I know I am a horrible slacker!!

Well, Summer and Fall have come and nearly gone and I have not written one new blog. I am a horrible slacker. In an effort to make up for my shortcomings over the past two seasons, the following is a list of topics I look forward to sharing very soon:

Isaac and Libby’s Wedding

The Hermiston Horse Sale

Quilting Retreats

Fall Color Rides

Riding Lessons

Christmas Tree Sleigh Rides

New Arrivals


Horses for Sale at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

UPDATE 12/26/2014 : Western Pleasure Guest Ranch currently does not have any horses available for sale.

Here are some horses we have up for sale at the ranch. We hate to see them go but they are ready for a forever home.

Barney is a twenty something year old Appaloosa who is looking for a home where he can take care of the littlest cowgirls and cowboys. Barney has been and excellent babysitter for the little ones that come to visit the ranch, but now Barney wants to find a family with kids who will love and care for him the rest of his days. Barney is sound, gentle, and quiet. If you are looking for a first horse for a small child, Barney is perfect for the job.

Will He Cowboy – “Willie” is a 1994, 15hh, registered Paint gelding. Willie is an excellent, go anywhere, do anything kind of horse. Would be great horse for a beginner but has enough training for an advanced rider to enjoy him. Needs a home that will use him for light work. We hate to have to let him go. Listen to what Danielle, one of the wranglers, has to say about why Willie is one of her favorite horses: “If I am headed out to move cattle, horses, or people, I can always count on Willie to get the job done right. He has got the speed, power, and agility to chase down a stray cow, but he is laid back and level headed enough to mosey down the trail with a 6 year old on his back.”
Call for price

Highspeed Dun Lapped Um’
“Checkers” is a 14.2 hh, registered Appaloosa mare born on April 9, 2004. Has been showed Western and English pleasure, and halter at local shows. Has been to a trail challenge as well. She has been ridden extensively on trails and in the mountains. She would be perfect for 4-H or Pony Club. We owned her sire and still use her dam and both are excellent, solid horses. This is a gorgeous little mare who we are only selling because she is just not going to be a “dude” horse. She would be perfect for a small woman or good youth rider. No soundness issue. Will only sell to the right home.

Red is a 15hh, sorrel, registered Quarter Horse gelding. This is a very athletic gelding who as an amazing stop on him. With slide plates you could really slide! Is in training with Isaac Schoonover. Has been through several Pat Wyse clinics as well. He is great on trails and moving cows. This is a fun gelding to ride. Not a beginner horse.
$5000 (Price negotiable)
Call for pictures

If you are interested in purchasing any of these horses you can call us toll free at (888) 863-9066. Our email is [email protected] You can also view these horses on our web site at http://westernpleasureranch.com/about-the-ranch/horses-for-sale.html.


Recreate Romance Valentine Dinner

“There’s no cure for love sickness and nobody really wants one.”

Come enjoy a extraordinary evening with the one that you love. We will be serving a five course dinner with live music on the nights of Sunday, February 13th and Monday the 14th. The price is $37.50 per person. Please call (888) 863-9066 to make a reservation or if you have any questions. Check out the following. It is sure to make you hungry!

Seetings are available at 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00 pm.
This is a BYOB event.

How to Get on Your Horse Bareback

The art of mounting a saddleless horse is something I have tried to master for years. I am sorry to report that…well…I still really stink at it. However, with my years of experience at trying, I have learned a few techniques that I will share with you today.

The models in the pictures will demonstrate these techniques, however I must apologies to them ahead of time because they don’t know that I am using these lovely pictures of them on this blogg.

It is vital that your horse stand completely still while you attempt to swing onto their bare back from the ground. I find that it is best to first whisper to your horse your plans. In this case, I decided to make sure my horse was paying complete attention to my whispers by taking her head in my hands and speaking directly into her eyes. Here I am imploring her to stand still and think small (very small) while I attempt to get on.

Here, Sammi Jo Gulickson (one of the ranch’s past wranglers) is swinging onto Lil’ Horse. She began by standing next to Lil’ Horse’s head facing her hind quarters, then swung her right foot up and over Lil’ Horse’s back. Note that Sammi uses her left leg, wrapped around Lil’ Horse’s front left leg to help her climb onto her steed’s back.

Once Sammi has swung her leg on top of Lil’ Horse’s back, she uses her arms to pull her the rest of the way up. Her left hand pulls on a chunk of mane, while her right elbow is hooked over the withers.

This next horsewoman is Melissa Peck, another past wrangler at the ranch. Please note that her horse, Rhythm, is 16+ hands tall. Melissa begins with the same technique as Sammi by facing her horse’s hindquarters and swinging her right leg over her horse’s back.

This is where Melissa’s technique varies from Sammi. Notice Melissa is using her right leg to grip Rhythm’s right hip and pull herself onto his back. A word of caution here: if you are wearing spurs make sure you have very calm horse or be prepared for a large movement forward!

Congratulations Melissa on successful and graceful bareback mount onto a very tall horse.

As I mentioned at the beginning I have not yet mastered this skill. I would now like to demonstrate a bareback mounting failure. Yes, that is me, and yes that is a pony whose side I am clinging to. Not my finest moment here. Let us dissect my form, or lack there of. Had I used Sammi’s left leg method and climbed Lil’ Horse’s leg like a ladder, I might have made it on. Or had I employed Melissa’s technique of using my right leg and spur like a climbing axe I may have succeeded. Or could the real problem be that my horse just didn’t think small enough? Yes , I am going with that one.

Grandparents are Great!

As I grew up, my grandparents lived only minutes away from me. This is a blessing for which I am eternally grateful. My grandparent’s home was a second home for me.

But many children do not get to experience this geographical closeness to their grandparents. This summer at the ranch I have witnessed many grandparents reconnecting with their grand kids on a horseback vacation. Is there a better way to spend precious time together? I think not.

When Grandpa and Grandson search the banks of a shallow creek together in pursuit of an illusive frog to add their stash of scavenger hunt finds, memories are made that last a lifetime. When Grandma and Granddaughter trot through an open field of wildflowers laughing together as they go, memories are made that last a lifetime.

Thank you to the grandparents who have brought their grandchildren to vacation at the ranch this summer. Your grandchildren will cherish the memories forever.


Spring Break Day Camp at Western Pleasure

Today we had our first Day Camp here at the ranch. Five hardy youngsters showed up today to enjoy a day filled with horseback fun. The rain, hail, sleet, snow, and 30+ mile an hour wind didn’t damper their spirits one bit. The horses were as ready to go as the kids today. We are looking forward to tomorrow when another group of horse crazy kids comes in to mount up!

Idaho Forest Legacy Program

I am very proud to announce that my family’s ranch is now an Idaho Forest Legacy Program property. For the many of you who have never heard of this program, like myself when we first started into this endeavor, the Idaho Forest Legacy Program is “established to ascertain and protect environmentally important forest areas that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses and to promote forestland protection and other conservation opportunities.”

We celebrated the completion of this project on January 30, 2010. With the family gathered, we listened to my Grandpa, Grandma, my uncles, and my mom tell hilarious and moving stories about their childhood on the ranch. Here is what my mom, Janice, had to say about the project completion:
“Last night we celebrated the conclusion of a seven year project to put the land known as the Wood V-X ranch, which is also the land that Western Pleasure has the privilege to operate on. The state of Idaho and the Clark Fork Pend Orielle conservancy have put many, many hours into this project and it is now done. The land is protected from future development FOREVER.”

This land has become a piece of each and every one of us in the Wood family. We are all so excited to know that this piece of paradise will forever remain as it is, so that our children, friends, and guests will have the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from this land.

The following pictures of the event were taken by the very talented writer, Marianne Love. You can read and see Marianne’s take on this occasion at her blog, http://www.slightdetour.blogspot.com/.


Recreate Romance this Valentines Day

I love going out for a nice dinner with my sweetheart. Valentines Day is a perfect excuse to dress up a little and enjoy a dinner that I didn’t throw together in between changing diapers. When I am looking for the perfect place to go for this romantic night I look for an establishment that has great food, a quiet atmosphere, is unique, and won’t break the bank.

This year, the ranch is offering a special “Recreate Romance” Valentines Dinner. If I wasn’t working during this dinner, it would be the perfect place for the hubby and I to share our Valentines Day together.

If you are looking for a place to take your Valentine this year, I recommend the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. Not only will you experience an excellent dinner and the best of service, you can reserve a cosy room in the lodge or secluded cabin to make your romantic evening even more special.

For more information visit http://www.westernpleasureranch.com/ or call (888) 863-9066.

Brad Yunek – A talent you may not have known.

Many of you have met Brad Yunek when visiting the ranch. Brad has worked here full time as a Wrangler, Maintenance Man, and Sleigh Driver for over a decade. You have probably witnessed his talent as a trail guide and for fixing machinery while you visited the ranch. You may have even had the pleasure of listening to him play songs around the fire while entertaining guests. But did you know that he is a very talented song writer as well?

He first discovered his musical talent of song writing in 7th grade. Over the years, his repertoire of lyrical creations has grown to number in the hundreds. Most of his songs are Country or Contemporary Christian, with a few comedy pieces thrown in. He began to write more seriously with the goal of becoming a pro-writer in 2004. Since then he has become a member of a few song writing associations which help him to refine his song writing skills.

Brad says that his goal is to “begin to derive income from my songs through artist cuts, film/TV placements, or any other source that I can find. ” This winter he took a giant step toward reaching this goal. Brad sent four of his songs to Nashville to be cut by a pro studio. Now that he has these songs in a professional recording format, he is more prepared to pitch these songs to professional artists.

I wish the best of luck to Brad in his goals. I have no doubt that he will accomplish them. If you would like to listen to the four newly recorded songs, or any of Brads other songs, visit http://www.songu.com/yearbook/songs.aspx?id=3426.


Emily Joy Otis is here!

For all of you who have been waiting to hear the update on Emily and I, here it is.

On November 30, Landon and I headed to the Labor and Delivery wing at the Bonner General Hospital to begin my scheduled induction one week past my due date. Since Emily wasn’t showing any signs of entering the world on her own, we were having her evicted. We spent all of Monday at the hospital with me on a drug to help get things rolling. I had just enough contractions to make me very uncomfortable for our overnight stay at the hospital but not enough to encourage Emily to come meet us.
Tuesday at 11:00am they decided to start the pitocin. By 1:30pm the contractions were bad enough that I decided

to plan ahead and ask for my epidural knowing it would take about an hour before the anesthesiologist could get to me. Two hours later I was more than a little frustrated that I had not gotten the epidural yet, however by 4:00 I was resting comfortably and unable to feel the increasingly strong contractions. You know the feeling of being under a bunch of really

heavy, warm blankets? Well that’s what it felt like. I have decided people should get epidurals just as a relaxation tool. Epidurals are pretty much amazing. At 6:30 pm the doctor came in and announced that I was ready to have this baby. The doctor exited the room to take a phone call and I tried to pull myself from my two hour long relaxation period and come to the realization that I was about to meet my little girl. To say that I pushed for 5 minutes would be an exaggeration. At 6:43pm Emily came into the world. She weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 21 inches long.
Emily is beautiful! Landon and I spent the next two nights in the hospital recovering and getting to know our little girl. Landon is absolutely loving being a Dad. While

we were in the hospital he commented that having Emily made him feel like he either wanted to have five more, or only Emily so she could be extra special. He couldn’t decide. He was like super dad while we were there. I did not change one diaper! Even my grandpa was impressed with the way Landon cared for Emily. The first night, he stayed up most of the night just to watch over her and make sure she was okay. He is amazing!
She is now 6 days old and is still doing great. Landon and I are suffering from a little lack of sleep but still going strong.
Thank you to everyone who has visited us and given Emily gifts. Your support is wonderful!