angle-left The Life of a Ranch Stallion

The Life of a Ranch Stallion

A ranch stallion’s career requires multiple jobs, all year long.

running horse herd (Credit: Kellie Pierson Geddes)

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By Andrea Caudill for The American Quarter Horse Journal 

How do you picture a breeding ranch stallion? Maybe one kept in a stall, separated from other horses for everyone’s safety, pampered and handled with care lest he act like … well, a stallion.

However, the life of a ranch stallion is often very different than that. Like everyone else on the ranch, he is expected to work multiple jobs throughout the year. 


When it’s time to work cattle, a ranch stallion can expect to wear a saddle, too. 

  • Stallions may be covering ground or gathering cattle, but many stallions are expected to take part in the work of the ranch. 

  • Good herd behavior is expected as the working horses are usually hauled together in a trailer, ready to work as soon as they’re unloaded. 

  • A good, wet saddle blanket  meaning lots of time at work – is good for managing a stallion's attitude and helps keep him fit and healthy. 


Breeding season sometimes depends on the weather. Mild weather can call for a season starting in February, while in harsher climates, ranchers may wait until April to begin their breeding season.

  • Pasture breeding is the most common method found for breeding ranch stallions. Often times, corrals and barns are directly attached to pastures for ease of operating and access to doctor, supplement and water. 

  • While proven sires are turned out with up to 15 mares, younger stallions may be test-bred to one or two mares in a controlled environment.


Some ranch stallions also have a third job as a show horse

At the end of the day, ranch stallions are working ranch horses. Treating them as such preserves the spirit, purpose and integrity of breeding programs, and makes for fine horses and offspring.