About Our Operation
Raising Horses Responsibly
Our little piece of paradise covers almost 800 acres of native mixed aspen, spruce forest and open grasslands in the rolling foothills, east of the Rocky Mountains. After hectic careers in the Calgary oil patch, we are enjoying the slower pace and physical work of ranching, near Bergen, Alberta.
During the cold winter months of Canada, we migrate down to Cottonwood, Arizona to enjoy warmer temperatures and stunning views of Sedona's red rocks!
We breed and raise registered American Quarter Horses with excellent performance cowhorse bloodlines. Our trainers start our foals early, with a gentle hand, teaching them basic ground work. trailer loading, leading and standing tied. We begin more serious training at weaning - more groundwork, sacking out and ponying. Early in their second year, they are ready for a saddle and soon after, a rider. With consistent bloodlines on the dam's side, we have learned how to best work with each youngster to bring them along without a fight.
If you are interested in our horses, give us a call and plan a visit. We are happy to show you around the operation and introduce you to the horses. If you have a particular horse in mind, let us know and we'll schedule a specific session so that you can watch the horse at their current training level.
All of our horse's AQHA papers are available online, but give us a call and we'll tell you all about them.
At Bar TT Cowhorse, we have developed a full suite of facilities to make training our horses as streamlined as possible.
Our outdoor arena, round pen, exerciser, patience pole and miles of trails provide plenty of variety for the horses, even on wet days.
We are blessed by many top notch trainers and indoor facilities within a short haul of the ranch. The mountain trails at Ya Ha Tinda make a great summer day trip for the horses and ourselves. From reining to roping, it's not far from Tall Timber Ranch.
Our barn has 5 stalls (12 x 12 ft), a full size wash rack with overhead heat, hot and cold water. We have stocks just outside for dental work and branding.
One additional stall has been converted to a tack room with a full complement of bridles, saddles, pads, boots, halters and blankets.
Our barn is heated, just to keep it above freezing, usually at about 50 'F. It includes a small washroom for last minute stops and a kitchen which doubles as the horse health centre. We keep the cabinets stocked with all our usual home remedies, first aid and foaling supplies, bandaging, emergency medicines and many equine texts. Coffee snd snacks are always available to cover for those missed meals.
Two resident cats keep the mice away and enjoy a cozy home above the furnace room. The main aisle provides plenty of space to tie up horses to thaw out before farrier appointments.
Across the yard, lies our hay barn and a secure feed room. Here we store shavings, and all dry concentrated horse feeds and supplements. We believe in quality nutrition for our horses - tested, top quality forage, grain and mineral generally provide most of what the horses need but we also provide supplements as needed. You can't expect great performance on budget hay and 'good looking hay' doesn't always have much nutritional value.
Our outdoor arena (70 x 140 ft), is located for conventience, immediately adjacent to the barn and tack room. It has a packed clay based with Kinsell sand footing. Our heritage Farmall H tractor pulls the harrows to keep the ground worked. The space easily accomodates two riders and all of the show moves we need to practice.
Beyond the arena, lies the covered exerciser, a 50 ft Triology Free Walker that accomodates five horses at a time, and can be adjusted from a slow walk to a moderate lope. We use the walker during inclement weather to give the horses a run but it's main function is to build solid tendons and ligaments in the young horses before they carry a rider.
A round pen with standard panels, 50 ft across, is located just north of the barn under cover. We get plenty of rain in Bergen, and the covered pen can be adjusted to a 60 ft square practice space when it is needed. Clay based and Kinsell sand footing make this a great place to teach young horses while staying out of the weather.
A patience pole stands nearby, a tall metal pole with a chain on a swivel. We use this to teach young horses to stand tied patiently and find they learn quickly that running around just makes them hot and tired.
Abundant pastures with heated Ritchie waterers surround the main barn area. Trails through the bush provide plenty of riding outside the arena and natural obstacles for young foals to navigate. Cattle are kept on about half of the lands at the ranch and provide interesting work for the horses on a regular basis.
On frigid winter days, we haul to a local arena, which provides a large, heated space with new sights for the young horses. We have a three-horse, slant-load trailer that we use for these short excursions, often taking a load in the morning and another in the afternoon on the coldest days. The horses quickly become easy to load, anticipating a short ride and a good run when they arrive.