While the military was moving away from horse power during World War II and agriculture was becoming more mechanized, many Americans were taking up horseback riding as recreation. The country had shaken off the economic depression of the 1930s, and people had a disposable income. The Saturday afternoon western movies of the 1930s and 1940s also had their impact, as did the writings of Will James, Ross Santee and other cowboy authors. The saddle horse moved from necessity to pleasure as people who had never before done so swung into the saddle. Horse ownership soared. The “horse boom” of the late 1940s laid the groundwork for the continuing interest in horsemanship in America.
Owners wanted to know the breeding behind their animals. A set of registration papers was an important sales tool. The most popular, and the fastest growing, breed association was the American Quarter Horse Association. Organized in 1940, AQHA breeders utilized many Remount-bred horses as foundation stock during the early years. Many of the horses registered in Volumes I, II, III, IV and V of the AQHA Stud Book had their dam listed as being sired by a Remount stallion or were by a Remount stallion.
The result of this government backed breeding program was a functional, solidly conformed utility horse that stood 14-2 to 15-2 hands and weighed between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds. The horses had the size, bone and endurance of a functional saddle horse to meet military and sporting requirements.
The United States Remount Service Horse Program succeeded remarkably well, and in doing so, left America with a legacy of good horses. The top stallions utilized in the program have influenced American horses for many generations.
Many American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame horses can be traced back to one or more Remount Stallions. This small sampling illustrates the diversity of talent passed down through the bloodlines.