Thanks for sharing!!! I want that one, and the two roan appaloosas, and the black bald faced paint, and oohhhh looka that bay!
In my next life I want to come back as one of them!
While they may make a bunch of money during their using season, can you imagine what such an operation would cost? Makes me shudder. Insurance, handlers, trainers, land payments, equipment, advertising, etc. ect. Etc...
I'm also pretty sure there is not "indiscriminate" breeding going on. If you need using horses, you can't breed crap. I'd take a rough looking ranch horse over a fancy polished "bred" horse any day. I would also wager that those horses have far less injuries and problems than horses cooped up in stalls, raced, or contained in small pastures. They USE their legs and feet, so stay healthier. They trim naturally, eat naturally, I bet they're a bunch of happy healthy horses.
On my bucket too!
A horseback riding outfitter could never afford to breed and raise all the replacement mounts they would need every year. Think how much it costs to maintain a pregnant mare and raise the foal until it is 4-5 and ready to go to work. You would also loose part of the income potential of the mare late in the pregnancy. Sombrero has about 2000 horses in their herd. If they just need to replace 10% every year from culls, deaths, theft, sales... that's 200 horses. Times 5 years, that's 1000 unproductive horses you must feed, house, train and care for at any give time. There is less risk to pick up a 10 year old with questionable training for $800 and throw him back if it doesn't work.
Not only that, most dude horses are not solid enough until they are 6 -8 years old. You just look for coarse, good bodied and good footed horses that are naturally cold blooded, pretty thick skinned and naturally quiet. Ranch horses make the perfect dude horses. We always really liked the big old coarse 'old style' Apps and some of the draft crosses. A lot of ranchers used to breed a few drafts for feed teams. We still had a lot of ranches that fed with team up in the Colorado Mountains when I left there in 1979. The draft crosses made great pack horses and waggon horses and quietly carried the bigger 300# dudes and hunters.
Most dude string horses are kept shod, usually with clips and heeled and toed shoes for traction in the rocks. Shoes are pulled and they are trimmed before they are turned out to pasture. Then, they are shod first thing when they are gotten up to use again. We shoe our year round to ride in the rocks here.
Most dude ranchers and outfitters don't have any mares unless they have one 'bell mare' to lead the pack mules. Mules were notably absent from this herd.
I would take a dude ranch horse in a heart beat. Talk about a safe horse.!!
SOme people have pre conceived ideals and everyone but them are abusing horses.. Those horses were in great shape and healthy looking, a couple were limping, but after a good trim they would most likely be sound. Ya mean you don't go to the winter pasture and trim .. omg... lol...
Most ranches take care of thier animals .
What do they do with them, Where do the old, hurt, lame ones go?
They can't find homes for all of them.
After the summer camps, where do they go?
We all know the answer.
I worked for a ranch that did backcountry guided trips in the West Elk Wilderness in Colorado. We did not have our own horses but leased then for the season from a place like this. At the end of the season, we returned them and the company kept them over the winter. These horses always came to us fat, sassy and well maintained. We took very good care of them during the season, or we would never see them again. Every year we would get a slightly different batch, as the horses were divided between us and other outfitters.
Suffice it to say we never had any serious injuries, so didn't have to deal with that. But, I suspect any injured horses would be dealt with no differently that yours would be.
One year we did have a couple who came down with strangles. We treated the whole herd and kept the ill ones apart, until healthy.
I'm not sure why you had such a negative visceral reaction, but those horses looked lovely and I would happily have taken any number of them. Fat and sassy.
This is a photo of the guides and owners of the outfitter. Do you see any thin, neglected or abused horses?
It is a long ways from nowhere. It is up in the NW corner of Colorado near Dinosaur National Monument -- way west of Craig, CO.
I lived in southwestern CO for 33 years.
Ah, yessss. I lived in Crested Butte Colorado for 11 years. I evented mine and my clients horses while guiding on the weekends with no shows. It was a great life!! There's no place like the mountains of Co. I miss them terribly, sometimes.
I miss it too, but only in the summer. I lived on the edge of the Uncompahgre and San Juan Wilderness areas. I took out hunters in the fall and photographers and recreational ridrs in the summers -- and tried to survive the winters.
One of my first horse riding jobs when I was 16 was up on Woody Creek riding for Trudy Janey. That was not too far from Snowmass. I rode above Snowmass, too and rode the divide between there and the Maroon Bells and Crested Butte. I also rode a lot between Carbondale and Red Stone and Marble. Beautiful country.