More than 1500 guests visit the Rancho every year and they all seem to have the same questions about our horses. Here are the most common and our responses to them.
How many horses does the Rancho have?
The number at the Rancho varies throughout the year, but we generally keep about 35.
What horse breeds are represented at the Rancho?
Are there any mares in the herd?
All of our horses are male. This makes it possible to keep them all together in one large paddock. New horses determine their ranking in the herd upon arrival, but once determined there are no hassles between the horses.
What do the horses eat?
Our horses are fed corn hash or oat with grain 24 hours a day when they are not working. They receive alfalfa according to their individual needs in the morning and evening; and, we will individually measure additional food mix during the day if a horse needs it.
When do the horses get to drink?
Water is available in the paddock for the horses all day long. We make sure they get a drink before each ride and once they return from shorter rides. During longer rides, they take water while crossing certain rivers or stopping at watering stations; and when they return to the Rancho, we wait about 20 minutes before making it available so the horses have an opportunity to cool down a bit first.
When do you clean the horses’ hooves?
The terrain here is different than “back home”. It consists mostly of red earth with many small and mid-sized rocks. We don’t clean the hooves just before rides because rocks can get stuck in them and cause problems. We do clean them from time to time when a horse has a day off. And if we see that a rock is stuck, we simply clean it out before the horse has to carry any extra weight.
Why are the horses left in the sun after their ride and with their saddles on top?
The temperatures at the Rancho can drop very quickly, sometimes more than 10˚C in less than 20 minutes. Even if it is sunny, the air can be very cold and it will attack the horses’ kidneys in the worst way when their backs are warm and sweaty from the saddle and the ride. The horses actually enjoy this time of the day because they receive their extra food mix while cooling down.
Can I go inside the paddock with the horses?
Yes, you can go into the paddock with the horses…just don’t bring any sweets or treats with you!