“The cowboy and his horse, few pairings have ever produced a more perfect partnership between man and beast. As a hardworking and loyal companion, the horse was as big a part of the West’s history as the people who lived in it. Originally brought to the West by Spanish explorers, the horse would later be developed by Native Americans and other Europeans as they migrated into the West.
Not just used for transportation, early farming, and ranching operations put the horse to work. They were used to pull plows, as well as work cattle. It was in the latter that the horse truly became a part of the West. The image of the cowboy and his horse has become an American icon.
Still, as valuable today as they’ve been in the past, working horses remain a vital tool for the cowboy on modern cattle operations.”National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Just as the horse played a vital role in our western heritage, horses play a vital role on our guest ranch today. Each horse shapes the individual ranch experience of “their guest” each week. The horse you are given to ride on your ranch vacation can make your guest ranch stay spectacular or leave you less than inspired. It is this profound truth that we remember with each horse that we select to become part of the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch herd. Each horse is chosen based on their disposition, conformation, athletic ability, and breeding. They are then started here on the ranch by Roley and Isaac using a system called the Basic Handle, developed by our horsemanship mentor, Pat Wyse. After their initial training, our ranch wranglers ride our horses for multiple years preparing them for their job as guest ranch horses.
These three colts, born this spring, are here as a result of careful selection and breeding. Their journey to become part of the working herd at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch has begun. Their next three years will be filled with profound growth, both physically and mentally. It will be so exciting to watch them grow and learn.
Every year we seem to name our foals based on a central theme. Last year was a superhero theme with foals named Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, and The Hulk. This year, we somehow got on the theme of the bad guy from the story, True Grit, named Lucky Ned Pepper. He is described by fandom.com as:
“an antagonist of the novel True Grit, as well as both the 1969 and 2010 film adaptations. He was portrayed by Robert Duvall in the 1969 film and by Barry Pepper in the 2010 film. Pepper is an infamous outlaw gang leader and an old enemy of U.S. Marshal Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn. He is considerably unattractive and has a slightly damaged jaw as well as obvious facial scarring.”
Not exactly the most endearing namesake, but, I can assure you, these boys are anything but cold, heartless and unattractive. If you have not seen the 1969 version of the film with John Wayne, put it on your required viewing list.
Lucky, Ned and Pepper each have their own distinct personality which is as unique as the spots on their respective hind ends. We are so excited to watch these three grow and learn together on their journey to becoming guest ranch horses.