So, you want to rent horses to hunt with? Hmmmm.


Active member
Sep 17, 2014
I retired 5 years ago, and live in the mountains of Colorado. This morning, I was having my Amish farrier shoe one of our horses. I had been telling him a story of a Mule that I found on a forest trail with the saddle spun around underneath it's belly this past Memorial Day weekend. Turns out, that Mule had been running around for about 2 weeks before it was re-united with it's owner.
My farrier then told me this story. He said a couple out of State hunters hit up an area Amish man, and asked if he'd rent them 3 horses to hunt & pack in with. He agreed, so the hunters packed in with the horses. A week later, the hunters showed up at the Amish farm, and said the horses got loose early in their hunt, and they hadn't seen them since. The hunters then left for home. The Amish man went looking for his horses in the back country, but never found them.
Alerts were put out with the USFS, the Sheriff and the Colorado brand inspectors, but after 1 1/2 weeks, the whereabouts of the horses was unknown. Finally, an outfitter got in touch with the Amish man, and said he knew about where the horses were. They were a long ways from where the hunters had last seen them. The Amish man took a horse with him that the missing 3 would recognize, and after some more searching, finally found his horses.
Can you believe some guys would rent horses, and have such disregard for things, that they kept hunting all week, rather than looking early on for the horses they were responsible for?
I hunt & ride the backcountry all the time, and even though I know my horses are steady, reliable, not spooky, and yet I can't help but worry about them when they're out of sight. Made me wonder if anyone renting horses to hunt with are asked to post a cash bond they'd forfeit if the horses don't come back in the same condition they were when they left?
I believe when I rented horses in Wyoming back in 1997 and 1999 I had to pay a big deposit of like $1K and if the horse was not brought back or died in my care none of it was returned.
We had to leave a deposit when we rented from a rancher. He took a deposit for the first couple of years. Then one year some other hunters brought back horses that were beat up. Apparently they saddled the horses without a blanket. The backs of the horses were like a giant blister. One of our guys was a veterinarian and looked after the injured horses.

In the end the horses were taken out for the season and the hunters didn't get their deposit back. After that we never paid a deposit. A couple of times the rancher just told us where to pick up the horses. "Just pull in behind the gas station in town, I'll leave a trailer and saddles for you, drop 'em back off when you are done."
Renting horses has just never sounded like a safe or good idea to me, for either party.

Goats and llamas I could see.
Caribou Gear

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