We want to share a bit of our story with you. Why we have this ranch, and how this all started. Its hard to tell this story and journey short but we like people to get to know us.
It all started with 2 sisters with a dream, make a difference for horses and people.
That was the easy part, then we had to figure out how, when and where we where going to do this.
Living in the Netherlands at the time, we knew that we needed more space and nature around us. After multiple trips to Canada we knew we found the spot were we wanted to be.
We had a clear goal, but we knew that we could not do this alone. Since we always have been such a close family, we instantly went to our parents for advice and this is when the greatest thing happened our parents chose to come with us and help us build our dream.
The big move started, the 4 of us went from the Netherlands to Canada. To our new future.
We had bought a piece of land, and started from scratch building our future.
While building and running our ranch a lot of amazing people crossed our paths in helping us build our dream. Some people never left again, this is how our family grew. Simon came here as a handy guy that could help us with landscaping and building him and Lissy fell in love and got married.
Steyn came here as a farrier to spend some time with our horses. As soon as he started taking care of our horses feet we saw the difference and we feel lucky every day that he decided to stay with us.
The 6 of us have been running this ranch together ever since, and we feel so lucky every day that we get to live our dream.
Then something amazing happened, Chris and Sofie from Irwin Insights decided to move our ranch. And we are so excited that we get the chance to join forces with them.
As we mentioned at the beginning, our main goal of our dream ranch is to make the world better for people and horses. And in our opinion there is no better way of doing that, than with spreading the Irwin Insights.
The Name of the Ranch
The ranch is named after Willow, our first horse. Willow was part of our family for a long time, he was with is long before we decided to move to Canada and made the big move with us. Willow is such an important part of us falling in love with horses and making that love stick so it didn't take us longer than a second to decide that Willow Ranch should be the name of our ranch.Willow enjoyed his last years of retirement on the ranch here in Canada and passed away peacefully in 2018. And we are so happy and proud that his legacy will live on in the name of the ranch.
We are proud of our great herd of horses! We have a very varied herd of at the moment 34 horses.
Our horses live together in a herd on their paddock paradise (a system with "tracks" or "alleyways" designed to encourage them to move around) with in a summer acces to different pastures on which we rotate them. Our horses have year round 24/7 acces to free choice hay, salt blocks and water. On top of that we work hard to adjust their extra feed and supplements so that each individual horse gets the diet they need; the horses that struggle to keep weight get extra fat feed, horses with more sensitive digestive systems get probiotics, our older horses get joint supplements, horses with bad feet get hoof supplements etc. Our feeding lists and schedules are constantly monitored to make sure each horse gets the exact right balanced diet for them.
We spend a lot if time with our horses and training our horses. Every season begins with us and our staff riding the horses on trails and starting them back up. They won't start going on guest rides until we feel they are mentally and physically ready and fit enough to be working. Throughout the season we keep working with them and riding them to make sure they are still in a good shape mentally and to change up the work, so they won't just be doing the same rides.
Our training is completely based on the Irwin Insights. Which means we communicate with our horses in a way they understand, we help them use their body in the best way possible.
We believe that all our hard work pays off with a herd of horses that are happy, healthy and love their job. They are mentally and physically in a great shape, and our guest can feel and experience what a difference that makes!
Meet Our Team
Join Our Team
We love extending our team! We have different positions available throughout the year and will also be offering a variety of working student, mentorship and internship positions. More info on this will be coming soon!