THE RANCH HORSE
The number of described “Ranch Horses” today is very large, however the real number of true Ranch Horses is most likely much smaller.
A true Ranch Horse is a product of, and an invaluable part of, an actual Cattle Ranch. They are of time-honored proven genetics and have followed their mothers all summer on range and some of those ranges such as the J bar S is very rugged. These colts learn from their mothers how to move through Big Horn Sheep country without injury or death and do it fast. You can not learn those life lessons by growing up in a paddock or little flat pasture. These colts run on big, rugged range until they go under saddle at usually 3 years old. A 2-year-old usually does not have the maturity and toughness to handle the terrain and demands of ranch life. Once under saddle these young Ranch Horses are expected and do the impossible. They are with us every day, sorting, herding, checking, and doctoring cattle. They pack fence supplies or sometimes drag posts and wire up a canyon side. We have pulled calves from spooky heifers that would not lay down to calve. If we see a nose and both legs, we have trotted and one time loped alongside of the heifer to put a small rope on the legs and pulled the calf without roping the cow or getting off the saddle. This is not a regular occurrence however we have done it several times. Usually, they mother up which is a big bonus. A Cutter or Reiner could not do it, but a Ranch Horse can. If you want a Cutter or Reiner start with a Ranch Horse first and the end result will be a horse with a much deeper understanding of the task. The Ranch Horses of yesterday would rope and drag calves, cut out the calves in the corral, pull a buggy when two youngsters were courting and pack a bull elk out of the mountains.
A true Ranch Horse is a full partner with his rancher to produce range cattle. His bloodline was not developed on how his ancestors performed in an arena but rather how they proved their worth under the extreme chaos of handling cattle on the uncontrolled range. He keeps his wits, and his demeanor and soothes and calms the herd so the rancher can maintain control over unconstrained cattle. A true Ranch Horse is a horse with a deep proven foundation that will excel in any direction his rider wants to pursue: As a trail horse he knows how to move and is rock solid steadfast. As a Performance Arena Horse, he has no equal in that he has the life lessons as a baby with his mother through his life as a Ranch Horse to deal with any pressure and chaos you can throw at him.
We demand for Ranch Horses is immense and the availability is very limited. The J bar S produces finished Ranch Horses for sale however this was only possible after the decision was made to reduce our cow herd size in order to dedicate more time to the horses. It was the correct decision because of the generations devoted to the development of the J bar S Ranch, Ranch Horse bloodline.
"Reprint from Beef Cattle Science by M.E. Ensminger, PH. D"