During the Civil War (1861-1865), over 650,000 horses were used by both armies. At the opening of the Indian Campaigns in the West, military leaders immediately began calling for remounts, but the war had reduced breeding stock to a very low level; and it took time to rebuild. There were simply not enough horses to mount the entire cavalry.
The United States Remount Service operated from 1908 to 1948 and produced quality horses. They were constantly searching for a better mount, one that could do the job under saddle more efficiently, stay sound in spite of hard use and have sufficient speed when needed. The search for athletic and mental ability led to a study of practical conformation and an understanding of bloodlines.
During the peak years, the Remount Service placed 700 stallions on ranches and farms throughout the country. The military selected many of the geldings produced under this program, but the fillies were retained by the producers and became the foundation for many ranch herds, polo horses and all-around use.
The United States Remount Department gave ranchers an economic reason to raise better horses. A number of very determined and dedicated men applied themselves to what became a national effort to improve the cavalry horse.
Countless well-known American Quarter Horses trace their ancestry back to one or more Remount stallions. Thousands of Remount stallions stood across the country and made an impact on horses throughout. While it would be impossible to showcase every descendant, this exhibit highlights some of the contributions made by the U.S. Remount Service on the American Quarter Horse.
2008.8.256, Photo Courtesy of Phil Livingston