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Winter 2007
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Dear Family & Friends,

In keeping with what appears is now a tradition coinciding with an attempt to share our life with you in ink; the snow is falling hard, the fire is crackling, and the aroma of good coffee fills the house.  If you would like to receive our annual print newsletter being sent out this week but aren't on our mailing list, please contact us and we'll get one out to you.

Blessing's abounded this year, and foremost on our long list are all of you!  You have again touched our life in overwhelming ways as you've journeyed through our clinics, had horses in training with us, bought horses from us, been coachedMJbernerhouse through competitions by us, or simply stopped to visit our booth at shows or Expo's. Thank you for all your ENCOURAGEMENT, kind words, advice, prayers and faith in us.  You are the reason we keep on keepin' on!

At many of our clinics Mitch presents a short Cowboy Church but leaves it up to me (JoLinn) to create the service for our Cowgirl Up Camps. We've been mighty blessed through the years by everyone we've been fortunate enough to have in our many clinics, but the group of ladies at our August camp was "special" (in many ways) and the dynamics were sparkling like stars on a real dark night!  Sunday being the last day of a four day camp usually gives me time to come up with a theme I feel led to present, however, these gals had me ill prepared (for many reasons!).  By Saturday night when I still didn't have a clue, I had a small inkling of how Moses must have felt regarding his lack of speaking skills, only I didn't have anyone to speak for me and daughter Rena limited her input to guitar playing. One thing I did have on my mind though was a single word that best described this great group. While speaking Sunday morning, I realized with certainty it is also the one word that resounds the loudest throughout our entire MJ Rising H Ranch team from far and wide and it is this:

Webster's Dictionary - ENCOURAGE: to inspire with courage, confidence, or hope; to urge or advise; to help, reward, promote or assist.  

The Bible - ENCOURAGE one another daily, in all that you do.

We hope we have ENCOURAGED all of you, in all that you do as much as we have been ENCOURAGED by you.  It is with great joy and pride we have watched you create new friendships, set new riding and personal goals, and have watched you ENCOURAGE each other to greater heights than some of you thought possible.  Someone once said "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want!" Thanks to all of you for helping each other so much, you are an ENCOURAGEMENT to watch.mitch

Clinics: The response to our clinic format changes has been overwhelmingly positive.  Creating the  advancement program has allowed some rider's to move on, and new rider's to focus on foundational skills without feeling they are holding the others back. 

New this coming year will be a checklist of skills required to move on to Trail II and Versatility Ranch Horse II.  Don't panic, the skills will be attainable but essential for success at an upper level.  Also new this year we've added Foundational Horsemanship I & II clinics.  Often much of our clinic time is spent helping riders attain primary skills to navigate the very basic obstacles.  This leads to frustration on the part of the rider, the horse and the other clinic participants.  At your request we will design a format geared towards helping you attain your goals in this area.  On the subject of goals; a unique feature of our clinics is our ability to help accelerate your learning by providing you with two instructors for a ratio of 7 riders per instructor  (14 rider limit), providing you with more than enough intense personal learning time.   Cowgirl Up Camp! #1 & #2 saw women traveling from all states west of the Rockies and we continue to be pleasantly surprised as we are already getting flooded with deposits for 2008. Check out the photo's at the end of this letter. 

DVD Series:

The old saying "if I'd know then what I know now" certainly applies to the production of our new series; Trail I, II & III for Competition or Pleasure.  Our learning curve has been straight up, as are most new projects, and we gratefully extend our thanks to those of you who've taken advantage of our pre-release special only to find yourselves with a much longer wait than anticipated.  We're hoping the finished product will be in your hands before you know it.


In answer to the question we've been asked all year; yes we are still taking outside horses in training.  We are however, being more selective about the number and type we will accept.  With an abundance of good colt starters we can recommend, including our own son Rygh, we are focusing our own training skills on the finer art of finishing work, a skill much in demand yet hard to find. The goal of our program is the quality and longevity of the horse/rider relationship attained through consistent training and coaching, so don't fall behind in the education of your young started horse and become frustrated with yourself.  Send them on to our Finishing with Finesse school and let us help you get re-grouped and back on track towards your riding goals. 

On the Show Front:

The hardest part of this section is keeping it short (I'll try)!  Our year started off with a bang as we traveled to Texas to coach student Tammy Harty through Craig Cameron's Extreme Cowboy Race.  Tammy's horse Bunny has been in training with us the past two years and the two have excelled at competitions this year.  The Extreme race was no exception; they brought home the Reserve Champion saddle and at the time, garnered the spot of the highest placing woman.  That episode is currently airing on RVD-TV.


From there it was on to the first of our AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse shows in

Idaho and Nevada.  That series of shows ended with Mitch winning an Open Championship and placing in the top 3 at all other shows, JoLinn won two All-Breed Championships and placed in the top 3 at the others, and student Tammy Harty won an Amateur Championship and earned her one qualifying point to head to the World show.  Mitch was short one point so we'll hit it hard next year! 

We've found the Versatility Ranch Horse competitions truly showcase the talents of the horses our training program produces.  With a combination of cutting, fence-work, reining, roping, trail, conformation, and rail work, these horses have an opportunity to really shine.  For those of you toying with that idea, our Versatility clinics are a great place to learn the skills needed in a relaxed and enjoyable setting; see our website for full details. 

Once again we were at the NW Mt. Trail Championships for a full two weeks booked solid teaching, coaching riders through classes, fixing horse problems and showing our own horses. ENCOURAGEMENT bounced off the walls in every direction as we helped over 60 of our students (new and old) face one of the most challenging trail courses seen at this set of shows yet.  Although several riders were injured the MJ Rising H Ranch team stayed safe, thanks to skills acquired through our training, clinics, lessons, and lots of prayers for each other. 

Spring NW Mountain Trail Championships -

JoLinn set a new record as the first person in this show's history to win championships in three divisions on the Silverado arena at one show; those being Open, Adult & Bareback!!   Mitch was right behind her, whippin' and spurrin', with Reserves and top 5's.  The MJ Rising H Ranch Team kept their names in the Top 8 in all divisions they entered--go team! 

Fall NW Mountain Trail Championships -

JoLinn's Silverado Open Championship set yet another show record; she is only the second person to ever win two Open Championships.  In addition, her run the last day is currently the highest score ever attained in the history of this show, just 5.5 points off perfect! Her Novice horse, TJ Fox (owner Donna Cox-Seamon) faced off in the toughest set of Novice horses seen at this show yet, they captured third place and was darned proud to get that (Congratulations Mindy & Audrey)!  Mitch was top 5 in all his classes and were it not for one "bad mare day" he would have beat us all just like he does on cattle and roping!  The MJ Rising H Ranch team stayed in the top 8 in all divisions they entered--go team!

Healing Reins & Mike Bridges Clinics Annual Cow-jumping Competition

Yep, I'd thought I'd mention this one just for all you rough, tough cow-jumpers who might have your eye on the "trophy" for next year!

Bill Berner & JoLinn Hoover - International Champion Cow-jumping Team

Lost Horse Ranch Cowboy Trail Challenge -

JoLinn  - Open All- Around Cowboy (girl)
Adult Champion                                

Mitch - Open - Reserve
Adult - Reserve 
Top 4 - Timed and Pony Express

The MJ Rising H Ranch Team placed in the Top 5 in their divisions -- Go Team!!

Mountain Trail Horse Classics  -
JoLinn - Sr. Horse Champion

The MJ Rising H Ranch Team placed in the Top 5 in their divisions--Go Team!!

For now, gather your loved ones close, be ever Thankful, ever Grateful, ever ENCOURAGING one another in all you do, and may your Blessings overflow. 

Til we meet down the trail--God Bless you all!

Mitch & JoLinn
and the MJ Rising H Ranch Gang!
                                      SCENES FROM 2007 COWGIRL CAMPS
















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