The American Quarter Horse is common place on a backyard ranch. A good ranch quarter horse will make horseback riding much more enjoyable and make your daily ranch tasks much easier.
It is much better to buy a “broke”, meaning gentle and ready-to-ride, quarter horse. Getting injured from riding an ill tempered horse could land you in the hospital.
American Quarter Horse allowing a beginning rider to sort calves at her own pace.An American Quarter Horse that is gentle makes a fine ranch horse for any rider.
Consider these requirements of the American Quarter Horse before making them an addition as ranch horses to your backyard ranch:
–Pasture quality and quantity, hay and possibly grain depending on your season.
-Dry lot pens to alternate with pasture or instead of pasture.
-Water source, whether it be pond or water tank.
-Shade or horse shed, again depending on your season.
-Herd maintenance such as: vaccinations, freeze branding or other animal identification, hoof care, fly control, tick control and de-worming.
-Transportation, a trailer for recreation and emergency purposes.
Feed, Pen and Pasture For The American Quarter Horse
The American Quarter Horse, or any horse for that matter, can overgraze and destroy a pasture if not monitored. Horses will often eat in the same place where they find the most tender grass and stay in that spot until the grass is completely gone. Unlike cattle, they do not eat the older, tougher and taller grass with hard stems or weeds.
Horses also have a more frail digestive system than cattle. They are prone to “colic” or gut twisting. Colic in a horse can often times be fatal.
American Quarter Horses are sometimes in “dry lot” on our ranch (or to be penned up). We make sure that the ranch horses have some quality hay to eat and supplement that with grain. A stock tank is in the lot with fresh water every day.
Shelter For American Quarter Horses
Quarter horses need shelter, a horse shed for example, from the elements. Because we live in a state that has all types of weather, a year around shelter is required. Our dry lot has a “lean to” or horse shed type shelter for the ranch horses to get under. This shed is good for summer shade, hail, rain, lightning, wind, snow and ice.
Maintenance For American Quarter Horses
The American Quarter Horses or ranch horses require more maintenance than cattle. They don’t withstand the extreme temperatures as well as cattle do. A horses’ hide
is much thinner than a cows’. Insects such as flies and ticks take more of a toll on any horse. Products used for insect/parasite control are often not interchangeable from cows to horses and can cause health problems with horses.
For the American Quarter horse’s well being and comfort, there is also horse shoeing service to consider. Like any other animal, a horse needs its hooves trimmed. If hooves get too long, the horse will walk back on its heels. This is hard on the legs, feet and
muscles. If the horses hooves break short or split, it will cause pain for the horse with every step. It would be like cutting your fingernail or toenail back past the quick or cuticle.
American Quarter Horse Transportation
American Quarter horse transportation is necessary for recreation and emergency purposes. A horse trailer or stock trailer that your vehicle can pull is essential. In a perfect world, a trailer that most of your horses can get in to all at once is very handy, especially if your area is prone to wild fires, floods and other natural disasters.
If you don’t consider a quarter horse a fine ride for a ranch horse (for more information on how horses get their colors, see our horse colors page), there’s always a mule. A mule can be an alternative to a ranch horse. Check out our mules page to find out more.
Check out the horse halters page, horse blankets page and Western Horse Tack pages for more tack for horses or mules.