During breeding season, the stallions are turned out with the mares to pasture breed. Their mare bands usually consist of 15-20 mares each. Although the stallions are used primarily for the breeding program, some are often utilized as performance horses and shown in RHAA, SHOT, Versatility or Ranch Cutting for the remainder of the year. The rest of the stallions are kept in separate pastures until breeding season. Some stallions are good natured enough to be ran with the Remuda for use when needed.
Criteria For Stallions Selection
TRR evaluates our stallion prospects based on a wide variety of characteristics in order to promote top-notch genetics.
- Breeding – Pedigree
We want to breed a horse that will be ideal for ranch use. The right pedigree is important and will help in determining which horse to keep. Tongue River Ranch has several with characteristics that when passed down to the colts will help produce the ideal ranch horse. The right pedigree also helps market the offspring of the stud.
There are several important traits we look for in our stallions:
1. Confirmation: Everybody likes a good looking horse, but functioning is also important. We look for a stallion that is well balanced, deep in their heart girth, has dark, solid feet, a sloping shoulder and good withers. We also look for a short, strong back, powerful and muscular hindquarters, forearm and gaskin, as well as straight, blemish-free legs. We want our horses to stand approximately 15 hands.
2. Disposition: A horse used for all phases of ranch work needs to be gentle, willing and intelligent, as well as an easy learner, not requiring several years to make a useful ranch horse. Their dispositions should be such that when handled right, he becomes a partner and a friend.
3. Athletic Ability: The horse should be an athlete. He should be agile, flexible, quick, and sure footed. This allows him to rope, cut, travel etc. with ease and accuracy.
4. Color: Color increases the marketability of the horse. Some people like a horse that is an eye catcher and has different likes in different colors. Horses should be produced to fit these desires.
5. Cow sense: This is an ideal trait for a ranch horse. Breeding a horse that will start on a cow easily and quickly is very important. A horse that understands the behavior of cattle and acts on those instincts is a thrill and a pleasure to ride. He is an asset to any ranch cowboy and a necessity in most disciplines.
Stallions are ridden to prove their ability. Their colts tell us what ability the stallion passes down to his offspring. We want stamina in a horse so he can cover a large pasture and still have something left. We also want speed, flexibility and an easy gait. Cowboys spend a lot of time horseback, mostly in a trot, so you’ve got to have a smooth trotting horse. The horse must have the ability to do the job assigned to him at the ranch.
We select Tongue River Ranch stallions by looking at the history and statistics of a specific bloodline and how well it crosses on our designated mares.