Give a mare what she needs and she will give you her heart in return.
We don't foal until June due to unpredictable South Dakota weather and the majority of our attention is focused on cows calving through mid may. The June foaling may seem late but Jesse doesn't start our horses until the winter just after they turn 2 by then their bones are good and strong.
We used to pasture breed to a cowy stud named Stoney owned by Jesse but we lost him unexpectedly in a spring lightening storm a few years ago. Stoney was cool because Jesse could drive by the stud pasture and call Stoney's name, he'd come running and Jesse would load him up and ride him. The most amazing part is this may happen once every five years! He had this incredible temperament he passed on to all of his foals, they were the easiest horses to break and almost always became kid horses and terrific ranch horses. He was short and stocky but his foals always towered over him by they time they turned 4, they usually hit 15.2h.
Nowadays we select a nice stud to breed too. Even when we owned Stoney we would throw a breeding to someone else's stud in once a year to one of our three broodmares. Our goal is to have nice all around horses who can excel for our kids on the ranch and in the barrel arena. As payouts and programs develop like the Pink and Ruby Buckles I would love to help our kids compete in the youth runs available at those races. We are fortunate that our kids show an interest in our same sports rodeoing and riding so for now that is the focus of our program.
THE LIFE OF A HORSE ON BAIL RANCH
In the spring we keep 3 and 4 year old colts that are under saddle and older riding horses close while yearlings, two year olds and broodmares are turned out. The colts get experience in tagging calves, trailing pairs to new pastures, sorting and in the branding pen. I often jump on them after Jesse finishes ranching on them for the day and take them around the barrels. Jesse says its the perfect time to work barrels on a colt, they are good and tired and will focus without extra energy. Main (older) horses need to be kept close for those times a colt just won't do such as roping a lot, and riding with the kids. One of us is always on a good horse when the kids come with, kids learning to ride need a lot of attention and I have found its hard to focus on the kids when a colt is demanding all of my attention. Also, I like a dependable horses that will not be afraid to pony a child who is frustrated with his horse and needs extra help. If I am on a good horse then Jesse is teaching a colt to follow along.
In the summer Jesse's main horses (the older horses) get turned out because he heads out rodeoing. The kids and I keep our older horses in so we can keep them legged up and haul to the barrel races. I continue to ride the 3 and 4 year old coltsso I can teach them the pattern and haul them to see the sights. Sometimes they are gentle enough the kids can help me ride them. In 2018 we even hauled one with us and the kids entered some playday rodeos on him.
In the fall broodmares and foals are brought in along with Jesse's main horses. We begin to gentle the soon to be weanlings. They learn to stand tied, be led and brushed. Their mothers get turned out just before winter but they stay in to continue learning. Fall has a lot of cattle work including trailing, sorting, working cows & calves (giving fall immunizations) and selling calves. By now the 3 year olds are starting to become pretty nice horses to ride. Some of the kids and I's older horses get turned out and start winter vacation early. With school starting we travel less to barrel races and are able to focus on the weanlings and 2 year olds that need broke.
When winter hits the kids and I are ready for a break! We turn all of our riding horses out to pasture. We do keep the weanlings close and bring in the yearlings & 2 year olds so they can be saddled, continue learning to stand tied and be taught in the round pen so they are ready for Jesse to put first rides on them. The change from riding daily to petting, brushing, tying up for grain and handling is nice. Jesse usually picks out 10 days to start our young horses. He prefers to keep it to a two horse max every year for starting but we currently have three broodmares. Usually he puts ten straight rides on a horse he is just starting. He says getting 10 consistent short rides for 10 days in a row on his colts is best. Often after he gets the 10 straight rides he turns them back out until spring.
PCR Pink Cadillac is owned by Greg Torgerson and family.