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.

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.  One of our core programs 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 riding lessons to help both mental or limited physical issues in youth and adults.  To learn more about Ranch HANDS and other ranch camps, visit our Programs page.  


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, northeast of Vancouver, WA.

The facility offers:

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


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


Our staff and volunteers are not the true miracle workers - the horses are.  Seeing a large animal stand calmly while a small child is brushing them is heart warming. Horses don’t care what you look like or what your problems are. They do, however, respond to a child's behavior and as a result the kids will open up to the horse. These horses bring the real change in the children. 

Many of our ranch horses are older and need a little extra care.
You can help by picking up a donation next time you go by a feedstore. Listed below are general items that you can either donate towards or purchase to help offset our operating costs. 

Do you have a favorite horse?  Check out their stories and consider sponsoring a horse or contributing towards their special care. By sponsoring, you will help with providing hay, farrier, and other necessary expenses.

I can help with: 


Domingo is the cutest and nicest sorrel gelding you will ever find. Approximately 26 years old, he is still enjoying kids and beginner classes. Domingo is a Quarterhorse 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:  A great program horse, we can put either a young child or a teen on Pepper and he will act accordingly.  We love how he can be a little more challenging for the older students, but be gentle and responsive with a young child.  He definitely has personality and has been known to  open stall doors, as well as being a little hard to catch when the spring grass is growing!  A  Quarterhorse gelding, he stands about 14.2 hands and is 21 years old.  Not only great for beginners, Pepper has the speed and agility for more advanced riders and is often used for gaming and cow sorting events.  Pepper was donated in 2009 when his family no longer had time to spend with him. He has been used for lessons, parades and drill team.

You can help Pepper with:

Chip: Chip is a 23 year old gelding leased to us by a local family. He is a former high school rodeo horse who was used for WAHSET, rodeo, and barrel racing. 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 the Ranch 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 a cute 14 hand Bay POA who is one of the best kids horse around!  He is in his mid--to-late 20's, but don't tell him as he does not act it.  Sunny is leased to us from a local family who’s daughter outgrew his size. Her first horse, she had him for 11 years and used him 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:

ButtonsThis is one of the cutest little ponies you will ever meet. Buttons’ registered name is Silver Lady. She is a 16 year old shetland/POA X.  She was a former show pony donated in 2009. Her previous owners had her take part in parades, shows and school trips. She even onc played a doenkey in a Christmas play! At the ranch, Button has been a delight to many childern.
You can help Buttons with:





Meet Our Team

Carrie Dinsmore, Camp Director and Riding Instructor

Carrie grew up riding horses starting at the age of six by taking lessons at a local barn on a black and white pony named Patches. Carrie believes horses changed her life. As a young child she quickly found belonging at the barn and as a teen she spent every day with her Buckskin Quarter Horse, named Skids. Carrie's aim as part of the Silver Buckle team is to create a special and life growing experience for every person that comes to the ranch.  

Carrie has 20+ years experience working with horses and 10 years professional experience teaching and counseling children and teens.  Her experience prior to coming to Silver Buckle includes coaching for the University of Oregon Equestrian Team and many years as a residential wilderness therapy counselor. She also has experience teaching in Special Education and was a Behavior Specialist for a Portland area middle schools.  She is currently completing a Masters in Counseling at Portland State University and focusing on helping young people to develop a sense of self, awareness of others and purpose in their world.  Carrie says that horses and Silver Buckle are the perfect format to put these goals into action.

Carrie loves working with all kids and adults to build confidence and challenge themselves on horse back. She believes that the unique bond with an animal can instill confidence, self- assurance, and create belonging in the lives of people young and old. 

Chrisy Parrish, LMHCA and CHA Instructor

Chrisy loves teaching new skills and helping children, adults and families see and reach their potential. She has seen the positive impact a horse can have on countless occasions, including in her own family’s lives. Chrisy is a Licensed Mental Health Counseling Associate and has worked in children’s and young adult’s residential treatment facilities for mental health. As a CHA certified riding instructor she has over 12 years of experience teaching horsemanship to children and adults in camping and horsemanship programs and has worked managing and directing horsemanship camps. She has had horses for most of her life where she has enjoyed learning and teaching the traditional ways of working with a horse through cattle work and ranch roping. Her passion is to help children, youth and adults work through emotional, behavioral, and relational struggles through the powerful healing and teaching aspects of a horse.

Facilities Staff:  Ken Ayers  

Ranch Staff: 
Our ranch staff takes care of all the program and boarded horses plus assist with the Ranch programs.

Email: staff@silverbuckleranch.org

Diane Bendtro, Jamie Burnell

Contract Instructors:

Lisa Williams - Contract Riding Instructor

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. She 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
Kasandra Tracy
Peggy Neikirk
Julie Olson
Carla Christian