"The free consent of the horse gives better results than any remedies through which we try to constrain him." — Salomon de la Broue
All our horses listed here are privately owned and live at our facility. They are not for sale unless otherwise stated. They each come from unique backgrounds and have so much to give. Click on their pictures to read more about them.
That Smokin Skeeter aka "Tiger"
2007 APHA Buckskin Mare
Tiger started off life on a ranch in Texas and then made her way to a training barn where, from what I can gather, she was intended to be a barrel racer. However, due to her sensitive nature and the all too common rough methods used during training she quickly became frightened of humans. Behaviors such as bucking and rearing under saddle became an every day occurrence, refusing to be caught, shying away from a raised hand, and many nervous habits such as muscle twitches. To be honest though, I couldn't see any of this when I met her for the first time. All I knew was that this "gorgeous reject barrel racer with no name" was coming home with me.
Though every horse throughout my life has taught me a tremendous amount, Tiger was pivotal in changing the way I approached horse training. It took me awhile to figure out, but gradually I realized that undoing seven years of traumatic training wasn't going to happen by applying more pressure and correction. Traditional or natural horsemanship training methods just weren't going to remedy the deep seeded issues humans had caused this horse. Sure, I could force her to be obedient, but riding a frightened suppressed horse isn't my idea of a healthy partnership. Instead I wanted a willing partner that desired to do everything asked of her because I understood her, and offered her consistency, reliability, and a positive environment.
We have much work left to do, but when the horse that used to be impossible to catch now eagerly comes to me or waits at the gait for me.. I know we are on the right path.
Our future goals include competing in western dressage, ranch riding, and cattle work
Shesa Spittin Image aka "Pumpkin"
2006 Red Dun ApHC Mare
Pumpkin had a good start in life, and was well cared for. She was started under saddle by a professional for sixty days then sent back to her owner where she turned into a pasture ornament. The goal was to breed her eventually, but that never came about or she never took. I'm unclear as to why they never bred her, but regardless I'm happy they didn't and I was able to take her home.
The day we tried her out she hadn't been ridden in many years, straight out of the pasture she took good care of my novice rider husband and performed at her best. I knew right then and there that she was a keeper.
Fast forward a few years and I'm still just as happy with her, however I was surprised to find this "easy horse" with no bad history actually had a lot to teach me. She's taken me on quite the journey, while at the same time being a willing trail mount for novice riders and a horse for my advanced students.
Pumpkin is a very quick learner, with an amazing ability to retain lessons, but if you try and force her you will find an entirely different kind of horse on your hands. Stubborn, dense, inflexible, and irritable are the words I used to describe Pumpkin with when ever she was asked to work. I've watched a total transformation happen as her true potential is being unlocked through patient and positive training methods, as well as body work that has found hidden pain causes.
Our future goals include competing in western dressage, ranch riding, and cattle work
Blues Candy Bar aka "Candy"
1996 APHA Dark Brown Mare
My youngest sister fell in love with Candy at her first summer camp in 2014. Half blind and working on nineteen years old, it was just one of those "love at first sight" moments, and she just so happened to be going up for sale the end of that summer. Due to her age, her owner was looking to find her a new home where she wasn't required to work so often or so hard and we fit that bill perfectly. About a month later Candy came home to join the rest of the herd and never looked back.
When we first brought her home we quickly found out she had minimal if any dental care previously, she was unable to eat hay or grain and would only eat soft grass. She also had damage from poor saddle fit, bleeding open saddle wounds that left behind white marks once they healed. But despite all of this she was a reliable, patient, and as stoic as ever. Candy is just one of those horses that doesn't tell you when she is in pain. Her performance and health eventually show signs, but it's hard to ever know with her. She just happens to be a horse that won the genetic lottery and was able to cope with her lifestyle without it physically and mentally ruining her.
Candy is a very straight forward horse under saddle, and I mean that literally and figuratively. She's incredibly tolerant and willing when the job is a job she knows well, but we've discovered she is definitely a mare of routine. Anything out of the normal takes some time to get used to, but that's okay. Having a horse like Candy is a rare find. A horse that is going strong at twenty plus, works hard, takes care of riders, and has no notable vices or physical restrictions. We are very blessed to have such a wondereful horse.
The future for Candy is to maintain and to improve her body condition. For her to continue being my sister's riding horse, and teach occasional lessons.
1998 Sorrel QH/Appendix Gelding
The way Cash showed up in my life was a first for me. Being a chronic horse shopper I was looking around on an online website when I saw a different mare that was for sale. Turns out that mare was sold but they had the "perfect" horse for me available, his name was Chili Dog. When they sent me pictures of this creature I was downright horrified. I distinctly remember sitting in the passenger seat on the way home from Easter at the ranch, gasping as I opened the picture of this sad, severely starved creature these people sent me. I had only ever seen a horse in this bad of shape on rescue websites or on TV, but here was this poor thing living just thirty minutes from the ranch.
At the time I wasn't really looking to buy a new horse, but I knew I couldn't just leave this horse to die. Even if I didn't take him home, I had to find out where he lived so I could report it to the local authorities. We arranged to meet a day or two later, where I was confronted with a whole herd of emaciated neglected horses ranging from body scores of 1 to 2 with signs of strangles, that were still being worked by paying customers to take trail rides on. I was so angry I was shaking and unable to speak, which was probably a good thing.
I wish I could say I talked some sense into these people and was able to get all of the animals removed and into better homes. Unfortunately the owners were absolutely blind to their own cruelty and wouldn't let the horses go for anything but a premium price (considering their conditions and ages), and the authorities did absolutely nothing to assist. Even with money in hand the owners wouldn't let me take Chili Dog home until he finished out the next four days of paid trail rides. I was an absolute mess to say the least.
Fast forward half a year later and Chili Dog is now Cash, and he has recovered at an amazing rate. His body and mind have taken a toll from the long years of hard work and poor care. But he is such a different horse now. Full of life and desire to please. My students have nick named him "Saint Cash" and absolutely adore him..
Cash's future goals are to continue rebuilding his health and body strength. And to live out the rest of his days in comfort.
Docs Magnolia River aka "River"
2016 Buckskin AQHA/APHA Filly
River is a horse I did not see coming my way any time soon. Mostly because finding her and buying her was extremely spontaneous, and I never thought I would own another foal again.. at least not for many many years. They are hard work! But the reward is so worth it if you can take the time to do it right. Raising a foal in such an exercise in patience. Basically, don't breed your mare or buy a foal if you want a riding horse in the next five years.
Somehow I found myself in a position where I didn't want another riding horse just yet, but a picture of this little filly showed up in a private message on Instagram and I instantly fell in love. I already knew two of her yearling half sisters and it just seemed meant to be.
I'm going to admit the reason I fell in love is because she looks so much like Tiger, and I'm an absolute sucker for buckskins. They are my weakness. I did not however buy her purely because of her color. Lots of research went into her bloodline, and we went to visit her (as well as her siblings that were also available) to get to know her personality. I'm going to be honest again and say when we got there I was just slightly smitten with her half brother (who was not a buckskin), but was the most striking paint I had ever seen. I put a deposit down on both of them, intending to only buy one, and went home to think (try not to stress about) and ended up deciding that little buckskin filly was the one.
River arrived home about three weeks later, directly after weaning. She was much younger than I was originally told, and had never been creep fed, so we went through a bit of a rough patch getting her to eat. (You wouldn't know it now though by the way she sneaks into the feed room and gets into the bags of feed, the little stinker.) But after some initial time for her adjust her training and personality started taking off. She's super smart, sassy, and eager to learn. She has a bright future ahead of here, and I'm so excited to watch both the physical and mental development of my first foal trained using primarily positive reinforcement.
My desire is for River to grow into a sound, healthy, reliable riding partner that can conquer anything before her. Whether that's on the trail, in the show arena, or working on the ranch.