Meet Our Animals
To see our horses and read their biographies, click on Our Horses above.
Leadership is hard. Thankfully, we’re not without hope or help through Christ Jesus. The Bible talks a lot about leadership and Jesus gave us a perfect example. A good place to start is “let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” Philippians 2:4. There’s nothing like riding a 1000-lb. animal to teach you a few things about leadership, both over the horse and over your own emotions. Whether the horse is giving some subtle–or not-so-subtle–feedback about how it’s responding to the student rider, or something else, there are countless parallels between what happens at the barn and what happens elsewhere around the Ranch and in the life of the student.
Interested in helping support our horses? Click on Contact above or visit our Donate page. You can also find our Wish List if you click on the Partner With Us tab above for more specific needs.
We’ve seen our share of horses through the years and they’ve all taught us something. We have a much better idea of what horses serve our program though, true to form, sometimes they surprise us. If you would like to talk with Mr. Ryan about the type of horse we’re looking for, click on Contact above.
Find out more about Wears Valley Ranch @ wvr.org
New in 2017 we welcomed some Muscovy ducks to our barnyard! While not known for their good looks, they are known to be voracious fly predators as well as for their meat and eggs. They compliment our chickens in their role reducing our fly populations. They have already made a noticeable dent in our horse fly and Japanese beetle populations. And as you can tell, their gregarious personalities are sure to bring a smile. They started laying eggs in October 2017 which will eventually be for sale along with our chicken eggs through our Farm at Wears Valley Ranch.
During Mr. Ryan’s first job on the dude ranch he was exposed to handling cattle on horseback and ranch roping. This exposure to traditional american ranching left an indelible impression on him. While the Wears Valley Ranch property has a long history with cows that pre-dates the incorporation of WVR, Mr. Ryan was eager to introduce the horsemanship aspect of cattle ranching to the students here. For those who are interested, students have the opportunity to learn the horsemanship and rope handling skills required to be a cattle rancher. With the goal of low-stress handling of the cattle, we raise quality, pasture-raised beef which is both served to the students and for sale through the Farm at WVR. Also our campers, many of whom have never ridden a horse before coming to Camp Arrowwood, love the experience of herding the cattle around our arena.
Our egg-laying chickens server several functions. They are an integral part of our multi-species grazing program, helping eat fly larvae out of manure, and helping spread the manure in the process which makes it more readily available as fertilizer. We also harvest their eggs which are available along with broiler meat through our Farm. The students get to help with the chicken chores, feeding and watering the chickens as well as practicing their math skills as they count eggs.
What’s a barn without a barn cat. Our kitten, Slater, has now reached cat-hood and is proving a faithful mouser. His take on life–whether it’s stalking the nesting barn swallows or sleeping in the hay feeder–is always entertaining.
They’re called man’s best friend for a reason. Daisy makes the commute with Mr. Ryan every day from their home to the Ranch and back again. She’ll always greet you with a wag of the tail and a tennis ball…which she may or may not share. If you can’t find her she’s probably asleep in the shade under the tree, trailer, or picnic table, or cooling off in the nearest available water source. And she loves to lead trail rides!