The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Steve Salins
Reporter 

Iron Legacy Ranch aims to serve

 

Journal photo by Steve Salins

Ryan and Heidi Tracy opened the Iron Legacy Ranch earlier this month. Ryan explained that the ranch's mission is "to serve others with grace and love.

A large, red riding Arena seems misfit among green and brown rolling hills, but that is the focal point of the Iron Legacy Ranch located south of Ritzville and east of Highway 261.

The Ranch opened on May 4, 2019 with a public BBQ, facility tours, horse demonstrations, campfire and a square dance. Over 300 visitors attended. Ryan and Heidi Tracy own the ranch, helped by their four sons-Gus, Colby, Wes and Brock-who work as ranch hands. Heidi's parents, Phil and Lisa Peterson, manage events. Otto, the pure white Great Pyrenees mix, is the gentle greeter, but brings death to marauding coyotes on the property.

Iron Legacy is a working horse ranch with a larger-than-life mission "to serve others with grace and love." An interview with Ryan Tracy, fresh from working on the fence line, explains the purposes of the ranch. On the surface, and in reality, this is a working place; kids who come to help find an introduction to hard work and cowboy lives. Visitors and horse owners who come to ride here find a helpful staff that also take interest in the spiritual health and care for others.

From the age of four, Ryan always wanted to ranch and live the cowboy life of hard work. Heidi grew up at Miracle Ranch, with 75 horses and parents who ran the camp. Miracle Ranch had a spiritual emphasis as well, and so it was natural for Ryan and Heidi to marry and work together to achieve a goal of having a ranch of their own. The name "Iron Legacy "comes from Ryan's "Legacy" business and Heidi's family's "Angle Iron" Ranch name.

The new indoor riding arena covers 80-feet by 160-feet and includes storage, vet supplies and office space, plus a Greenhorn Room which attaches to the arena to allow parents and grandparents to monitor their kids' riding lessons or watch them ride for practice. The room is also a comfortable place to relax in a "cowboy" setting.

Iron Legacy provides lessons for beginners or advanced riders. Horse owners may bring their mounts for indoor or outdoor arena riding. "Haul-in" memberships-per person, not per horse-range from $10 per day up to a year ($500).

The outdoor arena is 150-feet by 250-feet. Ryan grew up with a father in the construction business and it shows in the craftsmanship of the facilities. The building's plan also reflects careful and thoughtful planning, which was done by both Ryan and Heidi together. Visitors may feel trapped in a pleasant time-warp between an old cowboy environment and our busy world.

Ryan explained that he doesn't want to be remembered only as someone who was good at working with cows, although it is clear that working with animals on a ranch is a passion. But his greater passion, which is to affect people's lives, is the purpose behind Iron Legacy Ranch.

In conversation, Ryan noted parallels between working to train a horse and working to bring up children. He quoted Winston Churchill in saying, "a horse's outside is good for a person's inside." And he and Heidi believe there are life-lessons to be learned from working with horses. Ryan noted that good horsemanship mirrors human relationships, so there is opportunity to grow in understanding both. As far as cows are concerned, Ryan opined, "a cow's real purpose is to make good dogs, good horses and good kids."

He only laughed when asked if he has a book of cowboy sayings. He noted that members of the cowboy community tend not to teach others or share their techniques, whereas he and Heidi want to teach others and share the joy of others' personal growth with both horses and the Creator.

Present facilities and the size of Iron Legacy Ranch are pregnant with plans for the future. There is a plan to board horses, though that is probably 12-18 months away. The present covered arena may be used for riding during local cold and snowy winters. Furthermore, the facilities present various opportunities for meetings, significant events, weddings, family celebrations and public entertainment gatherings. Ryan and Heidi are very open to ideas and specific requests from the public.

Iron Legacy is located at 651 N Benzel Rd. They can be found online at http://www.ironlegacyranch.com. To get in contact with them, call 253-686-4958.

 

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