Farmstay U.S. Blog

Created for and by travelers and the farmers, these posts will cover a variety of topics related to farm stays in the U.S.

Interview: Bucks and Spurs Guest Ranch -- Natural horsemanship in the Ozarks

Flying H Ranch, home of Bucks and Spurs Guest Ranch, is a 700 acres cattle and horse ranch in the verdant Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Owners C. and Sonny Huff offer horseback riding and cowboy vacations with options for every guest -- from relaxation to high adventure. Guests stay in a secluded 3-bedroom lodge or 2-bedroom cabin.

wild rideBucks and Spurs is one of our featured farms of the month, and their guest testimonials agree that it's a pretty special place. We were fortunate enough to interview C. and Sonny, and get the inside scoop on their ranch and natural horsemanship program. Here's the interview.

1. Could you tell us a bit about your ranch? What's it like there?

C. & Sonny: We hope you will read the blogs on our web site as they have a lot of descriptions from guests. The ranch is a working facility with Angus cattle and horses. It borders the Big Beaver Creek that offers great fishing and floating options. The terrain is rocky with bluffs, cannons, and meadow and open fields.

2. What kinds of experiences do you offer your guests?

C. & Sonny: We offer a lot of riding -- relaxing trail rides and adventurous wilderness rides. We ride through the cattle herd for health checks and move them to fresh pasture. We book stays for the novice rider right up to those very experienced horse trainers. We also offer our own Flying H Natural Horsemanship Program for those that express interest.

3. You pride yourselves in your Natural Horsemanship Program. What's natural horsemanship?

C. & Sonny: Our own Flying H Natural Horsemanship Program teaches communication skills andoffers the horse a chance to respond to the slightest signal.

Riding the open fields4. What do participants learn and do?

C. & Sonny: Participants from the beginner to advanced horse handler learn to be light-handed using reins and bit last and both have a chance to earn friendship and respect.

5. How did you develop the Natural Horsemanship Program? How did you learn to be a 'Horse Whisperer'?

C. & Sonny:C. grow up in a horse-loving family and just always had a very natural way with horses. We began studying Monty Roberts and realized that what C. was doing with his own horses was called Natural Horsemanship. Then we included in our research and study some John Lyons, Pat Parelli, Clinton Anderson Larry Trocha and others while developing our own Flying H Natural Horsemanship Program that has been approved by some colleges for Equine Internship Credits.

6. What's special and different about Missouri Fox Trotter horses?

C. & Sonny: Stamina and the Fox Trotting Gait offers a smooth ride and they are so versatile, we use them as our ranch horses for cattle drives, cutting, roping, sorting and penning.

7. Could you tell us about the Angus cattle you raise?

C. & Sonny: They are the BEST. We have improved our herd with embryo transfers and an AI program. We sold our first Embryos this year. Our goal is to have bulls and females in the top 5% of the Black Angus breed for the major traits related to performance, maternal and carcass EPDs. We are excited about our adventure into the Angus business. We feel that this exciting opportunity will further our commitment toward producing the right kind of cattle that meet with our customers demands. We hand-selected every female in our Angus program from the breed's most proven and progressive Angus operations. We feel fortunate that many of the Angus breed's most popular and high-dollar generating females are now home at Flying H Ranch, home of DHT Angus and Bucks and Spurs Guest Ranch.

Driving Catte to fresh pasture8. You've been in ranching for many years ... what's changed about cattle and horse ranching, and what's stayed the same?

C. & Sonny: C. grow up farming and ranching near our present ranch. Sonny was new to the business ... 40 years ago. Technological advancements have allowed us an astonishing ability to track herd quality. The long hours and hard work required to run livestock hasn't changed and neither has Mother Nature!

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For more information on Bucks and Spurs Guest Ranch, check out their Farm Stay U.S. listing and their website http://www.bucksandspurs.com/

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