Capt Andy Hillstrand & His Horse Ranch…

Capt Andy Hillstrand of the F/V Time Bandit was just recently interviewed by and shared his afinity for animals, his horse ranch, and what its like to juggle two completely different lifestyles…

I imagine that our household is not unique when it comes to our choices in what to watch on TV. My wife and I seldom agree, which means most of the time we’re watching what she wants. There is one big exception to this rule, Tuesday nights at 9pm our television is always tuned to the Discovery Channel as we are completely hooked on the show Deadliest Catch.

Watching these brave men take their lives into their hands on a moment by moment basis in one of the few true reality shows on TV makes for the type of drama only real life can create. So imagine our surprise when we discovered that just a few miles outside of Evansville Indiana one of our favorite captains on the show not only lived, but owns the Hobby Horse Acres ranch.

Andy Hillstrand, co-captain of the F/V Time Bandit, was gracious enough to take some time out of his very busy schedule to answer a few questions for Hillstrand explains what it’s like to go from pulling up king crabs in the Bering Sea to training a horse in the Heartland of America.

WNB: It’s quite a transition from a commercial fisherman to a horse trainer, who introduced you to horses and what is the appeal?

Andy: My wife bought two horses one year when I was out fishing. From there on it was just the pure raw power and gentleness of them that hooked me. Like the ocean, they can be calm one minute and explosive the next which is a fun challenge.

WNB: Your family moved from Alaska to Indiana about 5 years ago, how did the animals react to such a drastic change in climate?

Andy: Like me, they have learned to acclimate, but I’m sure they would love to be by the ocean to smell the salt air again.

WNB: Tell me about the horses you have now.

Andy's Horse Rio

Andy: I have two dark brown foundation quarter horses, Rio and Midnight, and one quarter horse appaloosa, Snowflake. One yearling paint filly, Buckshot, and a miniature horse, Morning Star. The foundation quarter horses are five and nine years old. Rio is my favorite and he can be seen on my website. Snowflake and Morning Star are on the website too. We board an assortment of other horses too.

WNB: What about riding centers you?

Andy: It is very basic, but not simple. I have to ride the horse without getting in the way of his natural movement which takes all my emotional and mental concentration as well as my physical balance and fitness. The horse provides an instant source of feedback if I am out of balance physically, emotionally or mentally and he lets me know right away; that keeps me very centered.

WNB: What is Natural Horsemanship?

Andy: Natural Horsemanship is the training of horses and humans using communication, understanding, and psychology rather than fear or intimidation or mechanical means.

WNB: Can you apply the same principles to training and interacting with other animals such as dogs and cats?

Andy: You can apply the same principles, but dogs and cats are predators and horses are prey animals. Dogs and Cats operate off praise, reward, and recognition while horses respond to safety, comfort, and play.

WNB: How long have you been training others in Natural Horsemanship?

Andy: Only about three years on a professional level. I’ve been teaching my wife and daughter and friends for about nine years.

WNB: Is Hobby Horse Acres a family affair?

Andy: Yes the ranch is a family affair; my wife and I. Our daughters are grown and on their own.

WNB: What services do you offer at Hobby Horse Acres?

Andy: We board horses, teach riding lessons, train horses, have day camps, host birthday parties and events.



Make the jump to read the rest here!  (photos and article courtesy of Robert Bennett).

This entry was posted in Andy Hillstrand, interviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Capt Andy Hillstrand & His Horse Ranch…

  1. Dawn says:

    I love the fact that we get to see the ranch on the “After the Catch” Show and on these Deadliest Reports.

    Thanks Opilio for the great article.

    Thank you Sabrina for the ranch (your home) to be on film. And thank you Andy for showing us the side of you that makes you the brainy and patient Captain/Deckboss part that makes it make sense. (to me atleast) You’re a horse whisperer and a quazi “Crab Fisherman Whisperer”- The Calm Captain…LOL

  2. manele says:

    Wonderful article! Thanks, great questions and pictures. What an opportunity to see the other side of the coin as it were.

    I’d like to ask Andy sometime what advice he has to give for someone who had a nasty horse back riding accident in the most freakish circumstances and now never wants to go on a horse again which is said because it’s a wonderful thing to do.

    A hui hou and thanks for the great read!

  3. Jen says:

    Andy is my favorite Captain and I love his take on life in general.
    He’s so awesome.

  4. Dawn says:

    This was one of the best interviews ever and the short clip played on the show “After the Catch” was purely amazing.

    I think the only thing that would top that is to see Andy and Sabrina in live action on the ranch with their horses.

    The talent to play with 1,100 pounds of muscle on good terms is such a wonder. I am in awe of people who devote their time and energy to taking care of these tremendous creatures.

    Sabrina and Andy, thank you both very much.

  5. john says:

    i know andy he teaches me in the sumer.

  6. Cidinha says:

    Eu amo o capitão Andy.
    Ele é muito lindo e não canso de vê-lo na tv.
    Beijos mil Andy.

  7. Ali says:

    I wished I had Andy’s zest for life. His insight is uncanny, his fortitude admirable. His sense of humor, boyish charm and his young at heart attitude are irresistable. How much fun would it be to hang out with someone like that? Thank goodness we’ve got the Catch to keep us entertained with Andy and his family. You’re the best, dude.



  8. Larry Buzzard says:


    I was surprised to learn that you had a horse ranch in Indiana.

    Proud to have you as a fellwo Hoosier!

    Larry Buzzard
    Huntington, IN

  9. Marolyn Flamion says:

    Just read in the Evansville Courier that you can ride 4 wheelers and golf carts in your town of Chandler 7-8-09. I know you get all the hype from your relatives and I would like to go to your ranch sometime.

  10. Donna Reavis says:

    Hi Andy,

    I was so surprised to find out that you had barrel raced. Where I am from “Oakdale, California”.(cowboy capital of the world;), only girls here barrel race in compition. I love barrel racing. I know some guys that would barrel race on the ranch if no other men were present, but would never admit it. I did see that you were extremely good at that sport. I think it is great that you actually did it and enjoyed it. I still have horses and love to ride. Love to watch you on Deadliest Catch, and love people that love horses 🙂

  11. Heidi Rae Croce says:

    Really enjoyed this article on Capt .Andy since I am a big fan of the show and don”t watch tv much.I am a horse trainer and instructor myself for over 35 years in New England and the horses love the salty air.

  12. Ed Rahm says:

    I’m from Chandler, IN. How did you come to Chandler? I don’t know your wife I don’t believe. I reasonlly moved to Hammond, LA, better job!

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