The COVID pandemic hit us hard, like it did to so many businesses and people. We were running a small guest ranch and trail riding company and of course with travel being restricted that didn’t go well.
After seeing pretty much all bookings for the summer of 2020 cancelled, we went into “survival mode” first. We needed to make sure our horses could stay with us and we could keep them thriving. We had no idea what was happening, and rules and restriction kept changing. We did what we had to do, got jobs somewhere else, seeing if we could open, even partially. All that was on our minds was that we needed to keep our horses, we promised a good life to them, a good forever home and we needed to keep that promise.
As the pandemic went on and on, and we were feeling more and more stressed out about the future we realized we needed to pause, without having our mental health in order and being calm we would not be able to make the right decisions. Our mental health should be our priority. So we took our time to think. Shut down our ranch for 2 seasons, as that brought back the calm we needed. Using all that we’ve learned over the years, truly putting into practice what we knew would help us. We knew how to find the calm within ourselves, we had been doing it for years working with our horses.
After the chaotic to open or not, half open or not season of 2020, our season of 2021 was calm. We decided long before the summer to stay closed mostly and just run a small portion of our lesson program. We focused back on what we love, training and coaching, This brought so much peace. Our horses were doing better than ever, our lesson clients made huge progress. And we were calm. We loved what we were doing.
Our dream when we moved to Canada was, slightly idealistic but still, to make the world a little bit better for horses. That was our passion, that was our mission and that was our goal. In our years here, we ended up running a different company that we originally wanted , because life just tends to go as it goes when you don’t actively take charge yourself.
So we decided this is it, this is what we are going to do. We are going to create the business that was our passion. All we needed to do was reconnect with our dream and believe in ourselves. If what we learned throughout the years has helped us through a big mental health crisis, we need to share this with others. Helping horses, helping people, it has always been our passion, so that’s where we need to go.
Now here we are, a new business, Willow Ranch Sanctuary, a safe place for horses and humans. Doing what we love; helping horses, helping others help horses and inspire others to help horses and themselves.
And we are, once again, reminded that when you don't know what to do, when you feel lost, find and take the rest you need and you can find the answers within yourself.