Hancock quarter horses and bucking - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Hancock quarter horses and bucking

A few years ago I spent a summer filming on a cattle Ranch in Wyoming. One of the cowboys had a Hancock quarter horse in his string

every morning the horse gave him a bad time - backing up and most mornings started with a ten minute buck in the round pen.

We all sat around waiting for the horse to work through his routine

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On the good side once the horse had finished it settled down to a hard day's work.

We were in the saddle by six in the morning - come four in the afternoon when most of the other horses were pretty much played out - the Hancock still had energy and enthusiasm

I just wondered if this was still true of Hancocks.

Dylan
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 09:12 AM
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We've had a few Hancocks over the years and never had a bucking problem with any of them.

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post #3 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 09:53 AM
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They have the reputation for bucking but none of the ones I have owned have been buckers. I think the big difference between Hancocks and other lines is that the Hancocks will treat the rider just as rough as the rider treats them whereas other lines will choke down a little more rough handling.

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post #4 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 10:15 AM
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We have a Hancock horse here at the university. My friend is breaking him out. He sure is a bucker, he has gotten her off a few times. He only bucks when going to the right though. She has had him for 2 weeks an he is still trying to buck her off
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 10:22 AM
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I've always heard this about Three Bar horses. Is Hancock a descendant of Three Bar?
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by caleybooth View Post
I've always heard this about Three Bar horses. Is Hancock a descendant of Three Bar?
Most QHs can trace back to Three Bars. He was a TB race horse.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 10:26 AM
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I started out training horses in the mountains of Colorado. I rode a LOT of Hancocks. About half of them were going to buck no matter what you did in starting them. The one you describe is typical of the ones that are just cold backed and bronchy by nature. The ones I got were mostly Roan Hancock and Red Man breeding. I started a lot of colts by a horse near me named Roan Light. He was a TAAA race horse and sired a lot of race winners in the 60s. I cannot think of a single colt of his that did NOT buck or try to buck, many times on the 3rd or 4th ride. I learned very quickly not to relax on one of them.

On the flip side (and why the cowboys liked them), they were good footed (could take the rocks) and tough. You could not wear one out. They had really good bone and feet, good withers, were deep in the heartgirth, and di I say they were tough?

I was convinced that the Hancock horses was why so many top saddle bronc riders in the RCA (forerunner of the PRCA) came from Colorado. Wyoming and Montana.

But, like I said, half of them were not bronchy. I just sold my Driftwood bred stallion to a QH breeder in the UK. He was Driftwood and Hancock breeding and you just about can't make one of his colts buck. They are just 'born broke'. Had they not been this way, we would have sold him and all of his get like we have other stallions that we tried.

All the toughness and good bone aside, the Hancocks are often high-hocked and lack the athleticism we have gotten spoiled by in the horses with more 'modern' breeding. Many have a big 'plain' heads and some are downright ugly-headed. Even when they try, they do not flex their hocks when they stop and they are pretty rigid and not naturally very flexible.

This is over-generalizing, but there are so many of them that fit this stereotype, that it is kind of what a lot of trainers think of them in general. In more recent years, breeders that like the Hancocks have done a better job of selecting breeding stock that is better balanced and have nicer heads and attitudes. Hopefully, they keep the toughnes and soundness, but some I have seen did not, but they were sure a whole lot prettier.
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 10:33 AM
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That's a pretty good description of Hancocks. My parents moved to Oklahoma and my dad mentioned that he had just sold his hancock gelding. One old okie made a comment that all the ones that he had seen would buck a cowboy off. My dad replied that all the ones he had seen would buck an Oklahoma cowboy off but didn't seem too much trouble for cowboys in the REAL west.
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There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
All the toughness and good bone aside, the Hancocks are often high-hocked and lack the athleticism we have gotten spoiled by in the horses with more 'modern' breeding. Many have a big 'plain' heads and some are downright ugly-headed. Even when they try, they do not flex their hocks when they stop and they are pretty rigid and not naturally very flexible.

This is over-generalizing, but there are so many of them that fit this stereotype, that it is kind of what a lot of trainers think of them in general.
That is the most common stereotype I've heard about them. I have to say that most I have met did fit that generalization. The few we've had were mares that my grandfather crossed on his son of Poco Dell, who thankfully improved the roman noses that they all had! The cross made for some hardy, working horses.

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post #10 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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stamina

the horse the big cowboy rode certainly had stamina

never seen anything like

the two std quarter horses they gave me to ride had a lot of work to do carrying me and the cameras plus a bit of proper work

we left the cabin at 6 in the morning and got back at about four in the afternoon - at the end of the day the rest of the horses were cream crackered - the Hancock was ready for me. It was high mountain country and was tough on the horses

mind you.... the pack mules were even tougher - and no shoes

always had a soft spot for a good mule since I spent the summer at the Pitchfork near Meeteetse

Dylan

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