We (David and Mary Prett) started to plan and build Bedai Ranch in 1988 while we were both working full-time in our professional careers in nearby Houston, Texas. We have had a lifetime love for the outdoors in general and for the whole range of equestrian activities in particular.
In the years leading up to 1988 our experiences in having to stable our horses in (sub)urban facilities was leaving us feeling quite frustrated. Our frustration was connected to the time and space restrictions associated with the (sub)urban environment for both horse and rider. I believe this frustration was shared by our horses who, like us, were always willing to train and work, but also wanted to experience the joy of the free gallop over long distances in a beautiful setting. In short, we wanted to experience our horses experiencing being horses, being "free".
|The first step was to locate and purchase our "dream" property. This turned out to be an 80 acre property within 20 minutes of Huntsville, Texas, which is ideally located approximately an hour from Houston. We chose a virgin, wooded property so that we could create our vision without restriction.....this way we were able to lay out all our pastures, turnouts, gallop tracks, hacking trails, cross-country course and so on; just as we wanted each to be in and of themselves and more particularly in how each related to the whole.|
|The next step was to find an appropriate name for our place in the country. The name "Bedai" comes from the local history.|
In the early 19th century the area was inhabited by the Bedai Indians. These were reputed to be among the most friendly, most outdoor loving, most laid back, and (unfortunately for them ) the most backward of tribes. This backwardness led to them being relentlessly at the mercy of the other Indian tribes of the area (Commanche, Cenis, Neches, Lipans etc.) and later at the hands of the white settlers. Local folklore has it that the very last Bedai Indian was killed in 1869 on the northwest corner of our property by a freed slave who share-cropped a portion of the larger plantation that then encompassed what is now our ranch. Our affinity with the characteristics of the Bedai and in recognition of these earlier "owners" we chose the name "Bedai".
What followed was a long 12 year process of creating the exact physical facilities that we felt were needed to meet the demands of our vision for the ideal equestrian environment.