191 acres dedicated to enriching lives of children and adults with disabilities
Located just south of Bellevue, Idaho, the Swiftsure Ranch consists of 191 acres. It is joined on the west to BLM lands, boasting breathtaking mountain and water views. Among the many features of this beautiful ranch is the control of one mile of the Big Wood River as well as crops of grass hay and irrigated pastures which will allow Swiftsure to produce their own feed. The property is surrounded by aspen and cottonwood trees, ponds and wetlands providing seclusion in a scenic rural environment. Participants in the program enjoy the amazing views from the saddle of a horse.
The facility can accommodate up to 40 horses in a 20 stall barn, outdoor paddocks, pastures and a smaller 12 stall barn. The riding facilities include a standard Dressage court, a large round arena, a small round pen, and a heated indoor arena. Riders wishing to venture out of the arena can enjoy miles of trails which wind through cottonwoods and aspens, willows and ponds, hay fields and sagebrush.
With the help from a bit of reconstruction, the new office space allows for the staff to work and the students and parents to wait and observe comfortably. A new kitchen and lounge provide additional comforts for the staff and volunteers, and the ADA bathrooms are state of the art.
Covering and Enclosing the Arena
A generous local family gift made it possible to expand and cover the existing outdoor arena, allowing riders to enjoy the natural setting of the ranch in the summer and fall. A roof with open sides now provides relief from the sun for riders, instructors, volunteers and our equine partners.
To enhance the outdoor arena, we are currently exploring options to enclose the structure so it can be utilized during winter months and remain open in the summer.
In 2014, Swiftsure Ranch received grants from the Chichester Foundation, Harriet E. Pfleger Foundation and David Ketchum American Legion Post No. 115 to enhance the property by providing a camp/retreat location that is accessible for individuals with disabilities.
The new camp expansion and wheelchair access ramps were completed this spring, with wall tents, tipis, a fire pit, a meeting and mess tent, sheep camp, portable shower and complete outdoor kitchen.
Now they are able to provide floored wall tents and a cook tent, providing an accessible camping location that is close to the equine facilities and other amenities, while still feeling special and remote.