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About Us

Spirit Reins Ranch is situated on what was originally a family farm. The Gilbert family acquired the farm in New Prospect, Parrsboro around 1964, and it became a cattle and pig farm for the next 20 years. Today Bill, Karen Gilbert and family continue the legacy with their horse ranch.

Our History

Bill Gilbert grew up on his family farm riding horses and wrangling cows, his first horse King was a paint trick pony. Bill and King had a great partnership from the start! He even took King in the town parade when he was only 7 years old. Bill has the farm way of life in his blood and still works and develops the land that was his childhood home. Bill renewed his love of horses in adulthood and rides his quarter horse Jasper.  He has done clinics on cattle penning, western riding and develops his riding skills through lessons and training. Bill is currently the head guide for our trails and he has been called a real cowboy character who is sure to bend your ear with a few tails or a local yarn or two.

Karen Yorke-Gilbert’s first experience around horses was at a young age riding the work horses at her aunt’s farm in the Annapolis Valley. In her youth Karen spent many hours attending races at the Truro Raceway where her uncle raced standardbreds. It wasn’t until she had a family of her own that she became fully involved with and renewed her childhood love of horses. Karen has remained committed to a vision that horses are a learning and growing opportunity for the human spirit. She firmly believes that horses are teachers and healers for people, and are therapy for the soul.


Over the past 15 years Karen has devoted her time to the development of her own horse ranch in her hometown of Parrsboro. The year 2000 marked the beginning’s of the ranch as it is today. A humble 4 stall barn housed two very special horses, a gentle thoroughbred named Chief (belonging to her daughter) and Karen’s quarter horse Ginger. Today Spirit Reins Ranch has grown to a family of 8+ horses, a large barn with 13 stalls, heated tack room and a large outdoor riding arena.

In order to provide the best quality services and optimal care for the horses Karen has devoted herself to equine education, spending years under the tutelage of top instructors in Western Reining and equitation. She has completed her Level 4 in the Western Rider Equine Canada program. Karen has certificates in Equine Canada Coaching Theory as well as First Aid training, and has recently completed the Equine Canada Trail Guide and Tourism Program. Karen holds an Bachelors Degree with Honours in Psychology from Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick.

Karen is a current member of the Nova Scotia Equestrian Federation, Equine Canada. She enjoys riding and showing her Canadian mare Willow. She has participated in many shows and competitions in western classes, trail class, reining and cattle sorting and penning.


Meet Our Guides


My name is Faith. My dream is to become a vet technician. I've worked for Spirit Reins Ranch for several summers and am now the Head Trail guide. I have been riding since I was 4 years old. I am the owner of a retired racehorse and a sweet little mini named Tinkerbell. I hope you plan to book a tour with us. You definitely won’t regret it!


Hey! My name is Brianna. I have been riding for 8 years now and this is my second year with Spirit Reins Ranch. I absolutely love it.  I have a horse of my own, Frankie who I show competitively around NS. I’m so thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given at the ranch, to work alongside my favourite animals! Our rides are such unique experiences and we would love to meet you!


Hi, I'm Sophie. I started as a trail guide for Spirit Reins Ranch last summer in 2023. I love helping out with horse camps and tasks around the ranch. You can often find me at the barn most days grooming horses, riding in the arena, or out on a trail ride. I plan to expand my knowledge in both English and Western disciplines with a goal of owning a horse farm of my own one day.

Meet Our Horses

Learn more about the horses of Spirit Reins Ranch. Click on the photo of a horse to find out more about them!

In Memory

We began with just one horse, a thoroughbred named Chief that our daughter Sarah saved up for months to buy, then I got Ginger, a quarter horse mare… the rest as they say, is history. Although Chief and Ginger are no longer with us they embody the spirit of our farm, a place where people and animals can come together to build trusting relationships and confidence.


Animals speak to our souls and here at Spirit Reins Ranch we truly cherish our pets, all our animals are considered family and we made this page to preserve their memory.

-Karen Yorke Gilbert

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