“It’s time to give back.” This is what Zach Ducheneaux said when asked to speak at the South Dakota Indian Business Alliance about the latest endeavor of the Ducheneaux Ranch Partnership (the family of the late Wayne Ducheneaux I). He was referring to “The DX Ranch” and its mission to help improve personal well-being by making an example of thoughtful interactions between humans and horses.
We realize that we’ve been exceptionally fortunate to be where we are today. We want to take advantage of the fact that we now have the ability to begin to repay a society that has contributed greatly to that good fortune. This sentiment, coupled with the call to public service, instilled by Wayne, led to the creation of The DX Ranch, our chosen way to begin to give back.
Phase One, an all weather equestrian facility, was just completed. Phase Two is underway – we’re building configurable bunkhouses/barracks in which to house our prospective clientele. Made possible with the help of the State Bank of Eagle Butte, Four Bands Community Fund, and by the life’s work of the family of the late Wayne Ducheneaux, the facility will enable the expansion of a fledgling horsemanship and internship program in order to target local children and young adults.
Over the last 4 years, children and young adults from Texas to Michigan and New York to Idaho have spent time acquiring life skills through hands-on experience with Ducheneaux Quarter Horses. Recognizing that the benefits realized by the interns could be even more meaningful for reservation youth, we have sought a business model that will help ensure that we can provide those services locally at no cost.
Prior to the creation of The DX Ranch, and the construction of the all-weather equine facility, internships were only available to those who could afford to pay to spend some time on the ranch during the summer. Additionally, since the interns simply stayed with the family, the slots available were limited. The new facility will allow for the expansion of paid internships, the proceeds dedicated to providing the same opportunities to local youth and young adults at no cost.
In addition to interns, The DX Ranch will host individuals, families or businesses who have a similar commitment to society, for paid ranch “vacations” and horsemanship clinics, or retreats, to experience a cultural exchange not offered in many other locations.
The DX Ranch has already reached out to the CRST and SRST Horsemanship programs to discuss the possibility of devoting some facility time to their respective programs. Reservation wide play days and youth activities will also be hosted in The DX Ranch facility, in addition to horsemanship demonstrations and camps. Friends and neighbors who share in this commitment are lending their support and will be assisting The DX Ranch with establishing other income streams for the facility, to increase the opportunity serve our local community.
Our long-term goal is the establishment of a non-profit to carry on the mission of The DX Ranch.
For more information, please contact us using the contact form, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smile and Ride!
PS. To see photos of the project, check out our Flickr Stream.