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  1. #1
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    Jul. 11, 2007
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    Thumbs up Wyoming ranch horses

    I was just watching RFD channel, and they had one giant infomercial for the auction next weekend. They all look like super horses! All I can think of is what I can sell to be able to purchase one of them! I wonder if the prices from last year will be replicated this year. Those people know how to train an all-around good horse. Anyone ever purchase one--so that I can like vicariously through you?



  2. #2
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    You need to realize that a gentle, quiet horse, to many of those ranches and cowboys, are horses that won't try to buck them off every morning at saddling, but it may still take a good cowboy to handle and ride them without fireworks.
    Also, some of those horses are not exactly people friendly, they are horse horses, raised with little people contact, used to be on their own with other horses, humans just there to be ridden and go do work, then turned again with their friends to be a horse.
    Not pets, but working horses.

    Many that have bought such horses have found out that those horses, when kept in a small pen or pasture and fed very well and ridden little, are way more horse than they want to ride.

    So, unless you are a cowboy or someone that needs a horse to do a days work, day after day, I would look for the kind of horse you need, not a fancy ranch horse, with top ranch horse skills of pasture roping and cutting and raised, trained and used to that kind of life.

    Now, an older ranch horse, that you generally can work with and make whatever you want, if he has the right disposition for it.

    You can see horses like that going thru the low end sales here and there in those areas, for a tenth of that money.
    Now, they won't be guaranteed, so you may have to go thru a few to get the real thing, or go buy one directly from some ranch, but then you will have to pay more to know more about the horse.

    The horses in those ranch sales some of them are very good horses to do ranch work with.
    The prices reflect that, along with that the buyers like to ride a horse they can brag about the brand or where they bought it and how much they paid for it.
    That is part of certain horse culture, just as some like to brag they have an imported warmblood, or icelandic, or such.

    Part of the horse world is the bragging rights, be it because someone considers better to own a horse of certain bloodlines, or a very expensive horse, or a rescued horse, or a different breed, even if they have to make it up, or whatever may make their horse different and so special and seemingly better than the rest of the "common" everyday horses out there.
    Seems that there is a little bit of showman in most of us.

    Then, some horses ARE really special too.
    When you have one of those for sale, the right sale will highlight him and bring you top money.
    Those are the ones you see selling for the high prices there.



  3. #3
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    Some of those thoughts had crept into my head as I watched, but their descriptions and videos made them seem very level-headed, and they said, "Loves people!" (of course!). Good points! Thanks for the reality check.



  4. #4
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    Feb. 23, 2008
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    I love watching those horses work. Went to the Ray Hunt Memorial event down in Fort Worth and had as much fun watching the guys who drove cows and colts in and out of the ring or helped some of the trainers. There were some handsome and some homely, but those horse were 100% right there like a part of the cowboy's own body.



  5. #5
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    Aug. 5, 2009
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    There is a lady in Montana who is trying to organize finding homes for ranch horses that no longer can do the 6-7 hours of daily work but are perfectly fine for pleasure work. There is a "canner auction" that will be going on every month during the summer that a lot of these horses get run through. She is on ABR under the title of either "Ranches to Ring" or "MT Canner Sale." This is just another way to get a good using horse for slaughter prices (trying hard not to make this an advertisement). She will work with anyone who is looking for something specific.



  6. #6
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    Feb. 23, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by betonbill View Post
    There is a lady in Montana who is trying to organize finding homes for ranch horses that no longer can do the 6-7 hours of daily work but are perfectly fine for pleasure work. There is a "canner auction" that will be going on every month during the summer that a lot of these horses get run through. She is on ABR under the title of either "Ranches to Ring" or "MT Canner Sale." This is just another way to get a good using horse for slaughter prices (trying hard not to make this an advertisement). She will work with anyone who is looking for something specific.
    There's a ton of places out east that resell these older ranch horses - I think they work with buyers who go to the auctions and bring out truckloads. For camps, for trail riders, for the easterners who like to do western stuff.



  7. #7
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    Fort Myers, Florida
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    We have huge ranches here in Fla too. We consider those horses to be level headed, no-nonsense and obedient. They have generally had it worked out of them literally.
    Its a great find here to come across a retired ranch horse.
    "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"



  8. #8
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    Dec. 2, 1999
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    Delaware
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    Was it the WYO sale that was advertised on RFD-TV? They do breed/train/sell some very nice horses. Bob Baffert has purchased some of his pony horses from that sale. Several of the WYO sale horses made their way onto the Eastern Shore of MD/DE and do very well foxhunting for their owners and doing a variety of other activities.



  9. #9
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    Nov. 5, 2002
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    way out west
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    I didn't buy my horse from any official Wyoming sale, but I did buy him from a rancher in Wyoming...does that count? I bought him as a five year old, recently gelded, off the internet with only a video and lots of emails. He vetted clean, and I met them halfway and brought him home.

    He is the most level-headed, honest horse I've ever owned. Every place I've taken him someone has come up and commented on him, and usually offered to buy him! I never realized my other horses were high strung before I got this guy. And I'd always thought my others were sensible and smart.

    Maybe it's that as I'm getting older I value that mindset more. I rode him in the canyon yesterday after not riding him for a month. It never occurred to me to lunge him before I got on. Nope, didn't need to. He was exactly the same as when I last rode him.



  10. #10
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    My BF is a born and raised Wyoming horseman. He would never tolerate "horses that won't try to buck them off every morning at saddling..." He sold a gelding (four I think?) this summer, and I rode him bareback on his sixth ride, and the gelding's idea of fireworks was having a minor meltdown in the form of going backwards instead of relaxing and giving at the poll...which my "kid-safe" Hunter pony does whenever she feels witchy.

    My BF says my "kid-safe" "bomb-proof" "packer" mare (words used by former owner who used her for lessons) is not "broke." Why? Because she doesn't tolerate new things with just a look and maybe a snort, because she gets her panties in a twist if a horse and rider with swinging rope does a sliding stop behind her at a rodeo and I have to argue with her about cantering instead of her just DOING it. She paces and fusses when tied in the barn by herself, etc. So, not all ranch horses are horses that just don't buck in the morning.
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  11. #11
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    I have two ranch broke geldings. Both from the midwest area originally.
    Safe, sane and sound. Both *good* boys, very sensible.
    Pete was always a very people friendly guy, Sonny was stand-offish for almost an entire year. 18 months or so later now and he's becoming a real in your pocket type now.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  12. #12
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    Feb. 23, 2008
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    The workmanlike attitude can be changed - my ex-Amish horse was very soldier-like when I first got her, but warmed up when she learned how nice it was to have scritches and treats and fussing. My new guy is a "ranch broke gelding" who came through the Billings sale and then to an east coast dealer. He liked people from the start, but is just beginning to love peppermint treats and ear scratches. I don't usually go heavy on the treats, but I find with the working horse types it softens up their standoffish attitude more quickly.



  13. #13
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    Jul. 11, 2007
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    MA
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    [QUOTE=saddleup;4854214]
    Maybe it's that as I'm getting older I value that mindset more. [QUOTE]

    This is becoming abundantly clear to me, as I fumble my way through a young ottb. I ADORE him, but long for something I can just throw in a trailer and go for the day.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    Some never do warm up to people. If you'll accept that and not chase them around trying to pet them and love on them, and instead offer essentially a handshake and a kind word instead, you'll both be happier.

    They are good horses, but they often do better with a real day's work. ONce a week for an hour, maybe not. It really just depends. Others will be eternally grateful for the easy life



  15. #15
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    The trouble right now is that, except in far off ranches, many ranches that used to really use horses hard, today don't have to as much any more, can do much of the work with four wheelers, like going along fences, checking water lines, looking at watergaps after rains and such.
    Before four wheelers, it took all day, day after day horseback and is what made those good working horses, that knew to put in a day's work and conserve energy, no sense in getting too upset about stuff, they had seen it all.

    Today ranchers are not selling their horses as young, because horses are not used that hard, they last longer and can be used lighter into older age.
    Those ranchers, that used to sell horses at ten or twelve, because they didn't want to ride them into the ground, as some horses were slowing down and getting stiff after a hard ride once in their teens, now can keep them around so much longer.
    That means not as many young ones get ridden that much and so the shortage.
    Some big ranches have caught onto that and have a whole horse division geared to making horses for their or other ranch horse sales and that is what we are seeing in sales like the one in Vernon, San Antonio, this one in Wyoming and a few others.

    I have a friend that had one of those top ranch and finished arena horses for sale for $6000 a few years ago.
    Several people came to see the horse, would only offer $5000, which was too low in that market.
    So, the horse went to one of those ranch horse sales, proved himself at their demonstration and brought $30,000 thru the sale.
    Prices have softened considerably since then.

    40 years ago we were selling our larger retrained race and ranch horses, that were sure enough gentle, to be fox hunters in Virginia and Maryland.
    Those western ranch horses have always had a good market in the East.

    There are many such horses out there for sale, but once at a sale, the buyers are there to pay top dollar for them and who doesn't like that, if you are a seller?
    In reality, there are not that many such good horses out there, that is why those bring that much.
    The sale averages are not that impressive, because of all those "other" horses, less fancy bred/looking/working, but just as good using horses.

    I think that those top ranch and performance horses really are a good value for those with the money and use for them, because they are that good.
    For the rest of us that don't need that quality horse, the rest of them will do as well.

    It is very interesting to go to any of those catalog sales and see what is there, what sells for how much and see why.
    It is a free education opportunity.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    When I worked for a large Florida cattle ranch we had an interesting program - you would get a horse out of the ranch pool as a 2 year old, keep it and train it for 6 months, and then it would be yours to either sell or use as one of your stock horses. They came out of the ranch herds and were very well bred, and many people have good horses from this program as most people chose to sell theirs and get another from the herd to break and train. I got a couple of really good horses this way that I would have never been able to afford otherwise, sold one, and kept another till she was 9. Usually you couldn't get mares this way as they kept them for breeding, but I did get one really nice filly when they had an excess, and bred her a couple of times in between using her for a stock horse and roping off her.



  17. #17
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    Oct. 11, 2002
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    Colorado
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    My two neighbor ladies went to a Wyoming ranch sale for several years and purchased several very green broke two year olds - Lucky Blanton bred. One neighbor would ride her very plain 3 year old sorrel mare down to visit, tie her to a tree outside my barn and "fergotabout'er" while we were inside. She stood like a stone. I had the great experience of riding her on a long trail ride and never picked up the rein. It was nice to eat lunch with the group without constantly having to go check to make sure my tied horse was upright, like I would normally have to do with my fancy bred ones.

    Some of these Wyoming sales have good reputations and draw buyers from far away to buy just the type of horses you all want now. However, this may be a good economy in which to purchase there.
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com



  18. #18
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    Jan. 7, 2008
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    Rockies
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    Good ranch horses aren't that hard to find, in about 9 days there will be some that need homes
    Let me know if anyone is looking for a good ranch horse Natrlhorse@hotmail.com
    My friend Barb with Ranch 2 Ring rescue in Montana (http://ranch2ring.shutterfly.com/ hasn't been updated in a while)is attending the canner sales. At the last sale she was able to pull two mares, the stout bay is a well broke registered AQHA and the sorrel is gentle for kids. Both those mares are spoken for but the next auction is Tues May 18th (then monthly through July and weekly through Sept) and the biggest need is for potential homes. Unfortunately the other 18 horses at the last auction (some broke, all healthy) went to a Bouvry dealer, straight to slaughter
    She knows most of the ranches these horses come from personally, it is a small community and nobody has a need to lie about the history or drug a horse because the price is per lb and will not change for level of training or registration.In fact the ranchers are quite happy to share the history on horses good or bad and their reason for selling.
    Barb is a great gal, honest and just wanting to help these useful horses into homes, she doesn't make a dime on any one of them.

    pics of the two mares:
    http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/p.../R2Rmares2.jpg
    http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/p.../R2Rmares3.jpg
    http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/p.../R2Rmares4.jpg




    I guess the best thing that I/we can do is be ready for May 18, the next canner sale. For those unfamiliar, we are just 2.5 hours from the largest foreign-owned (Bouvry) equine feedlot in the country. The Shelby feedlot is roughly 40 acres, and houses between 1500-2500 horses on any given day. It's hell on earth and I will go hundreds of miles out of my way to avoid Shelby, and will never give a penny of business to that town. Two buyers frequent our canner sale, one is on contract to Bouvry, the other will sub to Bouvry, or sell to other Canadian facilities.

    Horses that run through are either broodmares, yearlings, or 'spent' ranch horses -- horses no longer able to keep up with the rigors of cattle ranching (long days, many miles, and working cattle). These guys are generally the most wonderfully broke, gentle animals you could imagine. War horses who have given their all and deserve better. Since last year, many ranchers -- and employees of the yards -- will call me if they need help. But memories are short for some of the outliers. I need to work harder.

    Because of proximity to Shelby and the reduced overhead to get them there, prices go pretty high -- generally $.30-.40 CWT. Yearlings and skinny horses quite a bit less... Mostly it follows what is happening at Billings Livestock Exchange, and they have a classification for canners. This is all readily available online. I paid $816 for the two mares; $16 of it brand inspections.

    I've rambled long enough. If ANYONE has any interest in these guys -- again the next sale is Tuesday, May 18. I am in town and would be happy to bid on any/all's behalf. I'm also up for riding them through the ring again. The yards will house for $5/day, but I'm happy to temporarily house some here. Grass has been slow coming up due to weather (snow again last week), so a donation of $40ish/mo to cover hay would be super. All of these horses are coming off vast, open, private ranches, and haven't been exposed to other auctions, so long QTs are generally unncessary.

    As far as pricing, broke vs. unbroke seems to have no bearing on price. It's all dictated by the scales. The heavier horses go for more.

    'Mariah', the darker of the two I bought (white blaze), came with her full AQHA papers. So registered doesn't seem to help either. She was listed as 'not for a beginner or amateur' -- Jim will ride her personally to see where she is, but at 11, she should hopefully be settling down.

    'Brandy' was about 200 lbs. lighter, so sold for $100 less. She is 15 and I got a little written report from the owner. Said to be dog gentle, dead broke and great with kids. She had an accident involving a fall onto a pack saddle, so has quite a big scar on her back -- but with double saddle blankets and light riders, she shouldn't be bothered. Owner had no issue at all.

    Lastly, the owners will give the good, bad and ugly truth on horses if asked -- whether a horse is mean vs. kind has no impact on what they're paid. So the good news is we can get really good background info and have almost no worry about drugging or hiding soundness.

    If you remember the story of Max the stolen barrel racing horse, when he was recovered with a family in in MO the replacement horse, a paint named Indio, was an auction save from R2R: http://www.ky3.com/news/local/64075432.html, http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=15224

    We have another mare here from R2R that was part of a bankruptcy auction from a local MT resort, she was used as part of a driving team to pull wagons and a sleigh in the annual town parade. An Amish guy bought her teammate but wasn't interested in mares so she was purchased by someone who was going to drive her to the feedlot. Barb couldn't stand to see tow nice broke mares go to slaughter so talked him out of them. The ohter mare was a draftX dude string husband type horse that went to a family in TX and Rosie is here with us. I'm just riding her now, I have had a chance to drive her yet. Sound, sane, healthy, useful, didn't deserve to be dinner for someone:
    http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/p...ie1nov2009.jpg
    http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/p...e10nov2209.jpg



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 1, 2009
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    221

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    You need to realize that a gentle, quiet horse, to many of those ranches and cowboys, are horses that won't try to buck them off every morning at saddling, but it may still take a good cowboy to handle and ride them without fireworks.
    Also, some of those horses are not exactly people friendly, they are horse horses, raised with little people contact, used to be on their own with other horses, humans just there to be ridden and go do work, then turned again with their friends to be a horse.
    Not pets, but working horses.

    Many that have bought such horses have found out that those horses, when kept in a small pen or pasture and fed very well and ridden little, are way more horse than they want to ride.

    So, unless you are a cowboy or someone that needs a horse to do a days work, day after day, I would look for the kind of horse you need, not a fancy ranch horse, with top ranch horse skills of pasture roping and cutting and raised, trained and used to that kind of life.

    Now, an older ranch horse, that you generally can work with and make whatever you want, if he has the right disposition for it.

    You can see horses like that going thru the low end sales here and there in those areas, for a tenth of that money.
    Now, they won't be guaranteed, so you may have to go thru a few to get the real thing, or go buy one directly from some ranch, but then you will have to pay more to know more about the horse.

    The horses in those ranch sales some of them are very good horses to do ranch work with.
    The prices reflect that, along with that the buyers like to ride a horse they can brag about the brand or where they bought it and how much they paid for it.
    That is part of certain horse culture, just as some like to brag they have an imported warmblood, or icelandic, or such.

    Part of the horse world is the bragging rights, be it because someone considers better to own a horse of certain bloodlines, or a very expensive horse, or a rescued horse, or a different breed, even if they have to make it up, or whatever may make their horse different and so special and seemingly better than the rest of the "common" everyday horses out there.
    Seems that there is a little bit of showman in most of us.

    Then, some horses ARE really special too.
    When you have one of those for sale, the right sale will highlight him and bring you top money.
    Those are the ones you see selling for the high prices there.
    Yup. You know your stuff, you do!
    1.20.2013



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