todeskun (todeskun) wrote in little_details,

Set up of 1870 horse ranch

The setup: I'm writing a story set in 1870 and need help figuring out the logistics of my main character's home/farm. He owns a small horse ranch (usually run by 2 people, but has to be small enough for one man to care for all the horses) in the Arizona Territory and makes his living selling his stock primarily to the local homesteaders with probably one or two trips a year to a large horse show where he'd sell his stock to the army or local ranchers. He's also the unofficial peacekeeper of the nearby frontier town, which sees more than its fair share of trouble, and is often in gunfights. I'm assuming a herd of around 5-10 mares and a single stallion, with the horses kept out in the pasture pretty much year round, and a very rudimentary barn, if there even is a barn.

The questions: 1. Since this is his livelihood, I'm assuming that he'd want to use the stallion for more than breeding purposes. So is it reasonable to assume that he'd use his stud as his regular mount as well, or would he have a gelding for that purpose?

2. Given the extremely rudimentary nature of his homestead (hand built single room cabin) and the fact that he's breeding for an all-purpose work horse, and not to a particular breed, would he keep his stud in with the rest of the herd or have a separate pasture for him? Or would he need a barn to keep the stud from jumping fences when the mares were in heat?

I've googled "horse breeding 1870", "1870 horse ranch" and "horse care" and I've come up with nothing.
Tags: 1870-1879, usa: history (misc)

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