Congratulations to the McCoy’s Farm and Ranch Family of the Month, the Eddleman’s! Dan, Sandra, and Madelyn own and operate the Oar Lock Ranch located in Worden, Montana and DeLeon, Texas, along with their dude ranch, Monster Lake Ranch located in Cody, Wyoming.
While running one ranch is enough to keep a family busy, the Eddleman’s manage to successfully juggle three ranch locations spread out across the states at a time. They all three work toward keeping traditional ranching alive with their cow/calf operation, horse breeding program and creating a western experience for all who enter the gates of their dude ranch. The Oar Lock Ranch in Montana has been in the family for nearly four generations, and expanded into DeLeon, Texas in 2013. Now, the family splits their time between the the north and the south. Their cattle and breeding programs are kept on the ranges of Montana, while their horse training program runs smoothly in the land of covered arenas.
The Eddleman horse breeding program started with Dan’s grandfather, JW Eddleman. Dan and his grandfather worked to breed and train the horses resulting with success in the PRCA realms during the 80s receiving AQHA Horse of the Year in the tie-down roping with one of Mr. JW’s horses. From there, Dan has trained several horses that have carried multiple world champions to the pay window including Tom Ferguson, Roy Cooper, D.R. Daniels, Chris Lybbert, Dee Pickett, and Mike Beers. Sandra is no stranger to the horse training world as she has trained a few horses that helped her see success in the futurity and pro rodeo circuits as well.
The horsemanship genes were passed down to Madelyn as she handles majority of the training nowadays. She rides an average of 10 colts per day with the help of her friend, Aubrie Copenhaver. “I focus on simplicity more than anything,” Madelyn said. “There are a lot of new training methods, but I believe the best way to get a horse broke and get their mind underneath them is miles and wet saddle pads.” She also added it can be a little bit more difficult to get high mileage on a horse in Texas compared to Montana. Especially considering the ride from her barn to the arena alone in Montana is two and a half miles one way. Madelyn said she likes to build a foundation by starting each of the horses on the barrel pattern, roping on each of them, and just spending time riding.
While Dan heads up the cattle operation, Sandra heads up the horse breeding program, and Madelyn does all of the training, each of them share duties and responsibilities as needed. “We do whatever we need to do to keep our heads above water,” Madelyn said.
It wouldn’t be possible to put in the hours it takes to train horses and ranch if there wasn’t a deep passion for the industry. The family said the main motivator for them, in addition to ranching being in their blood, is the desire to keep the ranching tradition alive. “We’re kind of a dying breed,” the family said. “Ranching isn’t what it used to be, and if we don’t keep doing it, who else is gonna do it?”
Majority of their time is spent horseback or traveling back and forth between Montana, Wyoming and Texas. In the downtime, Madelyn said she really enjoys singing. She is currently gearing up to college rodeo for Weatherford College, and while a degree is a nice asset to have, she is working for a career in rodeo and music. Sandra and Dan, on the other hand, are working toward figuring out how to divvy up their time among the ranches since Madelyn will no longer be at home!
The family said they are very grateful to be selected as the McCoy’s Farm and Ranch Family of the Month. “That’s the thing about rodeo, it’s a whole family,” Madelyn said. “It’s such a blessing to be able to meet the people I have met and feel like I am a part of something that is so amazing.”
I think it’s safe to say Madelyn and her parents are a part of more than just an amazing rodeo family, they are also playing their part in keeping the ranching tradition alive.
Congratulations to the Eddleman’s!