Mobile Ranch Plants Roots
by Ken Kassner
[After reading the recent story about Richard Meuth, Ken Kassner, who submitted this article to his townís paper, the Coupland Herald, also sent it to Marian Nelson. Dusting off his copy of the family tree, Ken noticed that the Meuth name appears a couple of times in his ancestral lineage. The son of Allen and Lucille Kassner and grandson of Ervin Kassner and Oleva Wanek, Ken is a direct descendant of the Rockne family. His great-great-grandfather, Gustav Kassner, was married to Marie Ott, the daughter of Elizabeth Meuth. Together with his wife Lisa and son Erich, Ken, who is an active-duty Marine Corps officer, currently lives in Coupland, TX, about 35 miles northeast of Austin. Their travels with the Marines have taken them all over the world. For now, however, theyíre elated to live in their native Texas so close to family and friends.]
Jokingly, their friends always called them the "K-Mobile Ranch," a reference to the Kassnerís constant moving around the country with their trailer of horses, saddles, and tack in tow. To date, they have changed addresses eight times. No, they werenít fleeing the law or looking for greener pastures in far remote places of the United States. Instead, they were transferring to different military bases from one coast to the other, as Ken, an officer in the Marine Corps, received orders to new assignments and new duties. In the summer of 2001, however, Ken and Lisa returned to their native Texas and moved to Coupland. Six months after they planted roots here, their newborn son, Erich, joined them.
Following his graduation from the University of Houston, Ken was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. An infantryman by profession, he has served in a variety of command and staff jobs in the Marines, most notably, as a platoon and company commander in operations around the world in places like Somalia, the Persian Gulf, and the Balkan Peninsula, where he and his Marines conducted the first amphibious operation in the country of Croatia. Today, Ken serves as the Marine Officer Instructor and Assistant Professor of Naval Science at the University of Texas, where he teaches undergraduate courses about the history and evolution of warfare and prepares young men and women for future service as officers in the Marine Corps.
Lisa, also a graduate of the University of Houston, took the leap of faith and decided to join Ken more than a decade ago as he gallivanted around the U.S. and the globe. Little did she realize that marrying Ken meant not only the receiving of in-laws, new cousins, and new friends; it also meant receiving a whole family of Marines, many of whom are as close as actual blood relatives. Nonetheless, Lisa accepted her new, extended family with open and loving arms, but with one conditionóher horses went with her.
An accomplished equestrienne, Lisa was raised with horses at her home in the outskirts of Houston. Since her earliest years of adolescence, she has worked with horses competitively and has been involved in the breeding and training of many champion mounts. While Ken was busy serving as a Marine or deploying overseas, Lisa often volunteered her time to work at the various horse stables on military bases. Initially, her work included helping the children of Marines learn how to ride and care for horses. She also organized riding clubs and helped produce local horse shows. Later in years, she was hired to serve as the head trainer of several stable facilities, where she gave riding and training lessons to the many horse lovers living on or near the base. Possessing an extensive resume, Lisa rarely, if ever, boasts about her equine accomplishments and contributions to the caring of horses nationwide. Nonetheless, her passion and love of horses is immediately and always evident.
Today, Lisa is the owner and operator of Dreamscape Arabians (www.dreamscapearabians.com), a small, family-oriented business of boarding, breeding, and training horses and riders. From their residence just west of Coupland, the Kassnerís operate their new and no longer "mobile" ranch. Although Lisa specializes in the breeding of Russian Arabians, her equine operation is open to all breeds. Later this spring, foals from two foundation mares of Dreamscape Arabians will be born. Lisaís award-winning and champion stallion is also standing at stud this year. In addition to running the farm, Lisa also serves as the chairperson of the sport horse division of the Central Texas Arabian Horse club.
Since their arrival to Coupland, the Kassnerís have been quick to comment about the joys of living in the Blackland Prairie region of Texas and about the variety of new ways in which their family has grown. They have been blessed with Godís gift of Erich; many relatives that they havenít seen in years visit regularly; and they have added more stock to their family of horses. Equally significant to Ken and Lisa, however, have been the blessings of making new friends in the Coupland communityófriends that have made their transition to the area a very memorable and fun-filled experience. With the extensive watering and fertilizing of their new roots here, the Kassnerís plan to call Coupland home for many years. To all their new friends and acquaintances in the community, as well as to those they havenít met, the Kassnerís would simply like to say: "Thanks for welcoming us, and howdy, neighbors."