Bomb Proofing

What do we mean by “bomb proofing”?. Bomb proofing is old horseman’s slang for determining the safety of a horse.  When the horse is considered “bomb proof”, it is taken to mean that the horse has good sense, does not overact to situations and generally is a safe good animal.  Horses are live beings and can and will have a bad day on occasion, as we all do.  Generally a horse is much like  a person.  Some folks are type A personalities and others type B etc.  Horses are the same.  Our job is to determine their personality, and how they think.  We evaluate them by going through the following procedures listed below. Tonkawood  believes that it is the job of the person to determine the horse’s thinking, ability and how they react to things. We encourage our potential owners to catch the horse in the pasture, lead it, help groom and saddle it. We like to see you handle the horse, how the horse reacts to you.  By careful  observation of the behavior of the horse and you, helps us make this determination if this match is going to work for the horse and for you. No horse is perfect and the term “bomb proof” is a  term that means that the horse evaluates as a safe mount based on the criteria we state.  No one can say for certain that any animal is perfect, but we try to the best of our ability to determine what the animal has to say and how we can fit them into an environment that they will thrive and serve their people well. If you will check on how to evaluate section we discuss how to evaluate a horse for yourself, and how to see what it’s reaction is to your home environment.  We do the best evaluation we can here at Tonkawood based on the items listed below.  It can happen on occasion that an environment that the horse is introduced into does not work for horse or rider.  That is why we offer a seven day guarantee program for you to check the horse out.  If the horse is not suited, we trade you out for one that can and will.


  • We consider ourselves a “dating service” for horses.  Riding and loving a horse is a partnership that can be a wonderful experience for a lifetime.  The right horse partner is a joy, the wrong one is a nightmare.  Our job is to try and cut down your risk while representing our horses as they think and behave. The partnership is the key!
  • One prerequisite for our horses is to make sure that they will stand tied together and to a tree.  We have not found any cross ties in the woods or on the trail.  Many people go on big trail rides and will stop for lunch or a break.  The worst thing is having a horse pull back and run away.!!
  • We like to know that our horses will socialize with each other and will stand quietly with riders while they rest, visit or just want to stop for awhile.  If a horse fidgets, and will not stand, we do not deem them suitable for trail riders.
  • Can the horse go side by side quietly and into “scary” woods.  If they remain alert, with a nice soft rein and behave, then we know that they will not shy and bolt.
  • Many trails require rock climbing here in our Texas Hill Country. We look to see if they will go forward over the rocks, and trust the rider. We also make sure they will walk not run, as a good sound mind and a solid horse will go over things willingly, but not in a  break neck speed fashion.
  • We look to see if the horse will let the rider open and close a mailbox.  Many of our rural riders like to “go get the mail”.  This also tells us that the horse will pay attention, let the rider take a unseated position and not bolt and run away.
  • We set up a backyard tire swing, and barbeques that many people have in their backyards.  Will the horses go around all these family obstacles and not spook and run, and will they stand while the rider wishes to stay for awhile.
  • We see if the horse will willingly walk over poles of bright colors, pick up their feet, watch where they are going, and generally do anything the rider asks (within reason). Loading is a must!
  • How about grandsons, dogs and family environments?  Our horses must stand quietly, not scare little ones, or old ones for that matter!!!
  • We also take the horses out on the road, among cars, trucks etc. and see what their response is.  Many are taken to a neighbors goat and miniature donkey ranch to test their minds out on 1000 acres with goats and donkeys arriving at any given time.
  • If you will tell us what the intended us is for your purchase, what environment it is going to be housed in, and how you plan to use the horse can help us determine the proper partner.  We encourage folks to please email us your wish list at which enables us to determine if we have a horse that matches your needs.  We can save people much travel and looking if we know the basic criteria you have for your purchase.

Number one rule!!!!!!!  Never hurt the blacksmith or make him mad!!!!!! The are hard enough to find and get them to come to your farm.  Safety and good horses are a must to keep our blacksmith happy!!!