With the summer of 1998 a family dream came true. The Dykes and Jones families purchased a 130-acre farm. The land was hilly and the houses and outbuildings in need of repair – but – Oh What a View!! Wall to wall Rocky Mountains.
As with everything, Murphy’s Law helped out and our best-laid plans went the way of most plans! Septic systems needed replacing; two well pressure tanks both gave up the ghost the same day. Who needs plumbing and water anyway? Okay, so we lost that winter’s savings – on to the next year. We still have our view!
The old dairy barn can be converted to a riding arena and stables – can’t it? We looked for some horses to buy – they would know. Nicodemus and Lady of Twelve Mile joined the family and how they loved the view. Both horses are second generation Suffield Mustangs. Now we really have a chunk of Alberta Heritage. Thank goodness our son is a trainer.
Our daughter is an Arabian lover – Driftwood Notation (in foal of course) needed a new home. Notation arrived from Grand Prairie with a couple of friends. “Gertie” the goat and “Pig” (you guessed it) the pig.
Mom and Dad needed some sheep, they’re much smaller and easier to handle. Oh yeah? Grandsons needed rabbits. Grandma had to have hedgehogs. Let’s not forget the dogs and the cats. Shall we buy some chickens too? NO.
Let’s get serious. We dreamed of this farm as a horse operation and a horse operation it’s going to be. Complete with a view! Time to re-name the old place. “DJ Ranch” won the vote.
After hours and hours of clean up and days of planning and re-planning we now have something to offer:
Horseplay for all of you horse lovers.
The family is ever increasing. Joy (Nan) is the matriarch; John and Pam (Mom & Dad) love to plan, handle the finances, watch and help with chores; Lee, our son is our instructor, horse trainer, handler and runs our breeding program; Tanya, our daughter, runs the administration behind our facility and our website; Justin, Lee’s son, helps with chores and lessons – he’s a great rider too! Sloan, Tanya’s son, is the next youngest and he loves to copy Justin. Solena is next in line, our angelic little devil who sure doesn’t take kindly to being left behind by the boys. And our youngest, Kristin, Lee’s daughter was born on August 24, 2003 and she keeps us all running. Let me introduce the rest of the family:
Nicodemus (Thunder) was our Suffield Mustang Stallion. He’s a black. (Our very own Black Stallion!) But after much consideration and humming and hawing, he became a gelding, but still very much loved! ….. sadly, Thunder is no longer with us – we miss him dearly.
Lady of Twelve Mile (Lady) is our oldest Suffield Mustang mare. She’s a Black and White Tobiano and has produced beautiful babies. Lady’s first baby was Lord of 112th Street – a.k.a. Chance – a sorrel Suffield gelding. Her second baby was Sunny Boy – a totally gorgeous brown and white pinto that does the Suffield Mustang breed proud!
Ne Ne Moosha (Moosha) is a part Suffield mare. She’s a Brown and White Overo. Her baby, born summer 2001, is part Suffield Mustang and is named Stormy.
Notation is an Arab/Tennessee Walker mare that throws beautiful foals. Midnight, born summer 1999, single foots just like “Mom”. Her last foal, Lightening born summer 2001, is also black and is Thunder’s only offspring.
Pepper Pot Pete (Petey) is the grandchildren’s mini. He’s a Palomino Pinto and really cute!
You may have guessed by now that we love to have fun and we love our horses. We hope you will join us and expand our “family”. Our lessons are for everyone – we’re never too young or too old to learn. Our “ranch with a view” is a great place to visit and board your horses – we promise not to spoil them too much (Lee won’t let us.)
In tune with our Updated Website I thought we should also update this page.
Many changes have happened since the late 90s. Nan has passed away; Lee has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis; John (Dad) has a heart condition.
Justin is now in his 20s and very much following in his Dad’s footsteps. He has taken over the manual running of the ranch and all the lessons and summer camp instruction. He has taken Sunny Boy as his own, finished his training and now loves to rope off his back and go on long rides both locally and in the Mountains. He is a graduate of Bow Valley College with a diploma in Justice Studies: Law Enforcement and is also currently a 2nd Year Apprentice Sheet Metal Worker.
Sloan now lives in Calgary with his partner Emily and is enrolled at SAIT for Business Management. He still knows his way around a horse but his main love is technology….just like his Mom!
The youngest granddaughters (Solena and Kristin) are still in school with dreams of their own…..but also great riders!
Lady, Notation, Sunny Boy, Moosha and Petey are all still with us but we’ve added Cole (Welsh pony/Quarter Horse cross), Tornado (Quarter horse), Telsa (Tennessee Walker) and Trinity (Medicine Hat Paint) as lessons horses.
So that’s a brief update to 2017!
Fast forward to 2020, it’s incredible how much can happen in three short years.
Pam, the driving force behind DJ Ranch passed away at the end of 2018. It was unexpected and she is hugely missed by all of us and many others. She was a beautiful soul.
Needless to say, life and the farm haven’t been the same since. After much consideration we made the very difficult decision to sell the farm and shut down DJ Ranch as of October 15, 2020.
While incredibly life changing, it’s the right decision for the remaining family, for their paths in life and the various health issues that continue to progress.
But each and everyone of us, and the countless people, whose lives have been touched by their experiences with DJ Ranch will forever have the memories to cherish.
We have loved every moment that we’ve been able to share over the last 22 years. It’s been an honour and a privilege to have run DJ Ranch for so long and we will all miss it dearly.