October 2008

Vital Winner

October 20, 2008

This 2004 gray gelding is one to watch for at the racetrack.

Dustin Orona Photography

Dustin Orona Photography

The Bank of America Racing Challenge Championship night is November 8 at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, Louisiana. It will feature six championship races with some of the best horses in the country battling it out for titles in their respective divisions.

One of the stars to watch for is Vital Winner, who will run in the Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1).

Vital Winner will be making his first start in Louisiana, but fortunately he is one of those horses who doesn’t have to bring his racetrack with him. That’s a good thing, too, because the 4-year-old gelding by Easy Winning Jet has logged some miles on a van.

Read the rest of this entry »

How Good is Your Horse Shoer?

October 17, 2008

Certified journeyman farriers undergo rigorous schooling.

Test your knowledge

Test your knowledge

Take a look at this shod hoof.

Looks pretty good, right?

That’s until examiner Dusty Franklin, American Farrier’s Association certified journeyman farrier, goes over it with his eagle eye.

Here’s how he’d evaluate the nail clinches on this foot:

  1. “The toe nail looks pretty good. It’s good and square, and it’s in line with the tubules of the foot.”
  2. “The second clinch has a ragged edge. The back part of it has been rasped off, and the front hasn’t, and it’s a lot longer than the first clinch.”
  3. “The third one, you see where the hoof wall has been pulled down when (the farrier) clinched it? He over-clinched it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Trail Ride Gadgets

October 17, 2008

Great items to have with you as you ride the trails.

Get yours today!

Get yours today!

We’ve compiled a list of great items to have in your saddle bag as you ride your horse along the trails.

Hint for the holidays: these items make great gifts for the trail rider who has everything!

  • Record your trail ride adventures in any weather with Rite in the Rain journals.
  • The Professional’s Choice Trailer Door Caddy is the only organizer designed to accommodate you and your horse.  It is composed of durable construction and features both open and zipper mesh pockets to keep things neat and organized. There are also insulated cup holders to keep your beverages cold while grooming. The caddy installs easily and securely to a trailer or stall door.

Penny Pinching at the Pump

October 15, 2008

Take these steps to save precious fuel while pulling your horse trailer.

With fuel close to $5 per gallion, hauling horses can seem like the ultimate nightmare. Though hoping for the return of $2 fuel may never pay off, these tips can help you save some green at the pump. After all, your money is better spent on entry fees at your next show. Read the rest of this entry »

Horses and Kids

October 14, 2008

A good horse is an excellent teacher for your children.

Owning a horse is a huge responsibility. It can also be one of the best investments you’ll ever make on behalf of your children.

Participation in the care of a horse teaches children some of the very things they’ll need in order to succeed as adults – responsibility, how to honor a commitment, loyalty, organizational and management skills and patience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Be a Good Guide

October 14, 2008

A good guide earns a horse’s respect by reassuring the horse and inspiring his trust.

AQHA's Fundamentals of Horsemanship shows you how to earn your horse's respect.

Order Fundamentals of Horsemanship

Your horse is relaxed and receptive when he has found and understands his role in your relationship. Horses know how to recognize a good guide, and they are happy to follow.

If your horse is displaying negative behavior, take a look at your leadership style. Read the rest of this entry »

Speed Rules

October 13, 2008

Speed ratings give Quarter Horse handicappers another number to compare speed.

Get AQHA's Guide to Wagering on American Quarter Horse Racing.

By Michael Cusortelli

Speed figures make the world go around – at least the world of American Quarter Horse racing.

For the past 11 years, Quarter Horse handicappers have had two speed figures to choose from: the traditional speed index and the TrackMaster speed rating. The speed index has been around since 1970, when it replaced the original letter-grade system with a number system.

Read the rest of this entry »

Finding Mister Right

October 9, 2008

Use these tips to select the right stallion for your mare:

  • Your decision depends on several things, including the goals you have for the foal. Are you trying to produce a future AQHA Champion? Do you plan to sell the foal for a good price based on impeccable bloodlines? Do you hope to raise and train the foal to become the horse of your dreams?

    AQHA Executive Committee Member Peter J. Cofrancesco III of Sparta, New Jersey, and A Radiant Image, 2007 amateur aged stallions world champion.

  • You need to choose a stallion based on traits that he could pass on to his offspring: conformation, athletic ability and disposition. Bloodlines are important, but a critical assessment of the stallion himself is probably most important.

Cold Therapy

October 9, 2008

A handy first-aid item for your horse is in your freezer.

Relief for your horses injury is in the fridge!

Relief for your horse

Cold therapy can help a variety of your horse’s muscle, tendon and joint injuries. So when ice is what the doctor orders, a bag of small frozen vegetables, such as peas or corn, makes a convenient cold pack.

Don’t want to ruin tomorrow night’s dinner?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Three Bars Legacy

October 8, 2008

A history of the horse whose offspring have become legends in the show ring.

Buy this photo of Three Bars (TB) at AQHAs Photo Store.

Buy this photo of Three Bars (TB).

In an age of hot-blooded, hair-triggered racehorses, Three Bars’ easygoing disposition was something of an anomaly. His temperament was one of the reasons he succeeded as a sire.

Walter Merrick of Oklahoma knew he’d hit the jackpot when he started breeding mares to Three Bars. He persuaded owner Sidney H. Vail to let him lease the stallion for three breeding seasons, 1952-54. Instead of breeding 12 or 15 mares a year, suddenly Three Bars was breeding 70. After the lease was up, Merrick hauled his best mares to wherever Three Bars was standing. Read the rest of this entry »

Holding Your Reins

October 7, 2008

AQHA Professional Horseman Bennie Sargent shows you how to achieve power steering.

Your reins should create a straight line from your elbow to your horse’s mouth.

When the reins get too long, your hands are either too low or they get up way too high. You lose your leverage, your guide and effectiveness.

Your reins are a steering wheel. A horse carries most of his weight in his front end, so most of your guide and your balance is in the front. Read the rest of this entry »

Be Prepared

October 7, 2008

You and your horse need to be ready long before you leave town for a trail ride.

Janice Tramel and Ghost One Gray at Yellowstone National Park

Janice Tramel and Ghost One Gray at Yellowstone National Park

A veteran of more than 50 AQHA trail rides, Janice Tramel of Locust Grove, Oklahoma, speaks from experience when she advises trail riders on preparedness.

Long before you leave home, “you need to prepare you and your horse,” Janice says. “You need to ride every day, to get you both physically fit.”

Read the rest of this entry »