Strong relationships can exist between a cowboy and his stallion.
Many people are fervently attached to their horses as well as dogs, cats and other critters. When death takes those away, there is an awful feeling of loss. Stockmen always hate to lose their production, not just financially, but often for sentimental
We’ve had a number of horses succumb over the years, and a couple of those have scarred our inner soul. They had been such an integral component of everything we did, that decades later we still have tender feelings when their name is spoken.
When our longtime Quarter Horse sire passed away recently, we lost a close friend and important partner. Zane was his call name, and few actually knew the 27-year-old gray stallion’s registered title was Trouble Steel Bar.
Besides our personal strong affection for the dignified stud, there was consensual admiration among those who were ever affiliated with Zane. Our bereavement is shared by many. Not the least of those feeling the loss are the many mares, girlfriends might we contend, that he serviced in his lifetime.
Already a five-year-old before we became acquainted, Zane was bred, owned and standing for a lifelong breeder in Lone Rock, Iowa. Our search was for a gray stallion, with emphasis on color, along with quality and disposition, more than performance
ability and pedigree. Hand mated the first season, Zane liked the pasture life best.
Terrific to ride, Zane was a fine ranch horse. Fond memories also come from driving him for family buggy rides, in parades and at our son’s wedding leaving the church. Zane even portrayed Tom Mix’s horse, Tony II, in a pageant. He was better than we were as Tom. Zane’s main purpose was breeding, and he was a sire in every sense of the word.
Zane’s progeny includes 275 registered Quarter Horses and at least 31 Pinto and grade foals, plus this year’s crop of 14. Most stallions can’t claim that many offspring. Best thing about it is that Zane’s get have his super disposition, conformation and ability, and many are gray. They certainly are “The Cowboy’s Kind,” our horse breeding trademark.
A few of Zane’s production have been shown successfully in registered competition, but most of his descendents found their calling for ranch use, family riding and breeding. First generations, as well as grand and great grand get, are spread throughout the country. We feel fortunate that over three dozen of Zane’s line are still in our herd.
Although Zane could have been placed in a barn, fed rations formulated for aging horses and perhaps lived longer, he would not have been happy cooped up. He is buried on a small knoll overlooking the ranch headquarters. Zane was a blessing, and will always be remembered and appreciated as our true friend and great partner.
Best description of Zane’s passing is given in First Chronicles 20-28: “And he died in good old age, full days, riches, and honor.”