“I have to take a mare over to Fred’s this afternoon. I’ll get back to you.”
Conscientious health care is apparent for the half-dozen Quarter Horse mares set to foal this spring at Teagarden Quarter Horses.
“Dr. Fred Gardiner has handled the breeding and followed our mares through gestation and foaling for many years. He’s the best there is,” John Teagarden declared.
At their ranch near LaCygne in Linn County, Teagarden and his wife Candy produce Quarter Horses demanded throughout the country.
“While several horses excel in barrel racing, all of our horses have good dispositions with proven all-around ability,” Teagarden insisted.
A most conscientious student of horse breeding, Teagarden has judged horses across the Midwest. Now, pedigrees and lineage of Quarter Horses since the breed’s beginning flow freely in Teagarden’s every conversation.
“Like breeding any species, every Quarter Horse program goes back for generations,” Teagarden said. “Today’s horses represent genetics of breeding decisions made by horsemen many years ago.”
Indicative of performance ability, a horse’s pedigree is just one ingredient in success, according to the horseman.
Recognizing a horse must be structurally sound with working conformation, Teagarden acknowledged importance of temperament and handling.
“It’s nearly impossible to get the best performance out of a horse that’s difficult to get along with,” he affirmed. “We breed for kind dispositions and start working with our foals within minutes after they’re born.
“They never forget that positive first experience. But, if it’s not done right, they’ll remember that, too,” Teagarden added.
Today’s breeding dates to the 1980s with two distinct foundation Quarter Horse mare lines. “Our horses are all out of daughters and granddaughters of those first good mares,” he noted.
While anxious to detail origin, heritage and specifics, Teagarden said, “Several mares were purchased as two-year-olds from Francis Bliss at Longton. The King, Leo and Te-N-Te bred mares were 4-H projects for our daughters Dana and Amy.”
The second mare line comes from Boston Jenny Lee, product of Don Fritzler’s breeding program at Hansen. She was purchased by the Teagardens as a three-year-old in 1986 for their youngest daughter Leigh.
Boston Jenny Lee was sired by Bar Y Sandy, American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) champion. The mare was out of a daughter of Boston Mac, triple-A (AAA) race winner that was also a top halter horse.
“Both of these studs have a reputation for siring good minded performance horses,” Teagarden said.
“Leigh was 10-years-old when she and Jenny qualified for the Kansas State Fair 4-H Show in five events in 1987,” Teagarden remembered.
When the Teagardens’ daughters went off to college, their horse projects were put into production.
Jim and Sandy Lowe of Louisburg purchased Rare Jet Extremes as a four-year-old in 1998 and were standing him at stud. The race horse was AAA or AAA+ at five distances and retired sound from the track.
“Under Jim and Sandy’s training, he quickly became a top team roping horse and a champion in the Kansas National Barrel Horse Association,” Teagarden said.
“Rare Jet Extremes was an attractive, good disposition horse and passed those traits on,” Teagarden said. “We bred our mares to Rare Jet Extremes for about ten years and kept a number of his daughters.” The stallion died last year.
“Actually today, our broodmare band is primarily daughters and granddaughters of Rare Jet Extremes. He worked real well on our Francis Bliss and Don Fritzler foundation bred mare lines from the 1950s and 60s,” Teagarden verified.
Quarter Horse breeding opportunities expanded with advent of cooled semen shipping in the mid-2000s. Teagarden Quarter Horses stepped right up with Dr. Gardner’s proficiency in scientific logistics of getting mares in foal.
“We selected what we considered some of the top barrel horse producers in the country to breed to our mares,” Teagarden said.
A number of foals have been sired by Firewaterontherocks, a son of Fire Water Flit. “He’s sired winners of more than a million dollars including National Finals Rodeo qualifiers,” Teagarden said.
Proven performers and producers Judge Cash by Dash For Cash and Slick By Design by Designer Red have also been used in recent years.
“All of these studs have a lot of ‘run’ in their pedigree,” Teagarden said. “But, they also have some foundation breeding back there, especially on the dam’s side. It helps on their minds.
“We imprint the foals by the Dr. Robert Miller method as soon as we can after they’re born,” Teagarden reiterated. “Then foals are soon taught to lead and loaded in and out of the trailer. They remember that the rest of their lives.”
Mares with foals go to Dr. Gardiner’s veterinary facility at Garnett for cooled semen breeding. “Fred keeps them three or four days, and then we’ll take the mares back at 16 days for a sonogram,” Teagarden said.
Once mares are confirmed in foal, they go to pasture with minimal handling of the colts until late fall weaning time.
Teagarden Quarter Horses are on the market from weaning age forward. “We sell some younger horses, but there’s more demand for started two and three-year-olds,” he said.
Through the years, Sam Gallaher, Welda; Cal Noyans, Melvern; Todd Wright, Ottawa, and now-retired Larry Spillman, Louisburg, have put the first 45-60 rides on Teagarden’s started prospects.
“I would highly recommend any of these guys to start one,” Teagarden said.
With their barrel racing influence, the horses have become proven winners. “We’ve sold horses in a number of states,” Teagarden said. “They have won and are continuing to win competitions for their new owners.”
Still, these are versatile horses. “Several ranches including our daughter Amy and her husband Matt Perrier at Dalebanks Angus Ranch, Eureka, along with their four children use these horses,” Teagarden credited. “They’ll cut a cow, work a rope and do whatever asked.
“Last summer, the Dalebanks crew and our grandchildren were riding Flint Hill pastures and also competing in shows,” Teagarden said. “Brothers and sisters to their horses won barrel races for Tami Hoch, Kansas; Michelle Bogdonas, Illinois; and Danielle McCraw, North Carolina.
“I’m very pleased that similarly bred horses are working in the barrel arena, in working ranch situations or as safe, willing mounts for young riders,” Teagarden said.