Cutters, cattle and cabernet

The Atwood Ranches were founded in the late 1970’s by Dr. Tom Atwood, a San Francisco businessman, turned rancher, land holder, and vintner. There are ranches scattered across four western states each with a unique history and a purpose all its own, from raising prized show Brahman to growing essential timber, producing grapes for the finest cabernet to breeding race horses.

The Atwood Ranch horse herd is Quarter Horse based, as it has been since the beginning. The breeding program began some thirty years ago, tracing its origins to a vision of excellence. With a keen interest in bloodlines, Atwood Ranch obtained a few of the greats, both stallions and broodmares. The ranch acquired and raised a half dozen studs, sons of Doc Bar, Peppy San Badger, Doc O’ Lena, Colonel Freckles and the like … a few bands of broodmares, champions and money-earners in their own right. The winning formula for a successful breeding program then took flight.

Over the years the Atwood Ranch stallions have championed many a cutting, reining and cow horse honor. A true passion for breeding proven blood with good minds, has remained steadfast. The goal has always been to breed and raise superior horses with outstanding bloodlines, solid bone and correct conformation along with personality and, of course, good looks.

Brilliance in breeding meets prior and proper preparation


Tom Atwood met world renowned clinician and horse behaviorist, Pat Parelli, when Pat, with an avid interest in working cow horses, was looking to the future for his next Superhorses. Pat admired the Atwood breeding program and Tom recognized the significance of the Parelli program. Thanks to Ranch Managers Catherine and Mike Sapienza, Atwood Ranch Naturally has evolved to offer excellent breeding in combination with a highly sophisticated Young Horse Development Program based on the Parelli Principles and on Dr. Robert Miller’s work in Foal Imprinting.

Along with traditional performance homes, these amazing offspring are now being offered through the Atwood Ranch Naturally program to the recreational rider – the progressive natural horseman who has elevated aspirations and goals, which may or may not include a few weekend shows. These horsemen want the best bloodlines with a natural start and the innate ability to perform in a range of disciplines.