My ranch is nestled in the Marble Mountain range in the Southern caribou. The entrance to the ranch is a solid overhead log gate, with a sign that squeaks and swings in the wind reading "SKOOKUMHORSE RANCH". Then you continue up the mile long gravel (sometimes muddy) steep driveway up to the house. I have 330 acres, two arenas, a round pen, 3 stall barn and turn out paddocks, several corrals, and miles of trails that lead throughout the forested property.
My main ranching business is horses, horse training, boarding and teaching aspect.
Essentially, my workday run from six in the morning until nine at night. My day starts with feeding animals (especially in the winter). There are many animals to be taken care of and they all need differnt rations and types of feed. Daily care involves checking the animals for problems often ending in having to doctor wounds and administering medication if needed in the feed or as injections.
After feeding and caring for health issues I grab the pitch fork, shovel, and wheel barrow and start the morning regiment of scooping poop from the stalls, paddocks, feeding areas, and adding shavings where necessary. There is an ever growing pile of manure around the yard someplace. Summer time requires less poop scooping as most the animals are out on pasture for most of the day.
There are many other jobs around the ranch: maintenance work, fencing, spreading manure piles, gardening, cutting firewood for winter, bringing the hay home (I buy hay locally), office work (dealing with customers from my different businesses), work in the Leather Shop, riding and training horses, moving animals around, that all need to be fitted into the days. I enjoy regular tail rides to keep the horses fit, check on fences and get the dogs out for a run too. My horses get regular training in Dressage and Jumping in the arena, to bring them along to higher training levels and prepare them for upcoming shows. Later in the day we resume with feeding animals or turning them out in the summer and scooping poop again. The barn is swept and ready for the next day.
Whenever I need a break I enjoy hiking , camping and packing trips with my horses and dogs. In the winter I take my dog skijoring at the local crosscountry ski runs. From time to time I pack my bags and take off exploring the world, travelling to different countries or visiting my family in Europe.
Running a ranch can be hard work, but it is incredibly fulfilling and it is the most gratifying work I have ever experienced. I couldn't imagine being cooped up in an office all day. I do my best to keep "Skookumhorse Ranch" up and running, keeping things in good shape. At times it seems impossible, but things always work out. Often I retire to bed with aching muscles and various bruises, but I wouldn't change the experiences for the world. If you ever have a chance to visit Clinton, British Columbia, look me up. I'm in the book.
Dino, Draft/QH Gelding
AJ, QH gelding
Skook, Belgian draft gelding
Cinnamon, TB/Hanoverian mare
Catherine Clinckemaillie I grew up in Liechtenstein, Europe and started my riding career at the age of 6 in conventional riding stables on warmbloods. As a teenager I rode other peoples horses in exchange for cleaning stalls. After High School I took a 2 month horse shoeing course in Arizona and a Horse Training course in Oklahoma. In 1999 I immigrated to British Columbia Canada abandoning veterinary studies in Switzerland. I worked as a wrangler in outfitting camps for a few years. Feeling to need to learn more about horses I attended a one year Equine Studies program at Fairview College in Alberta during which I also obtained a 'EC Level 1 Western Coach' certificate. I then did a working practicum with Yvonne La Bounty in Rock Creek,BC (who learned from Roy Yates) on young horse training, starting horses and western Dressage. At Robin Hahns in Lumby, BC I learned about Jumping, Eventing, basic Dressage for the Jumping horse and training hoses with gymnastics.
In 2002 I bought my ranch in Clinton, BC which I have built up to be a well set up horse training facility with covered- and outdoor arena, round pen, barn, pens and pastures in a natural setting giving the horses as much freedom and space as possible. Considering I didn't even have runing water and power when I first moved into my 'pack rat infested' house back then. It is a great place to teach riding lessons, train horses and board horses in a natural environment.
In 2004 I started up a small leathework and repair business (starting out on our deep freezer as work bench and upgrading to a nice big work shop that is part of the house in 2006). Skookumhorse Leathework is keeping me busy and helps to cover costs for horse shows, clinics and feed for my performance horses. I really enjoy making custom items for customers all over the world and meet some very interesting and nice people.
As for my riding education I continue to take lessons and clinics as often as possible in Jumping and Dressage. Since 2011 I have the chance to ride with Philippe Karl in his teachers course of lightness which is a dream come true, to be able to learn from a classical Dressage master himself and his best teachers.
Winter skijoering fun
Romeo and Leo in a peaceful moment, it isnt always like this....