Recently, CBS News reported on a ranch horse breeder who was charged with over 30 counts of animal cruelty. Investigators discovered that several of the horses on his ranch were not receiving proper care. According to the news report, the owner faces a fine of $3,000 and/or one year in jail for each of the 35 counts of animal cruelty with which he was charged.

Humane society officials reported that investigators had received several complaints about the ranch from people concerned about the safety of the horses. When they went to the ranch,authorities found excessive accumulations of feces, inadequate fencing and contaminated water. When investigators removed the horses from the ranch, the horses had various health issues, such as lice infestations, chipped and cracked hooves, and malnourishment.

Fortunately, most ranch horses are not kept in such conditions. If you are looking for ranch horses fors ale, you will be able to tell right away if your breeder cares about horses by the way the ranch looks and by how the horses interact with humans.

When buying a ranch horse, it is important to pay attention to the general well-being of the horse. Look at the horse’s eyes and feet, listen to its breathing, watch the horse’s gait, and look for problems with the legs. If you are looking for a performance horse, you should have your personal vet do a performance check, but if the horse will be used for general ranch work, your own assessment of the animal should be sufficient.

Next, observe the animal’s temperament. You want a horse that is easy to be around, not one that is skittish or spooks easily. How does the horse react to other horses? Is the horse easy to handle and ride? Horses have personalities, just as people do, and the horse’s general temperament is not going to change once you purchase it. Make sure you and the horse are comfortable with each other.

Breeders who have ranch horses for sale should be more than happy to have you come to the ranch to check out their facilities and horses. If they are not, you should probably purchase your ranch horses elsewhere. When looking at the horses, do everything that you will want to do as the owner. If you plan on riding the horse, get on the horse and ride it. If you will need to trailer the horse, see how well it trailers with just you handling it. If everything is in order, then it may be the horse for you.

Whitley Ranch, one of the top horse and cattle breeding operations in Southeast Texas, has ranch horses for sale. A producer of some of the highest-quality Brangus cattle and finest-bred horses around, the Whitley Ranch staff offers generations of experience, and visitors are always welcome. Call General Manager Buddy Roulston at 979.251.1215, visit us at 8853 Whitley Ranch Lane in Brenham, TX, or view our website at http://www.whitleyranch.com.