Echo River Ranch

SPF Big and Rich

This horse has character. He is entertaining and comical, a real show stopper! Big in personality, not in size. He is ridden only by the trail guide, no other riders are allowed to ride him.

Statistics - A Description of Big

SPF Big and Rich SPF Big and Rich goes by the barn name "Big". He is a registered Paint gelding born in the Auburn area. He is just over 15 hands (or 60.25 inches) tall at the withers.

Horse Statistics At A Glance Bigs main body color seems to be white (because there is more white than any other color), but in reality he is black with white spots; he is considered an Overo Paint (vs. Tobiano Paint). His white spots are so huge they cover most of his body, neck, face, and three legs. Only the top of his head and ears, some big patches drooping from his eyes, a place under his neck and chest, a place on his right hip, half way up his left hind leg, and most of his backbone and rump around the tail are black. His forelock and tail are black, but most of his mane is also white.



The Beginning - How We Obtained Big

Big laying down in the yard The ranch owner searched for a black and white framed overo paint horse with brown eyes (not blue eyes that are normally a paint horse trait). After looking at dozens of horses over several months, Big was found in nearby Bonney Lake. He seemed to meet all requirements accept that he was only 25% framed, but the price was right. When his eye color was confirmed brown, he was purchased sight unseen.

Unbelievably lucky, the ranch owner was fortunate that Big had personality and a great disposition. He was two and a half years old and had only some basic ground training, so all the important training and breaking could be done at the ranch.

Big had a huge advantage coming to this ranch, he had some amazing horses to learn from. For the next two years, he did everything the other horses did, only without a rider; he was ponied on every trail ride, he was trailered, and he went camping.



Horse Tails - Funny Things & Stories About Big

Big saddled and ready to go when he was three, Big went on a camping trip. There were no other people or horses at the campground. So, he was turned loose too run free, and run he did. He raced around on the soft trails and leaped over fallen logs. He had did not understand why the other horses would not run with him (they were tied). But he made the best of it by picking on them after he got tired of running.

Although training Big was enjoyable, he was difficult to work in the round pen because it was all a playing game for him. On his very first time with a rider in the saddle, he was accompanied by two seasoned trail horses. At the top of a long hill, he pushed his way to the front with his long walk and was soon leaving his companions behind.

Big is not perfect, he does have an aversion to mud. He has no problems rolling in it on a regular basis, but he tries very hard not to walk in it when it is in the middle of the trail. He does, however, prefer to walk in deep mud rather than with shallow stuff. When he sees shallow mud, he will quicken his pace and try to dodge around it as fast as he can. But if he is forced to stop first, he will then slowly pick his way through all depths of mud.

Big acting as neighborhood watch Sometimes if Big is feeling ignored in the pasture, he will jump a fence gate just to come and stand in the front yard. He is often allowed to free-range over the ranch neighborhood; mowing the neighbors lawn and chasing joggers down the gravel road. And if he finds the horse trailer door open, he will load himself into the trailer and stand there (hoping to go somewhere) until we make him get out.

Big does not like dogs. And he has become quite uncontrollable at times in his efforts to stomp them. At one time a pygmy billy goat (about the size of a dog) head butted him. The collision removed a lot of hair from Bigs forehead and is the main reason for his hatred of dogs. Note that this dislike extends to Missy (the horseback riding dog). And when she is on the ground, and we must be very careful of their proximity to one another, as Big could easily hurt her, even if it isn’t really intentional.
                           Click here to go to Bigs cartoon.
                Click here to go to Big & Jakes Playing slide show.



The Present - What We Think About Big

Big waiting during a trail break Making his initial trail miles in the company of gaited horses, Big has developed long smooth strides and can easily cover ground when he wants. He really enjoys the trail, almost too much. If he discovers that he is headed home, he starts looking for alternative trails to turn down.

Big is a treat addict. He will whirl on a dime if he hears saddle bags opening or another horse munching. He can grab a prize mushroom find out of your hand faster than you can blink. And if you are picking berries, you must pick him some or he will empty the picking bowl.

Big makes friends with everyone, from other horses and riders. to hikers along the trail. He has a commanding presence about him; it makes him seem bigger than he actually is and it makes other horses look to him for guidance.

Big is here to enjoy life and entertain us in the process. He will stick his head in an open window or an empty bag. If you want it, he’ll take it and run. He is smart and quick and tremendously forgiving. He thinks he owns the world and it is his to play with. We hope that he never looses this whimsical spirit.