Have you made your Valentine’s Day plans?

Have you made your Valentine’s Day plans?
Take your sweetheart on a unique Valentine’s Day outing that they will remember for years to come.   Enjoy a romantic sleigh ride then treat them to a delicious, five-course dinner in an intimate, candle-lit setting with live music.   Extend the evening into an overnighter when you book one of our rooms or cabins.  Your overnight lodging includes a full, hot breakfast.
On Valentine’s Day, Tuesday the 14th, the menu will include:
  • Appetizer – Shrimp Cocktail
  • Soup – Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Salad – Watercress Salad with Shaved Mushrooms and Radishes, dressed with a Sherry-Honey Vinaigrette
  • The main course buffet will include:
    • Roast Prime Rib of Beef with Aujus and Horseradish Cream
    • Slow Baked Salmon with Honey-Dijon Marmalade
    • Steamed Asparagus or Broccoli
    • Scalloped Potatoes
    • Warm Bread
    • Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
  • Dessert: Chocolate French Silk Tart with Almond crust or Frozen Lemon Mousse with Raspberry Sauce
Prices for this evening are as follows:
Dinner – $37.50 per person
Sleigh Ride for two: $75.00
Dinner, sleigh ride and cabin package – $310.00
Dinner, sleigh ride and lodge room package – $270.00

    *Reservations Required
    *For sleigh rides of four or more persons the price is $19 per person
    Can’t celebrate on the 14th?
    Join us Saturday, February 11th for a Mediterranean dinner.  Make the evening even more memorable by adding a sleigh ride or an overnight stay.
    Dinner on Saturday, the 11th will include:
    • Appetizer – Suvlaki with Slow Roasted Olives, Oranges and Almonds served with Grilled Crostini
    • Soup – Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup with Yogurt and Lemon
    • Main Course –
      • Grilled Lamb Kebobs served with warm pita and Tzatziki Sauce
      • Maussaka with eggplant Tomatoes and feta or Greek Grilled Vegetables dressed with a sauce of fresh lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, paprika and cayenne
      • Spanakopita
      • Tabouli
      • Greek Salad
    • Dessert – Baklava
    Prices for this evening are as follows:
    Dinner – $25.50 per person
    Sleigh ride for two – $75.00
    Dinner, sleigh ride and cabin package: $291.00
    Dinner, sleigh ride and lodge room package: $251.00
      *For sleigh rides of four or more persons the price is $19 per person
      *Reservations Required
      The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch does not have a beer and wine license so we cannot provide you with alcohol on either of these evening, however, you are welcome to bring your own.
      This is a BYOB event
      For more details or to make a reservation call:
      Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
      (208) 263-9066

      New Shipment of Western Merchandise

      I just got in our biggest shipment yet of western handbags! After pricing them and setting them out on display, I have to say I am coveting a few of those bags. So please, for my sake, stop by and buy yourself a new handbag (you deserve it!) before I spend the rest of my paycheck on them. Do you think I can justify one handbag for each day of the week?

      We also have bling belts, necklaces,wallets and bling cadet hats.


      Has Spring Sprung in North Idaho?

      Has spring sprung here in North Idaho? Well no. The only thing you can be sure of about the weather around here is that every year it will be different. So if someone tells you, “winters in Idaho are mild”, or “Idaho winters are treacherous”, don’t believe them. The truth is, we never know what to expect! One winter may bring skiffs of snow and horseback rides on dry ground by Valentines Day. Others lead you to believe that earth’s pole has shifted and a new ice age has begun.

      For now we have too much ice and too little snow for sleigh rides or horseback rides. Those of you who love to ski, however, are in luck! Schweitzer still has some of the best snow-pack in the nation with 92 runs and 8 lifts open for traffic. Rumor has it that snow is on the horizon so don’t give up on your cross country skiing, snowmobiling or sleigh riding winter get-a-way plans. According to the Weather Channel, the Sandpoint area should see snow in the air beginning Sunday. The chance of precipitation rises as the week goes on, however so do the temperatures. The average yearly temperatures for the following week (Jan. 22-28) range from 54oF to -22oF. So if you are visiting the area or a seasoned native, plan on warm sunny days spent outside enjoying the fantastic scenery, or bitter cold spent inside stoking the crackling fire, drinking warm hot coco, and counting the layers that you will need to prevent frostbite.

      Don’t let the diversity of the weather scare you away. It is these changes that amplify the beauty, wonder, and adventure that is North Idaho. No matter what season you choose to visit, summer; winter; fall; spring or mud, you are sure to be enchanted by what I believe to be the most beautiful place on God’s green earth.

      Christmas Tree Sleigh Rides

      Can you believe it? It’s already the time of year to start thinking about getting your Christmas Tree. Everyone seems to have a very different idea about the perfect time to get a Christmas tree. Some set up their tree on Christmas Eve, which, I must say, is not enough time to enjoy the dazzling sight and soothing fragrance of a Christmas tree. Some get their tree up sometime after the first of December because, of course, you can’t start thinking about Christmas until the calendar says “December”. Others set their tree up the day after Thanksgiving as family is still about to enjoy decorating together. And then there is the crazy, way too prepared, extreme few who decorate their tree before Thanksgiving. That’s just not right!

      Whatever your Christmas tree tradition, consider adding a new tradition that will gather the whole family for some simple old fashioned enjoyment. Consider this memorable outing, where you will load up on one of our horse drawn sleighs and enjoy a scenic ride to the tree lot. There you will pick out a fresh cut locally grown Christmas tree. Then gather the family and your tree and ride the sleigh back to the lodge where you will be served fresh popped popcorn, hot chocolate, and coffee.

      We will be offering these rides starting the day after Thanksgiving, running through December until we run out of trees. Call to make a reservation at (208) 263-9066. $90.00 for a family of four (this price includes the tree), $15.00 for each additional person.


      Isaac and Libby’s Wedding

      On September 10, 2011, Isaac and Libby tied the knot! For those of you who don’t know, Isaac is my little brother. Their beautiful, country wedding (complete with a tractor) even made it into the Spokesman Review. Rather than spend several pages describing the beauty and uniquness of the wedding, below I have shared several of my favorite pictures to tell the story.

      I just had to share this picture of my little girl, Emily. She was the flower girl.

      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.