Stormwalker Ranch Invests in Their Team

Stormwalker Ranch is committed to “Helping Horses Help People”.  Most of our focus is on the programs we run to help others. However, this month’s feature is something we did to “Help our SWR Team Help our Horses”.

This past month we invited Horsewoman Fran Hancock to the Ranch to work with our team for three solid days. The purpose of the training with Fran was to improve the overall horsemanship of our staff. Fran Hancock is a blessing. She loves horses and she loves people. She uses the principles of classical riding based in the Spanish Riding School as presented in Universal Horsemanship and in Cowboy Dressage.

She strives to aid each rider in truly becoming one with the horse they are training. Whether in-saddle or on-the-ground, the development of rider and horse is aimed at nurturing the connection between them, allowing them to experience the joy of that relationship in safety.  It is our goal to pass this training on to our riders, improving their relationships with the Stormwalker Ranch Horses. Fran will be following up with some regular clinics in future months.



All lessons will run on a normal schedule unless noted below:

  • Kansas Regional Show – Nov 9-11 – We will be taking a group of riders to the Kansas Regional Show.
  • Thanksgiving Break – Nov 21-25 – No lessons
  • Christmas Break – Dec 24-Jan 4 – No lessons

Stormwalker Ranch’s Generation Ride: riding lesson programs for 8-80 years old, beginners through advanced. Our instructors are among the best in the field and have a great command of both disciplines. We teach riding from the standpoint of implementing a posture of “soft feel” and “light hands” as opposed to mechanics and fear.


Great horsemanship is a wonderful thing.  I have been fortunate enough to have a horse around, ALWAYS.  I really don’t have a single memory without horses in it. Horsemanship is one of the hardest things and also one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.  Growing up, I did little else in the way of extracurricular activities, because horses do take up a lot of time, money, sweat, and tears.

I think a lot of families, still to this day, see all of these things as barriers to getting into the horse world. It is human nature to look at risk more than reward, and as parents or caretakers, risk management is a big part of the job.  But I implore you to look at the positive side of things, too. Parents, you should know there are some amazing hidden benefits to horses.

I was the only one of my siblings that really got into horses.  I am also the only one that “made it out” so to speak. I always joke with people that at one time I might have been the only male “Hogan” to not be in jail.  The reason could be any of the following:

  • I had to get up early!  Horses require regular feedings, at least twice per day.  
  • I had to pick up after them constantly!  Horses seem to poop just anywhere, which can definitely turn into “Mt. Crapula” if not tended to daily. Chores were a requirement, a never ending thorn to be dealt with in order to reap the benefits of having horses.
  • I had to learn to “read” my animals.  Horses have never been able to learn English and therefore are terrible at articulating their needs. It was a requirement at times to put their needs before mine.
  • I learned how to fail!  Horsemanship is something that is never fully mastered, which meant I had tons of ups and downs. And Good or bad, I was responsible for the results!
  • I learned how to be “fearful”!  Horses demand respect because of their size but also require you to muster up courage in order to garner a proper relationship. It was a sort of reverence.
  • I found acceptance!  Horses require me to be myself and nothing more, their influence is astounding.  Not being yourself seems to bother horses. It kept me from becoming someone other than myself.

As a nation, we are bringing up a new generation of kids with a lot of distractions that are vying for their attention, making it harder to instill in them the lessons needed to be successful.  There are a ton of activities that can influence your little humans. But when developing both personal and professional relationships, I think we all value someone who is early, picks up after themselves and others, leans in when things are tough, can pick up on the unspoken social cues, or who knows who they are and certainly isn’t afraid of who that is!  If that sounds like the type of little person you’re trying to raise up then Stormwalker Ranch lessons are a good choice!

I challenge you to check out Stormwalker Ranch.  When you sign up your little one to learn horsemanship they won’t go home with just a riding lesson under their belt.  They’ll be walking away with life lessons needed to make it out there in the real world.


Byron Hogan
Riding Instructor

Rider Spotlight: CAYDEN POSCH

SWR student Cayden Posch is an 8th grader at Dewey Middle school, he is the son of Chris and Stephanie Posch and big brother to Callie.

Cayden has played recreational soccer with the Washington County Soccer Club (WCSC) for five years. This year he decided to join a competitive team with the North East Oklahoma Futball Club (NEOFC). He also became a certified grade 9 referee with the Oklahoma Soccer Association and began refereeing for WCSC.  


  • Nov 01 – Charlotte: Happy 11th from Rooster
  • Nov 09 – Edie: HBD to our newest SWR friend
  • Nov 12 – LeahHey teenager! Happy 13th
  • Nov 13 – Clay: Hats tipped to SWR co-founder
  • Nov 18 – Campbell K:  Peppy says Happy 9th
  • Nov 20 – Emma Grace: Happy 9th from Peppy
  • Nov 23 – MK: To our Media Wrangler
  • Nov 28 – Aubrey: Double digits! Happy 10th

Mindy Stewart


Dennis Reis is one of my Horseman Mentors and one of the top principles in his “Freedom” horse training course teaches “Prepare to a Position for a Transition.” That is, prepare yourself for that which is to come.

In trying to figure that out, let’s look into God’s Word. When we read 2 Corinthians 3:18 we learn that we are “being transformed” into the likeness of Jesus Christ. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Christians we read, “He did it so that they might prepare God’s people to serve. If they do, the body of Christ will be built up. That will continue until we all become one in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son. Then we will be grown up in the faith. We will receive everything that Christ has for us.”

Starting to get the picture? Our journey as disciples of Jesus is a process of being changed internally and eternally. We see the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy, his young apprentice, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” Note: Place a strong emphasis on the last part before launching into the first part. And similarly, the Apostle Peter wrote, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect….”

The next important principle to learn whether following Christ or riding a horse is “forward motion”. We need to keep moving ahead towards what Christ has for us no matter what we are facing here on earth. We might have to climb over the mountain in front of us, but we should never stop moving forward in the will of God.

This brings us to another principle in horse training, the “flagging out” or “sacking out” process. Flagging out isn’t about teaching your horse that scary objects won’t hurt them. It’s about teaching them to listen to you and trust you no matter what they face. How well your horse listens to you under pressure tells you how solid their training is. How well do we listen to and trust God when we are under pressure? When we fight or run from our troubles, it only feeds the fear and leaves us exhausted. However, the moment we confront our challenge and begin to walk through it, only then will we find peace and rest in prayerfully trusting God.

My horse, Scooter, reminds me of our walk with God. He tends to panic under pressure and wants to get the heck out of there, pronto! We, as Christians, too often try to seek a better relationship with God though our own efforts, without trusting God’s plan. And when we do, there will be no peace and even worse, fear continues to be fed. This can make us want to run further away from God instead of drawing us near or closer to him, resulting in an even bigger mess that before.

In the Proverbs written by Solomon, who was granted supernatural wisdom by God, he wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  We all need to remember that no matter where we are in our own life – or in horse training! We can’t do it by ourselves. We all need the right guidance and understanding to keep us heading in the right direction. If we prepare our hearts correctly for a position to live with Jesus, he will guide us.

“When I come to the end of my rope, God is still there to take over.” – Hebrews 13:5. Horses sometimes pull away to the end of the rope, but we are still there with them. God reminds us, “…be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” – Hebrews 13:5

So I ask, is your heart and life “Prepared to a Position to make the Transition” so that with Jesus, we can maneuver through the obstacles of life and live in relationship with God today and forever?

Harmoni Erhardt – Instructor


Stormwalker Ranch rule #3: “Stop and Listen”.  

When a new student first arrives in the barn, the number one thing we do is go over the rules of the Ranch listed on the wall.  I always say that rule #3 is one my favorites.  I explain that there are so many things to learn about horses, that if you aren’t willing to stop and listen, you will miss out on learning the really amazing stuff. The thing is, this rule does not just apply to the children who come through our lesson program, but to everyone wanting to further themselves as horsemen.

And as horsemen, we have the pleasure to never stop learning.  I have heard many great horsemen say, ”Just as soon as I thought I knew it all, I learned something new.”  The biggest key to learning is to stop and listen. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of participating in a Fran Hancock clinic here at the Ranch (see feature above). And she said something that really stuck with me, “There is a right way and then there is a better way.” My horse and I grew so much in those three days simply because I stopped and listened to her wisdom and way of doing things, all because I simply followed rule #3.

Caney Valley, KS high school cheerleaders worked with Instructor Byron Hogan on communication, partnership, and teamwork in the main arena at the Stormwalker Ranch Riding Center.


Hello, my name is Glory and I am one of the newest additions to the Stormwalker Ranch horse family. I am a thoroughbred racehorse, although I only won $60 in my first and only race.

Hi, my name is Josie and I am also new to the SWR family. I am a paint horse I was used as a trail horse. It was a very exhausting life.

Our lives have been great for the past few years as we belonged to Dr. Larjara and his wife. They have taken great care of us. Dr. Lajara would take us to horsemanship clinics and ride us when he could. But for the most part, we have been pasture pets and are quite attached to one other. 

Then we found out that the Lajara’s were moving and couldn’t take us with them. So, they reached out to the fine folks at Stormwalker Ranch to find us a new home. Stormwalker sent Ms. Mindy and Ms. Valerie out to evaluate us. We guess they liked us because here we are at Stormwalker.

So far, we love it! Everyone is so friendly. The other horses on the ranch are really nice too. On our second day at SWR, we were put to work in a round pen helping to teach others about horses and how God works in everyone’s life. That was great.

Thank you for reading our story. We hope to see you around the Ranch.

Glory and Josie

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and the streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43: 18-19


I love seasons. I love the change in weather. Fall is one of my very favorite seasons. Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday, I love the cool, crisp temperatures, blue skies, and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees.  As we are in the depths of Fall, we have begun preparing the Ranch for Winter.

I am so thankful that we have the resources necessary to do this work. We are blessed and doing our best to build up our driveways to withstand the rain and cold, preparing our water sources to make sure we keep them from freezing and servicing our natural gas well to ensure it is in good working order through the Winter as it heats the barn. While the Ranch Operations team focuses on preparing for Winter, the Program team is already looking at Spring and Summer, putting together plans for our Hoofbeats Day Camp Programs and our Equestrian Adventure Camp (overnight) programs.  We are so grateful, the work never stops at the Ranch as we run riding lessons and weekly programs throughout the Fall and Winter as well. I am blessed as I get to work with this great team and walk in the fruit of our labor. Each week we have a wonderful opportunity to host students and groups building positive influences into their lives. Each and every day, I get to see our staff and riders grow a little more confident as they overcome life’s obstacles.

In this month of Thanksgiving, I want to let you know how thankful I am for you, each and every one of you.   Many of you are parents of riders. Thank you for trusting us with your precious cargo, your children.  Some of you are adult riders who not only ride with us but give your time to our programs. A lot of you are friends and family who support us as volunteers and through financial partnership. Thank you. THANK YOU! I am so thankful for each and every Stormwalker Ranch team member, not just our staff, but all of you!

It is typically my job to let you know our needs and ask if you would consider helping us with those needs.  This month, I just want to focus on being thankful for all that God has provided and thank you for your crucial role in that provision.

In the Power of His Grip.

Phyllis Scott
Executive Director

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