RANCH ROEN Ranch Roen, owend ann run by Emily and Jason Sawtelle, is a western complex located in Arizona.
Since 1870 our family bred, trained and used Appaloosa horses, a breed known for its bravery, loyalty and versability.
We are aware most ranches always preferred Quarter horses for their daily work, and many breeders claim that Appaloosas, compared to Quarter, are "definitely too stubborn", "difficult to handle" and "intractable". So, why did we pick Appaloosas?
Our history starts with Kevin and Johanna Richwood back in 1868, founder of the ranch. They were just married when Kevin hereditated a nice piece of land from the parents along with couple of horses that helped the family with cultivating the land and a small number of cows. Kevin didn't like the farmer life: seeding, watering, trimming were not works for him. Even since he was a boy he preferred to spend time with the animals, grooming the horses, riding and milking the cows.
So, once he became the legal owner of the propriety, he sold most of the farmland and with the money earned he bought a small herd of cows and build the first, rudimentary cow barn. For couple years the two horses that belonged to his parents helped him working with the cattle, but they did not last long: they weren't used to that kind of work, not for all day long at least, and they were not that young anymore as well.
Kevin and Johanna knew they needed stronger, sturdier animals if they wanted to keep up with all the work the cattle gave them. Johanna wanted an animal that was not only resistantand tough but also beautiful to look at and well build. Quarter horses would have been the perfect choice, she said, and he agreed. So one day he left for the town, bringing along the two old horses. He was away from home for almost two weeks but he eventually came home with 4 new horses. Weird horses. They had strange colors, and their coats was filled with...spots?!?
Yes, Kevin bought home 4 Appaloosa horses. Honestly, both Quarters and Paints were too expensive for them on that time, but he didn't wan't to admit that with his wife. Instead, he told her he "wanted to surprise her with some odd colors".
Johanna wasn't really happy with them, even if Kevin reassured her: the horses would do their job just as well as the neighbours' Quarters. She honestly though the seller fooled her husband though; those 4 were far from the horses she knew! They had stripped hooves ("Are you sure the hooves are robust enough? It looks like they are going to crack!"), white sclera ("They look like human eyes...don't you find it a bit creepy?" and those spots..."Are they normal? Or are they a sign of some weird desease?"
But they proved that Johanna was wrong in judging them that hard. They did their work well, they were calm but responsive and didn't suffer from the whole, long days of work. They were actually sweet animals and quick learners and thanks to them the work with the cattle was much easier than before. Both Kevin and Johanna soon get very satisfied with the horses.
The horses also had a positive side effect: they became an attraction for the local population. Many people often came and stop just to see the Richwood's weird spotted horses. Kevin never refused to introduce the visitors to the horses, talking about their qualities and temperament. Johanna never missed to offer a meal to the visitors as well, making the popularity of the Richwoods and their ranch growing.
With the increasing of their notoriety grew their affairs as well, allowing them to buy more cattles, hire some boys to help them with the propriety and fially breeding their own horses, crossing them with local stocks first, allowing them to travel to buy outside lines as well.
Appaloosas helped our family growing our fate; we own them so much! Generation after generation we kept up with breeding them, improving the lines to get horses with high stamina, very sensitive, intelligent, independent and courageous. Once you get confident with them, you will find in them the best partners, the most loyal friends, the kindest soul and animals that will you give you anything you ask them.
So, remember: if it is not an Appaloosa, it is just a horse!
Our Profile »