They are calling it their pre-opening summer, because their “horse” part of the ranch is ready.

The Hendriks family, crew and horses at the new Willow Ranch are ready for trail rides, lessons, demos, and they held an open house on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon to let local people see what they’ve got. They are not quite ready for a full opening – not all of their horses are ready for the public to ride yet – but they’ve got a selection of well trained horses for beginners and experienced riders, and they want to give locals and the customers of local business owners a chance to experience the place before their official opening in the fall.

The horses are trained by Lissy Hendriks, a gold certified trainer and coach in the natural horsemanship method of Chris Irwin. They also have some miniature horses for the really small kids who want to have their first horse experience, and they’ll soon be offering a “horse hotel,” to give visitors to the area a great place to house their horses while here.

The Hendriks’, Teun and Nicolette, their daughters Lissy and Claire and staff are proud of what they’ve achieved in their first year, and rightly so. It was only on April 25th, 2014 that they put the first stake in the ground on the property on Cranberry Lake Road, just outside of Valemount. Now they have a beautiful stable and tack shop, corals, training pens and paddocks, all with unique and personalized touches. And the horses are ready to be set loose on spring’s fresh grass, and take you for a real horse experience.