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The Stenberg Family has been training and using horses as far back in our history as available records can show, at least since the 1880’s in America and for many generations prior to that in Norway. Horses have been and will continue to be the centerpiece of the Stenberg Family.


While we love working with horses and the whole western horse lifestyle, and yes, we become very attached to our favorite buddy horses, we fully understand that in order for a horse to develop mentally he has to be trained in a way that gives him a clear purpose and meaning to the direction of his rider. It has to make horse sense to the horse. Horses have to be taught the way they naturally learn, BY DOING!

A huge gap in understanding exists between the modern systems of groundwork and arena-based training and the time-honored systems used on many working ranches of both yesterday and today. Most modern systems of horse training spend countless hours and days on groundwork and then very slowly, being careful not to stress the horse, advance to more countless hours of round pen and arena training. A method thought by well-respected horse trainers to be abusive to the horse because of the monotony of endless repetition. Most of the time even after months of training, these horses have never left the arena or maybe they went on a slow trail ride down a groomed horse trail. These horses were never stressed but also, they were never faced with a challenge. We strongly feel this is a set up for a dangerous situation; it is much like learning to drive a truck from a textbook.


With a traditional ranch horse system of training the green colt is started in a round pen taming and gentling him. Once you gain his trust and sometimes affection you progress to working him under saddle for a minimum amount of time in an enclosed and controlled arena. As Soon as the horse is ready, he is given an open gate and a job to do in open country. He learns to rein; by actually having to rein. He learns to stop and turn because the cow in front of him stops and turns or there is a gully or windfall… that forces him to think and change direction. This gives him immediately a true meaning to his rider’s directions. The horse is being taught the way he was meant to learn. One day of this focused type of training, which is basically on the job training, is worth a month in a round pen. We are now learning how to drive a truck from the driver’s seat instead of a textbook. Both systems are equally gentle on the horse, however, with a traditional ranch horse system of training which gives the horse a cow or a task to focus on, the horse is learning by doing which is long lasting rather than by just being schooled in a controlled classroom. Of course, the traditional horse used on western ranches has been of cow horse breeding. But this type of training will work super on any breed. An Arab horse may not have as much natural instinct to follow a cow, but a river, a windfall or a deep gully provides a huge focus point for him to receive the same effect.

It is common for a 2-year-old green colt with just a few days under saddle to be working cattle in rugged range country and loving it. His classroom cousin is still in the round pen or arena learning how to trot in circles on the end of a long line.

Ranch horses have been exposed to, are expected to, and have learned to, deal with an incredible range of situations. Just to name a few would be the rugged mountain and range of Montana, Bear, Elk and Deer, creeks and river crossings, and the endless challenges of handling cattle in an uncontrolled environment.



This is the natural way a horse learns. A wild mustang or even a range broodmare and colt never had a pretty boy horse whisperer in a designer hat and 3-foot silk scarf teach them how to survive and thrive in wild range country. These horses learned and refined their survival skills by God given instinct and by actually doing. Our commitment to you, the horse owner, is that we have trained and developed your horse by exposing him to a wide range of challenges and showing him how to deal with these challenges.


We are a large nine-member family with many little cowboys and cowgirls. We all work with horses and cattle every day. We have witnessed serious horse wrecks that leave a lasting effect on both horse and rider. Our family members are as precious to us as your family is to you. This is the basis for our training and sales program: SAFETY!!!!!!! Because of our extensive ranching history and accrued horse knowledge and experience that put us in a unique position to match you with your perfect horse.

Most of our horses are born and raised right here on the J-S. They are the result of our reputation stallions mated to our fancy ladies. These colts spend their first years on range as part of a range herd. When the opportunity arises, we may purchase additional cow bred horses from area ranches. Cow horse bred horses are used on working ranches because they have been bred through genetic selection to withstand the mental pressure and confusion of working cattle and still remain calm and cool headed. We feel this bred in; cool headed nature is of utmost importance when considering rider safety. There are very few horses that can process the extreme activity and confusion of working cattle, but the cow horse is able to because he is bred and trained to do so.


We take these cow bred horses and train them to be the kid broke, bomb proof, safest finished ranch horse. These ranch horses are in high demand by individuals or families wanting the most steadfast and levelheaded horse possible. Our ranch horses not only have been bred to be a steadfast horse but also have been trained and exposed to an incredible range of varied challenges and experiences that have desensitized them to the normal over reaction seen in conventionally trained horses in an arena setting. The end result is a finished reigning horse of ranch horse breeding that will become a cherished Family member forever!


Before you purchase your new horse, we would like to invite you to the J Bar S Ranch and spend time with the soon to be Your horse. You will receive riding pointers if needed and an opportunity to ride him, first in the arena and then for miles under the Big Sky. Your new horse is anxious to show you what his world looks like. This chance to bond with your horse makes both of your transitions a lot smoother. Sometimes, if you would rather, we will come with your horse and personally introduce the two of you and spend the time needed to help you bond together.

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