We are a family operated business with a deep-seated love for animals.
We are not breed or discipline specific.
All of our activities cover a wide range of interests, however our focus is on participation with horses for the pleasure and enjoyment of both horse and owner of all ages.
At DJ Ranch we offer pasture boarding, lessons, training and
summer day camps.
We believe in, and practice, safety, quality health and nutrition programs, respect for animals and people, on-going learning and having fun together. We keep our classes small, so that all students are receiving the much-needed one-on-one guidance while still having the social interaction with other students to develop teamwork skills.
Whatever Happened to Those
We all followed the story about the Suffield Mustang roundup, we know that the military wanted them off of the base, but where did they go? What are they like? Are they REALLY wild horses? Are they trainable?
As a self-taught horse rider I decided it was time I invested my time and money into some proper riding lessons. I booked myself into The DJ Ranch, just east of Black Diamond and I just have to share with you my delight and surprise of my first lesson.
I fully expected to be put on a saddled horse and to be told how to sit, hold my feet in the stirrups and how to control the horse. This was definitely NOT the case. My instructor was Lee, manager of the ranch and my lesson began with how to approach and catch your horse. I was taught how to hold the halter, how to approach and halter my horse and how to lead her across a field. So to my full surprise within 5 minutes I had met my horse, Jewel; and we were walking across the field up to the barn.
As the lesson progressed I was taught how to brush my horse down before and after I had ridden her, what each different brush was used for and the correct way to tie a knot so that your horse doesn't go wandering around the barn. Lee explained to me in depth the main and most important lesson I would learn was safety. Never take a horse for granted and always treat them with respect.
We progressed into the indoor arena where to my horror I was told I would be riding around bareback. This was when the nerves kicked in, but Jewel was gentle and patient with me. The reason I was being taught initially to ride bareback was to develop a good sense of balance. After a bit of a wobbly start my confidence grew and I was soon walking around the arena, steering around barrels and learning to slow and stop Jewel. Although Jewel walks at a fast pace, she responded quickly to my commands and was a pleasure to ride.
Lee also showed me some of the training techniques he uses on colts. It was wonderful to see him in complete control of his horse, Zip, turning him in circles, changing his pace from a slow walk to a trot, and all just by standing on the ground and holding Zip's lead rope. My 'riding' lesson was not just on the techniques of how to ride properly and how not break an arm or leg! Throughout the lesson Lee explained in depth the different colours and names of each horse, their different personalities and habits, and the right and wrong ways to create, or destroy the precious bond between horse and owner/rider. I discovered that the 'Alpha' horse in a herd will always be a mare. She will teach younger horses and they will look to her for ways to act and behave.
These wonderful animals are creatures of habit, loyal and caring and if treated correctly will become your friend for life. I thoroughly enjoyed my first lesson with Lee at DJ Ranch and I am really looking forward to my next one. I would recommend the ranch for anyone who is thinking of booking lessons. They have a summer day camp program for kids, and do lessons for everyone, both adults and children throughout the year.