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Sommersby Ranch Story

Where God heals
Horses teach
and Cowgirls grow in Faith

When I was growing up I had a dream of becoming a cowgirl.

This dream was fueled by my interest in western movies, a passion I share with my dad. From watching many of the great movies I understood the bond between the cowboys and their horses. They appreciated solitude which often led to lonely lives, even though they were never really alone. But most of all I loved the freedom which these men lived by.

From around the age of twelve I wanted to be a cowgirl living life to my own rhythm and working with horses, but life got in the way and my dream was sadly put away. Over the years I have come to learn about the women who made their mark on the West since the frontier days and still continue to do so today. They took on the same chores as men. They worked the land, brought in the cattle, calmed a spooked horse and even fought off mountain lions. They were gutsy, tough, hardworking and honest. Despite being a woman in a man dominated world, they also gave birth, raised their children and put a hearty meal on the table for their families. They showed women everywhere how to make their dreams of freedom a reality. They were free from the confinements of what society expected of them and they rode at full gallop through the wide open spaces. 

Through the stories I read about them there is a common thread of hardship, determination and independence, but the more I learn about them and their lives, the more I admire their spirit, and my fascination continues to grow. Since my involvement with horses almost 20 years ago I began to think like a cowgirl, make decisions like a cowgirl and set big goals like a cowgirl. Rodeo and riding wild broncos has never been on my ‘to do’ list but I have always wanted to identify with the characteristics that made these women successful at roping more out of life. I have learned that being cowgirl-smart is about being fearless, adventurous, original, resourceful, independent, faithful, honest and genuine. Although these women never take the easy road, the road they choose for themselves leaves them stronger and I wanted to exemplify their courage, and their perseverance against all odds to live a full and adventurous life. I believe all women have a cowgirl spirit, bucking to get out because women of all ages share the longing for the spirit of freedom and independence.

“Sommersby Ranch” was created in my mind as a dream almost twenty years ago, but in December 1999, I started the “Sommersby School of Horsemanship”. I thought it was my chance to build my dream of how my life was supposed to be.  I was 38 years old, a single mother of three amazing children, and I wanted to provide the opportunity to raise them, especially my youngest who was only six months old, with plenty of room to play and animals to care for.  Somewhere along the way I realised it wasn’t about what I wanted, it was about what others needed.  I learned that I had the ability to help others hold on to their dreams by instilling confidence and building their self-esteem using my horses as teachers. I found that not only did my clients become better horse people they also experienced incredible growth in their personal lives.  I have discovered over the years that horses are teachers of great truths, and working with them forces us to confront many issues that are relevant to daily living, whether at home with our families, in the classroom or in the business world.

“Sommersby Ranch” is a place of peace, healing and learning life skills through association with horses. The emphasis is on creating opportunities for developing the best in every girl.  What we do identifies with the characteristics that made the Wild West cowgirls successful at roping more out of life. It is also a place where you can learn to live, laugh and love who you truly are. 

My dream has helped me to live my best life and having had few female mentors in my life I modeled myself after the strongest women I knew of – Cowgirls.

Until God leads us to His chosen place, Sommersby Ranch is wherever I hang my hat - that is home. No matter where we are our wish is to share the Sommersby dream with those who come our way.

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