17 Inspirational Horse Quotes & Resolutions for 2017

Make this year the year you make it happen.

by Claire Buchanan / @hellofromclaire

This New Year are you thinking about becoming a goal crushing, dream chasing, milestone making BAMF? You totally should and totally can.

Here are 17 pretty horse pictures, quotes and ideas to inspire the action needed to git ‘er done now or whenever. 

1. Believe it and you’ll achieve it

Write it down. Draw it. Think about it. You are the culmination of your thoughts and they are more powerful than they seem.

2. Value the experience

Memories and knowledge will last a lot longer than the new pair of jeans you probably don’t actually need. 

3. Make good choices with your time

The best things aren’t online.

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4. Get Hungry

Find that one thing that makes you so hungry it keeps you up at night. Then wake up and eat it for breakfast.

5. Get uncomfortable

Part of learning new skills is understanding that you don’t understand. Feeling stupid isn’t fun, yet it’s a necessary stage of the process. Becoming OK with this discomfort is imperative to achieving new abilities. 

6. It’s OK to have a few glitches

Hardly anyone gets it right on the first go. They were really bad for a long time and that’s what made them good

Listen: Freakonomics Podcast – Failure Is Your Friend

7. Try, try again

You can always rebuild and try again. It might feel embarrassing but, trust me, no one is laughing at you. In fact, people will admire you for the courage to try in the first place.

Watch: Try Something New For 30 Days

8. Work on maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude

Don’t let the haters bum you out. If people do laugh at you or try to put you down (because haters are just gonna hate) just smile and mentally tell them to F off. Seriously. You will live such a better life and living well is the BEST revenge.

9. Make your circle count

Sometimes getting rid of the energy-vampires sucking all the awesomeness out of you isn’t easy for so many reasons. Yet, the sooner you can identify these unsupportive types of people the sooner you’ll be free to pursue your potential.
horses for sale - Surround yourself with people who believe in your goals

10. Dream big or go home

Don’t be intimidated by the size of your goals. 

Read: 5 Reasons to Dream Big, Even When You Think You Have No Business Doing So

11. Light the fire

The pressure of competition will make you step up your game in surprising ways. 

12. Keep moving forward

Make all your goals look like this picture: everything moving forward. It doesn’t have to be fast or perfectly straight but keeping the momentum going is all that matters. 

13. The view will so be worth it

What you want will not happen right away. Beyonce wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to create great things and develop the life you want. Don’t be discouraged by the height of the mountain you have to climb.
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14. Keep those dreams a burning

Making changes and taking risks will be hard. Duh. However, giving up on a dream will be a slow quiet pain that haunts you in worser ways.
horses for sale - motivational horse quotes

15. Perfection shouldn’t be the goal

16. No time like the present

Don’t let your age be an excuse for not pursuing the experience you really want. As Robert Plant said, “There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

Read: 35 Celebrities Who Became Famous Later In Life & Proved Giving Up Wasn’t An Option

17. YOLO and stuff

Stop wasting time on things that hurt you. Many of us have spent a stupid amount of time trying to make bad horses good, hoping crappy relationships magically turn awesome and wishing terrible jobs would become terrific.

Yet, the outcome is always the same: ? ?

Identify those situations. Learn from them then find a good horse, focus on quality partnerships, and seek out fulfilling career opportunities. Happy 2017!

get smarter about buying and selling horses - the sale horse blog

Turns out what you don’t know could be wasting your money…

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December 29, 2016 / by / in , ,
The Sale Horse Goes to Reno

The Sale Horse went to the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity and here is what it looked liked.

The Snaffle Bit Futurity is the crown jewel of the National Reined Cowhorse Association premier events. Each year, trainers from around the continent bring their best three year olds to compete for the prestigious title of Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion.

Skip to: Behind The Scenes: Reno From The Aisles   •   Sale Recap

  NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, Reno, Nevada
  September 2016
  iPhone 5, shot by @hellofromclaire
  Written by Lisa Whinfrey

NRCHA Futurity

Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity 2016

Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity 2016

Each horse must compete in three events: cutting, reining, and fence work. The top horses make it back to the finals, where they compete in all three events for a second time. The most exciting night of the nearly two week long event is the Open Fence Work Finals, where the best trainers work a single cow at top speed for the chance to be crowned champion.

2016 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champions

Duals Lucky Charm carried 28-year-old Kelby Phillips to his first National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship with a 663 composite score (218 herd/220.5 rein/224.5 cow).

Behind The Scenes: Reno From The Stall Aisles.

While the glory is seen inside the walls of the Reno Sparks Livestock Center, the hardest work happens at home and in the hours of prep before the actual run.

Competing for the NRCHA’s most distinguished awards creates a subtle atmosphere of anxiety in the concrete aisles where some of the industry’s most talented equine performers stay during the show. Late nights, early mornings and lots of waiting only add to the performance pressure trainers and their hired help experience during the two week event.

NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity 2016 Reno-Sparks Events Center

Above: The Help finally relax after another long day of event prep and chores. Working for show horse trainers can be a grueling job full of long hours, low pay and high expectations.
NRCHA 2016 Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale


The Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale

Another highlight of this long-standing event is the Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale. The Sale Horse team was there, behind the scenes and in the stands. Here are a few snaps of what it looked like. 

The Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale is actually made up of four separate sales where approximately 200 horses were consigned overall.

Complete sale results can be viewed here

Related: Quarter Horse News coverage of the sale

Related: Advice from Zane Davis on at Futurity Sales


The Classic Yearling and Broodmare Sale

The Classic Yearling and Broodmare Sale was a success, with both gross and average sales increasing significantly over last year’s numbers.

Top Seller:

The high seller was a 2009 WR This Cats Smart x Say Somethin Smart x Smart Shiner. This fancy palomino mare is in foal to Hickory Holly Time. She was purchased for $37,000 by Jason Patrick of Whispering Willows Ranch.

The Select Yearling and Broodmare Sale

The Select Yearling and Broodmare Sale is reserved for horses by proven stallions and out of money-earning mares. Consignors must provide radiographs when consigning horses.

Top Seller:

The top seller for 2016 was Metallic Babe, a sorrel colt by the great Metallic Cat and out of a daughter of Docs Stylish Oak who earned nearly $150,000 in her NCHA career.

Second high seller was a palomino son of One Time Pepto and out of Vanda Spark, a money-earning daughter of Shining Spark. This nice colt was consigned by Jake and Jessie Telford.

Related: Buying A Futurity Prospect with Jake Telford

NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale 2016 Reno-Sparks Events Center

Select Two Year Old Sale

The Select Two Year Old sale is always good watching. Top trainers show the most polished futurity prospects on cattle and in the dry work. The sale average was over $20,000.

Horses purchased on this portion of the sale are also eligible for extra purses at next year’s Snaffle Bit Futurity.

Top Seller:

This year’s high seller was Quejanaisacat, a bay colt trained by the mustached darling of the cowhorse world–Nick Dowers. This son of Cats Merada brought $115,000 for owner Charles Mills.

Nick Dowers riding the high seller Quejanaisacat, son of Cats Merada.



Performance Horse Sale

Average sale price for the Performance Horse Sale was up over 30% from last year’s results. 

Top Seller:

The top seller was Shes Smokin Cash, a five year old gelding in training with Ted Robinson. This kind-hearted son of Smokums Prize had been shown by a youth.

NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale 2016 Reno-Sparks Events Center

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October 14, 2016 / by / in , ,
How To Take a Good Sale Horse Photo

The No Excuses Guide To Taking a Great Horse Photo

by Claire Buchanan  //   @hellofromclaire

Snapping a great sale horse photo can be tough and for good reason. Pretty sells and your photo is the eye candy that captures a buyer’s attention. Follow our 5-step process for transforming any horse from pasture pet to crush-worthy.

Before & After

Our model for this photoshoot was a 3 year old bay filly. Before her photoshoot she had been turned out to pasture. She is not a fancy show horse and doesn’t have perfect conformation. Our quick bath and a little brushing took her from dusty to dazzling in less than an hour.

On mobile devices: tap either side of image to see comparison

  • Before-Bad Photo vs. Good Photo
    After-Bad Photo vs. Good Photo
    BeforeBad Photo vs. Good PhotoAfter

What you need to succeed:

A Camera

You don’t even need a fancy one! All photos in this post were shot with an iPhone.

About 1 Hour

It took us about 1 hour to get our final shot, including prep time. Plan to take photos when the light is best.

A Clean Horse

A bath and Show Sheen is ideal. A good brushing and a damp rag on the dustiest spots can also work well.

Another Person

Ask a friend to hold your horse. It will really help you out. Bribe them if you have to!

1. Plan for the best lighting

The best time to take photos is about 2-3 hours before sunset or after sunrise. The light is most flattering at these Golden Hour times of day.

Be sure to position your horse so the sun is shining on the whole side you’re photographing. This will help you avoid any harsh shadows, which cause weird effects on necks and legs.

An example of bad lighting combined with poor positioning. 

Bad horse photo

2. Pretty sells. End of story.

It doesn’t matter if you are the ranchiest, cowboyest, most buckaroo, backcountry, too old school for cool horse owner. Get a brush, a comb, and make your horse look nice. Think of it like taking a shower before a date. It really does matter. You’ll be happy with the extra Benjamins your brushing brings you. 🙂

On mobile devices: tap either side of image to see comparison

  • Before-Dusty vs. Clean
    After-Dusty vs. Clean
    BeforeDusty vs. CleanAfter

3. The trick to taking one good photo is to take LOTS of bad ones

You know what horses are super good at? Being horses. You know what they are bad at? Standing still with their ears forward, eyes open, neck level, and their feet perfectly positioned to show off their body.

Be prepared to take LOTS of photos in order to get a few good images. It can be frustrating and tedious, but totally worth it!

To get our final photo, we took about 40 photos. Of the 40, about 4 were worth considering and only 1 made the cut.

the whole camera roll of a sale horse photo shoot

4. Ideal positioning

Getting your horse into position is the most annoying part of taking horse photos. It is also the most important. Here are a few basic components for helping your horse look her best.

Consider the location

Before you start, choose a location that will show off your horse. Avoid busy or cluttered backgrounds; they take attention away from your horse. Especially avoid poles, panels, fencing, or any type of junk piles.

Make sure you are on level ground. Use the side of a barn, or similar blank space, when a nice view or open pasture are not available.

An example of a bad sale horse photo — uneven ground, poor lighting, and a busy background.

choosing a background

Ears & Eyes

A bright, alert expression is especially important. Ears perked forward and open eyes will make your horse look intelligent and willing. Use an extra person off camera to get your horse’s attention. You can see the difference the ears and eyes make in these four photos.

How to take a good sale horse photo
The ears and eyes help convey a sense of intelligence.


A natural neck position will help balance your horse and complement her top line. In the top example, the neck is too low. A low neck makes her look dopey and downhill. The middle example is too high, making her look scrawny and high-strung.

The last image is just right! It shows off her nice withers and conveys a calm attitude.

How to take a good sale horse photo
The top one is too low. The middle is too high. The bottom is just right!

Legs & Feet

Staggering the feet like the 4th image makes the hip and shoulders look best. Position the hind leg nearest the camera back towards the tail just a little bit. This will elongate the horse’s hip. The stifle will appear stronger and the whole hind end will look more muscular.

Avoid too much space between the front feet, as in the second example. It makes the horse look long and awkward. In the third example the legs are awkwardly hidden behind each other. Don’t do that either.

How to take a good sale horse photo
Leg positions to avoid (1-3). The 4th example is pretty ideal.

5. Edit your photo

Cropping your photo and adjusting the lighting will make your photo look professional and polished.

You don’t need photography experience to make a horse photo look extra awesome! It’s easy and you can do it on any smart phone or photo viewing program on your computer. Here’s how:

Before and After sale horse photo with iPhone

Editing on an iPhone

Select the Edit button in the top right hand side of any photograph on your iPhone. For other smart phone users, check this tutorial out.
editing sale horse pictures on iPhone
How to take a good sale horse photo

Crop & Straighten

Select the crop tool  and position your horse in the center. You can drag the corners of the bounding box to get the perfect crop.

Don’t cut off your horses ears or feet! Do crop out your friend’s hand, your shadow, your dog, or any other distracting elements.

Consider straightening the image so the horse’s back or background is level. To straighten, move your finger up or down over the number wheel to the right of the bounding box.

adjust lighting on horse photo

Brighten & Illuminate

Adjust lighting and saturation (color) to help brighten your image. In this example, I chose Light > Shadows to create a richer image. This simple change also made her shade of bay look more accurate.

Keep it simple when editing lighting and color. We recommend avoiding filters or extremes in shadows and highlights. The ideal photo is natural and beautiful.

All Together Now!

Here is the Before & After photo again with all our techniques implemented.

Good luck horse owners! May the photo be with you.

How to take a good sale horse photo
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August 13, 2016 / 1 Comment / by / in , ,
Photos That Start With The Letter Dust

Once upon a time in Nevada…

a bunch of cowboys roped some big calves in the dust. It totally sucked, but it was also really awesome. Here are a few snaps of what it looked like.

  Knott Creek Ranch, Denio, Nevada
  October 2014
  Shot by @hellofromclaire

Ranch, Roping, and cowboying in Nevada
Knott Creek Ranch, like many ranches in the Great Basin region, was homesteaded in the late 1800’s by Basque settlers. Located about two hours northwest of Winnemucca in Denio, Nevada, Knott Creek Ranch is pretty much the middle of nowhere.

Local folklore claims that in the early 1900’s outlaws hid out in the unassuming Pine Forest Range that runs from Winnemucca to Denio. You wouldn’t know it driving through the sage brush desert of northern Nevada, but behind the 7,000+ ft. peaks lie high desert pine forests and surprising mountain lakes.

At one point in the mid-20th century, Knott Creek was one of a several ranches owned and operated by Simplot.

These photos were taken at Cove Creek, 16 miles from Knott Creek headquarters. Today’s run down corrals and buildings of Cove Creek functioned as a line camp during the days when the property was part of Simplot’s 6,000+ head cattle operation.

From Hackamore to Half-Breed: A progression of training levels.

four horses with snaffle, hackamore, and two-rein
When the ag-giant sold off the individual properties circa 1975, Winnemucca resident, Richard Drake, purchased the property.

The brand changed hands again when the current owners bought the property in 2014. Kim Summers, along with long time partner Chris Nelson, were brought on by the new owners to improve the historic ranch.

cowboys horseback laughing at a joke
Under the new management they grew the cattle operation from 300 head to over 1,000 in the first year. Within two years, Knott Creek increased the farm production from approximately 300 acres of flood ground to just over 1,500 acres of pivot irrigated ground.


 Follow @prsummers to see more photos of Knott Creek ranch life from the Queen Ranch Mom herself!

Ranch, roping, and cowboying in Nevada

At one point, it became so dusty that you couldn’t even see if your rope caught heels. A person just had to throw down and hope it came up tight.

Ranch, Roping, and cowboying in Nevada

If cowboys were also stand-up comics they would be this guy. 

The babelicious buckskin below was raised by Ostler Performance Horses in Drummond, Montana. Check out their stud here.

buckskin bridle horse and a cowboy roping
Ranch, Roping, and cowboying in Nevada
Ranch, Roping, and cowboying in Nevada

The next year they watered the trap a little better. 🙂

Ranch, rope, cowboying, Nevada

The End.

Special thanks to Penny Summers for lending her Nikon camera!

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July 30, 2016 / by / in , ,