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Cow blood breeding: Ranch family focuses on breeding quality horses with cow sense

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Oshoto – There is a lot of pride associated with the “cow blood” horses from Shield Five Quarter Horses have. Dave, Susan, Curtis and Raelee Riesland from Oshoto are no strangers to the horse breeding industry. In fact, Dave and Susan combined their passion for horses and set out with one goal in mind: Create an all-around ranch horse.  

“Dave and I both like cow horses, so we have been working toward our goal to get as much cow blood in our horses, while still breeding practically,” shares Susan.  

The Reislands keep in mind conformation and bone when breeding, knowing a great ranch horse ought to have both.  

Strong bloodlines 

“The stud that got us started was double-bred Cutter Bill – a grandson of Cutter Bill on the top and a great-grandson of Cutter Bill on the bottom,” Susan says. 

Before buying their Cutter Bill stud, they saw a foal out of him and liked way the colt was put together. The Rieslands became the stud’s 11th owners when he was just 10 years old, and he stayed at Shield Five Quarter Horses for the rest of his life.  

Now, they have a grandson of High Brow Cat and a son of Peptoboonsmal out of a Doc O’Lena daughter as their studs. Recently, the Reislands have started crossing back daughters out of their Peptoboonsmal stud, as well as daughters of their Cutter Bill stud, to their High Brow Cat stud, and they are extremely excited for this offspring. 

Susan shares, “It’s really cool to see broodmares we have raised begin to produce for us.”  

With these kind of bloodlines, the Rieslands have found most of their colts go to ranching homes, but some are starting to be seen in the arena.  

“One of our Cutter Bill daughters has her Register of Merit (ROM) in the novice and amateur in the barrels and stakes race,” Susan notes. “She was invited to the Open World Select Show in the barrels and stakes race, too. We have another daughter of our Peptoboonsmal stud that has been invited to the Ranch Horse Versatility Show over this summer.” 

Focusing on quality 

  “We never sacrifice quality for color, and this philosophy has been a goal of ours from the beginning,” explains Susan, noting both the Cutter Bill and Peptoboonsmal studs were sorrels. “We have never gone out and bought color just to put color into our program.”  

The Reislands had one palomino brood mare, and they feel the whole package came together with her. Susan shares she did not have to sacrifice anything by adding the mare’s color into their program.  

The breeding program usually consists of five to eight mares, but recently, the Reislands turned out 12 mares.  

“We don’t really want to grow,” Susan explains. “We’ve found if we get too big, we can’t put the foundation we want on the babies.” 

At Shield Five Quarter Horses, the Reislands want to continue their focus on breeding for cow sense in their program and continue to create a all-around ranch horses. 

 “We have the belief a ranch horse can do anything, and we just want horses with the tenacity and the heart to succeed in anything that they do,” Susan says.  

Real ranch horses 

The Riesland family has found themselves starting some of their own colts, but they mainly sell through the Ranchers Quarter Horse Breeders Association sale in Belle Fourche, S.D. and the Sugar Bars Legacy sale in Sheridan. 

“We’re hoping to have a couple saddle horses go through the sale this year,” says Susan. 

Often, the Shield Five horses they stay at the same home they sell to, which is a good feeling for the Reislands, knowing they are producing well-liked horses. Rieslands follow Chris Cox’s horsemanship methods, focusing on maximizing results with minimal time.  

“We’ve found these methods to be helpful in getting hotter-blooded horses to release,” adds Susan. “We have had to work harder to improve our horsemanship in order for horses to reach their potential.” 

The family also takes pride in knowing their horses are real ranch horses with great minds that know how to survive on their own.  

“Our horses are horses – we expect them to earn their living and know how to take care of themselves,” notes Susan, noting producing quality ranch horses starts with their upbringing.  

For more information, visit @ShieldFiveQuarterHorses on Facebook. 

Delcy Graham is a corresponding writer for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to  

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