Hi Susan and Louie & friends. I have been busy with MY WONDERFUL NEW HORSE, Black Jack!!!
I have lots of excuses to be in the pasture instead of cooking, cleaning or crafting.
This great horse was meticulously trained by Susan and Louie Ochoa. When my husband joined the search for my 'wish list' horse, fate led him directly to the Ochoas' listing at their WindWalker Ranch. I have to say, once we drove up to their property, our lives began to change at a rapid pace. These good people welcomed us in like long lost family. They exude respect and quality care. Once it was decided that I could own this horse, my real training began. My husband left me in their capable hands, rushing home to build fences and gates, as it was clear I would insist on seeing him out my kitchen window. The Ochoas' accepted me into their home as a guest, a client, and a friend (including the flu I arrived there with). Thus began my tutorial of horsemanship 101, the Ochoa way. I truly believe I made every possible mistake a novice rider could make, and likely even invented a few more. I am sure I taxed their patience and pushed their prayers to a new level. To their renowned credit, they never balked in their committment to share their skills with me, and their confidence in Black Jack helped me to never give up. I wish I had a movie journal of the lessons. Their kindness, consistant effort and depth of quality will stay with me always. Their thorough training, proof visible daily with this wonderful horse, is fully integrated into my mind and heart. They have trusted me with one of their prized posessions and I take that responsiblity very seriously. Black Jack (which we have shortened to Jack - he approves) has settled in very nicely. He is totally entertaining. He appears to understand everything we say and is happy to give us his opinion. He assesses everything going on from drill noises to birds to neighbors to stop signs to sirens to flowers - the curiosity and competence goes on and on. Everyone who meets him is wowed - especially if they are anticipating a different reaction based on our being new at this life of horse ownership. We are totally enthralled. It is causing trouble in our move to add another horse - where do we get another horse this great? It is hard not to brag. We can't help but smile. We have worn ears out extolling your training capabilities (this is Parelli country).
I have vivid memories of being 3 years old and begging my mother for a horse. By 5 we moved from Oregon to the wilds of Alaska and my chances of getting a horse were reduced to nil. Every time I came south to visit relatives I never missed a chance to ride. Any relative or friends of relatives that had a horse I would ask to ride. More often than not this ended badly in my going over their head or getting bucked off as they were mostly spoiled backyard pets who had not been well trained or ridden in years and I knew nothing about horses except that I wanted to be near them. Still, I persisted as the smell of horse is to me like the smell of roses is to some people. The smell releases a good chemical in my body.
After over 40 years of wonderful Alaskan adventurers my husband and I decided to move to Idaho. I told my husband that if I was moving out of Alaska, I was going to have a horse. I had no idea of the adventure I was about to embark on.
I found someone to begin to teach me to ride. It was at this time that I understood how much fear I had of riding. The horse would sneeze and my knees would turn to jello. The woman giving me lessons did have her work cut out for her. After a few months of lessons, I got my first horse. He was “free”, 18 years old, blind in one eye and hadn’t been ridden in 16 years. They told me he would be going to auction if he didn’t find a home. He taught me a lot, but with every ride, when I climbed off, I was relieved that it had not ended in a train wreck. I realized I was finding excuses not to ride.
I had looked at thousands of horses for sale on Craigslist and Dreamhorse. I had looked at about 10 horses locally over the last couple of years that were for sale. For some reason each of them did not seem like the right horse for me, people asking a LOT of money for not broke, lame, ect... Then a few weeks ago I saw Pocito’s ad on Dreamhorse. Something about this horse moved me. It was with trepidation that I went to meet Susan, Louie and Pocito. I was praying that all that they said about themselves and this horse were true and that God would guide my decisions about this horse. Guess what? It was!!!! And he did!!!!
The time I spent with them changed my life. They are the most honest, warm, insightful, God loving people I have ever met. It was as though they had raised and trained this beautiful, intelligent, willing sensitive horse just for me. Pocito is like riding laughter.
Pocito has changed my life in ways I never expected. I ride my old horse with a new confidence. My husband is getting the gaits he paid for out of his horse now that he rides with a horse that can keep up, I look forward to riding everyday rain or shine, and we have wonderful new friends, Susan, Louie and Shari and her family.
The adventure just keeps getting better and better with Pocito. Thank you, thank you thank you!!!!!
I contacted Susan and Louie late summer of 2008 about a horse that I had watched a video of on their website. Well I took to long to think about it and the horse was sold by the time I called back. Thankfully I asked about future prospects and Susan said Spring/Summer of 2009 they would have some available. This time-frame worked into my schedule perfectly. Out of the 4 we talked about, I selected a horse they then called Hollywood, a palomino mare. While my real selection was not final for a few months I truly believe my heart picked her from the start.
This is the beginning of how I came to have "Faith" true faith. All my life I have wanted a horse I could have faith in, truly connect with; something told me this horse was it.
I consider myself a novice level rider even though I have ridden horses off and on most of my life (I am in my 40's now). To make a long story short the reason being is I have had some bad and very trying experiences with many different horses, not to mention being lead astray so to speak by some not good people or people that thought they knew horses but actually did not. In other words I "had" some confidence issues, but for some reason I still had the passion. Then on February 15th, 2006 I was in an auto accident that left me with some physical issues pertaining to my skeletal system. I am very blessed as I can truly say that through hard work, physical therapy, and prayer I am doing wonderful.
Susan and I talked for many hours through the fall and winter of 08/09 on what my physical needs where, what I wanted from my horse and my confidence issues. Susan and Louie trained my horse with me and my needs in mind. For lack of better words it was an extraordinary experience.
At last the time came to pick a date to go out to Windwalker Ranch and meet my girl. My 16 year old daughter KaLeigh and my 7 year old daughter Hallie Jo came with me. We left Minnesota for Oregon on June 15, 2009; I can't even begin to describe how excited I was to finally be on the road. However, I also knew that despite our best efforts that once I got there that it might turn out that this horse and I were not a good fit and I would not be coming home with this particular horse or maybe not even a horse at all. But deep down inside I just knew it was going to be fine, I had faith.
The first time I saw the horse will forever be ingrained in my mind because I truly knew in that instant that she was mine, I can't even describe it; it was one of those moments in life that you just live.
We felt so at home as soon as we got there, Susan and I had talked so many times for hours sometimes on the phone that I felt like I already knew her well and I felt she was already a very good friend to me. Louie was very easy to get to know and we all built a great friendship the two weeks we spend in their home, I would not trade one second of it for anything.
The day after we arrived was my 1st ride on her; it was just Susan, Louie, and I that went. I must admit I was a bit nervous. But Susan and Louie took it slow and calmly helped me learn to ride again. They both have such a gentle nature that it's easy to relax and just enjoy, and learn. The ride was amazing on this amazing horse, by the end of the ride it was a done deal for me, this is the horse I have been waiting for al my life. All I could do was cry, say thank you to Susan and Louie with hugs to go with it, suffice it to say I was not disappointed, if anything, it turned out even better.
Over the next two weeks we went out almost everyday for a ride, my daughter KaLeigh went with us every time after that and Hallie Jo went with us a couple of times too; she rode on the back of Louie's horse in an attached kiddy saddle and has a blast.
One time KaLeigh and I went out with just Louie, as Susan had an appointment in town. KaLeigh started out on a buckskin gelding and Louie was riding a buckskin mare named Design. The gelding KaLeigh was riding is very laid back and was not very challenging for her, KaLeigh is a very accomplished rider; she was admiring Design as she has a bit more spirit then the gelding. I could tell she wanted to ride Design and mentioned that and Louie said sure you can ride her. KaLeigh and Design hit it off they seem to have a very especial connection right off the bat. That is how we came to buy Design as well, and we are so glad we did she is a wonderful horse too.
My horse's name is Faith and after reading this story it should came as no surprise as to why. I have true Faith in her and in Susan and Louie, they did a remarkable job training Faith for me and I will always consider them my friends. I thank God for blessing me and leading me to Windwalker Ranch, and my family for being so supportive of my passion for this horse that I kept searching for.
What Susan and Louie do is very special thing;if you want a horse that is very well trained and not over the hill already then this is the place to get it. If you are a person with special circumstances then this is the only place to get your horse.
Thank you Susan and Louie for everything and God bless you always in everything you do.
Hello Susan & Louie
I've been thinking about this since Danny came home to Bend. So much to say. You know Dan & I fell in love immediately. How do you explain something that magical? You two were there so you know what I mean. For other people looking for an equine partner, here is my experience.
I came to Windwalker Ranch via their website looking for a sensible, sound, experienced trail horse with a good mind. I'm getting close to 60 so a smaller, super sane guy was in order. I plan to ride until I can't crawl up on a mounting block any longer so a trustworthy partner was paramount. I wanted a fellow who gets along in a mixed herd, leaves the farm, just he & I, with no fuss, walks down the road to the woods not spooking at vehicles or farm activities, crosses water and bridges and oh, he needed to have good feet. Did I get it? You bet!! And more....he is gorgeous. Everything I expose him to is met with calm interest. He clips, bathes, trailers, wears a fly mask, accepts fly spray and loves to be groomed. I could go on and on. I still love to ride my big TB but Danny is the one I save until last so we can spend hours exploring the woods with friends, enjoying the beauty of the forest and wildlife (Dan looks at everything with pleasure and interest, not fear) and just being grateful. My prayers were answered.
Good Mornin, I am soooooooo
sore, although the best sore I have ever, ever, ever, had in my LIFE. Bob is sore and still has quite a grin going. He loved every minute. It was great for our relationship. We rekindled what riding is about as a couple. It was a heart warming experience. God does work in mysterious ways. The two of you are such a blessing for Bob and I. We have never had such a blast riding. The experience and confidence you both have is amazing, and we have never felt so safe and confident on the trails. Shonie is true to the bone. A rider knows what's up with her. She's easy to read, honest safe sure footed, and brave. A REAL TRAIL HORSE. I am thrilled, I think she will take great care of me and I her. We look forward to having her home to enjoy. The pictures were a great idea Susan, thank you, I woke up to them. A great Kodak moment. Louie,You have a God given talent. We have had many, many an opportunity to meet and ride with some really talented horse trainers. Your quiet and kind demeanor, your candid honesty, the time you take to actually prepare your Horses in tough and difficult trail scenarios goes above and beyond what most folks are willing to do.We would enjoy learning from you, and would you consider helping Bob and I in the future if we are in need? We look forward to enjoying yours and Susan's company and friendship often for the years to come. We can hardly wait to do some serious trail riding this summer, and I promise Shonie will not have her mane braided when your around! Thank you so much for all the time and hard work you and Susan went through for Bob and I and yesterday.
Ruthanne and Bob
Hi Louie and Susan,
We hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Thanks to YOU, we are. What a great time we had with both of you (we are so happy you could join us Susan). You kindness, patience, wisdom, and sense of humor are greatly appreciated by us.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for both of you, and for the new addition to our family. Richard feels so secure, after the time we spent, that we both cannot wait to have our new "therapy" horse at home.
Please know that you have done something very wonderful, and your generous spirit has not gone unnoticed.
Richard and Cat
Hi Susan! Hope this reaches you OK. I got your email address from Mom so I could fill you in on how Cody is doing.
We are having a great time with him. He's making tracks all over the midwest! My sister Dana and I took him to a trail ride/fundraiser relay race in Wisconsin in June, and he did great. I was really impressed with the way he handled the long trip and didn't miss a beat, even with all of the commotion of 25 teams, banners flying, firetrucks, a canal with fish jumping, etc. He sure has a lot of sense for a horse his age. He gaited great, and I rode him the last mile at a hand gallop; he neckreins with just a touch even at that speed!
When the ride was done, we were all hanging out at the trailer, sitting on the cooler. Cody wanted to be with us having fun, but he was tied to the trailer so the only part of him that could get next to us was his butt. So, he just kept stepping over until his giant butt was right with us, and his feet were up against our sneakers. He just didn't want to be left out!
Just wanted you to know that he's doing fine, he's filling out and maturing and really coming into his own. He's such a character. Whenever I go home to Mom's for a weekend, I make sure to take him for a spin. He's so tall I can't get on bareback, so I usually end up jumping on from the back of a pickup, jeep, or the like. Cody will be on "vacation" through the winter, but I'm hoping to bring him to Wisconsin next spring and do some real miles with him. There's even a ride across the state of Michigan that I'd like to try.
Anyway, he's doing great, and we love him. He has a whole family looking out for him! I still regret that Mom didn't buy Beau from you too; I think they would have enjoyed having the pair. Did you find a good home for him, too?
Well, that's the news. Sorry I didn't get to meet you when you brought Cody to Mom's last year, but I'd love to hear from you, and you can check in on Cody anytime. I'm in Wisconsin. Thanks for the chance to have such a great horse in the family!
Louie & Susan,
I just wanted to write you a quick note to let you know that Jess is doing very well. He loves the pasture, especially in one corner under a big oak tree. He has learned the boundaries now but is still getting used to the stable at night. Johnny is in heaven. He loves him. He goes to the barn every night to tell them good night. Johnny can open the window on the stall door slightly and Jess will push it hard with his nose to open it the rest of the way. Johnny can stand next to him and say come hear boy and he will walk up behind him and put his chin on Johnny's shoulder.
Thank you so much for helping us find such a perfect match for Johnny.
Louie & Susan,
I've ridden Lena about 5 times since I've brought her home. We are doing great. She stands totally still while I get on and off. Moves out when I ask her to, THANK YOU for doing a GREAT job!
To Louie & Susan
I am sorry it has taken me so long to thank you for transporting my horse Sage to her new home. According to Deni at Nodaway Farm, Sage arrived in WONDERFUL shape, and Deni would highly reccomend you.
With big thanks, Gina