End of Trails Ranch’s name tells you exactly where it is located at the end of the trail travelling up Westside, Beaupark, and then Nashwito Road. You climb up a mountain on the scenic drive with the breathtaking views to their location.
Cindy Buryn started ADDVentures about 14 years ago near Grande Prairie, Alberta. It started with a week camp for kids, then friends, and parents of those children asked her why she didn’t do more camps. She started ADDVentures on horseback which grew each year until she moved to Vernon, B. C. When Cindy met her husband, Russ, they searched the Vernon area for the right place to have a trail-riding camp and other horseback adventures for kids. Their goal was to find enough land (40 acres) to support such a venture, which was in close proximity to Crown land, a view of Lake Okanagan and many easily accessible trails for all types of riding as well as something suitable for wagon rides. Numerous sidelines include llama and alpaca trekking and accommodating school trips.
“The biggest challenge was stepping out of the so-called working world and making the change going solo, so to speak, by creating a business first with horses and kids. The other animals came after I married Russ. He had the goats, sheep and llamas for his twin girls as pets. Then his daughters, my horses and his animals became a family, not realizing we were extending our business at the time. Since then, we’ve added alpacas, mini donkeys and horses, a Highland cow which is about to calf, rabbits, ducks, chickens, two dogs, five cats, and two chinchillas Moonlight and Angel,” said Cindy.
The Buryns are working at creating an opportunity for people to come and experience ranch life with a twist — the petting zoo. It gives people a chance to get to know country life. They find it a challenge keeping it going and Russ is considering taking on work elsewhere off season to fill in the slow times. They are working on an online business with the ranch products as well as to create more interest in what goes on at the ranch.
“The most rewarding part of having the ranch is seeing the kids and adults enjoying what we have and seeing those kids come through a week of camp and leaving with more confidence. I’m also a last resort for some when it comes to healing horses and other animals as I use homeopathic remedies. Some of the horses are still here with us because they no longer fit into what their original purpose was, for the previous owner,” said Cindy.
“The toughest part of this business is when you lose animals, especially when they have been part of your lives for a long time. Russ and I both lost the first horses we owned. January 2008 I lost Ladd, a Morgan horse that I had before I started in the business. Russ’s horse was 33, a good age for a horse. I think those were the toughest times — coming to terms with the death of animals — as they were part of our family,” said Cindy.
The best advice Cindy says she can give anyone starting this type of business is to have lots of money. Then take on the challenge to create what you want but be prepared to be on call 24/7 as well as be your own vet for the most part.
“When I started with the horses, a young gal told me, to succeed in this business pay for things as you go. Don’t borrow for this business as it takes awhile to create a secure income, and it’s true. I have not borrowed to build my horse business and it has taken quite awhile for it to grow especially moving it from one province to another,” said Cindy.
End of Trails Ranch has grown. Besides working with the people who home-school in the Vernon area, the Buryns have other schools visit the ranch for the day. The children learn how to feed the animals, how the llamas and alpacas are sheared and how to ride a horse. They customize trail rides to suit the riders they are escorting. The ranch is open year round and has had groups up for retreats/team building, families just wanting to go riding together, tourists from all over the world, birthday parties and those who are just curious.
Cindy can be reached at adv [email protected]or 1-877-309-6551.
Joan Airey writes from Rivers, Manitoba