August 07, 2008 | | Comments 0

Colorado Ranger Horse

Colorado Ranger Horse

The Colorado Ranger Horse: Going Beyond the Spots

The Colorado Ranger Horse can easily be mistaken as belonging to another breed. This is most likely because many of these horses have characteristic spots, physical marks that they share with a more popular horse breed. As history would show though, there is more to just spots and color when it comes to establishing the lineage and nobility of a breed. The Colorado Ranger Horse is a true breed in itself.

Horses from Turkey

The real extensive breeding of the Colorado Ranger Horse did not begin until the 1900s. The story of the origin of this breed however begins a few decades earlier with no less than Ulysses Grant playing a pivotal role. Grant, who was on a trip to Turkey, received two refined and elegant horses as gifts from the sultan. One horse was a Barb descendant while the other was an Arabian horse. Grant took these horses back to America where they were initially intended to sire workhorses or horses for the harness.

After mating with U.S. born mares, the two imported horses eventually sired many excellent offspring. The most notable ones were the ones born in Nebraska. Two of their descendants, Max and Patches became the first stallions of the new breed which came to be known as the Colorado Ranger Horse. The breeding of horses from these two has been credited to Mike Ruby who strictly ensured the purity of the bloodline. Ruby eventually lived long enough to witness the recognition of the new breed name in 1934.

The original horses of Grant were clearly not born in Colorado. Their descendants however bear the name of the place because under Ruby and other breeders, they were bred and raised in the ranges of Colorado.

Colorado Ranger Horse Color and Traits

The Colorado Ranger Horse has long been confused with the Appaloosa. This is mostly because of the spotted coats that many range horses carry. Breeders however primarily distinguish Appaloosas between Colorado Ranger Horses through bloodline or lineage. If the horse can be traced back to Patches or Max, it is considered a Colorado Ranger. This is the top determining rule followed in establishing the breed of a foal. It is therefore possible for some Appaloosas and some predominantly solid colored horses to be considered Colorado Ranger Horses as long as their roots can be traced to the Ruby’s two foundation stallions. In other words color is not a crucial breed factor despite the predominance of spots in many range horses.

Aside from its color, there are other traits that define the Colorado Ranger Horse. It has a muscular body and refined facial features but short legs. Even so, it stands more or less at 15 hands which is far taller than any pony. The traces of elegant bearing in these horses do not lessen their ability to function well as workhorses. They can be used for a variety of farm tasks including cow herding. Although they are traditional workhorses, they can also be used in equestrian competitions and games especially those that require stamina and endurance.

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