Enderby’s Equine Rangers have almost become a household name in the Okanagan. Since presenting a request to Enderby City Council on March 18 to have corrals erected at popular spots around town, Dean McGeachy and his wife, Naomi, have been featured in just about every newspaper and radio station in the area.
The couple admits the publicity has been helpful, leading to discussions with other organizations and businesses about ways to partner in the community. They have plans for an interactive education display at Enderby’s popular Open Air Market this season, and they have also been working with local gardening groups to make sure any special ‘gifts’ left behind by the horses are properly cleaned up and put to good use.
McGeachy explains, “Horse manure is completely clean. There is nothing bad in it. Essentially, it’s just grass.” The McGeachys are serious about being responsible riders, and they really emphasize the green aspects of the equestrian lifestyle.
The addition of proper corrals around town, they feel, would encourage other equestrian families in the area to go green by riding into town rather than driving. McGeachy believes that a lot of people are looking for a return to what he calls a simpler, happier time.
The McGeachys are joined by their 13-year-old daughter, Lexi, when she’s not at school. Together, they ride about 2kms into Enderby up to five times a week to interact with the locals, greet tourists, and provide a fun interactive experience for families.
Their group, the North West Equine Rangers Society, is completely volunteer run and privately funded. But the McGeachys are open to offers! They are happy to accept donations and sponsorships, and they are currently looking at creating an Equine Rangers uniform, which would include advertising opportunities for businesses.
McGeachy says the Rangers’ goals are two-fold: first, to educate and entertain the public, and second, to capitalize on Enderby’s natural beauty and history by providing opportunities for heritage tourism.
“Enderby needs to find that niche. Look at Fort Langley. You can’t even find a parking spot there on weekends.” McGeachy adds, “We are losing out on tourism to places like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana.”
McGeachy and the Equine Rangers have a vision for Enderby. They hope that by helping people take a step back to those western roots, it will be two steps forward for the community.
Keep an eye out for the McGeachys in Enderby this long weekend. You might just see them out and about on Sunday afternoon with Easter eggs in tow.