Who We Are
Meet the owners, Rebecca & Mike Herron
I am very fortunate to be sharing life with my high school sweetheart and husband of 48 years. We’re best friends, we love working together on our farm, we enjoy traveling. Our two children, Lana and Kyle, are grown and continue to make us proud.
Mike and I bought this Perrydale property 30 years ago. As it was bare land used for farming in a past life, we felt like pioneers. Our 80 acres was a canvas waiting to be painted! It’s been a challenge at times but we have always felt that owning this land was a “meant to be.” It is private yet the wide-open spaces offers amazing views. Many’s the time we just stop and look … and are ever so grateful for owning this gem of a property.
About Mike: Mike is retired from his job as a millwright at the Newberg SP Newsprint Mill. He can build just about anything, which makes me a very lucky girl! Besides having the mechanical skills to fix all sorts of things, he is also a woodworker. From buildings to furniture to trail obstacles, he can do it all with finesse. In recent years, he’s developed a successful and busy fabrication shop here on our farm. He can build a variety of anything in wood and steel. He’s also fabricated beautiful driveway gates for several farms. And someday soon, he’s going to give me some fancy entry gates. Mike’s promised we’re first … after everyone else!
In Mike’s spare time from farm, business and “honey-do” projects, he enjoys fishing and traveling.
Rebecca’s turn: Always a horse girl, I have been a trainer, exhibitor, instructor, and judge over 50 years. I started showing as a gamer at age 15, then moved into performance classes. My 4-legged partners won many statewide championships in rail classes, reining, and of course trail over many years. I also trained and showed several outside horses. It was always rewarding to start a youngster, and watch the lights come on! I endeavored with each one to instill an excellent basic foundation that anyone could advance from.
I began judging at age 25, and retired at 50. My main focus was in 4-H, open, and foundation quarter horse shows. I strived to be “that” judge who exhibitors remembered as encouraging and knowledgeable, and to be recognized as a consistent, rule-following, and personable judge. My favorite classes to compete in and judge have always been trail events. From experience, I know the talent and trust it takes to reach the top level of expertise.
After I retired from judging, the natural trail events were just catching on. And, it was what brought me back into a few more years of showing. My big black Appaloosa, J.D., and I won many difficult trail events. These were over typical scenarios you’d find in natural settings. No sterile arena trail class for us! J.D. truly enjoyed the challenges each tough competition offered. And me? I cannot lie – I really liked being the best!
During this time, Mike and I explored central Oregon the best way possible: by riding well-trained, sensible horses. We’d camp in remote places, using only GPS and topographical maps to travel cross-country, which also helped me design Perrydale Trails.
I rarely compete anymore; been there, done that. I’m having too much fun here at Perrydale Trails!
Such precious memories of camping and riding in Oregon’s pristine wilderness.
We hope to share that same joy with you at Perrydale Trails!
Trail Riding Defined
Meet Your Test Pilots
While I’m grateful for the human help with Perrydale Trails, there’s no way we could succeed without my good trail horses.
In my olden days, the main activities with horses were in competitions. However, the horses I have now work for Perrydale Trails. When I design a new obstacle, it’s tested thoroughly with my horses to make certain it’s viable. I also use them to ride with first time visitors as they are the calm tour leaders for unsure horses. I give lessons on Doc and Shine, gentlemen they are.
I’m quite proud of my boys; they seem to know there’s an important job to do!
Precious Gunner, my very own App for trail. Bred, born, and raised here, he was somewhat ignored while big brother JD was the favorite child. Gunner quite capably became #1, and exceeded JD’s abilities in the wilderness riding. At that time, he was still fairly green. But undoubtedly, his trail abilities spotlighted his future. I felt completely safe on him. He was going to be even better than JD!
Over his 18 years, I have admired his sensibility and intelligence. We have enjoyed a special bond of trust in each other; he will do anything for me. And here’s why I can prove it: he is completely blind.
He started losing his sight about five years ago. All the training and trail experiences have certainly eased his transition to blindness. After watching Gunner handle obstacles, most people are astounded that he can’t see.
Yep, my partner Gunner goes over logs, up and down gullies, across water … and all because he trusts me.
Harley is my newest “ride.” He’s the youngster of the herd at six years old. I bought him as a weanling, and from a very honest seller. She was a breeder, and advertised him as the smartest colt she’d ever raised. Harley has proven her words, as well as being a natural athlete. Such a smooth ride! He’s a “one and done” kind of guy who remembers his lessons. He keeps me creative, as he wants to learn more each ride. My friend, Reetsie, had urged me to buy this colt especially because of his Hancock breeding: “he’ll be the most devoted horse you’ll ever own.” And true enough, he wants to be the chosen one when I’m looking for a horse to ride. “Harley, get your head out the way, it’s not your turn today!”
Well, think I’ll go ride my Harley now. I just love saying that!
I chose Shine as a four year old green broke gelding. His owner had depicted him as level-headed, smart, and easy-going. She’d given him just enough “start”, that made it perfect to fine-tune him to my wishlist. This is a horse sale that was a true success!
I had shoulder and hip surgery only months apart not long after I bought Shine. While gingerly recuperating from each, this horse seemed to sense he needed to be Mr. Reliable. His patience and kind nature surely helped me mentally to get back in the saddle again.
Shine has always loved doing trail and all the obstacle challenges It’s definitely his niche, and has become quite accomplished. There may be days that I’m busy with others while riding him. About the third day, he actually will gravitate towards the nearest obstacle, so he can show everyone “how it’s supposed to be done!”
There’s many a time that I gratefully think of his registered name, Shine On Me. Because he surely has!
Doc was an ex-ranch horse who’d been through five owners before me. I bought him when he 16 years old, just after I lost JD. I was so heart-broken at the time, but knew we needed to get another horse for the business. At our first meeting when I was trying out Doc, he put his nose on my face, just like JD used to do. Easiest sale ever. I renamed him Doc, because he became my very own therapist.
The five previous owners? Admittedly, Doc and I had a few serious discussions those first months. But he gave me the necessary focus after JD. Doc soon became an obedient and trustworthy horse to add to my team of good geldings.
Since then, he’s been a popular and kind “therapy” horse to all of my students. Many are ladies who always loved horses, but were intimidated, yet REALLY wanted to learn to ride. Doc is their trusty and gentle partner to ride off into the sunset with. He puts up with a lot of perfumed kisses on his white nose!