Warren Ploeger awakens every morning, knowing that his horses will be waiting outside his Schaller farm to greet him.
For 32 years, Warren has been raising prize winning quarter horses and has recently branched out to raising paints. With 70 horses to care for, Warren doesn't have much time to horse around.
"I think everyone has to have something they like to do and something to get up for in the morning," Warren said. "It's just in my blood, I can't help it."
Warren said his love for horses stems back quite a few years and said horses have always been a part of his life.
"My dad was crazy about horses and it was just a way of life back then," Warren said. "If you took care of the horses, they'd take care of you."
Warren had to get rid of his horses when he went to the Army, however he did find time for some trail riding while he was there.
"Once I returned from the Army, I got myself a bride and a colt," Warren said, smiling at his wife Nancy.
Warren and Nancy married in December of 1968 and since the Spring of 1969, horses have been a way of life for the Ploegers.
"I really don't know how he built up to 70 horses," Nancy said.
"My wife just tolerates it," Warren laughed. "She does like meeting people at the shows though."
"Some of our best friends, we've met at horse shows," Nancy said.
Warren raises the horses, while other people show them for him. Warren specializes in halter and tries to sell his horses as colts or yearlings, depending on the market.
The Ploegers take their horses to shows all over and have even sold horses to those in Venezuela. While his kids were growing up, they too showed the horses.
"Two of our kids, Lonnie and Lynn, used to show the horses a lot," Warren said. "Those two brought home a lot of trophies. They were Northwest Iowa Champs and Lonnie was even third in the world when he was 12."
Warren said there are certain horses that he gets attached to and there's always one that really grows on him.
Read the rest of this article in the 10/07 Pilot Tribune.