BIG SANDY, Mont. – It’s been frigid all over Montana.
“When it’s cold like this, it takes twice as much time, twice as much work to do anything,” said Stan Weaver of Weaver Quarter Horses. “Just like everyone else, we sure hope it warms up.”
It doesn’t help that there’s snow, too: nearly 20 inches, and with calving just weeks away.
Stan’s son Daniel was plowing the 8-mile road that links the south end of the ranch with the north. He’s getting ready to move cows home this coming weekend. Stan’s teenage grandchildren are coming from Lewistown, Mont. to help. Daniel will likely go out in front with the tractor and the kids will bring up the rear, probably in a pickup, but possibly in a snowmobile if the weather’s bad.
The cows are due to begin calving March 4.
“We’re all set up to calve with a fairly nice, big calving shed,” Stan said. “It’s just the weather, but you’ve just got to live with it when the weather’s bad like this.”
In preparation for calving, Stan moved his two-year-old heifers and bulls in closer. Then he hauled the bulls to a feed lot in town, where they’ll stay until it’s time to turn them out again.
Stan, president elect of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), and Nancy are just back from the AQHA Latin American Summit in Mexico City. The Weavers enjoyed their day at the races at Hipódromo de Las Américas and their tour of Rancho El Argomalon, Senior Antonio Lobeto Tames’ ranch.
“Ten different countries were represented, and they were really energetic about the Quarter Horse,” Stan said. “Mexico and Brazil celebrated their 50th year with the organization and they got special recognition.”
The summit is designed to widen the market for Quarter Horses, already popular in Latin America. Brazil annually registers 25,000-30,000 colts of such high quality they will begin exporting small numbers of elite horses for breeding to the United States, Stan said.
“Most all their studs come from up here and now their quality is good,” he added. “Everyone’s always looking for an outcross. It’ll be an improvement to the Quarter Horse.”
Stan is leaving the ranch again coming up soon, this time for Fort Worth, Texas. He’ll attend the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Celebration of Champions, where the top horses and riders from eight geographic regions compete for titles in 14 events. In the signature event, the World’s Greatest Horseman, horses compete in four contests in one bit: herd work, rein work, steer stopping and cow work. The Celebration of Champions also includes the Cow Horse Classic Derby for 4- and 5-year-old cow horses.
Stan will be back after a few days and then home until the March 12 AQHA convention in Fort Worth, where he’ll be sworn in as the organization’s president.