Last week the Miller family and Elkhorn Ranch guide Ben Olson made our annual trek to the Troyer Livestock Auction near Denver, Colorado. The Troyers bring together sellers and buyers of good saddle horses and draft horses, including the cross-bred horses we love ~ and they have LOTS of wagons, harness, saddles, bridles, bits, ropes, buckets, breast collars and miscellaneous treasures including life size metal yard pigs. Ben was in heaven ~ horses galore and so much gear!
You see, Ben loves all things horse and cowboy and anything to do with ropes and knots. He dug through box after box of what looks like junk to most of us and found a genuine hand made bit by Sheridan, Wyoming maker Tom Balding; and waited and waited for the chance to bid on the box of treasures surrounding his gem! Needless to say he succeeded.
Ben is a special part of the Elkhorn crew, as he’s been the colt rider for the past several years. He does the first few years of training on the horses raised at Elkhorn, as well as the first rides on horses we buy. During the winter, he guides and continues the horse work. Kids adore Ben and he’s been known to spin some tall tales to people of all ages.
Ben grew up in California helping out on his family’s walnut orchard. He fell for horses as a teenager and got started doing professional livestock work on pack stations in the Sierras of California. He began work at Elkhorn in the fall of 2011. After a few years of cattle ranch work at our neighbors, Anvil Ranch, we’re happy he’s back here at Elkhorn in a year-round job. The great thing about Ben is his passion. He keeps learning and really works at things he cares about. And like so many Elkhorn friends, he just loves horses!