Rural Missouri - May 2021 - 19
Above: Pam King takes her horse across a log on the ranch's obstacle course. Top right: Brandy teaches a clinic using the obstacle course, which
is designed to teach all of the skills a horse and rider will encounter when trail riding. The course includes a bridge riders can go over and under.
Bottom right: Participants in one of the ranch's many clinics head out on the trail to put into practice what they learned.
including some by their country music legend neighbor
Leroy Van Dyke.
Coming soon is a mounted archery course, more stations on the obstacle course and another trail that will
boost the miles to 28. " This is our completion year, "
Brandy says. " We've got a lot of things started now and we
are trying to ﬁnish up. "
That includes a series of books Brandy is
authoring. The stories are told through the
voice of the ranch's resident horses, who use
their adventures to teach moral lessons. The
ﬁrst one, for example, is about how one positive
person can make a difference in the world.
Brandy also offers life lessons under the guise
of " Big Boss Mare, " her copyrighted name for the
online courses she teaches. These include horsemanship lessons, empowerment for women, mentoring on goals and planning and a lot more.
Coming soon, David will offer a subscription service for
kids and adults who want to learn to build projects using
basic tools. Subscribers will receive a pre-cut kit and can
join David through an interactive video that steps them
through the process.
If it seems like a lot for just two people, Brandy points
out that it's important for rural businesses to diversify
in order to survive. " We have a small boarding barn that
can hold up to 10 horses. If we just did that we could not
survive. If we just did the camping it would not be enough.
Our wedding barn, with our prices being low, we are the
small dogs. The clinics and lessons, none of that makes
enough on its own. A lot of these trail facilities are not
making it because they are not diversifying. "
The couple also believes in giving back to the community. Brandy is a member of seven area chambers
of commerce. The ranch hosts " Chicks in the Sticks "
events where women go by limo to surrounding towns
for local dining and private shopping at area boutiques. " We want people to have a gateway to the
Ozarks experience, " Brandy says. " We are trying
to give them a reason to stay a little longer and
do a little more. "
In just ﬁve years the ranch has become a
destination for people from all over the nation who
share the desire to get back to the land, whether on horseback or just sitting around the campﬁre. They come to see
the ﬁreﬂies, to catch crawdads in Lake Creek, to hunt for
morels and pick blackberries or just to escape the city like
David and Brandy did.
The Von Holten Ranch is open daily March through November. Reservations are required. You can learn more at
www.vonholtenranch.com or by calling 660-668-0880.
MAY 2021 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP
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Rural Missouri - May 2021
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