Over the years we’ve met some really wonderful people and helped a lot of horses. The following are thoughts from some of our clients.
I had an absolutely wonderful time at the DX ranch. Even though I was a lifelong bi-coaster (new word!) whose idea of Western extended basically only to Taylor Swift, everyone at the DX ranch was quick to make me feel welcome and at home. I have ridden English my whole life and had only been in a Western saddle a few times before, but I must admit that I might actually be starting to prefer it over its English counterpart thanks to DX Ranch (now I just have to learn to ride in it correctly). Jenn and Zach were absolutely wonderful, and were kind and patient despite the fact that I was rather shy at times. They both have a very special way with horses and are outstanding in that they strive to explain everything they do on a horse so that the people they are teaching can learn to truly understand. They consistently produce horses that do what they are asked to do as a result of proper horsemanship, respect, love and care, rather than through intimidation and fear. A happier farm of horses I have never seen.
Some valuable lessons I picked up:
1) How to eat steak
2) apparently ranch dressing isn’t only for salad
3) Western saddles are heavy. And apparently full of wood???
4) Some genetic fluke present in the Ducheneaux line makes them all extraordinarily good at singing (the same counts for at least one Zeller too)
5) Control your pace through your seat!
6) I squeeze too much with my legs
7) bull does not = steer
8) South Dakota is absolutely gorgeous.
9) disengaging your horse from the ground
10) Branding=organized chaos=fun
11) how to castrate bulls (as the one rancher thoughtfully told me, “boyfriends beware”)
and much much more!
Even though I was only able to come for two weeks, I will remember the DX ranch as the highlight of my summer. I learned a lot and was blessed enough to meet some truly wonderful people who REALLY know horses. I will definitely be back, and until that day will simply have to content myself with memories of galloping DX stallion Nuke over the South Dakota hills as fast as he possibly could go.
I’ve always said God puts people in our lives for a reason. He certainly knew what He was doing when He brought Jennifer, my daughter, and me together. I met Jennifer at a barrel race when my daughter’s horse was having alley issues. She helped her get into the alley. It was a few weeks later when I saw there was going to be a clinic close to my house. I emailed her, and low and behold it was the same person at the barrel race. I wasn’t able to take my daughter to the clinic, but was able to take her to Jennifer for private lessons.
My daughter’s horse, Copper, was half a hair away from being completely blown up. We were at the point to where my daughter, Dara, was going to quit barrel racing and take Copper to the sale barn. The very first lesson, Jennifer watched Dara ride, and watched how Copper moved. She got to see first hand what problems she was having. Jennifer got on him, I kid you not, 30 seconds later, she said I know what’s wrong with him.
Well, that was two and half years ago. Dara and Copper just keep getting better and better. They have won A LOT of money, several buckles, qualified for the NBHA Youth World two times, won the NBHA TX District 19 Youth 3D year end saddle, NBHA 19 Youth 3D Average 2 Day Barrel Race, have gone from open 4D times to landing in the bottom of the 2D times at small races, gone from the youth 3D to youth 1D, and just keeps getting better. Dara and Copper are an awesome team, NOW, thanks to Jennifer Zeller.
Jennifer is the most knowledgeable and patient horse person I know. If it had not been for her, Dara would’ve quit barrel racing.
Jenn with Ducheneaux Quarter Horses gave my barrel horse a tune up prior to kick off of our spring season. I work many hours and get behind in the winter when there isn’t enough daylight. It was great to be able to send my open horse to someone that I could trust and not start out behind everyone else. Truckles came back ready to go and Jenn is always there to support us and give us feedback during and after a run. She also helped me figure out a colt I was riding who had a very different style than my open horse. I recommend Jenn and Ducheneax Quarter Horses for all your training needs!
“My daughter recommended sending my 3 year old colt to Ducheneaux Quarter Horses as she has had good experience with them and likes the way their horses ride. He is coming along quickly and is getting to spend time on a working ranch in addition to getting the foundation needed for a barrel horse. I will have them start my next colt.”
I’ve been riding with Jenn the last 4 years or so, and I love her perspective on life! The way she treats her horses, and how she views things that needed to be done with them. I came to her not knowing anything about anything really; I’d been riding quite some time before I met her but I still didn’t know what I was doing. She took her time, and patience with training me, which is something I’m still learning from. Said things like “Where you look is where you ride”, “What they (the horses) learned first, they learned best.” And my personal favorite, “God gave women hip-bones for holding babies and saddles!” and other things that escape me now, but when I ride, to this day are in the back of my head.
A little over 2 years ago I was ready to buy a horse, and there wasn’t any question I was going to Jenn for help. She then gave me The Ducheneaux (Zach’s) website, where I picked out Judd. I’ve never been on horses, (other than Jenn’s) that have that amazing foundation, and willingness to not only please you, but do everything you ask of them. Her horses have amazing minds, and are so smart! After her last trip to Texas she gave me things to work on with Judd, and it’s unreal the difference in him already. After only a few rides he was a new horse.
I wouldn’t go to anyone else for training, or to buy a horse. Jenn and Zach really are amazing people, with amazing talent!
I simply can not say enough about Jenn Zeller and Zach Ducheneaux, but I will certainly try. I met Jenn when she was still training horses in Flower Mound, Texas, and after seeing her work with several different horses at her barrel racing clinic I knew that she would be a huge part of my horse future. I sent her a bay gelding that year, and he came back to me a soft, willing, and well trained horse . . . that just didn’t want to run barrels. I sold that gelding, and never worried once about whether he had any holes in his training. I looked forward to sending her several more of my horses, but The Ducheneaux Ranch with its scenic views and amazing horses, pulled her to South Dakota before I had the chance.
Never one to give up, I stuck with Jenn. So when the time came to buy another barrel racing/calf roping prospect, I bought not one but two horses from Zach that Jenn hand picked for me.
I sent a beautiful black gelding off to the trainer for 45 days and before I could go back to get him, the trainer bought him from me! Athletic talent, a willing attitude, and good looks were too much of a temptation for him to resist. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Bird progress in his training and he is amazing! AND PETE! My sweet stallion prospect is still a little stud colt thanks to the great attitude and easy going nature that DX horses are bred for. More impressive than the fact that this little guy has an amazing attitude and oodles of personality, HE IS A BUCKSKIN! Short back, great bone in his legs, AMAZING feet, long underline, long hip . . . these horses are built to last and bred to love! I am so impressed with Pete and Bird, that I look forward to a bay filly from the DX ranch later this year! I can give no stronger testimony than to say that I will have owned 3 DX Quarter horses by the end of the year, and I look forward to a couple more in the future!
I am beyond excited to have DX horses in my barn, and I am proud to call Zach and Jenn friends. Good people and good horses, does life get any better?
VeNecia “Ve” DeCluette
I don’t know where to start. My dad bought horses from Wayne Ducheneaux 40 years ago. I’ve bought horses from them from time to time also. They just keep getting better! Not only have I purchased horses from them, but Zach Ducheneaux has been starting some of my colts for quite some time now. He is a natural. I can’t say enough good things about him. You can turn them out for 3 months and when you get them back in they ride like they haven’t missed a day. I’ve even turned them out for a year and they rode off like they’d had no time off. This is with only 21 rides.
I’m very fussy about my horses but I don’t worry about them when they are in Zach’s hands. Jenn is also great with horses. She brings the barrel racing and rodeo expertise into the picture. She has a ton of patience and is willing to do the slow work that they need. She is more than willing to help out with any questions you may have. They love what they do and it comes through in the horses that they ride. I would recommend them to anyone that has horses to be trained. You won’t be disappointed!!!
This last June (2010) our 4-H Horse kids took part in a horsemanship clinic put on by Jenn Zeller and Zach Ducheneaux. Zack and Jenn startred the day off by going over the safety issues on handling, saddling, and riding horse. They took time with each of the kids, working on their individual issues. They covered bending and flexing, control of their horse’s specific parts, and touched on the basics of barrel racing. We have plans to have them back again in the spring to once again give our 4-H kids a head start on their summer’s riding. Thanks again Jenn and Zach for the great support you provide!
Tracy Jo Peterson
Potter County 4-H horse project leader