On the Ranch

History of the Ranch
Silver Buckle Ranch, originally established as the Silver Buckle Rodeo Club in 1977, began as a working rodeo program created to combat juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, gang involvement, and truancy among Clark and Cowlitz County youth through the promotion of rodeo events and horsemanship.  In 2000 Silver Buckle Ranch restructured, received 501(c)(3) status and officially changed from a working rodeo program to an equine-assisted activities ranch for youth by 2002.

Current Programs
Silver Buckle Ranch is now a non profit organization that specializes in programs that help improve mental, emotional and physical health while nurturing personal growth in life skills. This is done through ranch and horse assisted activities.  Our main mission program is Ranch HANDS. (Ranch and Horse Activities that Nurture and Develop Skills) This program is for youth 5-18 years of age. We also offer one on one sessions to help both mental or limited physical issues in youth and adults.  To learn more about Ranch HANDS and our other programs, go to our Programs page.  (http://www.silverbuckleranch.org/programs/)

Our Facility

Silver Buckle Ranch, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, operates on 40 acres in Brush Prairie, Washington.  Brush Prairie is located in Clark County, north east of Vancouver, WA.

The Facilitiy includes:

  • Office and Classroom
  • 60 X 180 Indoor Arena
  • 150 x 280 Outdoor Arena
  • Horse barn with 11 stalls
  • 7 additional stalls alongside our indoor arena
  • Hay and Maintenance Building
  • Horse pastures.


The facility is designed to accommodate year-round activities and programs.
Our arenas are also available for rent for activities and events.


We are not the miracle workers or the therapist - the "horses" are.  Seeing a large animal standing calmly while a small child is brushing them is amazing.  Horses don’t care what you look like or what your problems are.  But a horse will react to their behavior and kids will open up to the horse. It is the horses that bring the real change out in the children. Many of our horses are older horses that also need a little extra care.

You can help us take care of our "Therapists" here at the ranch.  Listed below are general items that you can donate towards to help offset our costs. 

Do you have a favorite horse?  Check out the stories of all our horses and consider sponsoring a horse or contributing towards their special care. By sponsoring a horse for a month, you will help with the cost of the horse's hay and farrier expenses.

I can help with: 


Domingo is the cutest and nicest sorrel gelding you will ever find. At an estimated 26 years, he is still enjoying kids and beginner classes. Domingo is a quarter horse and stands about 14.1 hands tall.  Domingo has been with us since 2009.  Domingo was donated to us by Camp Berachah, a Christian camp between Tacoma and Seattle where he was used as a trail horse. 

You can help Domingo out with:

Pepper:  Pepper is a great program horses.  You can put a young child or a teen on him and he will act accordingly.  We love how he can be a little more challenging for the older students, but do whatever the little child wants.  He definitely has personality from opening stall doors to being a little hard to catch when the spring grass is growing!  A flea bitten quarterhorse gelding, he stands about 14.2 hands and is 21 years old.  Pepper is great for beginners, but also has speed for the more advanced riders and often used for our gaming and cow sorting events.  Pepper was donated to us in 2009 when his family no longer had time to spend with him. He was used for lessons, parades and drill team.

You can help Pepper with:
Ashley:  Ashley is the sweetest 14 year old mare.  She is a sorrel quarter horse with a small white snip on her nose.  Ashley is leased to us for our programs and lessons by a local family.  Ashley has previously been used in Western Pleasure, as a Dressage lesson horse and for trail riding.  She often goes back to her family for a couple weeks each summer to make an appearance at the Vancouver Rodeo for their daughter running flags.
You can help Ashley with:

Cowboy:  Cowboy is a 25 year old tobinao paint gelding that belongs to our staff, Cathi.  Now that he has slowed down for what she does, we use for our programs.  Cathi has owned Cowboy since he was 5 and he has been a trail horse, camping, on drill team, sorting and penning in his younger days. Cowboy is a horse with a definite personality and very nosy. He likes all the attention!  He does have arthritis now in his knees but is still great for the younger kids and a great confidence builder.  Because of his arthritis, he gets a daily medication called previcox. Cowboy would love to have someone help him with his medications!
You can help Cowboy with:

Chip: Chip is a 23 year old gelding leased to us. Chip came to us from a local family. He is a former high school rodeo horse. The daughter has used him for WAHSET, rodeo, and barrels.  The  daughter went to college and the family now lets us use him for programs.  He is a very stocky 14.2 gelding.  Don't let his age or size fool you, he has some go left in him!
You can help Chip with:

Molly:  Molly is a 24 year old quarter horse mare.  She is a retired show horse formerly owned and trained by Kyle Kellmer Performance Horses and donated to us from them in December 2012. Molly also spent a few years as a brood mare.  Due to her age, Molly gets extra supplements each day, including beet pulp and previcox for minor arthritis.
You can help Molly with:

Sunny: Sunny is the cutest 14 hand Bay POA!  He is in his mid to late 20's, but don't tell him as he does not act it.  One of the best kids horse around. Sunny is leased to us from a local family who’s daughter has outgrown his size. He was her first horse and she had him for 11 years. He has been used for gaming, roping and cow work.  Due to his age, Sunny needs extra supplements as well.  With his teeth being worn down, he gets a special mash meal twice a day in addition to his hay.
You can help Sunny with:

The Ponies!

  You can help Buttons and Boomer with:


This is one of the cutest little white ponies you will ever meet. Buttons’ registered name is Silver Lady. She is a 14 year old shetland/POA X.  She was a former show pony donated in 2009 because the son outgrew her. With her previous owners, she had taken part in parades, shows, school trips, and once played a donkey in a Christmas play. At the ranch, she is the best therapy pony yet!  Buttons has help many childrern including some as young as 2 and a half years old.

Boomer:  Boomer is a brown shetland x gelding in his late 20's and had spent his younger years as a rodeo bucking pony for a local family! He now spends his days at the ranch being loved on.  He is great for ground work, leading, lead line rides and just to give a hug to.  He loves attentions and being groomed. 
Boomer in his younger days! 




Meet Our Team

Cathi Wright, Program Coordinator
(Interim Ranch Director):

Cathi has over 24 years working in the educational animal programs field, managing and training a collections of animals ranging from dolphins to birds of prey, and mammals including porcupines and bobcats. Cathi spent 20 years working at the Oregon Zoo as Bird Show Coordinator. Cathi then spent two years in Bend, Oregon as the Wildlife Manager at the High Desert Museum. In addition to presenting animal programs, Cathi has also developed and managed volunteer programs working with animals.  Cathi started at SBR in January 2009 as a volunteer and became staff by March 2009.  Cathi has also been a horse owner for the last 20 years and currently has two horses and two miniature horses.  Cathi manages the ranch along with teaching our Ranch H.A.N.D.S. program and lessons for limited Physcial Equine Assisted Activies and Equine Assisted Activities.        
Email Cathi at: cathi@silverbuckleranch.org

Facilities Staff:  Ken Ayers  

Barn Staff: 

Email: staff@silverbuckleranch.org

Wesley Jacobsen, Jamie Burnell, William Lilly

Contract Instructors:

Lisa Williams - Contract Riding Instructor: Teaches Wednesday 10-3 and Thursdays 4-9 pm
Lisa grew up with horses since the age of 6 and at age 9 competed in 4-H and open shows in both English and Western pleasure, showmanship and gaming. I also competed very successfully in many open shows.  Lisa worked at Royal Ridges Retreat in Yacolt, WA for 4 years teaching lessons, directing the girl's overnight horsemanship camp, participating in drill teams, helped coach vaulting, lead trail rides and took small groups of people out on overnight pack trips near Mt. St. Helens. Lisa is a certified instructor with CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association).  In 2004, she received her Master Level Instructor certification in English, Jumping and Western riding.  That same year, Lisa got the privilege to ride and train with an intern of former Olympian and 3-day event rider, Bruce Davison. Lisa’s goal is to pass on what she learned to others. Helping riders with their equitation and helping them connect more with their horses is Lisa’s true passion.   
Contact Lisa at:
360-901-8825 or email: lessonswithlisaw@gmail.com

Silver Buckle Ranch Board of Directors:

President:     Jody Benson
Board Members:
Dave Hammersly
Jeff Nichols
Pat Borland
Connie Newman
Kasandra Tracy
Peggy Neikirk
Julie Olson