Q: Where can I read more about your Ranch?

A: Articles can be found in the following publications. Click on the links below to view the articles.

Farmer's Forum
"Ranch one of top 5 horse farms in US"
Feb. 3, 2012 cover story

Horseman Magazine online
"Top 5 Horse Farms in America"
Feb. 20, 2009

Appaloosa Journal
"Temperament, Talent
and Type"
June 2009 pages 24-27

Valley Equestrian
"Living the Dream"
March 2009 page 10

Today's Horse
"Versatile Appaloosa"
Breeders Edition
Jan 2009 page 90

Mills Farm Life
"Love/Appaloosas"
Summer page 4

Western Horseman
"Broodmare for Sale"
May 2006 page 92

Appaloosa Journal
"Common Sense Foaling"
Feb 2002 page 16

Western Horseman
"Featured Story"
Jan 2000 page 84

Appaloosa Journal
"Foundations"
Oct 1993 page 19

Appaloosa Journal
“Annual Report”
Oct 1991 page 102

Horse & Horseman
"Nature's Way"
Sept 1987 page 24

Appaloosa Journal
"Broodmare Power"
March 1983 page 12

Appaloosa News
"Feature Story"
July 1976 page 6

Sheldak Ranch horsesQuestions about the Sheldak Ranch

Q: Do you stand your stallions to outside mares?
A:
We do not stand our stallions to outside mares. Because our summer pastures are several miles in different directions from the headquarters, we only pasture breed. And, the maximum handling capacities of the pastures are maintained with our just our own mares. If we retain fillies, we must sell down that same number of mares in order to make room for them in the pastures.

Q: When is breeding time? When is foaling time on your ranch?
A:
Each stallion is turned out with his band of mares around May 10, if the pastures (grasses) are ready. He will run with his band for 60 days then come home. Foaling starts the middle of April and runs for about 60 days. Our mares foal out on the summer pastures with the stallions, unattended and several miles from home. Every morning is spent driving to each pasture to feed and check.

Sheldak Ranch foals in creep feeder

Q: What type of feed do you feed the horses? 

A:
During the summer, we haul commercially purchased "broodmare pellets" to the pastures. They are about an inch in diameter, and about 4 to 6 inches long. It is easy for the mares to pick up out of grass or snow. Nursing foals are feed free choice a commercial creep feed in walk-through feeders. When foals are brought home in the fall, they are switched to whole oats and straight alfalfa hay. Horses at buildings are fed whole oats and alfalfa (stallions, pens of young stock, etc.) Pastures are emptied the end of October, and the mares come home and are turned out in the nearby fields to winter. There they are fed free choice. Once a week, their hay wagons are refilled with big bales of alfalfa and baled oats hay (oats included, not combined). They also graze the cornfields. Purina Free Balance 12:12 mineral is available year-round for mares, stallions and foals. 


Sheldak Ranch foals in pastureQ: Do you sell all of your weanlings every year? 

A:
We offer all of our weanlings every year as it is our sole means of income and has been since 1968. Occasionally there will be yearlings to offer that were not sold as weanlings.

Q: What is the farthest a Sheldak horse has traveled to a new home? 

A:
Our foals have gone to Alaska, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Germany, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Venezuela, in addition to the lower 48 United States. The internet has helped those in foreign countries to view our annual offerings as soon as they are listed on our site.

Sheldak Ranch foalQ: Do you imprint or use desensitization techniques on your foals when they are born?
A:
We are rarely present when the foals are born, since foaling takes place several miles from home and usually at night. But, with the people-loving disposition of our horses, it isn't long before the foals seek attention. This friendly attitude impresses Ranch visitors, who think the foals have been handled since birth.

Q: Do you offer financing?
A:
Because our only income is our horses, and we have to wait 12 months for a foal crop to sell each year, it is difficult for us to sell on time payments. We strongly recommend obtaining outside financing in advance to pay for the horse(s). If there is a situation in which we would be able to hold a horse for you, we require one-third down to hold, and full mortality insurance. If it is we have the space, the horse may be boarded at the Ranch for a fee until the horse is paid for and leaves the Ranch.

Sheldak Ranch broodmaresQ: Do you deliver horses? 

A:
We are unable to deliver horses because we have no hired help at our Ranch to fill in if we are on the road. Many of the transports that advertise on www.Travelinghorse.com have delivered for our customers.

Q: How do should I identify which foal I am interested in?

A:
Please refer to the foals by the names of their dams for the current year, as in "Teachers Star’ 2009 filly", or “Skip A Koy’s 2009 colt". Many request information by foals' birth dates, or color and markings. With more than one foal sharing the same birth date, this method makes it difficult for us properly identify the foal in which you are interested.

Q: What horses have you bred/owned that were your favorites?
A:
This is really a hard question. They are all "favorites" in our hearts, in one way or another. I guess Mighty Tim just has to be number one. He was with us nearly his entire lifetime. Although if you count the tears when they passed on, there was no difference between Mighty Tim and Spittin Image. And, if Mr. Exclusive would have been with us, instead of at the veterinary clinic (where he was finally put down), as many tears would have been shed burying him, also.

Q: Can you send me a video of your horses?
A:
Unfortunately, we are unable to produce videos due to our time constraints running the ranch. We must focus our efforts on quality still photos, which are necessary for registrations, Appaloosa Journal display advertisements and for our web site.

Sheldak Ranch broodmares in pasture

Q: What horses have you bred/owned that were your favorites?
A:
This is a really difficult question to answer. They are all "favorites" in our hearts, in one way or another. I guess Mighty Tim just has to be number one. He was a sweetheart and a champion, and was with us nearly his entire lifetime. But if you count the number of tears shed when they passed on, there was no difference between Mighty Tim, Spittin Image, Mr. Exclusive, and several others.

Q: What honors or awards have made you most proud?
A:
Any and all awards won by our horses make us proud. Having raised Prince Shannon, and learning of his Reserve National Champion title at his first show, then seeing his offspring dominate nearly every National Top Ten list years ago, was a thrill. Then we watched him go on to become a Leading Sire of Halter and Performance Horses and named to the Hall of Fame. Yet some of the greatest pride we feel comes not always from the National & World Champion titles for the horses we have raised and sold. And not even from our horses’ National High Point titles, Superiors or ApHC Championships. It is in hearing how our honored and respected our breeding program has become. When these comments come from  the Appaloosa Club, influential people in our breed, and other breeds—people that we look up to—it makes all of the "blood, sweat and tears" worth it. And it’s better than any trophy that could ever be won.

Sheldak Ranch • Dave and Kim Utke •  5743 145th Ave SE, Sheldon, ND 58068-9733 • Ph: 701-882-3344
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