Versatility Ranch Horse

Learn the basics of horse training for Versatility Ranch Horse competition.

Learn the basics of horse training for Versatility Ranch Horse competition.

Six Versatility Ranch Horse classes are offered including ranch cow work
Six Versatility Ranch Horse classes are offered, including ranch cow work. Journal photo

It sprouted from the desire to display the versatility and usability of ranch horses in a show setting. After tweaking and fine-tuning the original plans, AQHA introduced the Versatility Ranch Horse classes. Multiple classes are offered: ranch trail, ranch riding, ranch reining, ranch cutting, ranch cow work and ranch conformation.

These six classes are divided among four categories. Exhibitors have the opportunity to compete in open, amateur, youth and cowboy divisions, and are no longer required to compete in all six classes.

Continue reading “Versatility Ranch Horse”

Horse Health: Beat the Heat

Learn how you can protect horse health during summer heat.

Learn how you can protect horse health during summer heat.

Summer heat requires extra precaution when caring for horses
Summer heat requires extra precaution when caring for horses. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

In the summer, when temperatures soar, the hot sun glares and there’s nary a breeze to be found, most horse owners are comfortable in air-conditioned offices or houses. But what about our beloved horses?

Extreme heat can lead to dehydration, tying up, heat exhaustion, colic and even death. Dr. Justin Voge of Hartman Equine in Whitesboro, Texas and Dr. Elaine Carpenter of Cave Creek Equine in Phoenix, Arizona, strongly recommend using common sense when determining whether or not your horse is at risk for these conditions.

Precautions

“We advise to not exercise your horse in the heat of the day,” Dr. Carpenter says. “Pick early morning or late evening when it’s cooler to ride or work your horse.”

That said, even in cooler parts of the day during the summer, take extra care to properly warm up and cool your horse down.

“Just be sensible. If it’s hot out and you’re hot, think about how hard you work your horse. A fit horse can handle it better than a horse that’s not fit,” Dr. Carpenter says.

The policy at Voge Quarter Horses is to always rinse the horse after exercise in the summer. It cools them down faster, gets the dirt and sweat off and, then when placed in a well-ventilated stall, keeps them cool longer.

Want to learn more about keeping your horse safe while riding this summer? AQHA’s FREE Trail Ride Safety Tips report has expert advice on how you can enjoy trail riding while keeping your horse’s health and the environment in mind.

It’s critical to always provide clean drinking water for horses, but in the summer, it can be a matter of life or death.

“In the summertime, we feed a little bit of Morton lite salt every day,” Dr. Voge says.

It’s a combination of salt and potassium chloride designed for human consumption. It can be found at most grocers and helps horses want to drink more.

Electrolytes can also help your horse stay healthy in the heat. Electrolytes can be administered in an oral paste, or mixed in feed or water.

Be careful when you put electrolytes in the water, though,” Dr. Carpenter warns. “Always offer water without electrolytes, as well. Some horses will stop drinking because they don’t like the taste. And you definitely don’t want them to stop drinking.”

Summertime provides many great trail-riding opportunities, but it’s important to be mindful of your equine partner’s health. Learn more about keeping your American Quarter Horse safe in AQHA’s FREE Trail Ride Safety Tips report.

Warning Signs

Here are signs that your horse might need serious medical attention because of the heat. Call the vet right away if your horse has any of these symptoms:

  1. The horse stops sweating. Some horses suffer from anhydrosis, which is the inability to sweat, and a condition that needs to be diagnosed by the veterinarian. In a normal horse, it is a sign of extreme heat stress. If it’s hot out and your horse stops sweating, call the vet right away.
  2. Increased respiratory rate. Anything above 50 breaths per minute warrants a vet call
  3. Increased rectal temperature. If the horse’s temperature rises above 102, call the vet. If the horse’s temperature shoots up right away after a few minutes of exercise, that is a sign that the horse is having trouble cooling itself.
  4. Muscle stiffness. A horse that seems stiff and/or is reluctant to move around may be starting to tie up. Call the vet.
  5. Lethargy. If the horse acts depressed, is disinterested in food or lacks coordination, call the vet.

While waiting for the vet to arrive, stop activity, offer the horse water, rinse the horse with cold water and keep him in the shade and in front of a fan.

Horse Showing: The Perfect Setup

Teach young halter horses to set up in five easy steps while horse-showing.

Teach young halter horses to set up in five easy steps while horse showing.

The set up is an important aspect of halter horse classes Journal photo
Teaching your halter horse how to properly set up will help you achieve your horse showing goals. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

It looks like magic. A young halter horse, standing so still, so perfectly, with his head held high and his ears perked forward. He almost looks like a beautiful bronze statue. But it’s not magic. All it takes is repetition and patience, says AQHA Professional Horseman Ted Turner Jr.

Here are five steps for achieving the perfect setup, plus grooming tips from AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam to help you shine in the show ring.

Step One

The first thing a young horse needs to learn is the word “whoa.” This should be your favorite word when teaching a young horse to set up. It not only means stop, it also means to stand still.

Continue reading “Horse Showing: The Perfect Setup”

AQHA Member Benefits

Our membership website walks you through all the benefits you receive through your AQHA membership.

Our membership site walks you through all the benefits you receive through your AQHA membership.

Member DiscountIn today’s economy, AQHA members are making great efforts to spend their money wisely.

Many of you have made sacrifices: You’re carefully selecting the horse shows and trail rides closest to home. You’re holding off on that new saddle you want. You’re packing your lunches and banding your own manes.

Continue reading “AQHA Member Benefits”

Natural Fly Repellent

Advice for a horse owner wanting to try fly repellent supplements.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners offers advice for a horse owner wanting to try fly repellent supplements.

Question:

I board my horse at a facility with approximately 30 other horses. There is adequate pasture space for all and fairly good manure management. My question is, do fly repellent supplements work? I know that for larval killer, all horses must be on it.

But will the repellent (such as garlic mixes) work at all? If they do work, I would like to start my horse on them soon so he is protected for the coming fly season.

Answer:

There’s no scientific research to support the use of garlic and other products (apple cider vinegar, diatomaceous earth) to repel insects, yet many people swear by these natural products and continue to use them year after year for their horses. The fact that there’s no supporting research doesn’t mean the products don’t work. It just means that, because they’re natural products that can’t be patented, no company is going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars proving they work, only to have 20 other companies profit from their study. Continue reading “Natural Fly Repellent”

Why Raising Kids Around American Quarter Horses Is Great

Horseback riding teaches children countless lessons and instills long-lasting values.

Horseback riding teaches children countless lessons and instills long-lasting values.

Why Raising Kids Around Horses is Great
We asked, and you answered! Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram to participate in upcoming questions.

By Shiley Blackwell, Summer 2016 Communications and Digital Marketing Intern

From barn chores to blue ribbon wins, American Quarter Horses have been teaching life lessons since the breed’s inception. Horse owners know the countless things horseback riding, mucking stalls and horse showing can teach you, and many parents raise their kids around horses because of this.

We were interested to know why you think raising children around American Quarter Horses is great. We posed the question on social media and gathered your answers here.

Learn even more life lessons with your American Quarter Horse by becoming an AQHA member. You’ll experience a variety of benefits, including access to the Horseback Riding Program and AQHA-approved horse shows.

Question:

“Raising kids around American Quarter Horses is great because ______________.”

Continue reading “Why Raising Kids Around American Quarter Horses Is Great”

Training Quarter Horses in Uruguay

The 2016 Verdugo International Horsemanship Camp series continues on in Uruguay.

The 2016 Verdugo International Horsemanship Camp series continues on in Uruguay.

By Dr. Anna Morrison

Day 2

Uruguay 3The second day of the AQHA William R. Verdugo seminar in Uruguay started with a presentation on training techniques for barrels and poles by Ms. Kacey Kirby. After this, Kacey worked with seminar participants in the arena by troubleshooting problem areas in their barrel runs.

After lunch, Dr. Jim Heird visited with the seminar attendees about various international initiatives that the AQHA is focusing on. With 29 years of service supporting Quarter Horses in Uruguay, and currently serving as an AQHA Executive Committee member, Heird is well positioned to act as a liaison between and ambassador for the AQHA and SCCM.

The day finished with another barrels and poles session in the arena with Kirby, and followed by a lecture on groundwork techniques by Dr. Anna Morrison.

The group enjoyed a dinner of traditional Uruguayan fare, including chivitos and milanesa. And who can forget dessert? Dulce de leche and massini rounded out a delicious meal!

Day 1

The day after arriving in Uruguay, Dr. Jim Heird, Dr. Anna Morrison and Kacey Kirby began the 2016 AQHA William R. Verdugo International Seminar at Haras Santa Barbara. Based on the requests of the Uruguayan AQHA affiliate (Sociedad de Criadores de Cuarto de Milla), this seminar focused on training and handling of young horses, as well as barrel racing and pole bending.

Dr. Heird began the seminar with a lecture focusing on how horses learn, and followed that with handling demonstrations. Next, Dr. Morrison presented on the topic of desensitization.  Continue reading “Training Quarter Horses in Uruguay”

Two Exercises to Perfect the Counter-Canter

Oklahoma State University instructors teach exercises to develop the counter-canter at the 2016 AQHA International Horsemanship Camp in Sweden.

Oklahoma State University instructors teach exercises to develop the counter-canter at the 2016 AQHA International Horsemanship Camp in Sweden.

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From the left: Sarah Schobert, Dr. Kris Hiney, Natalie Baker and Dee Church.

Writing from the Southern coast of Sweden for the 2016 International Horsemanship Camp at Hälldala Ranch in Sweden: We have had a fun- filled four days exploring Malmö, Sweden, visiting the Swedish Southern coast, and, of course, meeting our 29 riders at the International Horsemanship Camp! The OSU instructors and I were also featured in the Swedish newspaper, Ystads Allemande, in which there was an article about the AQHA International Horsemanship Camps.

The Oklahoma State University instructors and I had a fantastic experience at Hälldala Ranch, which is owned and operated by Mats and Inger Larsson. The Larssons’ equestrian facility hosts monthly equestrian clinics and soon will have the capacity to host cattle events and large-scale horse shows. Oklahoma State University is led by AQHA Level 1 Judge Dr. Kris Hiney, the OSU Extension horse specialist and assistant professor at OSU. Dr. Hiney was assisted by Natalie Baker, the OSU Equine Center manager; Sarah Schobert, an OSU animal science graduate student and the assistant coach for the OSU Horse Judging Team; and Dee Church, who graduated this May from OSU with a bachelors degree in animal science. Dee Church will be attending Texas Tech University and will be the graduate manager of the Texas Tech University Beef Unit. The 29 riders who attended the horsemanship camp represented the diverse equine interest that the versatile American Quarter Horse offers. The OSU instructors did an excellent job catering to the diverse interests by lecturing on topics ranging from showing specific classes like showmanship, horsemanship, ranch riding and reining, as well as providing information on horse management and training. The riders were interested in learning more advance maneuvers, such as the lead change, so the instructors provided two exercises based on lateral and counter- bending to better prepare the riders’ horses for a precise lead change. Continue reading “Two Exercises to Perfect the Counter-Canter”

Horse Breeding: Owning a Manageable Stallion

Jim Brinkman, manager of Pitzer Ranch, outlines horse-breeding tips to help prevent your stallion from becoming a problem child.

Jim Brinkman, manager of Pitzer Ranch, outlines horse-breeding tips to help prevent your stallion from becoming a problem child.

Giving your stallion a job can go a long ways in keeping him manageable and respectful Journal photo
Giving your stallion a job can go a long ways in keeping him manageable and respectful. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Stallions get a bad rap for being stubborn and hard to manage. They’re like the kid in school who everyone assumes is a big bully. Not all stallions are stubborn bullies. You just have to know how to handle them and how to treat them like normal horses.

Trainer Jim Brinkman, manager of the Pitzer Ranch in Ericson, Nebraska, has been breeding horses for more than 30 years. He has learned plenty about how to deal with stallions and all the ins and outs of their sometimes-ornery behavior. Here’s some advice from Brinkman and equine behaviorist Sue McDonnell, Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine on the best way to treat your stallion like a normal horse. Continue reading “Horse Breeding: Owning a Manageable Stallion”

Golden Globe Moments

The 2016 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show is less than a month away. Are you as excited as we are?

The 2016 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show is less than a month away. Are you as excited as we are?

Young horsemen and women will compete for the title of AQHA Youth World Champion next month in Oklahoma City. Journal photo

By Shiley Blackwell, Summer 2016 Communications and Digital Marketing Intern

Last year, the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show brought more than 700 youth competitors to Oklahoma City. With 2,165 entries from the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the nine days were packed with excitement.

This August, Oklahoma City’s State Fair Park will once again be filled with young contestants as they vie for the title of world champion in their respective events. To prepare for this year’s show, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the 2015 Ford Youth World.

Continue reading “Golden Globe Moments”

Advanced Horse, Novice Rider

Cutting expert Al Dunning offers advice for handling a powerful cutting horse.

Cutting expert Al Dunning offers advice for handling a powerful cutting horse.

Question:

I’ve recently purchased a much more advanced cutting horse than the one I was riding to teach me. This horse is much faster through his turns. I’m not having trouble stopping or turning; it’s when the horse makes multiple moves with the cow and then accelerates much faster than what I’m prepared for and slides me back out of the saddle before I can Continue reading “Advanced Horse, Novice Rider”

Happy National Farriers Week!

We say “thank you” to the farriers who help keep American Quarter Horses happy, healthy and sound.

We say “thank you” to the farriers who help keep American Quarter Horses happy, healthy and sound.

Farriers help horse owners keep their trusty steeds hooves healthy
Farriers help horse owners keep their trusty steeds’ hooves healthy. Journal photo

By Shiley Blackwell, Summer 2016 Communications and Digital Marketing Intern

We’ve all heard the saying “no hoof, no horse” countless times. Hoof care is vital to a horse’s overall well-being, and conscientious maintenance helps with long-term soundness and performance.

With that being said, most horse owners don’t keep their horses’ feet in mint condition on their own. Dedicated farriers around the world help horses perform and feel their best.

Since National Farriers Week is July 10-16, we want to say “thank you” to the farriers who help keep American Quarter Horses happy, healthy and sound. To celebrate, we’ve compiled 10 of our most popular hoof care articles. Enjoy reading, and don’t forget to thank your farrier this week!

Continue reading “Happy National Farriers Week!”