KeSa QH Ranch Prepares for the "Come to the Source" Production Sale | TheFencePost.com

KeSa QH Ranch Prepares for the "Come to the Source" Production Sale

Kari Wilson of KeSa Quarter Horse Ranch teaches this foal to respond to the lead rope before the foal is taken to the annual "Come to the Source" production sale.

Sam Shoultz and his staff at KeSa Quarter Horse Ranch in Fort Collins, Colo., put the finishing touches on preparation for their production sale. The annual “Come to the Source” horse sale is held in Laramie, Wyo., on the last weekend is August.

Thirteen years ago four friends, Sam Shoultz and Chip Merritt from the Fort Collins area, and Randy Dunn and Dick Van Pelt from Laramie, Wyo., got together and decided to have a horse sale. All were breeding horses that had a high percentage of the foundation stud Blue Valentine, crossed with high percentage Driftwood, Hancock and Leo horses. The resulting animals have consistently proven to be excellent working ranch horses that have proven themselves in the arena as well as on the ranch.

While the ranches all have a similar breeding program, the breeding crosses that each ranch prefers will produce a horse that has different strong points. The outstanding KeSa stallion, Blue Fox Hancock, accumulated over 400 AQHA points in 2009 on his way to winning the All-Around Reserve High Point Champion. Billy Ward, seven-time NFR Pickup Man rides nothing but Bath Bros Ranch geldings from Randy Dunn. Chip Merritt’s father was one of the owners of Blue Valentine, and Dick Van Pelt crosses with race horses to produce a sturdy ranch horse with plenty of speed.

There was a lot of work that had to be accomplished on the KeSa Ranch to get ready for the sale. Foals had to be halter broke and branded and yearlings that were not offered for sale last year as foals had to be branded.

Branding on a sale horse is far more important than on calves. Besides being a mark of ownership, the brand on a horse from a breeding program is also a marketing tool. Animals are not branded until just before they are to be sold, because the hide continues to grow and Shoultz wants the brand to always be legible. The hair is clipped from the area that will be branded and great care is taken to make certain that the brand is straight. Shoultz even goes so far as to insure that the horse has its weight properly placed on the hip that is being branded so the brand will be straight.

On a calf, the intricate KeSa brand would probably be done with three irons all heated in a very noisy propane stove. To reduce trauma to KeSa horses, they use an electric brand.

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It is short and easy to handle, quiet, heats quickly, and gets hot enough to make a clean brand in seconds. The resulting brand is then coated in bag balm to speed the healing process.

The branding is over in seconds, but to insure that the horse will retain their good attitudes toward people, Shoultz and the KeSa staff go to great lengths. The horses are not roped. They are in a padded stall and the first step is to blindfold them. The next step is to restrain them with a rope, nose twitch. The nose twitch may look painful but actually produces calming endorphins and is a common practice used by veterinarians. The horses show no response to the actual branding, but, with anything that is new to a horse, the reaction to the restraining is always unpredictable.

KeSa horses that go to the “Come to the Source” sale will be at varying levels of finish, but all will be at least halter broke. Halter breaking the babies is a quick and painless process that capitalizes on the fact that horses learn by repetition. KeSa foals are not coddled. They develop toughness by being pasture born and quickly develop coordination and good feet by running free. This, however, will be the first time that the foal has been handled.

With mother close by, the foal is confined in a small area and is rubbed and scratched over its entire body. It quickly decides that the handler is not a threat and calms down. The foal is then introduced to the halter in much the same manner. Once the halter is in place, a lead rope is clipped to the halter and the foal is moved into a small high sided pen with the handler. Here the foal is taught through a series of gentle tugs on the lead rope, that it can release the pressure that it dislikes by turning away from the pressure and toward the handler.

The ‘front end’ of the foal is now responding and it is time to work on the hips. A rope loop is placed over the hips and the short tail of the rope is run over the neck and across the chest of the foal. The lead rope is simply held by the handler and the ‘tug and release’ is done with the rope over the hips. All of these training sessions are short and repetitious and what has been learned is reinforced over a couple of days.

Sam Shoultz goes to great lengths to produce quality horses that will function equally well in the arena, as working cow horses, or as a pleasure horse. Shoultz and the friendly staff at KeSa Quarter Horses are always happy to explain their breeding program. Give them a call at (970) 484-5688.

Sam Shoultz and his staff at KeSa Quarter Horse Ranch in Fort Collins, Colo., put the finishing touches on preparation for their production sale. The annual “Come to the Source” horse sale is held in Laramie, Wyo., on the last weekend is August.

Thirteen years ago four friends, Sam Shoultz and Chip Merritt from the Fort Collins area, and Randy Dunn and Dick Van Pelt from Laramie, Wyo., got together and decided to have a horse sale. All were breeding horses that had a high percentage of the foundation stud Blue Valentine, crossed with high percentage Driftwood, Hancock and Leo horses. The resulting animals have consistently proven to be excellent working ranch horses that have proven themselves in the arena as well as on the ranch.

While the ranches all have a similar breeding program, the breeding crosses that each ranch prefers will produce a horse that has different strong points. The outstanding KeSa stallion, Blue Fox Hancock, accumulated over 400 AQHA points in 2009 on his way to winning the All-Around Reserve High Point Champion. Billy Ward, seven-time NFR Pickup Man rides nothing but Bath Bros Ranch geldings from Randy Dunn. Chip Merritt’s father was one of the owners of Blue Valentine, and Dick Van Pelt crosses with race horses to produce a sturdy ranch horse with plenty of speed.

There was a lot of work that had to be accomplished on the KeSa Ranch to get ready for the sale. Foals had to be halter broke and branded and yearlings that were not offered for sale last year as foals had to be branded.

Branding on a sale horse is far more important than on calves. Besides being a mark of ownership, the brand on a horse from a breeding program is also a marketing tool. Animals are not branded until just before they are to be sold, because the hide continues to grow and Shoultz wants the brand to always be legible. The hair is clipped from the area that will be branded and great care is taken to make certain that the brand is straight. Shoultz even goes so far as to insure that the horse has its weight properly placed on the hip that is being branded so the brand will be straight.

On a calf, the intricate KeSa brand would probably be done with three irons all heated in a very noisy propane stove. To reduce trauma to KeSa horses, they use an electric brand.

It is short and easy to handle, quiet, heats quickly, and gets hot enough to make a clean brand in seconds. The resulting brand is then coated in bag balm to speed the healing process.

The branding is over in seconds, but to insure that the horse will retain their good attitudes toward people, Shoultz and the KeSa staff go to great lengths. The horses are not roped. They are in a padded stall and the first step is to blindfold them. The next step is to restrain them with a rope, nose twitch. The nose twitch may look painful but actually produces calming endorphins and is a common practice used by veterinarians. The horses show no response to the actual branding, but, with anything that is new to a horse, the reaction to the restraining is always unpredictable.

KeSa horses that go to the “Come to the Source” sale will be at varying levels of finish, but all will be at least halter broke. Halter breaking the babies is a quick and painless process that capitalizes on the fact that horses learn by repetition. KeSa foals are not coddled. They develop toughness by being pasture born and quickly develop coordination and good feet by running free. This, however, will be the first time that the foal has been handled.

With mother close by, the foal is confined in a small area and is rubbed and scratched over its entire body. It quickly decides that the handler is not a threat and calms down. The foal is then introduced to the halter in much the same manner. Once the halter is in place, a lead rope is clipped to the halter and the foal is moved into a small high sided pen with the handler. Here the foal is taught through a series of gentle tugs on the lead rope, that it can release the pressure that it dislikes by turning away from the pressure and toward the handler.

The ‘front end’ of the foal is now responding and it is time to work on the hips. A rope loop is placed over the hips and the short tail of the rope is run over the neck and across the chest of the foal. The lead rope is simply held by the handler and the ‘tug and release’ is done with the rope over the hips. All of these training sessions are short and repetitious and what has been learned is reinforced over a couple of days.

Sam Shoultz goes to great lengths to produce quality horses that will function equally well in the arena, as working cow horses, or as a pleasure horse. Shoultz and the friendly staff at KeSa Quarter Horses are always happy to explain their breeding program. Give them a call at (970) 484-5688.

Sam Shoultz and his staff at KeSa Quarter Horse Ranch in Fort Collins, Colo., put the finishing touches on preparation for their production sale. The annual “Come to the Source” horse sale is held in Laramie, Wyo., on the last weekend is August.

Thirteen years ago four friends, Sam Shoultz and Chip Merritt from the Fort Collins area, and Randy Dunn and Dick Van Pelt from Laramie, Wyo., got together and decided to have a horse sale. All were breeding horses that had a high percentage of the foundation stud Blue Valentine, crossed with high percentage Driftwood, Hancock and Leo horses. The resulting animals have consistently proven to be excellent working ranch horses that have proven themselves in the arena as well as on the ranch.

While the ranches all have a similar breeding program, the breeding crosses that each ranch prefers will produce a horse that has different strong points. The outstanding KeSa stallion, Blue Fox Hancock, accumulated over 400 AQHA points in 2009 on his way to winning the All-Around Reserve High Point Champion. Billy Ward, seven-time NFR Pickup Man rides nothing but Bath Bros Ranch geldings from Randy Dunn. Chip Merritt’s father was one of the owners of Blue Valentine, and Dick Van Pelt crosses with race horses to produce a sturdy ranch horse with plenty of speed.

There was a lot of work that had to be accomplished on the KeSa Ranch to get ready for the sale. Foals had to be halter broke and branded and yearlings that were not offered for sale last year as foals had to be branded.

Branding on a sale horse is far more important than on calves. Besides being a mark of ownership, the brand on a horse from a breeding program is also a marketing tool. Animals are not branded until just before they are to be sold, because the hide continues to grow and Shoultz wants the brand to always be legible. The hair is clipped from the area that will be branded and great care is taken to make certain that the brand is straight. Shoultz even goes so far as to insure that the horse has its weight properly placed on the hip that is being branded so the brand will be straight.

On a calf, the intricate KeSa brand would probably be done with three irons all heated in a very noisy propane stove. To reduce trauma to KeSa horses, they use an electric brand.

It is short and easy to handle, quiet, heats quickly, and gets hot enough to make a clean brand in seconds. The resulting brand is then coated in bag balm to speed the healing process.

The branding is over in seconds, but to insure that the horse will retain their good attitudes toward people, Shoultz and the KeSa staff go to great lengths. The horses are not roped. They are in a padded stall and the first step is to blindfold them. The next step is to restrain them with a rope, nose twitch. The nose twitch may look painful but actually produces calming endorphins and is a common practice used by veterinarians. The horses show no response to the actual branding, but, with anything that is new to a horse, the reaction to the restraining is always unpredictable.

KeSa horses that go to the “Come to the Source” sale will be at varying levels of finish, but all will be at least halter broke. Halter breaking the babies is a quick and painless process that capitalizes on the fact that horses learn by repetition. KeSa foals are not coddled. They develop toughness by being pasture born and quickly develop coordination and good feet by running free. This, however, will be the first time that the foal has been handled.

With mother close by, the foal is confined in a small area and is rubbed and scratched over its entire body. It quickly decides that the handler is not a threat and calms down. The foal is then introduced to the halter in much the same manner. Once the halter is in place, a lead rope is clipped to the halter and the foal is moved into a small high sided pen with the handler. Here the foal is taught through a series of gentle tugs on the lead rope, that it can release the pressure that it dislikes by turning away from the pressure and toward the handler.

The ‘front end’ of the foal is now responding and it is time to work on the hips. A rope loop is placed over the hips and the short tail of the rope is run over the neck and across the chest of the foal. The lead rope is simply held by the handler and the ‘tug and release’ is done with the rope over the hips. All of these training sessions are short and repetitious and what has been learned is reinforced over a couple of days.

Sam Shoultz goes to great lengths to produce quality horses that will function equally well in the arena, as working cow horses, or as a pleasure horse. Shoultz and the friendly staff at KeSa Quarter Horses are always happy to explain their breeding program. Give them a call at (970) 484-5688.

Sam Shoultz and his staff at KeSa Quarter Horse Ranch in Fort Collins, Colo., put the finishing touches on preparation for their production sale. The annual “Come to the Source” horse sale is held in Laramie, Wyo., on the last weekend is August.

Thirteen years ago four friends, Sam Shoultz and Chip Merritt from the Fort Collins area, and Randy Dunn and Dick Van Pelt from Laramie, Wyo., got together and decided to have a horse sale. All were breeding horses that had a high percentage of the foundation stud Blue Valentine, crossed with high percentage Driftwood, Hancock and Leo horses. The resulting animals have consistently proven to be excellent working ranch horses that have proven themselves in the arena as well as on the ranch.

While the ranches all have a similar breeding program, the breeding crosses that each ranch prefers will produce a horse that has different strong points. The outstanding KeSa stallion, Blue Fox Hancock, accumulated over 400 AQHA points in 2009 on his way to winning the All-Around Reserve High Point Champion. Billy Ward, seven-time NFR Pickup Man rides nothing but Bath Bros Ranch geldings from Randy Dunn. Chip Merritt’s father was one of the owners of Blue Valentine, and Dick Van Pelt crosses with race horses to produce a sturdy ranch horse with plenty of speed.

There was a lot of work that had to be accomplished on the KeSa Ranch to get ready for the sale. Foals had to be halter broke and branded and yearlings that were not offered for sale last year as foals had to be branded.

Branding on a sale horse is far more important than on calves. Besides being a mark of ownership, the brand on a horse from a breeding program is also a marketing tool. Animals are not branded until just before they are to be sold, because the hide continues to grow and Shoultz wants the brand to always be legible. The hair is clipped from the area that will be branded and great care is taken to make certain that the brand is straight. Shoultz even goes so far as to insure that the horse has its weight properly placed on the hip that is being branded so the brand will be straight.

On a calf, the intricate KeSa brand would probably be done with three irons all heated in a very noisy propane stove. To reduce trauma to KeSa horses, they use an electric brand.

It is short and easy to handle, quiet, heats quickly, and gets hot enough to make a clean brand in seconds. The resulting brand is then coated in bag balm to speed the healing process.

The branding is over in seconds, but to insure that the horse will retain their good attitudes toward people, Shoultz and the KeSa staff go to great lengths. The horses are not roped. They are in a padded stall and the first step is to blindfold them. The next step is to restrain them with a rope, nose twitch. The nose twitch may look painful but actually produces calming endorphins and is a common practice used by veterinarians. The horses show no response to the actual branding, but, with anything that is new to a horse, the reaction to the restraining is always unpredictable.

KeSa horses that go to the “Come to the Source” sale will be at varying levels of finish, but all will be at least halter broke. Halter breaking the babies is a quick and painless process that capitalizes on the fact that horses learn by repetition. KeSa foals are not coddled. They develop toughness by being pasture born and quickly develop coordination and good feet by running free. This, however, will be the first time that the foal has been handled.

With mother close by, the foal is confined in a small area and is rubbed and scratched over its entire body. It quickly decides that the handler is not a threat and calms down. The foal is then introduced to the halter in much the same manner. Once the halter is in place, a lead rope is clipped to the halter and the foal is moved into a small high sided pen with the handler. Here the foal is taught through a series of gentle tugs on the lead rope, that it can release the pressure that it dislikes by turning away from the pressure and toward the handler.

The ‘front end’ of the foal is now responding and it is time to work on the hips. A rope loop is placed over the hips and the short tail of the rope is run over the neck and across the chest of the foal. The lead rope is simply held by the handler and the ‘tug and release’ is done with the rope over the hips. All of these training sessions are short and repetitious and what has been learned is reinforced over a couple of days.

Sam Shoultz goes to great lengths to produce quality horses that will function equally well in the arena, as working cow horses, or as a pleasure horse. Shoultz and the friendly staff at KeSa Quarter Horses are always happy to explain their breeding program. Give them a call at (970) 484-5688.

Sam Shoultz and his staff at KeSa Quarter Horse Ranch in Fort Collins, Colo., put the finishing touches on preparation for their production sale. The annual “Come to the Source” horse sale is held in Laramie, Wyo., on the last weekend is August.

Thirteen years ago four friends, Sam Shoultz and Chip Merritt from the Fort Collins area, and Randy Dunn and Dick Van Pelt from Laramie, Wyo., got together and decided to have a horse sale. All were breeding horses that had a high percentage of the foundation stud Blue Valentine, crossed with high percentage Driftwood, Hancock and Leo horses. The resulting animals have consistently proven to be excellent working ranch horses that have proven themselves in the arena as well as on the ranch.

While the ranches all have a similar breeding program, the breeding crosses that each ranch prefers will produce a horse that has different strong points. The outstanding KeSa stallion, Blue Fox Hancock, accumulated over 400 AQHA points in 2009 on his way to winning the All-Around Reserve High Point Champion. Billy Ward, seven-time NFR Pickup Man rides nothing but Bath Bros Ranch geldings from Randy Dunn. Chip Merritt’s father was one of the owners of Blue Valentine, and Dick Van Pelt crosses with race horses to produce a sturdy ranch horse with plenty of speed.

There was a lot of work that had to be accomplished on the KeSa Ranch to get ready for the sale. Foals had to be halter broke and branded and yearlings that were not offered for sale last year as foals had to be branded.

Branding on a sale horse is far more important than on calves. Besides being a mark of ownership, the brand on a horse from a breeding program is also a marketing tool. Animals are not branded until just before they are to be sold, because the hide continues to grow and Shoultz wants the brand to always be legible. The hair is clipped from the area that will be branded and great care is taken to make certain that the brand is straight. Shoultz even goes so far as to insure that the horse has its weight properly placed on the hip that is being branded so the brand will be straight.

On a calf, the intricate KeSa brand would probably be done with three irons all heated in a very noisy propane stove. To reduce trauma to KeSa horses, they use an electric brand.

It is short and easy to handle, quiet, heats quickly, and gets hot enough to make a clean brand in seconds. The resulting brand is then coated in bag balm to speed the healing process.

The branding is over in seconds, but to insure that the horse will retain their good attitudes toward people, Shoultz and the KeSa staff go to great lengths. The horses are not roped. They are in a padded stall and the first step is to blindfold them. The next step is to restrain them with a rope, nose twitch. The nose twitch may look painful but actually produces calming endorphins and is a common practice used by veterinarians. The horses show no response to the actual branding, but, with anything that is new to a horse, the reaction to the restraining is always unpredictable.

KeSa horses that go to the “Come to the Source” sale will be at varying levels of finish, but all will be at least halter broke. Halter breaking the babies is a quick and painless process that capitalizes on the fact that horses learn by repetition. KeSa foals are not coddled. They develop toughness by being pasture born and quickly develop coordination and good feet by running free. This, however, will be the first time that the foal has been handled.

With mother close by, the foal is confined in a small area and is rubbed and scratched over its entire body. It quickly decides that the handler is not a threat and calms down. The foal is then introduced to the halter in much the same manner. Once the halter is in place, a lead rope is clipped to the halter and the foal is moved into a small high sided pen with the handler. Here the foal is taught through a series of gentle tugs on the lead rope, that it can release the pressure that it dislikes by turning away from the pressure and toward the handler.

The ‘front end’ of the foal is now responding and it is time to work on the hips. A rope loop is placed over the hips and the short tail of the rope is run over the neck and across the chest of the foal. The lead rope is simply held by the handler and the ‘tug and release’ is done with the rope over the hips. All of these training sessions are short and repetitious and what has been learned is reinforced over a couple of days.

Sam Shoultz goes to great lengths to produce quality horses that will function equally well in the arena, as working cow horses, or as a pleasure horse. Shoultz and the friendly staff at KeSa Quarter Horses are always happy to explain their breeding program. Give them a call at (970) 484-5688.

Sam Shoultz and his staff at KeSa Quarter Horse Ranch in Fort Collins, Colo., put the finishing touches on preparation for their production sale. The annual “Come to the Source” horse sale is held in Laramie, Wyo., on the last weekend is August.

Thirteen years ago four friends, Sam Shoultz and Chip Merritt from the Fort Collins area, and Randy Dunn and Dick Van Pelt from Laramie, Wyo., got together and decided to have a horse sale. All were breeding horses that had a high percentage of the foundation stud Blue Valentine, crossed with high percentage Driftwood, Hancock and Leo horses. The resulting animals have consistently proven to be excellent working ranch horses that have proven themselves in the arena as well as on the ranch.

While the ranches all have a similar breeding program, the breeding crosses that each ranch prefers will produce a horse that has different strong points. The outstanding KeSa stallion, Blue Fox Hancock, accumulated over 400 AQHA points in 2009 on his way to winning the All-Around Reserve High Point Champion. Billy Ward, seven-time NFR Pickup Man rides nothing but Bath Bros Ranch geldings from Randy Dunn. Chip Merritt’s father was one of the owners of Blue Valentine, and Dick Van Pelt crosses with race horses to produce a sturdy ranch horse with plenty of speed.

There was a lot of work that had to be accomplished on the KeSa Ranch to get ready for the sale. Foals had to be halter broke and branded and yearlings that were not offered for sale last year as foals had to be branded.

Branding on a sale horse is far more important than on calves. Besides being a mark of ownership, the brand on a horse from a breeding program is also a marketing tool. Animals are not branded until just before they are to be sold, because the hide continues to grow and Shoultz wants the brand to always be legible. The hair is clipped from the area that will be branded and great care is taken to make certain that the brand is straight. Shoultz even goes so far as to insure that the horse has its weight properly placed on the hip that is being branded so the brand will be straight.

On a calf, the intricate KeSa brand would probably be done with three irons all heated in a very noisy propane stove. To reduce trauma to KeSa horses, they use an electric brand.

It is short and easy to handle, quiet, heats quickly, and gets hot enough to make a clean brand in seconds. The resulting brand is then coated in bag balm to speed the healing process.

The branding is over in seconds, but to insure that the horse will retain their good attitudes toward people, Shoultz and the KeSa staff go to great lengths. The horses are not roped. They are in a padded stall and the first step is to blindfold them. The next step is to restrain them with a rope, nose twitch. The nose twitch may look painful but actually produces calming endorphins and is a common practice used by veterinarians. The horses show no response to the actual branding, but, with anything that is new to a horse, the reaction to the restraining is always unpredictable.

KeSa horses that go to the “Come to the Source” sale will be at varying levels of finish, but all will be at least halter broke. Halter breaking the babies is a quick and painless process that capitalizes on the fact that horses learn by repetition. KeSa foals are not coddled. They develop toughness by being pasture born and quickly develop coordination and good feet by running free. This, however, will be the first time that the foal has been handled.

With mother close by, the foal is confined in a small area and is rubbed and scratched over its entire body. It quickly decides that the handler is not a threat and calms down. The foal is then introduced to the halter in much the same manner. Once the halter is in place, a lead rope is clipped to the halter and the foal is moved into a small high sided pen with the handler. Here the foal is taught through a series of gentle tugs on the lead rope, that it can release the pressure that it dislikes by turning away from the pressure and toward the handler.

The ‘front end’ of the foal is now responding and it is time to work on the hips. A rope loop is placed over the hips and the short tail of the rope is run over the neck and across the chest of the foal. The lead rope is simply held by the handler and the ‘tug and release’ is done with the rope over the hips. All of these training sessions are short and repetitious and what has been learned is reinforced over a couple of days.

Sam Shoultz goes to great lengths to produce quality horses that will function equally well in the arena, as working cow horses, or as a pleasure horse. Shoultz and the friendly staff at KeSa Quarter Horses are always happy to explain their breeding program. Give them a call at (970) 484-5688.

Sam Shoultz and his staff at KeSa Quarter Horse Ranch in Fort Collins, Colo., put the finishing touches on preparation for their production sale. The annual “Come to the Source” horse sale is held in Laramie, Wyo., on the last weekend is August.

Thirteen years ago four friends, Sam Shoultz and Chip Merritt from the Fort Collins area, and Randy Dunn and Dick Van Pelt from Laramie, Wyo., got together and decided to have a horse sale. All were breeding horses that had a high percentage of the foundation stud Blue Valentine, crossed with high percentage Driftwood, Hancock and Leo horses. The resulting animals have consistently proven to be excellent working ranch horses that have proven themselves in the arena as well as on the ranch.

While the ranches all have a similar breeding program, the breeding crosses that each ranch prefers will produce a horse that has different strong points. The outstanding KeSa stallion, Blue Fox Hancock, accumulated over 400 AQHA points in 2009 on his way to winning the All-Around Reserve High Point Champion. Billy Ward, seven-time NFR Pickup Man rides nothing but Bath Bros Ranch geldings from Randy Dunn. Chip Merritt’s father was one of the owners of Blue Valentine, and Dick Van Pelt crosses with race horses to produce a sturdy ranch horse with plenty of speed.

There was a lot of work that had to be accomplished on the KeSa Ranch to get ready for the sale. Foals had to be halter broke and branded and yearlings that were not offered for sale last year as foals had to be branded.

Branding on a sale horse is far more important than on calves. Besides being a mark of ownership, the brand on a horse from a breeding program is also a marketing tool. Animals are not branded until just before they are to be sold, because the hide continues to grow and Shoultz wants the brand to always be legible. The hair is clipped from the area that will be branded and great care is taken to make certain that the brand is straight. Shoultz even goes so far as to insure that the horse has its weight properly placed on the hip that is being branded so the brand will be straight.

On a calf, the intricate KeSa brand would probably be done with three irons all heated in a very noisy propane stove. To reduce trauma to KeSa horses, they use an electric brand.

It is short and easy to handle, quiet, heats quickly, and gets hot enough to make a clean brand in seconds. The resulting brand is then coated in bag balm to speed the healing process.

The branding is over in seconds, but to insure that the horse will retain their good attitudes toward people, Shoultz and the KeSa staff go to great lengths. The horses are not roped. They are in a padded stall and the first step is to blindfold them. The next step is to restrain them with a rope, nose twitch. The nose twitch may look painful but actually produces calming endorphins and is a common practice used by veterinarians. The horses show no response to the actual branding, but, with anything that is new to a horse, the reaction to the restraining is always unpredictable.

KeSa horses that go to the “Come to the Source” sale will be at varying levels of finish, but all will be at least halter broke. Halter breaking the babies is a quick and painless process that capitalizes on the fact that horses learn by repetition. KeSa foals are not coddled. They develop toughness by being pasture born and quickly develop coordination and good feet by running free. This, however, will be the first time that the foal has been handled.

With mother close by, the foal is confined in a small area and is rubbed and scratched over its entire body. It quickly decides that the handler is not a threat and calms down. The foal is then introduced to the halter in much the same manner. Once the halter is in place, a lead rope is clipped to the halter and the foal is moved into a small high sided pen with the handler. Here the foal is taught through a series of gentle tugs on the lead rope, that it can release the pressure that it dislikes by turning away from the pressure and toward the handler.

The ‘front end’ of the foal is now responding and it is time to work on the hips. A rope loop is placed over the hips and the short tail of the rope is run over the neck and across the chest of the foal. The lead rope is simply held by the handler and the ‘tug and release’ is done with the rope over the hips. All of these training sessions are short and repetitious and what has been learned is reinforced over a couple of days.

Sam Shoultz goes to great lengths to produce quality horses that will function equally well in the arena, as working cow horses, or as a pleasure horse. Shoultz and the friendly staff at KeSa Quarter Horses are always happy to explain their breeding program. Give them a call at (970) 484-5688.