Stallions and Jacks

The Pride Piper

Of tremendous influence on our breeding program from 1993 until his death in 2007, The Pride Piper was a direct son of the incomparable Pride of Midnight H.F., certainly the dominant Walking Horse sire of the modern era, and out of an Ebony's Senator mare.  "Piper" was bred by Don Bell and owned for the first fourteen years of his life by Steve and Mary Jane Wirts, standing on their farm near Washington, Indiana.  Reserve Lite Shod champion in the National Celebration when he was seven, Piper had by then amassed model, lite-shod, and plantation championships and was proving himself an exceptional sire of natural, beautiful colts.  His athletic ability was astounding.  His colts tend to be large with good bone, yet elegant refinement, nice dispositions, and petite, beautiful heads.  Piper's progeny are known nationally and in Switzerland, Austria, and Israel. [papers]

Piper's Pride of Absaroka

Piper's Pride of Absaroka is the result of twenty-one years of breeding.  The story of this young stallion with knockout looks and regal presence started with our quest for outstanding mares.  We found a foundation mare directly by Mack K.'s Handshaker out of a mare by Merry Boy that was carrying a foal by a Rodger's Perfection stallion.  The foal born was Absaroka Midnight Mack, the "stud colt" of my book Sketches from the Ranch:  A Montana Memoir.  We also purchased a direct daughter of Sun's Delight named Delight's Peggy Sue.  Unfortunately, both "Mack" and Peggy Sue came to untimely deaths, but not before producing perhaps our very best mare, Absaroka Suzy.  After Mack's death, we purchased The Pride Piper, and bred him to Suzy, resulting in Piper's Pride of Absaroka.  Pride is 15.2 and has every conformational asset we’ve ever wanted:  extremely short back, laid-back shoulder, Piper's muscular hindquarters and shoulders, and an ultra-natural running walk.  My personal training project, Pride has become a ranch stallion, beautiful enough for the show ring but not above doing honest work checking the cows during calving.  He won five ribbons at his first show the day after bringing our cows down from summer range, and has been used for rigorous mountain rides, where his gaits smooth out the mountain trails.    Stud fee is $600 with live foal guarantee.  [papers] [additional picture]

Absaroka Silver Dollar

Absaroka Silver Dollar is the result of another quest. I admired the noted stallion Silver Design, and not only for his beautiful dappled grey color (though I certainly have a weakness for grey) but for his beautiful conformation.  I was also told that Silver Design, though shown as a built-up horse, was extremely natural in gait.  I purchased two breedings by shipped semen to Silver Design, asking stallion manager Carl Thompson about his first choice of mares to breed to the stallion.  "Those by Another Masterpiece," he answered, "and I know you've got one."  He was referring to our beloved mare Star Wars, who he'd met years earlier (and tried to buy) on a trip to Montana.  We got two wonderful horse colts from Silver Design.  The second, from Star Wars, is Absaroka Silver Dollar, a laid-back dappled grey, stocky and powerful yet loose in gait.   Dollar was extremely easy to train and exhibits a powerful running walk and rocking chair canter.  Finding anything that can spook him is a challenge.  Dollar is primarily pasture bred and is gentle toward mares, foals, and visiting guests.  A powerful 15.2, Dollar weighs approximately 1100 pounds and sires large foals.  Stud fee is $600 with live foal guarantee. [papers] [additional picture]

Bubba the Gaited Jack (registered as “Bud” in the American Gaited Mule Association) provides mule-making services to our many gaited horse customers.  Owned jointly with Billy Oley, M.D., of Red Lodge Montana, Bubba is the result of a conversation Billy and I had while we sat under a rain-drenched tarp eating peanuts by lantern light in the Slough Creek drainage north of Yellowstone Park.  Camped in grizzly country for the early bugling elk hunt, Billy and I had plenty of time to reflect on our mutual fascination with mules, particularly gaited ones.  We then and there decided to add a jack to our sire services at Absaroka Tennessee Walking Horses.

            Bubba hails from Stepping Out Farms in Shelbyville, Tennessee, the well-known producer of gaited mules.  A sorrel roan with light points and an unusually refined head, Bubba has matured (since the photos) to around 14.2. From average size mares (15.2) he throws mules that have ranged from 14.2 to 16.3 and all show a natural tendency to gait.  Easily started under saddle, Bubba proved himself to be multi-gaited, on one ride showing an amble, a trot, a foxtrot, and a running walk—all in less than a minute!   Mules resulting from breeding to registered mares of any gaited breed will be eligible for automatic registration in the American Gaited Mule Association.  We were told by the late Bill Moore, who had many years of experience breeding gaited mules, that it’s not uncommon to get a gait from this line of jacks and non-gaited mares (such as a Quarter Horses), and, short of that, an enhanced, longer-stepping walk. 

            Bubba’s stud fee is $600 with live foal guarantee.