660 Hooves and 26 Boots – Meet Head Wrangler, Hope
We would like you to meet TVR’s Head Wrangler, Hope Christianson. She has been with Tanque Verde Ranch since June of 2016. From Sherwood, Oregon, Hope found herself adventuring to the University of Arizona where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science with an Equine Emphasis. She also studied Business Administration. Initially, she moved to Tucson to go to the University of Arizona to become a nurse. The closed doors and hospital setting quickly became unappealing to her. She longed for her horses in which she had worked and been with her entire life. In the past, Hope worked with a variety of disciplines and horse industries including, training, breeding, Dude Ranches, and more. It was then that she switched her studies to Animal Science and Business. Looking back, she wouldn’t have it any other way, for she wouldn’t be where she is today.
When Hope first came to the Ranch, she worked as a counselor for the Kid’s Program, knowing she could still work with horses – her real passion. The love Hope found at the Ranch grew quickly, and before she knew it, she was full-time and offered the Kid’s Program Supervisor position. With excitement for the work and passion for horses, Hope grew with the Ranch and accepted a new offer as the Head Wrangler/Barn Manager position.
In Hope’s position now she manages 13 employees and 165 horses which equals 26 boots and 660 hooves! That’s a lot of stomped ground to cover. With her diverse work crew, she learn’s that herself, along with other younger employees cherish the time spent with the Ranch’s veteran wranglers.
She stated, “Joe Valdez, a wrangler who has been in the company for 40 years has been an amazing resource for us. His knowledge of the land, history, and horses is remarkable.”
Hope also enjoys working with guests of all ages. The look and excitement children get when they get on a pony for the first time is ultimately rewarding. It is exciting for her to help riders conquer their fear of horses, but also work with, and teach accomplished horsemen and women.
Hope’s favorite activities are the loping rides. Loping Rides are fast-paced horseback rides that bring more adrenaline and excitement to riders and the horses with long and easy strides. She states, “I love loping rides! Being able to walk, trot, and lope in the Sonoran Desert is unique and an exciting experience.”
Horsemanship skills, rewarding company, and smiles aren’t the only thing she comes across while at the Ranch. Hope’s saddlebags are jam-packed full of memories. One being her favorite, TRIPS and True Friends; which are two organizations that bring adults with disabilities on vacations. Hope and the Ranch work with Trips and True Friends once or twice a year. When the horses come together with the disabled adults, joy spreads across the Ranch, with smiles that spread as wide as the Rincon Mountains.
Hope explains, “Our horses are saints when taking such amazing care of these groups. We also have a ton of fun! It makes me proud being able to bring such joy to our TRIPS and True Friends.”She goes on to explain that the position can be overwhelming at times, but the support from the Ranch is only helping her to grow and improve her management skills. “I cannot imagine not working with horses. I am very lucky to have a career doing what I truly love!” Hope commented.
With Hope’s confidence, passion and hard work, it is inevitable that the Ranch is sure to build and bring more joy to everyone who is fortunate enough to experience Tanque Verde Ranch, and their beautiful horses.