Colorado Ranger Horse

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About Colorado Ranger Horse

900-1,000 lb
Sturdy, lean, compact
30 years
Best Suited For
All levels of horse owners, riders, and trainers
Clever, brave, talented, versatile, and intelligent
Comparable Breeds
Barb Horse, Arabian Horse
Colorado Ranger Horse Breed History

Also known as the Rangerbred Horse, the Colorado Ranger Horse is a North American equine breed that was developed within the High Plains of the state of Colorado.

Mike Ruby, a horse enthusiast who was born in Ontario, Canada, is the founder of this breed. He bred two horses of Arabian and Barb ancestry and then showcased two of the offspring at the National Western Stock Show in the 1930s in Denver, Colorado. Once the horses were seen, curiosity from the public ensued. The breed was officially created in 1934, and it was named after its origins in the Colorado High Plains.

The Colorado Ranger Horse is also known as the Rangerbred.

Even though they look similar, the Colorado Ranger Horse isn’t a type of Appaloosa Horse. Instead, it is its own distinct breed with a distinct heritage. In fact, in order for a horse to be classified as a Colorado Ranger Horse, there must be pedigree documentation that proves that the horse’s heritage goes back to the first two horses bred by Mike Ruby.

But the Colorado Ranger Horse’s ancestry dates even further back than Mike Ruby. General Ulysses S. Grant went to see Sultan Abdul Hamid in Turkey in 1878 while he was on a tour of the world. Before the General left, the Sultan showed his respect by giving him two stallions. One was an Arabian named Leopard and the other was a Barb whose name was Linden Tree.

First, these two horses traveled to Virginia in 1879. There, Randolph Huntington started using them as the foundation sires for a new light harness horse breed. The project, however, was discontinued once the horseless carriage became popular. As a result, the horses were sent to the west. They spent some time in Nebraska, where they had offspring with native mares at Colby Ranch.

The offspring already started drawing attention from breeders in the west, and A.C. Whipple of Colorado was able to get mares from Colby Ranch that were sired by either Leopard or Linden Tree. Along with a white stallion known as Tony, the Whipples created an extensive breeding program. Then Mike Ruby ended up purchasing two horses that would go on to serve as the foundation for the new Colorado Ranger Horse breed.

After the Colorado Ranger Horse became an official breed in 1934, Mike Ruby served as the president of the Colorado Ranger Horse Association until 1942.

Breed Traits

Colorado Ranger horses are bold, clever, and intelligent. They are also described as multi-talented because they are able to perform a variety of tasks, from endurance riding and general riding, to various work tasks.

Overall, these horses are easy to work with and train, and all levels of horse riders, owners, and trainers can successfully work with this attractive breed.

Colorado Ranger horses are intelligent and multi-talented.

Overall Description

Colorado Ranger horses are lean and sturdy, as well as refined and compact, in terms of their overall physique. You will also note the refined features on the face of these horses, the responsive ears, and the attractive head.

This unique equine breed has a muscular body, along with short legs, a muscular and deep chest, and a compact back.

As a result of their build, these horses have a high level of power and stamina, and it is easy to recognize their extremely strong hind legs when you see them in person.

The Rangerbred Horse has a compact yet powerful body.


The Colorado Ranger Horse is a breed that does not have any specific color regulations, so it can feature a wide variety of beautiful equine coat colors and patterns. These commonly include roan, black, chestnut, gray, and bay. The most common patterns for the Colorado Ranger Horse are the blanket pattern, spotted leopard pattern, and the tri-colored leopard pattern.

Grooming Requirements

When you groom your Colorado Ranger Horse regularly, it will be easy to keep the animal’s coat clean, smooth, shiny, and healthy. All you need is a standard equine grooming toolkit, and you can shampoo your horse whenever he gets too dirty for brushing alone.

Use a combination of tools for the best results. These include a curry comb, which will help lift dirt and debris from the coat easily, a dandy brush and shedding blade to further remove excess debris and hair, and a body finishing brush for sensitive areas like the legs. A body finishing brush will also help give the horse’s coat a bit of shine at the end of a grooming session.

To keep the horse’s tail and mane looking smooth and beautiful, you can use a conditioner and detangling spray whenever necessary. However, you can also get good results with consistent use of a tail brush and mane comb.

Finally, to keep the hooves healthy and clean, use a hoof pick to easily lift out debris, such as rocks and dirt, that has become lodged in the horse’s hooves after outdoor activity.

Photo credit: Epiphone@HLBlogStockExchange

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

More by Lisa Selvaggio