiritual element that is paramount but more difficult to measure.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Passing of Brownie

Two Sundays ago our beloved friend and teacher, Brownie, passed on to greener pastures. He was 24. Brownie was the very first school horse for MVRU 18 years ago. He was a generous soul who touched the hearts of scores of children and adults over the years. We are grateful for having this wonderful horse in our lives for so many years.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Who we are ...

Methow Valley Riding Unlimited is dedicated to providing high-quality instruction in horsemanship programs that bring horses and people together to foster joy, learning, healing, compassion, respect, responsibility, cooperation and personal growth. Offered within the natural splendor of Moccasin Lake Ranch, our educational, therapeutic and recreational horsemanship programs build connections and memories that last a life time.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring Enrollment Information

Hello Methow Valley Families!
We now have available all our information for the Spring Horsemanship Series offered by Methow Valley Riding Unlimited at Moccasin Lake Ranch. These group lessons will commence after Spring Break. Please note the registration deadline - March 28. This is critical for scheduling our busy season.
Moccasin Lake Ranch is 'Open for the Season' March 1 for lessons by appointment. Give your horse-crazy kids a head start on the season! Keep up with your kids ! Parents, want to learn more or be able to help out in your child's lessons?? You are encouraged to gather friends and organize an adult group series for this spring, too.
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!
Early Bird . . . . April 9-June 1 $270
Regular Spring Session . . . April 16-June 1 $215
Four Fridays . . . April 13,27, May 11, 25 $130
We will be happy to email you our Spring registration packet, contact us at

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spring Riding Just Around the Corner

Signs of Spring at the ranch

It all started with a little help from the Moccasin Lake Ranch snow removal team, with their equipment and expertise the arena is clear of snow!!! Although we know that mother nature can deliver a variety of goods in Methow Valley March, we have seized the opportunity to get the horses out on the lunge line and under saddle!!!
Spring session is just about upon us and we want to remind everyone of some very important dates:
Early Bird...April 9-June 1
Regular Spring Session...April 16-June 1
Let Em Ride...April 16-May 21
Four Fridays...April 13, 27, May 11, 25
**Stay tuned for enrollment information**

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Gift to Start 2012

We have been honored with the gift of the LOVELY 12 year old, 14H Welsh/Welsh Cob mare 'Sparks Fly by our friends Devon Trepass and her mom, Tracey March, formerly of Winthrop. Sparks made her home with us for almost a year before moving to Bend, OR. Life changes in her family have brought this sweet pony back 'home' to us at Moccasin Lake Ranch where she has many friends, both 2-legged and 4. She is a clever and athletic pony who likes to have meaningful work and promises to be useful in many of our programs. We are grateful and feel blessed by good fortune.

Monday, January 16, 2012

3x5 Folded Card

Family Portrait Thank You Card
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