February 29, 2020 Volume 15, Issue 9

This past week started the first winter 8 day horsemanship clinic. What an awesome group of riders! The Seattle

Karmen working with Monty, a Seattle Mounted Police horse

Mounted Police joined us with their mounts, and Flora (our beloved apprentice) is fortunate to have her family of Jon. Hannah and Clem here riding with her! Our longtime guest Joy, also joins us along with two riders new to the ranch but not new to riding.  There is still three days remaining in the clinic but so far, everyone is looking really good. They are working on seat position and how it relates to getting their horse to work off their seat and legs, (no reins) and setting up their horse’s transitions for cantering on the proper lead- and lots of other stuff of course 🙂

This week, Anna Banana gives us her perspective on returning to the ranch from a well deserved vacation…


Kevin riding Catman

Hey guys! I just got back from vacation this week and hit the ground running. While I was away, I had time to think. If you know me, sometimes thinking can be overwhelming. My mind is constantly going, going, and going. My mind works in lists most days, which is wonderful working at the ranch. My brain is quite like a Google Map-guided directions. It’s like missing a turn and “rerouting” shouts out in my head. It might sound silly, but it has taught me a lot about flexibility.

I thought about it a lot while on vacation. I thought about how I can take that same mentality, being prepared for anything and always have a plan A- B-C, and how it can change my horsemanship. Shayne talks about it all the time, how to always be ahead of everything sets your horse (and you) up for success.

The best way I could think of to start was making small easy changes. I started out with how leading my horse to

Clem on a pony he is training named Cheyanne

grain, or to saddle up should be as active as if I needed to get a gate closed before the cattle get through. Then I started with how my horse starts out on a circle. Small changes lead to big changes. I try to keep my brain going, re-evaluate, plan A didn’t go right? Go to plan B. Shayne had been teaching us a similar theory over the winter. Know what you want, know what you got, and know where your going.

This week was one for the record books when you talk about being flexible. With an 8 day clinic upon us, and Brenda going on vacation, I had to be at the ready for whatever comes up for the day. I spent the week shoeing, housekeeping, riding, reorganizing, and even spent a day in the kitchen to help Emily. As overwhelming as it might seem, it was actually one of the best weeks I’ve had.

Bo, of the Seattle Mounted Police riding Max


Being flexible doesn’t mean you become less decisive. Some might even say if you are too flexible you are a pushover. Man, are they wrong. I believe that being flexible puts you ahead of the pack. So challenge yourself to think more, do better, and stretch the heck out of the box to take the chance!

Anna Banana


Clayton looking very handsome (Anna K. Photo)

Hannah riding her horse Shorty, working on no reins, legs only

One very fluffy cat, Trouble!(Anna K. photo)

Bill Elk, (Anna K. Photo)

Joy K. riding Scotch working on a soft feel