Rhonda Hart Quarter Horses
One of the worst surprises of your life is the first time you throw a leg over a really good horse. The later in life that happens, the harder it hits you. What the heck was I doing wasting so much time on those other horses?!
For most of us the answer is money and opportunity. The good ones cost more and are a whole lot harder to find than those my dad used to haul home from the salebarn when I was a kid. Those horses were a gold mine of education - and not much else, except maybe to emergency room doctors.
So when I finally got the chance to raise my own, job one was finding the best bloodlines I could - bloodlines that had earned great reputations for trainability, longevity, and talent, as well as for things like correct conformation, and good feet and bone. And I brought them to the Pacific Northwest. Job two is to raise them right. I'm slow and break easily, so I can't afford to take nonsense from youngsters. They learn manners from day one. I learned that from an old mare. She had the right idea.
The babies grow up on rough, hilly pasture in mixed groups. They learn from the start to negotiate terrain and get along with other horses. They also get a lot of early handling, to instill confidence and manners. That early training paid off during wildfires in 2016 when 17 horses, including mares with foals, yearlings, and others, had to be evacuated into strange trailers by people they didn't know. Went off without a hitch.
A good horse ruins you for life.
I chose reining and reined cow horse lines for their athleticism and trainability. One can’t do much without the other. Every breeding is calculated to improve on the traits of both the sire and dam, and of course, not every one succeeds, but if you start with really good horses, you certainly up your odds. Raising good horses is as much for their benefit as for their eventual owners - good horses generally get treated a whole lot better than those that wind up in the salebarn. Bottom line: I work to raise good horses, that serve their people well, and therefore lead good lives.
Once you ride a truly good horse, you'll be spoiled for anything less. A good horse ruins you for life.
Rhonda Hart Quarter Horses is located about 25 miles north of Spokane, Washington.