Aimee and Luc Beauchamp are the owners of Ponderosa Ridge Ranch. The ranch breeds and trains Gypsy Vanner horses for owners who are looking for a special horse to tackle the trails, place in the show ring, or for those who are looking for a special breed of horse to add to their family.
I sat down with Aimee over coffee and we discussed all things ranch and Gypsy.
What made you decide to become a breeder?
I really want to introduce Gypsy Vanner horses to Canada in general and show people how versatile the breed is. They are so willing to please people – reining, jumping, anything the owner asks of them. The horses love to work.
What made you pick Gypsy Vanners?
Gypsy Vanners have such a cool history. The Gypsy Vanner breed began with the Romani people (often called Gypsies) of Great Britain and Ireland and their desire to breed a horse that would pull a caravan or wagon (a house on wheels) and would suit their nomadic or wandering lifestyle. The Gypsy horse was developed by breeding several lines together (the Shire horse, the Clydesdale, and Dale’s Pony). First brought to the United States in 1996, there are still only a handful of breeders in Canada. Of course, I have also been horse crazy since I was a little girl and I knew one day I wanted either a Gypsy or a Friesian. Gypsies are way more versatile and can easily integrate into any type of farm or ranch. I plan to take my stud packing in the mountains.
What are your goals as a new breeder?
To further the bloodlines, to develop horses that are ready for the show ring, and to produce foals that are affordable. With only 1000 Gypsy Vanners in Canada and around 10,000 in the United States, I hope to make Gypsy Vanners more well known in Canada.
Do you have a mentor ?
Dave and Carmel Baird from River Lane Ranch (https://www.riverlaneranch.com/) helped me pick out our first colt (Judge) when I was looking for another horse to add to our ranch. Carmel has been a huge help to me when it comes to learning about the breed and also how to start our breeding program.
More on mentorship here.
How many foals will you produce each year?
We have two studs – Judge and Legacy. We are planning for 4-5 foals each year. Judge’s dad won Reserve Champion last year.
Is there any special maintenance or upkeep that you have to do for Gypsies that is different from other breeds?
Gypsy Vanners are typically easy keepers. The grooming is a little more extensive as they do have feathers that will need to be properly taken care of. In order to keep the feathers white and fluffy (for show purposes), owners will use ‘flowers of sulphur’—a powdered sulfur rubbed into the feathers then brushed out. It separates the hairs and makes them fluffy. Pig oil can also be used. Normal everyday grooming is much less fussy. If they have super long tails you would want to make sure to keep them tied up.