Douglas Lake Ranch
An equally important component of Douglas Lake Ranch is the Quarter Horse operation. The Ranch Horses originated and were maintained by horses raised at the Ranch until the early 1960’s when the Ranch and Mr. CN Woodward became interested in the American Quarter Horse.
After the purchase of Stardust Desire #0083564 and Peppy San # 0114978, which both went on the become NCHA World Champions, the ranch started a quarter horse division consisting of breeding, raising and training of the quarter horses with the focus being on cutting. With the death of CN Woodward in 1990, the cutting horse division of the ranch was wound down.
Now the ranch raises horses exclusively for it’s own Remuda, but is maintaining the bloodlines that the ranch worked so hard to build in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In November of 2004, Douglas Lake Ranch was honored by the American Quarter Horse Association with the “Best Remuda” award and in 2013 with the “Legacy Award”.
Douglas Lake Ranch has a staff of 18-20 cowboys that are responsible for the movement and well being of up to 20,000 head of cattle. All work is done with horses. Each cowboy has a string of around 10 head of horses that they will rotate throughout the year. During December to February two horses per cowboy are kept sharp shod because of the ice and frozen ground. As calving starts most of the cowboys will have 3-4 horses shod as the miles in a day start to build. This type of rotation means that no horse has to go to work 2 days in a row.
During the busiest time and the longest miles, most horses only work 1 day per week.The cowboys save their favorite horses for fall works when most of the sorting, weaning and shipping takes place. This is a time when the American Quarter Horse’s cow sense really shines. Being able to sit in a gate or in the sorting pen on a horse that likes its job as much, if not more, than the cowboy is a real treat.
The ranch mares are worked as well as the geldings. After proving they can do the work, some make it to the broodmare band. The ranch stallions are also used for fall work. With each cowboy typically requiring up to ten horses in their own string, a horse breeding operation is an integral part of the ranch operation. Presently the ranch maintains approximately 350 horses, which includes 5 stallions and 30 broodmares. The broodmares are pasture bred. The stallions are turned out in May and brought back in by the middle of July. The mares foal from April to June. The foals get halter broke between 8-9 months, started at 2 years, lightly worked at 3 and 4 years and are working full time by the age of five. Our goal of course is to improve our Remuda with horses that carry that special cow sense quality.