Exploring Wilderness

Opportunities for solitude and recreation are a must for everybody. Camping in the wilderness, in areas which possess ecological, geological and other features of scientific, educational, scenic and historic value is one of the most enriching experiences.  Backpacking, camping, and hiking go hand in hand.

Backpacking – tramping, trekking or backcountry camping is a combination of hiking and camping. The backpacking trips are always hiking inspired.  These involve passing through extensive landscapes in relatively short periods of time and enduring physical and mental challenges that accompany these undertakings. Backpacking trips range from short one night trips to multi-day trips, some may start at one trailhead and end at another. Some backpackers set out on month-long distance end to end treks called thru-hikes. Popular thru hikes include Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. This style of camping requires the packers to minimize their excess into the essential comforts that are lightweight backpacks. All the joys of outdoor camping are involved in this type.

Another interesting type of camping is “car camping” It might be a pursuit of leisure, but such outdoor trips require less preparation than backpacking. It is mostly done at state and local parks around the US. Campsites also allow dispersed camping. And there are privately owned campgrounds too. It is a good step as a wilderness experience before tackling a backpacking trip. It is adventurous to park the car at a campsite, set up your tents. Family and friends can enjoy around the campfire taking day hikes, fishing and enjoying each other’s company. Car camping can also be accompanied by cycling. Cycles can be carried using bike racks built for SUV to the hills. Cycling on the hills through an intimidating task can be great for the mind and body.

A relatively newer method of recreation is Geocaching. It is fun, inexpensive and safe. It is a high tech version of treasure hunting. It combines the latest in the world of technology with one of the oldest sports around treasure hunting. Geocachers seek hidden treasures utilizing GPS coordinates. Small treasures or caches are hidden for the members of the sport to find. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a variety of rewards.

Recreation is a necessary part of life that refreshes and rejuvenates a person’s body and mind. Recreational activities help a person relax and decrease the effects of work-related and interpersonal stresses. They boost a person’s confidence due to the feelings of accomplishment and pride which one experiences when excelling at a particular activity. These types of activities also allow an individual to sharpen his communication, time management, motivational and disciplinary skills that can be used to enhance career and personal relationships.

Breeding 101: 5 Tips on running a successful stud farm

Maintaining and looking after your ranch can be quite tiresome and time-consuming. Managing such a large quantity of quarter horses is no exception. My wife and I absolutely love our herd and they, in turn, are fond of us too – I mean who doesn’t love the person who feeds you right?

We are blessed in the sense that they come when we call them. As we have found managing stallions quite hard work, we do not keep many. We make use of AI instead. The risk to our mares are less and we have the opportunity to select bigger bloodstock.

We have a few stallions used to breed or go to trail horses but our competition horses are bred in the purple featuring lines such as raise your Glass, Dash for Cash, Jet Deck and Mr. San Peppy.

Mr San Peppy

Mr. San Peppy


Dash for Cash

We try to breed horses that are a mixture of what one would classify as “Older breeding” more on the racing side and then cross breed with horses who are breeding reflects amazing cutting horses.

Because we believe horses should be kept as naturally as possible, our horses are turned out all year around. We usually clip our competition horses so rug them – The rest have their own built-in blankets aka grow rather thick coats in the winter. We make use of night vision binoculars to keep track of them at night if there is an issue. Occasionally we have some wildlife come down and bug the herd.

While our Journey hasn’t always been an easy one, we have taken full advantage of the upturn in the cattle market and quarter horse market.

Both my wife and I have sacrificed plenty of luxuries in our lifetime to make sure that we can keep and maintain our ranch. Horses are our absolute passion so although we do not necessarily keep our horses in 5-star barns. We do breed quality horses that are happy and well cared for. Here are our top 5 tips for running a breeding farm correctly.

  1.       Outsource your stallions. Stallions are hard work and they are heavy on fencing. Stallions are also more dangerous. Although we have been blessed with wonderful stallions, they are unpredictable.
  2.       Breed quality over quantity. Owning more horses costs more money. If you invest your efforts and time into breeding something that is of good quality, it will fetch a price 2 -3x more than something that is bred badly.
  3.       Set up your gazing and paddocks in such a way that they are easily accessible and so that you can keep an eye on your heard quite easily.
  4.       Be aware of spending money on luxuries. Some years we have amazing sales and are feeling rather flush. Other years we can’t make a mortgage payment for a month or two. Buying things that are not necessities in the good months is bound to ruin you. Upgrades to the ranch should only be done if you have had several good years.
  5.       Try to keep your horses as naturally as possible. It is so easy to get carried away by all the fancy things available in the riding industry nowadays but it isn’t worth it. We even try to feed our herd as naturally as possible. Here is an interesting article touching on the importance of Pasture time for horses.

Above all, owning a ranch and breeding facility is really rewarding. When your first crop of foals are born the ranch is just a frenzy of cute. Enjoy the journey!

How to Book an Inexpensive Ranch Vacation

It is all about what part the country do you want to stay in when researching inexpensive dude ranch vacations, are you thinking about a trip to a Texas ranch reminiscent of those wild west days, or maybe something more south western like New Mexico that offers a wonderful mix of Spanish, Indian, and western American culture.

Many inexpensive dude ranch vacations offer a variety low cost packages that include horse-riding lessons, trail riding, and even rides to historical location with guides. These guided rides bring to life the history of the wild west as you ride on the same trails made famous by legends of the past. If you and your family are experienced riders, then you may want to consider a dude ranch for an inexpensive family vacation.

These vacations offers a real wild west experience of camping on the range, and traveling to different locations along trails once used by the Pony Express, or maybe even locations of famous shootouts. There are inexpensive dude ranch vacations that will take you and your family across the prairie like so many settlers did on their way in search of land and a place to build a home. You could even visit the trail that the Donner family took through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, or maybe Little Sandy River in Wyoming.

With so much history to be explored choosing the right inexpensive dude ranch vacation could be hard, there are many historical societies that can help you decide on the perfect ranch to book your vacation, all you will have to do is request vacation information and compare each package with the family. The best dude ranch vacations can also be found in parts of California where the climate is perfect for riding in the summer time.

Many all inclusive dude ranch vacation packages are also available, and offer the most bang for the buck.  These are affordable family vacations and should not be overlooked. You should consider contacting a travel agent to find out what options are available.  As with most vacations rates it’s often cheaper in off-season months, and if you like the snow, there are many dude ranch vacation deals in parts of the United States that have special winter month programs. If you are not accustomed to sleeping out of doors, and novice horse rider, then you may choose something that offers programs close to the ranch itself.

Be sure to bring your digital camera along, as you will undoubtedly want to take pictures of almost everything. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to find the perfect inexpensive dude ranch vacation that will meet your budget, and offer all of the fun and excitement of the Wild West.

Several companies such as Audiostance and Ranch Rider hold annual ranch holiday competitions. You’ll have to visit their websites frequently to see when each competition starts and ends.

More About Carter Performance Horses

aboutus2Myself & my husband Mark started our Quarter horse interests at a young age although we did not acquire Peppy until a few years ago. We really started getting enthused about “cowhorses” during our “Team Penning days”.
Mark and Mary Lisa

We competed extensively east of the Mississippi winning several pocketfuls of money! We even won reserve at the Quarter Horse Congress the 1 year they had the Open Competition. (the really hard show was right after that at Hilliard though where the cattle were really wild – we won 3 out of 4 classes there$!$) It is definitely an exciting event requiring a cowey, very athletic, alert, intelligent horse.

During these years we really saw the value of a GOOD horse. Then one evening, while we were snowed in at a show at the Ag. Center in NC, Mark met a fellow who asked if he was interested in purchasing a stallion…,well, this horse “Peppy” was owned by a man who had become ill & was not recovering well after 2 yrs of difficulty. Peppy had been green broke and been stabled in a stall.

Our Team!
Mark wanted to see the Dry Doc / Little Peppy horse & flew down the following week to take a look.� Peppy came home with him!� He had a personality so like his father, Dry Doc, that we could train kids to ride on him! (after his hoof problems resolved from standing too long in the stall).

Since Peppy was too old (87′) for the Futurity / Derby competitions and had not had any training on cattle yet, we decided it was really too late to start him with a professional trainer. We would just breed him to see if he could produce like his bloodlines suggest he could.

Miss Turbo Dry

We needed a few mares – all we had were geldings! It took several years to get Peppy’s foals on the ground & old enough to see if they could perform. Just this year we placed 2 of his foals with professional trainers, 1 in reining & 1 in cutting. These 2 are pictured on the Front Page! So far, the cutter, “Dry Pepsan”-(3 yr old), has only competed once.

He finished 16th at the Quarter Horse Congress Open Cutting Futurity! The reining colt “Dry Habanero” -(3 yr old), competed in the Open Reining Futurity at the Tradition in Virginia (also with the “big boys”), and finished 21st in the Open & 11th in the Limited! He will be showing next at the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma this fall where he will be offered for sale. We are planning to show Dry Pepsan at the Spring Spectacular next.

We placed 2 colts in professional training; 2 are definitely proving themselves- we do like these odds! We did not pick from a herd of colts, only 3. Peppy is finally well on his way to prove himself as a sire!

If you are interested in breeding for intelligence, agility, natural collection, & cow; Peppy is a good choice.

And, by the way, if you are not interested in waiting that long to own one of Peppy’s colts, see our “Colts For Sale” page…

Disposing of Waste on Your Small Horse Farm

Using a compact manure spreader can solve the biggest problem found on many small horse farms today: disposing of waste. Mucking out stalls is a simple fact of life for any horse owner or stable master, but an average size animal can produce 50 lbs or more of waste every day. And this creates a giant headache, especially in these environmentally cautious times. This article will explain how using a compact manure spreader can help reduce or even eliminate this costly problem.

The Mounting Problem of Horse Manure

Manure disposal has become one of the more difficult problems for small horse farms. In a year’s time a single horse can create some 14 tons of waste in the form of manure and soiled bedding materials.

Once the stall is clean, there is always the question of where to put it. Often owners would just set it aside behind the barn or stables and pay someone to haul it away. But this can cost a bunch of money over time and drive up operating expensive. Plus hauling services can be very unreliable.

You can of course set up series compost bins, but these too can be very costly to build, time consuming and labor intensive when it comes turning over the compost either by hand (which you are trying to stay away from) or by using a backhoe. Or you can do things the old fashioned way and just pile the unsightly and smelly mess “out back” or “hidden” away on the most remote part of your property.

Manure Spreaders Work

There are several types of compact fertilizer spreaders available. For small jobs there are several models of pull-behind wagons,rotary bins or a small manure spreader. The wagons are similar in many regards to the larger commercial spreaders.

A towed compact spreader has a wooden or metal sided hopper mounted on a 2 or 4 wheeled axle. The manure and bedding is shoveled from a stall or the compost pile into the hopper. Most of these compact manure spreaders are ground-driven which mean that the motion of the wheels turns the manure spreader parts of a shredder/flinger mechanism which tears up and distributes the materials.

Another type model of compact manure spreader is the rotary drum. This is basically a giant hollow drum manure spreader made from steel mesh. The mesh drum is hung between two forks and pulled or pushed (smaller sized models).

The action of the manure rolling and bouncing inside the diamond mesh breaks up materials into smaller and smaller chunks until they can fall through the mesh onto the ground. This basically allows the weight and volume of the manure to work with you as instead of against you.

In a matter of just a few hundred feet, the crumbled manure dropping towed models like the compact John Deere spreader is emptied. And these compact fertilizer spreaders allow organic matter to decompose quickly without a lot of mess or lingering methane odors.

Some advantages of using compact manure spreaders are their small sizes. Most units are small enough that you can easily maneuver them in and out of stall doorways. This allows you to muck out stalls directly into the spreader without the mess and hassle of using a separate wheelbarrow.

So now that you understand a bit more about compact manure spreaders, you can do some research on your own to select the right type and capacity for your horse operation.

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