True Ranch Horse ~ Not just a wanna be!

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True Ranch Horses
What is a TRUE Ranch Horse? What is the difference between a true ranch horse and any other horse? What makes them special? What gives somebody the ability to make a TRUE ranch horse? Well let me tell ya.

A TRUE ranch horse has always been a very desirable commodity in the West and also for the rest of the equine world. It is the kind of commodity you can not make unless you have 1,000’s of acres available, as well as 1,000’s of head of cattle. It is the kind of commodity that you can not make with just a few minutes or an hour in the saddle. It is the kind of commodity that you make by spending hours on end in the saddle. You get up before dawn and are on your horse behind cattle at the break of dawn and most of the time you do not return till the sun sets. A true ranch horse that is used on the ranch has a significant advantage over those that are not. They have been exposed to many different situations, terrain and most importantly, many different jobs. They learn to travel long distances in rough country, they learn how to work hard and they learn work ethics. Like it has been said “Wet saddle blankets make good horses”.

True Ranch Horse ~ Miss Sunkist Fisty

The people who make a TRUE ranch horse are also a desirable commodity. To produce this horse, they must start out looking for what the horse has to offer, and not what they demand of the horse. They strive to work with their horse to make them better, always seeking to find the best in them. Thusly, their horses learn to enjoy life and their work, making it best for both of them. That is the kind of horse that you can call a “True Ranch Horse”…and the guys making them are TRUE COWBOYS…they are not the weekend cowboys but they are the real deal.

True Ranch Horse ~ Busy Texas Chex

I have been fortunate enough to be able to say I have spent most all of my life living on ranches and being able to do just that with my horses. Turn them into a TRUE ranch horse. However that was not enough for me. I love the sport of reining as well as working cow horse and cutting so it had always been my goal to not just have a TRUE ranch horse but to have a TRUE ranch horse that handles like a reiner/working cow horse. This combination to me is a great one as it keeps the horse fresh as well as sane. I take my hat off to all the trainers out there who get their horse broke broke broke by riding them strictly in the arena as it is something I sure can not get done. Don’t get me wrong….I love me a little arena work but to me it is outside where you get them truly broke. You can work on circles by doing them around a bush, work on roll backs using a cactus as a block, and there is nothing better then using cattle to get your colts front end freed up and give him a reason to move it. I think it is the combination of both, arena work and lots of ranch riding, that makes a sane horse. One that is not bored with his job and one that appreciates time spent in the show pen as they know that is dang sure a lot less work then a day at the ranch…it’s like a vacation and we all love that.

True Ranch Horse ~ HA Im On The Go

This past year I have lived in town…and let me tell ya, I am dang sure not a big fan of it. This girl is cowgirl all the way and town living is not part of cowgirl living but what can you do? It is just the way it is right now. Notice I say “right now” as in, it is going to change (-: So with that said I have to say I owe John a HUGE thank you as he has been using the following horses of mine in Nevada on the Holland Ranch which is exactly where a TRUE ranch horse is made.

As well as his own horses:

The Holland Ranch is right around 100,000 acres and this summer they ran 3,000 yearlings and 1,000 momma cows and calves. This is exactly what it takes to make a TRUE ranch horse. The work these horses do is not just “riding around in the hills.” It is long hard miles of rough country, riding through yearlings, roping and doctoring sick yearlings, working a rope so when John is the only one out there he can do his job, draggin calves to the branding fire, sorting off yearlings that are in the wrong pasture, and last but not least moving yearlings as well as pairs to different pastures on a rather regular bases.

A True Ranch Horse ~ Miss Sunkist Fisty

The last but not least, actually the most important factor in this whole devision is that you do not just need a cowboy to ride your horses to turn them into TRUE ranch horses but you need a “hand.” I can honestly say that John is not just a hand but a hell of hand. He not only uses the horses for his tools but he is great with them. As most all of the horses of mine that were, and still are, down there with him this summer had a reining foundation they knew what it meant to be soft in the face and to yield to leg pressure and so on and forth but John continuously is working on all these things while he is out there doing his work with them. He not only maintains their normal training program but also does all of the shoeing and makes sure that the horses are taking care of better then himself most of the time. There is a lot of value in a TRUE ranch horse and it takes a TRUE ranch hand/cowboy to not only make one but also to maintain one. So with that…I owe a BIG BIG THANK YOU to John for taking the girls and Elan this summer and turning them into just that, TRUE Ranch horses that are as honest as it get and have work ethics like no other. I could not have done it without his help.

If you enjoyed this article or are interested in any of the horses John used on the Holland Ranch this summer take a look at some of the following posts to see a bit more about what they did all summer.

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