Here at The Silver Spur horses are in our blood. We owe everything that we have to them. For generations our family has made a living using these amazing animals. Horses are invaluable to the cowboy way of life and the western lifestyle. Because of this we feel a need to help these amazing animals that we feel connected with and give them an opportunity to reach their full potential. This blog post is meant to give additional perspective into our seven step horse program.
Step 1: Receive Horse &Vet Assessment
At the Silver Spur Ranch, the well-being and care of each horse is of the utmost importance. To ensure that each horse receives the best possible care, we conduct thorough vet assessments on all horses that come to the ranch.
Once the vet assessment is complete, we use the information gathered to develop a personalized care plan for each horse. By conducting thorough vet assessments and implementing tailored care plans, we strive to provide the best possible care for each horse at the Silver Spur Ranch.
Step 2: Join the Herd
After a horse has received its thorough vet examination and any necessary medical treatment, it is time for the horse to join the herd here at the Silver Spur Ranch. This is always an exciting moment, as we get to watch the horses greet their new friend and become part of the ranch community.
To introduce the new horse to the herd, we typically start by placing it in a separate paddock or pen adjacent to the main herd. This allows the horse to get accustomed to its new surroundings and to observe the other horses from a safe distance. Once the horses become comfortable, they are moved to the main field and allowed to become part of the herd.
The process of integrating a new horse into the herd is an important part of the care and
rehabilitation process at the Silver Spur Ranch. By providing a supportive and nurturing environment, we aim to help each horse thrive and become a valued member of the herd.
Step 3: Gentle the Horse
As we begin to work with a new horse, we take the time to get to know it and to understand its individual needs and challenges. This may involve evaluating the horse's level of training and experience, as well as observing its behavior and mannerisms. With this information, our trainer can then develop a customized training regimen that is tailored to the horse's specific needs and abilities.
Step 4: The Horse Drive
The horse drive is an invaluable part of the training program unique to the Silver Spur Ranch. During a horse drive, we herd a group of younger horses, typically those that we have bred as well as those that are currently in our training program, from one location to another. This not only helps us to rotate pasture and give the horses access to fresh grass, but it also provides a number of benefits for the horses’ physical and mental development.
Horse drives can help to teach young horses how to navigate challenging terrain, including
crossing creeks, navigating through deadfall, and traversing steep slopes. These activities can help to build the horses' confidence and sure-footedness, and can also help to improve their balance and coordination. In addition, horse drives provide an opportunity for the horses to socialize and bond with each other, which can be an important part of their total
Overall, the horse drive is an important and beneficial activity for the horses at the Silver Spur Ranch. This opportunity, unique to the Silver Spur Ranch, helps to promote their physical and mental well-being, and prepares them for a successful career doing whatever they may be asked to do in the future.
Step 5: Saddle Time
After a horse has participated in a horse drive and gained experience navigating challenging
terrain, the next step is often to introduce the saddle.
Introducing a saddle can be a daunting experience for a young or inexperienced horse, as
it involves adding a new and potentially unfamiliar weight to the horse's back. To help the horse become comfortable with the saddle, our trainers work patiently and slowly, introducing the saddle to the horse in a series of small steps. This may involve allowing the horse to sniff and investigate the saddle while it is on the ground, or placing it on the horse's back while the horse is being groomed or handled in other ways.
As the horse becomes more comfortable with the saddle, the trainers may gradually increase the amount of time it spends wearing the saddle, both with and without a rider. This helps the horse to become accustomed to the weight and presence of the saddle, and to build its strength and endurance.
Throughout the process, the trainers use positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praise or pressure and release, to encourage good behavior and build trust between horse and human. By working patiently and consistently, our trainers are able to help each horse become comfortable and confident with the saddle, laying the foundation for a successful riding career.
Step 6: Find a Purpose
At the Silver Spur Ranch, we believe that each horse is an individual with its own unique set of talents and abilities. Our goal is to match each horse with a purpose that fits its strengths and interests, and to provide the training and support needed to help it succeed.
There are many different ways in which a horse can be used, and the possibilities are endless. Some horses may excel at trail riding, with the stamina and sure-footedness needed to navigate challenging terrain. Others may be well-suited for packing, carrying supplies and equipment on long trips through the backcountry. Still others may have a natural aptitude for cutting, roping, or barrel racing, and may excel in these disciplines with the right training and guidance.
No matter what the horse's strengths or interests may be, our goal is to help it reach its full potential and find a purpose that is fulfilling and rewarding. We work closely with each horse to understand its unique abilities and needs, and to develop a training plan that is tailored to its individual goals and aspirations. By supporting and empowering each horse to reach its full potential, we aim to help it thrive and enjoy a successful and fulfilling career here at the Silver Spur Ranch or wherever their future home becomes.
Step 7: Graduation
Graduation from the training program at the Silver Spur Ranch is an important and exciting milestone for each horse. It marks the end of a journey that has involved hard work, learning, and growth, and signifies that the horse is ready to take on a new role or purpose in life.
At this final step in the process, we carefully consider the best course of action for each horse. For some horses, this may involve rehoming them to a new owner or location where they will be able to live out their lives with purpose and fulfillment. We take great care to ensure that each horse is placed in a environment that is suitable for its needs and abilities, and we work closely with the new owner to ensure a smooth transition.
Other horses may remain at the ranch, either as part of our riding program or in a different
capacity, such as breeding or ranch work. We strive to find the best fit for each horse, and to ensure that it is able to live a fulfilling and rewarding life at the Silver Spur Ranch. Regardless of what the future holds, graduation marks an important milestone in the journey of each horse at the ranch, and we celebrate their achievements and successes as they move on to the next phase of their lives.