Von Holten Ranch Opens Mountain Trail Course

country tough trail versatility obstacle course Mar 15, 2024
mountain trail course

In December 2013, David and Brandy Von Holten would have never guessed what Von Holten Ranch would become after they decided to purchase the family farm and transforming it into a trail riding facility.

Try to envision a farm that had not been lived on since 1979, that had been in the same family since 1906.  The farm had been in the same family through the Great Depression, WWI, WWII, the moon landing, the first television; even before the hula hoop and Red Hots were invented!

During those times, families never got rid of anything for fear that they “might need it”.   David and Brandy only saw potential!  The day they began the massive undertaking of bringing life back to the ranch, they counted seven cars that had never moved from their final drive and three combines in the front yard.  One of which had a locust tree with numerous tree rings growing through the header.  There was literally over 100 years of accumulation to strategically go through. 

In September 2014, Von Holten Ranch opened with 16 stalls, 11 electric sites, 1 cabin, 11 miles of trails,  and a guest shower house.  The grand opening always seemed so distant in time making it a huge surprise when it was the following week.  David was building the stalls as the trail guests were checking in.  Some guests had to wait 10-15 minutes.  Talk about using every last second and then squeeze just a few more out to get the job done. 

By 2015, Von Holten Ranch had grown to 40 electric sites, 94 covered stalls, and 25 miles of trails.  They soon realized that in order to not cancel events, an indoor arena was a must.  They weighed out the pros and cons and were able to compromise with a covered 125x200 arena with the North wall. 

With the original farmstead having eight buildings that were left in ruins, the Von Holten’s began the task of taking down the 100 year old barn, machine shed, scale house, hog house, and a loafing shed.  Most of the wood was in good working condition.  After 10 months of putting together the largest puzzle ever, according to David Von Holten, the wedding and event venue was fully operational at the beginning of 2017!

Now, some my think David and Brandy had a silver spoon in order to make all of this come to the forefront.  Nope!  They bought a sawmill, did their own lumber, and besides the except of the arena, have built everything themselves.  Sweat, tears, Ibuprofen, and high cortisol levels made this dream come true. 

2019 has brought on the next level of expansion.  The mountain trail obstacle course has already brought people from numerous states for the ribbon cutting that was in conjunction with a bluegrass festival!  If you are wanting an obstacle course filled with air waves and noodles, this is not the obstacle course for you.  If you are wanting an obstacle course that focuses on the development of a safe and willing trail horse or mule, this is the obstacle course for you.  Logs, rocks, boulders, metal gates, moguls, and life-sized bridges.  There’s even a 1946 firetruck that sits in the middle for just the right amount of flair.  The course will be complete in the fall of 2019 with a water feature with a suspension bridge over an arm of the water feature.  Each week the Von Holten’s add one to three new obstacles.  Some of the obstacles are even in the woods to add authenticity to the training course.  At completion, each obstacle will have a metal sign with goals and variations for each.  The course is open to all campers and day riders of Von Holten Ranch located are 30455 Pacific School Road Mora, Missouri 65345. 

Von Holten Ranch is a reminder that hard work and a plan can make dreams come true.  Giddy up, get moving, and come visit Von Holten Ranch!


Update:  With the electric company not able to bring anymore electricity to Von Holten Ranch, a few electric sites were removed.  The electricity was needed to power David Von Holten's shop.  Von Holten Ranch now has 32 electric site and 75 stalls.

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