Starting ’em young and without mounting blocks

Russ Little has a lot going on. The 37 year-old Idahoan has dozens of horses he uses for the company, Dry Ridge Outfitters. His four children, ages 14, 12, 10, and eight, all help out. It’s a busy place and the kids, said Little, have “on the job training.” The three daughters and son have learn to be quite resourceful.Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 8.29.03 AM

That’s pretty much how eight year-old Little’s son, Cody, ended up on a beautiful, 17 hand Percheron AND as a Facebook darling, with 10 million views and counting. Little said the Percheron, Sheila, “is always a sweetheart.” Check out the video here.

Just so you know, Sheila is not Cody’s regular riding horse. That would be Bud, a three year old Friesian-Percheron cross. He’s about 16 hands, said Little. Cody gets on Bud by grabbing the saddle strings and doing a variety of scrambling and pulling-up.

Not to be outdone by her little brother: Watch Cody’s older sister getting up on her horse.

Granted, these horses are gentle beings. The Little family puts a lot of time into working with them and many don’t make the cut. “We have some mustangs and quarter horses,” said Little, “I just sold a few. They were fine for wranglers, but not gentle enough for guests.”

Little’s grandfather started Dry Ridge Outfitters in the 1950’s, and his father, Kevin, leads pack trips and outings under the same business name with his wife, Deb. Their motto? “Leave only hoofprints. Take only memories.”

Keep up the good work!

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