Rancho Dos Palmas represents the fulfillment of a long-time dream to bring together like-minded folks for the enjoyment of their horses, and the camaraderie they bring.
Ann Laddon, Owner and Business Manager
I fell in love with horses at summer camp over 40 years ago. Upon returning home I asked my parents if I could take riding lessons. My mother had a friend who had recently married a horse trainer, and before we knew it, I was riding and showing Saddlebred horses. I had my first love affair with a horse, Commander’s Victory, and my first broken heart, when he was injured and our career cut short. It was a wonderful way for a teenage girl to navigate that difficult time of life and I have the fondest of memories.
Fast forward 25 years and a couple of careers that didn’t support horses as a hobby, to a weekend when my husband and I went to a friend’s small stable for a casual ride. That casual ride started 18 years ago and I haven’t dismounted since. I’ve owned several horses, most of them inappropriate choices for an amateur, but I’ve learned from every one of them and treated them well.
Early on, a small voice in my head kept telling me there was a way to reach a real partnership with my mounts. When a troubled quarter horse mare, Coco, came into our lives, I had to follow that voice and rise up to what she and I both needed. How I was fortunate enough to choose a book by Mark Rashid from an Amazon search, I will never know…and how it happened that he was going to be giving a clinic in Descanso shortly, and that there was a space available mystifies me. I didn’t have any idea what a clinic was, had hardly trailered a horse, much less by myself-but off I went and the real journey began.
Since that time I’ve had the pleasure and honor of learning from some wonderful horsemen and women-Mark Rashid, annual sojourns to Harry Whitney’s ranch in Arizona, Bob King for cattle clinics, and the master, Ray Hunt. As importantly, I have been patiently and forgivingly taught by my equine partners.
As this journey continues, I am continually humbled, frustrated, and inspired. The more I know about horses, the more I know I don’t know, and I guess that’s why I keep coming back. Thank you for visiting us and we hope you will join us. It’s one heck of a ride!