About the Ranch

We are proudly certified through PATH, (The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship), which promotes safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs.

PATH Certified

PATH Intl. was founded in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) to promote safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding throughout the United States and Canada. Today, PATH Intl. has 873 member centers and nearly 8,000 individual members in countries all over the world, who help and support almost 69,000 men, women and children–including more than 6,700 veterans–with special needs each year through a variety of equine-assisted activities and therapies programs.

Location: 14102 263rd Ave E, Buckley, WA 98321 | Phone: (253) 880-4938

Our Services

Russell’s Ranch provides riding and ground lessons in both adaptive and non-adaptive curricula.

All information is subject to change. Instructor Kristin will work with any family, or individual to find a program that will benefit and best fit their needs. Length of lesson can be suited around the individual needs.

Group lessons are available after meeting a riding criteria to ensure the safety of our riders. We offer lessons with 2-4 individuals for 40 or 60 minutes.

Private lesson are available for 30, 40, or 60 minutes. We strive to meet the needs of each individual, and love creating a riding plan to best suit each rider.

Ground work is a valuable skill for all people who come into contact with horses to know. Often times this allows for people to feel more comfortable around our horses before getting onto their backs. Ground work lessons are 30 minutes long.

  • Can be fit to the needs of any individual
  • Offers a place of inclusion
  • Incorporates other therapeutic aspects
  • Builds confidence, encourages responsibility, and guides independence
  • Adaptive equipment available
  • All ages welcome
  • Ability to incorporate ASL
  • General riding abilities improved
  • Can specialize lessons in Western Pleasure, Gaming Events, Barrels, Trail Desensitizing
  • All ages welcome
  • All skill levels welcome
  • Haul-in or horses available

Meet the Staff at Russell’s Ranch

Kristin Marie Sturdivan

Equine Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Meet Kristin

Kristin graduated from White River High School in 2015 side by side with Russell. Kristin and Russell instantly became friends, and creating the Ranch together has been a crazy ride. Kristin has ridden horses competitively all her life including western pleasure, barrels racing, drill competitions, and trails. Kristin’s passion for horses has given her life experiences she continues to pass down in teaching riding lessons to others.

Kristin finished her PATH Certification in the spring of 2017 after passing a series of vigorous tests. She is well equipped and excited to help anyone experience the joy that comes with being around horses. She finished her undergrad and is currently obtaining her masters in Speech and Language Pathology.

Meet Russell

Russell graduated from White River high school in 2015 with a love of friends and being in the outdoors. Russell has a contagious personality and the want to be involved. His true love and compassion for people has inspired the idea of creating a place for people to engage with horses. Russell is ALWAYS up for a knuckle bump, so bring your’s out to our ranch!

Russell Dowman

Gaye Dowman

Meet Gaye

Gaye has always strongly believed in Therapeutic horse back riding based on past experiences, and personal encounters with her son, Russell. Gaye has a huge heart, and when the opportunity came to start Russell’s Ranch, nothing was going to stop her. Gaye is the first to support each rider, and loves watching the individuals flourish in an inclusive setting. After enduring a long road of battles and fighting for places to belong, Gaye and her family promise to provide families with possibilities, love, and support.

Meet Sue

Sue has been a long time lover of horses and the outdoors. Sue started riding at age 8, riding dressage, western pleasure, and trail obstacles. Sue is heavily involved in the Enumclaw Pro Rodeo, and a Pro West Board Member. Sue currently is a Special Education teacher for White River High School, where she was the Special Olympics Head Coach for 10 years. Sue teaches a majority of our ground lessons, and specializes in working on feeling comfortable, understanding boundaries, and allowing our riders to gain horse knowledge.

Sue Root

Meet the Horses at Russell’s Ranch


Registered Name:
QL Dandy Smoke

Quarter Horse

June 18, 2002

16.1 hands


Registered Name:
Sir Guns of Gold

Quarter Horse

March 25, 2003

15.2 hands


Registered Name:
Just A Lil Okie

Quarter Horse

April 23, 2007

15.2 hands


Register Name:
Lady’s of Lace


September 17, 2001

14.1 hands

A One-of-a-kind Ranch

Russell’s Ranch

Therapeutic Riding Center

Location: 14102 263rd Ave E, Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: (253) 880-4938
Call or Email Kristin to sign up for a lesson.