The Western Club is dedicated to the promotion of western horses. We hope you’ll enjoy our monthly (more or less) horse showcase, our photo events, and various promotion auctions and raffles. Whether you are an experienced cowboy or don’t know the first thing about western, you’ll be welcome here!
The western channel on slack contains many of our team and members, so ask any questions you may have about western disciplines there. We are more than willing to help people new to the world and remember: no questions are stupid questions.
Current and Upcoming Events
All are subject to change
Staff nomination - TBD
Dawson County Fair (Gymkhana) - Open Now!
Western Club Summer Futurity - July 1st
Western Club Broodstock Showcase - August 20th
Western Club Halloween Spooktacular - October 1st
Club Management Team
Maxine Spencer - Cofounder
Jase Sunshine - Cofounder
Studbook and Downloads
These aren’t necessarily affiliated with the club, they’re just handy!
General Stock Horse - Maxine Spencer - Link to Post
American Quarter Horse/ American Paint Horse - Coming Soon!
Appaloosa - Maxine Spencer - Link to Post
Mustang - Coming Soon!
American Indian Horse - Jase Sunshine - Coming Soon!
Pintabian - Nikki Calvaria - Link to Post
Quarab - Serenity Gwin - Link to Post
Tack and Rider CC
Lots of stuff, just go through the whole website - Lakeside Saddlery - Link to Website
Cowboy Hat Accesory - Chikkadii Sims - Link to Website
2 cutting saddle retextures - Jase Sunshine and Samantha Lockhart - Link to Post
Heat of the Moment (Cutting) - Maxine Spencer - Link to Post
One Step Forward and Two Steps Back (Reining) - Maxine Spencer - Link to Post
You Spin Me Right Round, Baby (Barrel Racing) - Maxine Spencer - Link to Post
Stock Poses - Cole Tieman - Link to Post
Lots of poses (they’re… a bit old) - Old Fellow Ranch - Link to Website
Slowride, Take it Easy (Arab WP) - Maxine Spencer-Link to Post
A Variety of Poses - Drover's Run - Link to Website
Some conformation, reining, and WP - Lakeside Ranch - Link to Website
Stand by You (Stock Conformation) - Maxine Spencer - Link to Post
Simple Arena - Tiffany Tieman - Link to Website
Indoor and Outdoor Arena - Carmen Raymond - Link to Website
Reining Ring - Blake Bellanaris - Link to Post
Western pleasure, trail, and dressage Arenas - Blake Bellanaris - Link to Post
Covered Outdoor Arena - Kody Böhming - Link to ES Post
Texas Rose Covered Ring - Allura Brooks - Link to ES Post
Horse ShowcaseTY Gypsy Spirit
Owned by Marc Sanders at Sliding K Ranch
You mentioned in your challenge entry that TY Gypsy Spirit comes from your grandfather’s farm Tybar Ranch, would you mind explaining a bit the evolution of Tybar Ranch into the current Sliding K Ranch?
When my grandfather Rian Swift first began Tybar Ranch, his love, heart, and soul were focused on the mustangs just outside the ranch...the Sandwash Basin herd. He had grown up riding out in the Basin and when the first round up of his time happened. He was right there watching as a teenager, it's how he got his hands on the founding stallion whom I still have today, Tattooed Romeo, and our founding mustang mare Juilet. These were the beginnig of all things mustangs for Tybar Ranch. When he was a boy it had the name of Shiver Creek Ranch. As he got older and his father passed it onto him he changed it to Tybar. Tybar Ranch then became North Fork Ranch as my grandfather aged and passed it onto my father. Who ventured into other stock type horses and sadly let the mustang trade dwindle into almost nothing and his focus became Quarter Horses and Paint horses, which truthfully are not my thing all together but I've kept around what we have as I've grown up with these horses and love them as much as the mustangs. We moved the entire ranch and family to Wyoming, lived there on the new property until I was 16...that's when disaster struck. I was helping my mom cook dinner, dad was with the ranch hands bringing the horses down from the mountian pastures when a storm rolled in. There was a ton of lightning, and several times the barn was hit...the barn,the hay barn, everything, including half the house burnt to the ground that night. We got all the horses out and onto the lower pastures. But dad was done. He was going to sell the ranch before my older brother Treyvor said he would take over until I was 21, then it was all on me. When my dad and grandad agreed Treyvor asked me to rename the ranch and we moved about 140 miles deeper into Wyoming. We rebuilt, and restarted. I decided to name the ranch Sliding K Ranch because Reining was my sport, and my middle name is Kane. I also pretty much slid into the ownership role of a large horse ranch at a young age.
As Gypsy is a mustang, her temperament and aptitude for competition were a mystery when she was caught and trained. Could you explain the draw towards her and horses like her as opposed to breeds like the American Quarter Horse that have known pedigrees. How does training for Gypsy differ from captive-born horses? Does it differ at all?
When a mustang comes to us either from a rancher having an issue with them, a rescue being to full, we visit the auctions and one catches our heart, or even if someone calls us telling us there's one injured somewhere. We take the time to watch and learn every small aspect about the horse. What makes it spook, what calms it down. What causes it's tail to flick in annoyance. It's all about building a ground relationship with the animal and working with them from the ground before ever trying to get up on their back. Horses bred for the show ring are always around people, so to them we are their bread and butter. But to a mustang, we're a predator, new, strange, and scary. New mustangs brought onto our ranch are paired wih other mustangs that are already trained and know we aren't there to harm them but care for them. So not only do they learn from the other horses that we are okay, they learn from how we do things. I feel I have a stronger bond with my mustang horses over my quarter horses simply because I have to earn every tiny aspect of that animals trust versus a horse that was bred right into the world of being cared for by humans. They expect it, mustangs don't. They have a wild fire inside of them that if you train them right, they keep.
We gentle our horses, we start with standing on the outside of the small paddocks, the round rings, their stalls and runs. They learn by following the other horses in for feeding time or treats at the fence, once they've gotten used to us from the paddock then we move inside with them. Normally I wander around with my son's big gelding Kodi, checking fence lines, going to the creek that runs through one of the big pastures for a swim or just to read a book or fish. I don't go near the horses, I let them come to me. I start the training in the paddock, slight pats here and there letting them chew or sniff my hair or whatever they want to do. Mustangs are mutts, they're the outcasts of the horse world and everyone sees them either as trouble or not worth their time to train right...they're like me. The black sheep of the horse world and we all deserve a chance to show the world our real worth and that just because we don't have a show stopping pedigree doesn't mean we can't make it to the top of the food chain.
What is Gypsy like back home? Any fun quirks or habits?
Haha, Gypsy oh man. This little girl, when my grandfather first found her as a little yearling filly, from what the vet said, she gave him a run for his money. She had been terrorizing riders out on one of the trails. She would chase their horses down, spook them, get them riled up and then disappear without so much as a broken twig to tell where she went. It's how she got her name really. She still does these silly things at times. Once she was trained she was sent off to her adoptive home so we lost a lot of time with her ourselves, but the owner returned her to us for personal reasons and her training began back up. She loves to take off with her saddle blanket or halter. Before the show she actually grabbed the saddle blanket from inside the trailer and took off with it. She's playful and very.....what is the word I want to use for her. Protective. When we brought her back to Sliding K Ranch, she didn't want anything to do with any of the other riders or trainers...farm hands were a joke to her, she spooked them a lot. Me though, she came right up at the paddock and put her head over my shoulder. She nips my hair right at the nape of my neck first thing in the morning when I'm doing my feeding rounds. She doesn't much like black cats, we have one currently missing its tail and several that won't go near her stall even if being carried because she's chased them or snapped or some other mean spirited thing she can think of. Dogs, on the other hand, she loves. She drives my pittie insane by nuzzling and licking the top of his head. Her treat of choice is apple pie, found this out when I had lunch in the paddock with the mustangs one day, she nosed into my lunch pail and ate only my pie, so now I keep one made in the fridge at the barn just for her.
saved just in case
Reserved for TY Gypsy Spirit's showcase