Shawna Dahl Quarter Horses & Horsemanship
"The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all." -Leo Rosten
I believe my herd is happy because they are useful and live a purposeful life. I've seen many horses some would, or did, throw away. When given a chance and the right job or partner, have the opportunity to live a fulfilling, productive, healthy and happy life.
In addition to some of the horses already listed on my other pages, here are the essential individuals who make up my Horsemanship Program.
I am so fortunate. The longer I do this, it seems the horses I am entrusted to care for are even more special, generous, amazing... words just don't seem to fit or equal the love that is shown by them.
Meet Grant and Gunsmoke, two blessings that were retired after years of service taking guests on the breathtaking trails of Yosemite National Park. Gunsmoke, the grey, has actually been there since 1988 when he was, I believe to be 4 years old, and was just retired and donated to the ranch with his buddy Grant in fall of 2015.
Gunsmoke is also the most 'famous' horse on the ranch as he is the last living horse that was used in the movie Maverick, with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster in 1994.
He is an example of what can happen with use followed up by rest and pasture time. At 34 in 2017, this horse is more fit than most half his age, as he spent winters turned out without shoes after working hard all summer. He is now teaching the kids how to lope bareback on his big couch-like back, and he is big, 16.3 hands.
Happy in his work showing kids the ways of a gentle giant and living with his best friends Grant and Toby, we hope Gunsmoke is with us for many years to come.
Another blessing gifted by Jan Mullen, thank you for this lovely soul. A big favorite among the little ones, he worked for Grand Canyon National Park for over 10 years on the rim trail teaching rangers how to ride. He had several found children and arrests to his credit!
Now he spends his time showing young riders how to respect and ride a true bridle horse.
Toby also was used in the Jr Rodeo Princess Contest and Fair Horse show.
We love Toby!
This lovely mustang is owned by Sharon Cotter of Merced and has been an integral part of my lesson program for several years now. She is a BLM Branded mare who was captured at 6 months old and is 15 this year.
Miss Ellie Mae tells me much about people and helps me create strong, thoughtful riders.
Thank you Sharon for allowing us to use her - she is a tremendous gift.
Blaze is another wonderful soul who served his time in Yosemite National Park giving dude rides for about 5 years, prior to that he was a girl's first horse and did a little bit of everything. He joined the ranch in Fall of 2016 and is loving being back with children.
Not pictured here, Cupie is another gentle soul who has taught many the smooth ways of a gaited horse. At 27, he is still showing kids how fun learning to lope can be.
Big thank you to Diana Fischer for donating Cupie. The ranch would not be the same without these beautiful, kind teachers who have shared so much with so many.
If you have a gentle soul that is serviceably sound and has a lot to offer young children learning about horses, please contact me.