There are no words for how excited I am about a new series I have starting this month. These are stories from my heart and soul and I just adore every one of the people who inhabit these stories. RIDIN’ FOR A FALL begins the A&G Original Brand series about the Allaway and Gowan families and their joint ranch in Big Horn, Wyoming. The Allaways run cattle on their side of the ranch, while the Gowans focus on horse breeding like many of the Scottish immigrants who came to Sheridan County in the 1890s. A government program assisting many ranchers in this area of Wyoming was the program set up under the Remount Board.
Prior to the mechanized war beginning with World War II, armies depended on horses, mules, dogs, etc., to move the lines forward. Governments relied on the breeders of such animals to supply their stock. These animals were procured by the Quartermaster Department. The method of issuing contracts based on bids often led to the Army acquiring older horses or animals in poor physical condition.
In 1908, Congress authorized the Remount Service. This specialized service was charged with procuring, conditioning and providing initial training for horses before issuing them to units. Another function of the service was to supervise an Army horse breeding program designed to raise the quality of horses.
During World War I, the scope of the program increased. The number of horses and mules skyrocketed to 571,000. Breeders such as Malcom Moncreiffe in Big Horn, Wyoming answered the call for horses. Moncreiffe ran one of the finest horse breeding operations in the world. He had already exported Wyoming-bred horses to the British cavalry and artillery; supplying over 20,000 horses during the Boer War.
As it did with the landscape of Europe and the human toll, World War I extracted a massive toll on the world’s horse population. Over 70,000 horses were killed serving as war horses. The horse population in the United States was so depleted something had to be done.
In 1919, the War Department created the Remount Board, and by 1921 the Remount Service acquired total responsibility for the horse breeding program from the Department of Agriculture. The board divided the country into seven geographical regions establishing Remount Depots in each. Sheridan, Wyoming was one of these depots. Civilians contracted with the Army to breed horses. Breeding farms and ranches were thoroughly inspected. To receive a stud a breeder needed 20 quality mares and little money. Breeders could sell the offspring to the Army or anyone else. The effort was meant to jump-start the American horse industry. However, records indicate over 39,000 foals were purchased by the Army.
Due to the mechanization of war, horses were not utilized to such an extent during World War II. The Coast Guard procured over 3,000 horses in 1943, using them for beach patrols. This lasted only a year and in 1944 the horses were returned to the Remount Depots. Fourteen thousand mules were used to negotiate jungle and mountainous terrain.
However, by 1948, Remount Headquarters was closed and the Army transferred the program to the Department of Agriculture. The next year the program was liquidated.
For horse breeders in the Sheridan area, the Remount Service had a major effect on industry. Local breeders utilized studs leased from the government to supplement their programs increasing both quality and quantity of horses.
You will meet two families who benefit from the Remount Program, the Allaways and Gowans, in RIDIN’ FOR A FALL. Kyle Allaway, of the A&G, is determined to build a horse breeding program to rival Malcolm Moncreiffe’s, but there’s many ways a man can fall before reaching his dreams.
RIDIN’ is the beginning of two new series with Kyle and Lena standing as an anchor in each. For all the information first sign up for my newsletter at SPURS & DOG TAGS NEWSLETTER
If you would like a FREE peek at Kyle and Lena’s story you can download a TWO chapter, uncorrected, preview at KIRSTEN LYNN STORE
Here’s the blurb.
He’s the All American Cowboy…
Kyle Allaway is riding tall as one-half of the greatest act in Frank Perry’s Wild West Show. He’s his own man far from Big Horn, Wyoming and the family who betrayed him driving him from his fondest dream…well at least one of his dreams…
She’s the Sweetheart of the West…
Lena Gowan is barely holding onto the reins. Tired of constant travel, the applause of the crowd means nothing to her. She longs to return to the ranch co-owned by the Gowan and Allaway families. To leave Kyle would mean walking away from her dearest friend and heart’s desire.
Together they’ve been a team since childhood…
When a surprise lands in Kyle’s arms, he’s forced to become two things he swore he’d never be… a father to a child born outside of marriage and Lena’s husband. His world continues to tumble when he takes his new family to the one place he both loves and hates … the A&G Ranch. As the world erupts in the Great War, the Allaways and Gowans face a battle years in the making. Kyle and Lena must hold tight to each other and fight internal questions and doubts and external forces seeking their destruction, or risk a fall that will knock them out of the saddle for good.
Sometimes the safest place to fall…is in love…
Kirsten Lynn writes stories based on the people and history of the West, more specifically those who live and love in Wyoming and Montana. Using her MA in Naval History, Kirsten, weaves her love of the West and the military together in many of her stories, merging these two halves of her heart. When she's not roping, riding and rabble-rousing with the cowboys and cowgirls who reside in her endless imagination, Kirsten works as a professional historian. http://www.kirstenlynnwildwest.com/