February 2009

Mare Care Tips

February 27, 2009

Right from the vet’s mouth: ABCs for the new mare owner.

A few years ago, The American Quarter Horse Journal sat down with veterinarian Dr. Racquel Rodeheaver to hear her advice on breeding a mare with shipped semen for the first time.

AQHJ I just bought a mare, and I want to breed her with shipped semen. But I’ve never done this before. What do I do first?

Dr. Rodeheaver – You’ll need a breeding soundness evaluation on the mare to understand exactly what our expectations are going to be for her reproductive health.

If you can find out previous breeding history, it’s helpful just to know whether she has ever had problems becoming pregnant or how she has performed reproductively. If a history isn’t available, then that’s all the more reason to do a breeding soundness evaluation. Read the rest of this entry »

Eye Injuries

February 26, 2009

Horse owners should take every eye injury very seriously.

By Dr. Thomas Lenz

Because horses have large, prominent eyes on the sides of their heads, they are more prone to eye injuries than other domestic animals. Most eye injuries result from a variety of causes – foreign objects such as dirt, sand or small rocks thrown into the eye during racing or running; scratches from hay stems, weeds or tree limbs; or accidental trauma from humans.

Self-inflicted injuries occur when the horse makes a sudden head movement and contacts a trailer latch, hook, protruding nail, fence, bucket handle or some other object. Because the cornea almost entirely fills the space between the eyelids, corneal ulcers, abrasions and lacerations are the most common of all eye injuries. Read the rest of this entry »

Groom to Win

February 25, 2009

These tips will give your horse the ultimate show-ring shine.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam with contributions from Kristin Syverson

Want to prove you are a serious competitor? Then enter the ring with a serious shine. Not only does meticulous grooming demonstrate good horsemanship, it also creates a lasting impression in the judge’s mind. Set yourself apart from the crowd with these tips.

Manage That Mane

To shorten your horse’s mane, do not cut it with scissors. The proper way to shorten is by pulling and thinning the mane by hand. Horses are not as sensitive about this as humans. However, if too many hairs are jerked out at once, the horse will become irritated.

Read the rest of this entry »

All Grown Up

February 24, 2009

“Zen” is off to a good start in life.

As Brent and Cayman stand calmly by, I work Zen from the fence, rubbing her with my right foot so she gets used to a leg passing over her back.

As Brent and Cayman stand calmly by, I work Zen from the fence, rubbing her with my right foot so she gets used to a leg passing over her back. And is she not cute in that saddle? I think she is!

I can imagine how it must feel to see your baby girl walk out the door wearing makeup for the first time. This weekend, my baby girl wore a saddle for the first time. And a rider. And it was all good.

I look at Brent Graef, an AQHA Professional Horseman from Canyon, Texas, as my mentor in all things equine. He’s a good friend and a great horseman. And, as a matter of fact, I was at his house when “Zen” was born. So it made perfect sense to come full circle. He and his wife, Kris, had offered to help me with Zen’s first saddling and her first ride. And by “help,” what I mean is that Brent and Kris did most of the work while I watched and learned. They’re pros, and Brent even wore the microphone he uses for clinics so that I could hear his comments over the gale-force winds we were having. It was invaluable commentary. Read the rest of this entry »

Western Seat Basics

February 24, 2009

Certified Horsemanship Association instructors teach you to sit right.

From the Certified Horsemanship Association Composite Horsemanship Manual. CHA, an AQHA alliance partner, certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals and hosts interactive conferences.

Compiled by Hailey Harroun

Instructors from the Certified Horsemanship Association explain the correct positioning needed for a balanced seat:

  • Hands and Arms: Elbows are relaxed and close to the sides. Traditionally, reins are held in the left hand, with the rein hand above and just in front of the pommel. The right hand is loose on the right thigh or across your midsection. Read the rest of this entry »

Horses That Kick

February 23, 2009

Expert advice to quell a kicking horse’s bad habits.

America’s Horse Daily received the following question concerning a horse that kicks her owner. AQHA Professional Horsewoman and friend of Daily Julie Goodnight offers some advice that many riders will find useful.


I need some help with one of my mares. She is trained, but she is not ridden much. I always longe her before riding because she is powerful. When I take her out to longe her in the arena, she turns as she moves out into a circle on the longe line and kicks out to the side and has hit me three times now. Each time is a little higher. I know that this has to do with not handling her enough. She is smart and I am always careful with her (and all horses). She doesn’t do this to the stable hand that lets her out and longes her. I am pretty experienced, but this has me baffled as to how to handle this without getting too rough with her.


You have to expect that horses will kick out when they are on the longe line, working a circle on a lead line or even working at liberty in the round pen. The whole purpose of the kick is for defense when the horse is being attacked from behind, either from a predator or from a more dominant horse. When we work the horse on the circle, we are basically attacking the horse from behind, therefore you must expect that the horse will kick out. Read the rest of this entry »

Junior Master Horseman

February 23, 2009

“Junior Master Horseman” teaches horsemanship in fun, age-appropriate ways.

Get started today by getting your Junior Master Horseman books!

The mission of Junior Master Horseman” is to provide a fun, interactive and engaging youth program that promotes love, appreciation and passion for horses. Here’s an example of what you’ll find in the pages of JMH:

Buy Junior Master Horseman Levels One, Two and Three today!

Check Your Horse Before You Ride

As a responsible horseman, you should take time to carefully check for soundness and overall health before you begin exercising  your horse.

Before saddling up, give your horse a good hand check. Feel for any sore spots, bruises, or rough places under the skin. Read the rest of this entry »

In the Business of Breeding

February 20, 2009

Protect your horse-breeding business in the event of an IRS audit.

By the Journal’s Tonya Garrison, with contributions from Kristin Syverson

Even though it’s the same time every year, tax season seems to always sneak up on us. If you run a breeding operation, or any type of horse operation, you may be deducting equine expenses on your taxes. Make sure your business stands up to the scrutiny of the IRS if you are ever (gulp) audited.

What Triggered the Audit

“Most IRS auditors feel you are getting into the horse business for a tax shelter – to get a loophole to write off all your income from another job,” says Billy Peterson, certified financial planner. Read the rest of this entry »

Treating Thrush

February 19, 2009

This common problem in horses can be handled with regular maintenance.

Liquid treatments must typically be applied daily.

From Knack “Leg and Hoof Care for Horses,” by Micaela Myers. Published by KNACK, an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, Connecticut

Thrush is a bacterial and fungal infection of the frog. You can spot it by its foul smell and black tar-like discharge, which often ends up on the end of your hoof pick. If thrush is not treated early or the infection progresses too far, it can spread to the sensitive parts of the hoof.

Micaela Myers offers her strategies for preventing and treating thrush.

Regular Hoof Cleaning

Introducing Team Wrangler

February 18, 2009

Some of the industry’s finest AQHA Professional Horsemen make up the 2009 teams.

2008 Team Cowboy Cut Members

2008 Team Cowboy Cut Members

Compiled by Kristin Syverson

Watch highlights from the Team Wrangler Showdown at the 2008 World Show.

Have you ever met a Professional Horseman who liked to lose? We doubt it. That’s why Team Wrangler gives AQHA professionals a unique way of putting that competitive spirit to work.

Team Wrangler members duke it out with their peers for cash prizes and naming rights to a $20,000 Wrangler scholarship designated for American Quarter Horse Youth Read the rest of this entry »

Spook Proof

February 17, 2009

Despook your horse before you end up in trouble.

To help prevent a blow-up the next time your horse gets scared, The American Quarter Horse Journal asked AQHA Professional Horseman Sallie Jo Reid to offer some helpful tips on how to spook-proof your horse.

You can’t be too prepared when it comes to despooking your horse. Once you desensitize him to everyday things you see around the arena, find some unusual props to work with.

Some good despooking tools are:

  • Tarps – Tarps make great spook-proofing tools because they can make a lot of noise, and they are easy to move around. Start slowly by showing the tarp to your horse and slowly work up to walking him over it or throwing it on his back. Read the rest of this entry »

Gift Horse

February 16, 2009

One couple’s rewarding story of donating their horses for therapeutic riding.

Earl Meadows shares a special moment with Golden Poco Mac while being honored by Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center a few months before his death.

From the American Quarter Horse Foundation

Earl Meadows, a World War II and Korean War vet, and his wife, Ruth, made some difficult, yet beneficial, decisions six years ago when they donated three American Quarter Horses to the Windridge Therapeutic Riding Center in Longview, Texas.

An avid member of AQHA, Earl began his relationship with American Quarter Horses in 1986, and thoroughly enjoyed service in the Sheriff’s Mounted Unit, along with pleasure riding and showing. Read the rest of this entry »