Chansonette’s Birthday Ride – April 2017

Chansonette came out for a birthday trail ride riding Mystic, while I rode Tori and Kami ran free. The Spring grass was waving in the breeze, tempting the horses to dive in and graze. The trail had dried out enough to do a canter up the hill. Kami finished up by giving Chansonette a smile and a birthday kiss. Music by Mary Ann Kennedy is used with the permission of the artist.

Anne’s Spring Break Visit – April 2017

Anne Frankowski surprised us by flying in from Germany to spend her Spring break at Mystic Ranch. We filled our days with horse fun and learning, including liberty play, trail rides, lessons on long lining from Carole Mercer, dressage and jumping tips from Diann Kuzma, Ron riding Mystic, a Pas de Deux and a tricks, liberty and bareback and bridle-less play session with Kami. Two weeks sped by too quickly and Anne had to go home and back to university. Music by Mary Ann Kennedy is used with permission of the artist.

Spring Ride at Givan Ranch – April 2017

We took a ride at Givan Ranch today. It was perfect. Perfect Spring weather, the air as soft as silk, the wind rustling in the pine trees, the Rogue River flowing fast and free, the horses eager to explore and sharing it all with good friends. “A Trail Less Traveled” by Mary Ann Kennedy is perfect for this video and is used with the permission of the artist.


Mystic and George Horseplay – March 2017

Mystic and George had a great time playing in the arena this afternoon. So many horses are not allowed this kind of freedom – because their owners are afraid they might be hurt. Watch pure joyous horseplay between good friends and perhaps you will allow your horses to experience this kind of play. “We Share the Earth” is by Mary Ann Kennedy and is used with the permission of the artist.


Visiting Sandor and Friends – March 2017

Jenny and Jacquie came over to visit Sandor in the pasture today. He left his grazing to join them and a fine time was had by all feeding the carrots Jenny had brought him. Carrots finished, he played a little tag with Jenny, then took off at a gallop, tail flagged. No way is he 32 years old! Horses and Life by Mary Ann Kennedy is used with the permission of the artist.


Giving Up Control to Find Harmony

After days of rain, Tori decided she needed to run. Riding her with only a neck string, I could not have stopped her if I had tried, so I happily gave up control to her and let her race. Without force, there can be no resistance and she quickly settled down again and slowed to a sigh. Music by Mary Ann Kennedy is used with the permission of the artist.


Hoofprints in the Snow – Winter of 2016

This video is a tribute to Mary Ann Kennedy’s wonderful song “Hoofprints in the Snow” and features Mystic Ranch horses and people playing and riding in the beautiful snowy landscape of Southern Oregon in the winter of 2016.  Enjoy!



Mystic Ranch Healing – Chansonette’s Testimonial

Mystic Ranch Healing

When I first got in touch with Jackie, I thought I was going to be learning how to ride. I thought I was going to be taking my sporadic horseback experiences over a lifetime — a year here, a year there, decades apart, and what riding skills I’d gathered over those years, willy nilly — and put a foundation under them that I could use going forward.

Mostly, I was just longing for horse time after a ten-year hiatus. I was new to Southern Oregon, having moved here not even a year prior after thirty years in the San Francisco Bay Area. I felt lost. I needed to ground myself somehow. I missed horses. So in the fall of 2014 I did a google search. And I found Mystic Ranch. What attracted me from the outset was that name, and the fact that it was identified as a Paso Fino ranch. I had loved a Paso Fino and was drawn to the breed. And I am a mystic.

Jackie and I exchanged a couple of emails and I was going to get started, but uterine cancer interrupted my plans. A year later, past surgery and radiation and heading into “survivorship,” I found myself deeply depressed. My trust in life had been shaken to the core. My trust in my body, too. Life was looking very bleak. One night, I remembered her. I searched and found our email exchange. I emailed her and let her know that I had meant to follow through, but cancer had intervened. I got a warm, loving response. I booked a lesson.

I realize now, looking back, that I was deathly afraid of that first lesson. I was afraid to go. I was afraid to meet Jackie. I was afraid to be with horses again. My confidence in life, in my instincts, in my body, had been shaken to the core. And I had not been on horseback in ten years. And the last time I had, my beloved Paso Fino had thrown me and I had been badly injured.

All of this surfaced in me as I made the 45-minute drive from my home to Mystic Ranch. But the minute I arrived, my feelings began to change. Two big happy dogs greeted me with wagging tails and kisses. Jackie was warm and positive and nurturing and exuded the gentle, grounded authority of a gifted teacher. She asked me what I wanted to learn. I told her my history with horses and said I wanted her to teach me as if I were a rank beginner with no experience whatsoever. She talked with me about her approach, and showed me right there, using our bodies, what is involved in communicating with a horse via body language. And how that establishes harmony.

Then I met Mystic, and experienced for the first time what it is to collaborate with a horse, to gain connection, to be given permission to mount and ride, and the unsurpassed beauty of being on horseback with a bareback pad and no bit or reins, and to be able to communicate, even the first time, enough for us to get in sync and want to do the same things. To find my balance. To feel the willing body of this beautiful horse beneath me, and to know we could be One.

This brought me to tears. Because I have been horse crazy since the day I was born. And Jackie and Mystic brought me the experience and the model for being a horse person that I had always dreamed of without knowing it existed. They began to teach me “horseness”… which is far deeper than “horsemanship.”

When I first came to Mystic Ranch, my joy was gone. Jackie helped me find it. When I first came to Mystic ranch, my trust was gone. Jackie helped me find it. When I first came to Mystic Ranch, my gift for leadership was gone. Jackie helped me find it. When I first came to Mystic Ranch, my sense of playfulness was gone. Jackie helped me find it. When I first came to Mystic Ranch, my life balance was gone. Jackie helped me find it.

Yes. A year into working and playing with Jackie and her Pasos, I am a far better rider than I ever imagined I could be.

But here’s the thing. I am healed. In a way I never imagined, after cancer, I could or would be. I am healed and whole. I am confident and expressive and joyful and excited about what is around the next corner. I know I can ride my life, whatever comes.

Jackie Decker and her magical, mystical Pasos gave that to me. Lesson by lesson. Ride by ride. Week by week. They are my teachers. My healers. And my treasured friends.


Riding Kami with nothing on her head

Riding Kami with nothing on her head

Beach Ride with Robin – October 2016

Robin and I took a weekend ride on the beach at Crescent City, Oregon with her two mares: Reba and Shiloh. It was a magical, healing time. Music: When You Carry Me and Trail Less Traveled by Mary Ann Kennedy is used with the permission of the artist. Enjoy!