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First Posted July 11, 2009
Mar 13, 2010

Montana Travler Horse - A Gaited Breed

Montana Travler Express


Country of Origin: United States

The following was taken from Montana Travler Horse Association which is not copyrighted. I found this to be an exciting breed and new to me.

Tom Eaton has been developing the Montana Traveer breed for almost 50 years. He has bred the Tennessee Walker, American Saddlebred, Morgan, thoroughbred and Hamiltonian bloodlines. The foundation sire is Montana Travler (Al). He is a flashy, 16.1 hh chestnut stallion who covers ground at a rapid speed. In fact, he does the flat walk at 8 miles per hour. His offspring have an over reach of 8 inches or more.

"In the early 30's, I was given a 1/2 Thoroughbred, 1/2 Hamilton mare by A.W. Johnson, Billings. The first foals from this fine mare were sired by Muggs, a Hamiltonian owned by Ray Barnett, Beehive. In 1939, Bill Parkhill brought to the Beehive P Lazy B Ranch an American Saddler, Forced Melody, from Illinois, who was used on the original mare and several of her foals.

In 1940, I purchased a 1/2 Saddler, 1/2 Morgan stallion from Miller’s of Billings. The stallion was used from 1942 to 1946. This great horse put remarkable saddlebacks and withers on foals. When I returned from World War II in 1946, there were 45 head of horses to break. Not one of the young horses bucked.

In 1946, I purchased a Morgan stallion, Highland Star, from the Staffords at Limestone. He sired foals for the next six years. Ed Turley of Musselshell took his Thoroughbred to the Beehive ranch as a sire for one season. In 1960, a Tennessee Walker stallion was purchased from the Atoffs of Pompeys Pillar. He was used for two seasons.

In 1973, two mares were bred to Jerry Coldwell’s Tennessee Walker stallion of Jordan. One of the two foals was a horse colt. From the very first, this colt caught the eye of every horseman who saw him. Many agreed with me that this colt would become a good prospect as a stallion. As a two-year-old he sired four foals in 1977, and nine in 1978. All showed excellent quality.

During the winter of 1977-1978, the three-year-old stallion was trained by Don McClurg of Absarokee. The stallion showed a real promise as a "using horse." He was bright, responded to discipline, and traveled exceptionally well. To McClurg, an American Quarter Horse man, the young stallion showed a great deal of "cow sense."

From the encouragement received from many horseman friends, I have established the Montana Travler Breed and a Montana Travler Horse Association for the registration. Justin Morgan established a great breed from one outstanding stallion. The Montana Travler is the result of not only a great stallion, but selective breeding over a period of many years..." -Tom Eaton

Senator John Melcher congratulated Eaton for his efforts on behalf of the horse industry in the State of Montana in 1984. Melcher said, "The many patient years of breeding have certainly paid off. Producing the first unique breed of horse developed in the State of Montana is certainly a worthwhile accomplishment and I wish you the best of luck."

1989 Montana Centennial breed The Montana Travler Horse Association was formed in 1979. The breed was also selected as the official Montana Centennial breed of 1989.

The Travler has been bred to produce his own distinctive conformation. To preserve this breed, only horses carrying genes from Montana Travler (A1) and quality mares are eligible for registration. The horse must also be at least three years of age, broke to ride, able to exhibit conformation and disposition, and travel consistent with the foundation sire. Registration is not official until signed by three directors of the Montana Travler Horse Association.

The Montana Travler Horse has stepped forward in versatility, from show ring, endurance rides, jumping events, ranch work, and pleasure. With the Travler’s willingness and heart he provides a companion for all.


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