We believe as breeders, the bulk of responsibility lies with us to give the Irish Draught horses we own the best chance to thrive in todays equestrian environment. Many hours of education and years of experience have gone into our decisions for caring for our horses. We strive to keep up to date with changes that may affect the well being of our horses through continuing education and working with experts in breeding (including genetics), veterinary medicine, farrier, nutrition, and behavior. We carry insurance on all our breeding stock to ensure if something huge happens veterinary care is promptly available.
The environment we selected
for our herd has varied terrain and 4 seasons. We have hills and flat, dry lots and pasture, sand, gravel, wet areas and streams, forested and open areas. For severe weather we have stalls and indoor and outdoor arenas. We do keep the horses out as much as possible and rarely blanket. We believe the horses do best in a natural environment and are rewarded for this by having very rare health or behavior problems. Our arenas have many equine scary things like flags, tarps, tires, boxes, banners and we never move horses to keep them away from farm machines, motorcycles and other vehicles like bull dozers, back hoes, dump trucks and even horse trailers! By the time they go to new homes, they have been exposed to quite a bit! All our horses are interacted with twice a day at a minimum, have their bodies examined, have a needed training session, and loved on. They all enjoy many hours of care at liberty. Any noted needs are seen to right away.
Our feeding program is designed for our area of the USA, the intermountain west, and individualized for each horse. Basic is our forage which we feed at a rate of 1 ½ to 3% of IBW. We have mixed grass fields for grazing which do contain natural weeds. Our base hay is second cutting orchard grass, and depending on the growing season we get it from either a single farm or multiple sources, but always local. We have Alfalfa in pellets which we soak and feed in varying amounts dependant on each horses needs observing their muscling and top line. We feed a forage based pelleted grain, low in sugars and add a balanced vitamin/mineral supplement, Vitamin E and selenium, iodized salt and Magnesium Sulfate based on IBW of each horse and their activity level. Our body condition score goal is 4-6. May it be a bit old fashioned, we do water our horses twice a day and keep close track of the amounts each horse is drinking in fresh well water and adjust their salt intake as needed. While all horses have mineral/salt blocks we have found they take a year or more to devour!
Our veterinary/farrier programs ensure each horse gets vaccinated and wormed as recommended for our area. If the horse is scheduled to leave the farm, they get all shots for what may be encountered for the area they will travel well in advance so time is available to form antibodies. All breeding stock is tested for breeding soundness, STDs and vaccinated. Floating is checked for yearly and done when needed. As for their feet, our horses are all barefoot. We believe barefoot is the most humane way of caring for the whole body of the horse. Our varied terrain and footing allows for good strong healthy hoofs, tendons, ligaments and joints in all our horses. Excellent feet and sound horses is our reward for this approach. Whether the ground is snowy, muddy, icy, grassy, steep or rocky our horses have had no serious injuries from having bare feet. Trimming is done regularly to ensure angles and balance of the hoof is maintained to the individuals’ conformation.
Our training program ensures all horses have excellent manners and interact with humans safely. The individual personality of the horse is foremost in the decision on the training techniques used. Time is spent as needed to ensure the manners and safety of the horse and human is optimal. The training begins at birth and by the time they leave for a new home they are safe according to their age. We always use the theory that a horse wants to please, we expect a correct response when we ask and allow the horse to make the mistake before being corrected promptly. All our horses allow touch virtually everywhere on their body. We do not train beyond the skeletal or mental maturity. We enjoy each individual and promote a happy horse. During purchase interviews we share each individuals personality and level of training because we care that the match is a good, lasting partnership.
Our breeding goals are to produce a well conformed, healthy, level headed, human loving horse for the amateur market with the
versatility required to take that amateur to any discipline they wish and also to have the basic characteristics and conformation to produce an excellent intermediate or advanced level sport horse when mated with a lighter boned breed.
We are dedicated to the conservation of the Irish Draught through careful selective breeding, providing a healthy environment, personal handling and training that will ensure the horses that leave this farm are some of the best the breed has to offer.