Horses for sale in Nevada - Prunty Ranch Horses

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On the approach to the Prunty Ranch with the band of Diamond A horses on the spring gather.The history of the Prunty horses is a long and diverse one, spanning a century and four generations of the Prunty family. The Prunty ranch, located ninety miles north of Elko, Nevada, is nestled against the foothills of the rugged Jarbidge Wilderness Area. The ranch stands as a timeless monument to a bygone era, years of hard labor, and determination to leave a legacy to future generations. 

The Prunty ranch has been in the family since the late 1800s,
when Earl Q. Prunty settled near the mining town of Charleston. Earl came to the area with his father, Pinkard, who was seeking his fortune in gold. While Pinkard gathered and sold mustangs to raise money for his mining venture, Earl came to love horses and the ranching way of life. Earl developed a productive ranch from the rocky sagebrush landscape, and raised a family. He produced a few local rodeos in the 1930’s and, during the depression, sold horses to south-eastern states for work horses. He also marketed horses to the cavalry remount program.

The horses were born and raised on the high desert of the Great Basin, just as they are today.   As such, the horses possess a blend of natural hardiness, stamina, and ability that has suited a variety of purposes over the years.  Between 1948 and 1968, Earl’s sons, Frank “Shorty” and Harold “Corky”, selected the roughest of the bunch and hit the rodeo trail with a string of bucking horses that is remembered even today. The bucking horses Cornflakes and Broken Blossom are probably the most famous, but some of the other great ones were: Royal Taboo, Hereford, Country Cousin, Lookout, Goldrush, Roller, Pathfinder, and Bandoleer. From the local amateur rodeos of northern Nevada to the National Finals Rodeo, the Diamond A Rodeo Company made its mark in the rodeo history books.

Snip, Becky's personal horse.  A fine example of the Prunty Ranch horses.  Photo by Becky PruntySince that time, the Pruntys have focused their efforts on breeding and raising good ranch horses.   Over the years, the Pruntys have continually worked to expand the herd of AQHA and APHA stock, gradually integrating registered horses into the program.   Shorty Prunty once said that horses are not made of paper. Shorty believed that actions speak louder than words; of his horses he asked, “Don’t tell me what you can do, show me.”  A horse with a star-studded pedigree, but no heart or natural ability would not stay on the ranch long.  However, he also held to the adage that “the blood runs to the brain,” and took advantage of the inherent trainability of popular Quarter Horse bloodlines. Starting in the late 1960s, Shorty began crossing the ranch mares with registered stallions to improve and refine the herd, thus creating one of the Great Basin’s most well-known lines of ‘good using-horses.’ 
The Prunty saddle horses.Undoubtedly the most unique thing about the horses is the way they are raised, on the open range, the way horses have evolved naturally across the ages.   From birth, the foals travel at their mothers’ sides, roaming the sagebrush plateau with the foraging herd.  Thus, their early physical and mental development is completely natural.  Foals learn to carry themselves and travel in rough country, develop sensitivity born of natural instinct, and mature within the dynamic of a natural herd.

Shorty Prunty with his horse Canary, in 1946.  Photo courtesy of Becky Prunty.While continually maintaining the heart and stamina of their ancestors, the horses have excelled in many areas, from endurance and trail riding to working cow horse classes and rodeo.

On the right is a picture of Shorty Prunty with his horse Canary, in 1946. Canary came from the Diamond A Desert, and won the snaffle bit competition at the Elko County Fair.

Becky Prunty polebending on her buckskin gelding Snip.  Photo courtesy of Becky Prunty.Fifty years later,  Shorty’s granddaughter Becky competed successfully on another horse from the high desert.  Perhaps a trademark example of the all-around capabilities of Prunty Ranch horses, Snip competed in team roping, barrel racing, and pole bending. Now happily retired, in past years he was also a mainstay for the horse gathering in the spring, putting long miles in day after day, and still having enough “go” to make the thirty mile trot home.

Consider the potential of these horses as mounts for yourself, for your ranch hands, or for your guest ranch business. Take a tour through our Photo Gallery and Where Are They Now page, and see what these horses can do for you.


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Please contact us for further information and with any questions you may have.  We look forward to introducing you to these outstanding ranch horses and having you become part of the legend of the open range.

Prunty Ranch 
Becky Prunty
HC 35 Box 280
Mountain City, Nevada 89831
E-mail Becky Prunty Lisle:

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Web site design by Lee Raine 
Gallery photos are courtesy of 
Gary Vorhes
, Retired Editor, Western Horseman Magazine and Becky Prunty Lisle.