I started the blog series “Got Harses?” last summer to share a little horse sense with those who’d be interested.  As I prepare to take you all in the backcountry later this week, you can catch up on previous posts (and figure out why I sometimes spell Horses “Harses”) at “Got Harses?”

The good book says in Proverbs 12:10 that an evil man is cruel to his animal.

To me, nothing’s more cruel than letting a horse stand in a pasture for 12 months then expecting him to haul you around the backcountry for a week. That’s like asking a couch potato to run a marathon—and it’s dangerous for both animal and rider.

My sweet Daddy taught me to condition my horses before heading to the hills.

“Horses are like athletes,” he’d say, “the more you exercise them, the better they’ll perform when it counts.”

Here is a quick video on how I prepare my horses each summer for steep country.


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Robby Denning
Robby Denning started hunting mule deer in the late 1970’s, only missing one season in 35 years. At 25, he gave up the pursuit of all other big-game to focus on taking the best bucks possible. He began hunting the West on a DIY budget hunting an average of 30 days a year for mule deer. Robby loves the hunt as much as the kill and the entire process from research to scouting to hunting. He’s killed four bucks over 200 inches in the last 15 seasons, mostly on easily-obtained tags. He owns a public-land scouting service and runs a private-land outfitting business helping other hunters in their pursuit of deer and elk. Robby has scouted and hunted literally thousands of square miles of mule deer country and brings a wealth of knowledge about these experiences with him. To him, the weapon of choice is just a means-to-an-end and will hunt with bow, rifle, or muzzleloader – whatever it takes to create an opportunity to take a great mule deer. He is also the author of "Hunting Big Mule Deer" available on Amazon. Robby believes all of creation is from God for man to manage, respect, and through which to know its Creator


  1. Robby,
    Are you using bailing twine for a tie down?
    Good stuff, trying to learn as much as I can about these critters and using them safely in the backcountry.
    Take care,

  2. Robby, amen on saddling them just around hunting season opens with no summer work. I had my worst wreck ever on a borrowed horse of friends in my 20’s. They might as well stuck a burr under blanket for good measure…

  3. Two thumbs up on taking horses (especially colts) to the sands, it takes alot of the juice out of them. Good videos! Your making me home sick, I grew up 2 miles south of there!!

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