We are located 45 minutes east of the city of Lloydminster, which is on the Saskatchewan/Alberta border, just off the
Yellowhead Highway # 16. It is an area where there is little traffic, and wide open countryside of pastureland
right up to the Battle River. The area is perfect for training horses, with miles and miles of pasture and nature to
relax and expose the horses to. As well, the soil is sandy, so the training pens and arena always provide good footing
for the horses. We are nestled in an area that is peaceful and quiet, with the beauty of the land all around that God
has provided us. The most consistent comment we hear from folks about where we are situated is "My goodness, I
can't believe how peaceful and beautiful it is here. It is like a small piece of heaven!" We couldn't agree
more! To live in such a special and wonderful place, to work daily with the majestic and undeniably beautiful beast
called the horse, and be able to ranch as well, raising Black Angus cattle, we truly feel the Lord's hands upon us and
feel His grace and blessings daily.
We have been raising horses and ranching all of our lives, with the exception of Clifford having been training horses for
a living and as a profession for over forty years! He worked at different ranches and training centres all over western
Canada, and a short stint in Texas, but always came back to wanting to own his own ranch, land, cattle and horses. He
is a true cowboy at heart! We both love the land and livestock, and feel compelled to be good stewarts of all that God
has put into our lives.
Our facilities consist of a new metal 92 x 200 foot arena/barn that we put up a few years ago, which has 15
box stalls, a wash rack, heated tack room, washroom and office. As mentioned before, the arena ground is perfect for
training, as the horses can take hold of the ground when working cattle, and still be comfortable when being schooled.
We have a very safe and secure round pen in the arena to start colts, that is solid walled and 8 feet high, so as to keep
them from distractions and not having the potential to get their legs or feet into any crevasses. There is also a large
outdoor riding arena as well, and we are currently constructing a new outdoor round pen to work cattle in. We have a
flag to work horses on, as well, being that we ranch, we background our calves and therefore have cattle to work horses on
pretty much year round.
While running his own training centres at various locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Clifford also, for a time taught
the colt starting part of the equine program at the Lakeland College in Vermilion, when it was in existence, but the long
drive finally got to him. However, he continues with teaching at clinics and lessons, as well as apprenticing the
young riders who have worked here over the years, as we feel the need to give back to an industry that has been joyful
to be a part of. It is always nice to hear from those we have had the pleasure to come into contact with, through lessons
and clinics, especially at our ministry's Horsemen Living For Christ Clinics/Camps, that their lives were impacted in a positive
way by something we said or did, and that their relationship with their horse is much improved and rewarding. We believe
that if we can help the riders who have come for lessons or at clinics, then we have helped the horse, and if we have helped
the horse, then we have helped the rider! It may seem pretty simple, but it is true! That relationship between
the two must always be cohesive and thoughtful.
The philosophy we use in training horses is based on our belief that we preserve the horse's body, mind and spirit during
their training, using consistency and rewarding them for acceptable behavior. This is what "training" is,
showing a horse on a consistent basis what you want from them. Communication is the key, and you hear many different
terms to describe it, as well as many different opinions on how to accomplish it, from all kinds of people in the horse world. There
are all kinds of clinics, DVDs, and books on this topic, among many others. Many of them tell you that their way
is the only way. Well, what we have learned over the years is that there is really no "right" way and anything
other than that is the "wrong" way. It all comes down to doing what works for you, or what you are comfortable
and capable of doing. You may take a bit of this guys' thoughts and a bit of that guys' thoughts and then try,
on your own, to melt them together into something that works for you. We have found that learning never stops, and are
always aware of what horses teach us, and work that knowledge into how we do things. Every horse is a bit different
than the next, but there are many basics which just "are" when dealing with them. Once you have figured that
out, you are well on your way of being in tune with your horse, and learning, for both of you, comes much easier and faster.
We have come to the realization that the horse will tell you what "his truth" is, every time that you work with
him, in short, he has no hidden agenda. Horses don't know how to "lie". You just have to pay attention to what
he is telling you about himself. But not only is he telling you about himself, but also about how he interprets how
you are relating to him. And sometimes this can really be an "eye opener" for us, as we learn something about
ourselves, that perhaps we didn't know or didn't want to admit or see, on how we are relating to other living beings we come
into contact with. It can be a hard and sometimes painful bit of knowledge to absorb, but if we are willing, it can
change us irrevocably. All from the horse! That is why working with horses is becoming more popular all the time as
therapeutic help with troubled youth, mental illness, depression, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), those with physical
and mental disabilities and the like. The horse is always truthful with those around them and in their environment.
We are always working from where the horse is at on that day, being aware of the horse's physical and mental expression, which
is so important. Having a passion for horses' ever thinking, ever feeling; always working on how much less you
can do this day, to get the understanding come through to him, is the key to a successful relationship. Our aim is to
develop a well rounded horse that will be utilized and enjoyed for many years to come by their owners and riders. We
believe that the same basic foundation should go into all horses, in making them solid in whatever they do in their future,
whether it is a career in the show pen, or being a ranch horse, or just a good using horse that someone rides solely for the
sheer enjoyment of it! The beginning, or start, of a horse's education, is not only the most interesting, but also the
most important part, as it sets up a horse for success, no matter what breed or discipline. This is why we like to start
the colts that we are going to train. So they can tell us where they are at right now and what is going on with them,
before someone has attempted to alter that. It is easier and quicker to evaluate a horse and know what is the "horse"
naturally, and what is "what has made him into what he is presently by what has been done to him", especially when
something that is concerning shows up! The horses are continually being evaluated to see if the owner's expectations
and the horse's abilities and desire coincide, or match one another. We work with the owners in achieving their goals
and aspirations for their prospects, and if they don't match, then we do what we can to rectify that. We are not going
to tell you what we think you want to hear, but rather the truth, as we see it, in relation to your horse. Not all horses
are capable or willing to do what our preconceived notions are that they should, so our job is to figure out what the horses
are most fitted and happy at doing. We have to make sure that we don't try to put a square peg into a round hole, and damage
the peg in the process! We just need to find the square hole to put the peg into! It takes skill, patience, experience
and the understanding of the individual horse that we are dealing with, to achieve this. Clifford's natural talents
and abilities have been honed from the experience and sheer number of horses that he has worked with over the many years.
We do not inject any "self interest" into our evaluations of the horses. Our only concern is the best for
both the horse and the rider/owner, and we owe them honesty and truthfulness.
We train, show and sell many of the horses that
we have raised. We selected the qualities and traits we felt were important to pass on to the offspring, and have been
blessed with many good horses from our own ranch, as well as ones we have purchased! We always try to match up
the horses and potential owners/riders so that everyone is happy at the end of the day! We don't want someone to purchase
a horse that, after getting a feel for their wants and needs through questions and observation, we know will not fit these
requirements. We are not in the business of making a fast buck, and our reputation in the industry stands as a testament