January 2010

2010 Sun Country Circuit

January 29, 2010

The Sun Country Circuit in Scottsdale, Arizona, is one of the biggest winter AQHA show circuits.

The Sun Country Circuit in Scottsdale, Arizona, is one of the biggest winter AQHA show circuits (Journal photo).

The state of the show

.It’s been fickle weather for the Arizona Quarter Horse Association’s Sun Country Circuit – a few days of odd downpours followed by days of bright sunshine. But the show has been a blast.

Mark Harrell and his crew are keeping the rings running smoothly. Circle S Ranch sponsored an Italian feast for all competitors. Longtime exhibitor Joni Hegel has covered half the cost of a daily hot lunch for everyone at the show, from exhibitors to spectators.

And like the weather, so goes the average horseman’s opinion here as to the state of our horse show industry these days. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on January 26 certainly made fodder for thought in the minds of those showing in Scottsdale.

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Mop Ponies

January 29, 2010

What’s the next best thing to an American Quarter Horse? Building your own mop pony to ride!

Mop Pony Trail Rides offered at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

Mop Pony Trail Rides offered at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

On your mark, get set … GO!

Want to feel the excitement of winning your very own mock horse race? Then you’re going to need a mop pony.

Some of Two Bits’ best friends are mop ponies down at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.

Some, such as Hind Sitz 2020, are best racing barrels at local rodeos, while others, like Peachio, rule the ring at slower-paced western pleasure classes.

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Parents’ Night Out

January 29, 2010

Nights at the Museums is coming soon; have you registered? Two Bits is excited about meeting all the newcomers and even seeing a few familiar faces again.

There are tons of exciting activities planned, so many that Two Bits keeps jumping the gun a little, so we thought it would be a good time for him to tell you about his newest friend.

Nights at the Museums

Nights at the Museums

Two Bits would like to introduce you to his new friend, Pal. Pal is the mascot for Breyer Animal Creations, which produces outstanding model replicas of real horses. Breyer horses have been around for a very long time and have even developed a few lines of horses just for kids. These lines are known as The Saddle Club, Pony Gals, Paddock Pals, Mini Whinnies, Wind Dancers and one of Two Bits’ favorites, Stablemates. They even have really cool barns, tack shops, and saddles for your Breyer horses. Read the rest of this entry »

Here Comes Baby: Part I

January 29, 2010

Prepare for the new arrival with last-minute preparations and an on-hand foaling kit.

Before the foaling date, give the mare all the vaccines you want the foal vaccinated for, because the baby will acquire the antibodies when he takes his first drink of colostrum after birth.

Before the foaling date, give the mare all the vaccines you want the foal vaccinated for, because the baby will acquire the antibodies when he takes his first drink of colostrum after birth.

By Andrea Caudill in the Q-Racing section of The American Quarter Horse Journal

The months of planning and waiting are about to pay off for breeders around the world – their mares are preparing to deliver the next generation of champions.

If this is your first time, or if you need a few refresher tips, the Racing Journal consulted with Dr. Ben Espy on things to keep in mind.

Getting Mama Ready

1. Watch her figure. It’s pretty common to feel sorry for the mother-to-be as she grows larger, but it is best for her health to keep off the pounds. Don’t give in to feeding her more until she begins lactating in her final few months.

Foaling is an athletic event, and it’s really critical that these mares are in good shape,” Dr. Espy says. “It’s very well-respected in the reproductive and nutritional communities that pregnant mares only need the same amount of calories as a non-pregnant mare or gelding up until the last three months of gestation.”

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2010 Versatility Ranch Champ

January 28, 2010

Mike Major and Smart Whiskey Doc are the 2010 open versatility ranch horse world champions.

Mike Major and Smart Whiskey Doc are the 2010 open versatility ranch horse world champions. (Journal photo)

Back-to-back champs.

Mike Major and Smart Whiskey Doc took the versatility ranch horse world championship to the cheers of a crowd of almost 2,000 in the equine events center at the National Western Stock Show.

Read the entire story and all the show coverage online, brought to you by The American Quarter Horse Journal.

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Potomac Horse Fever

January 28, 2010

Learn more about this disease and the methods of prevention.

Due to the seasonal incidence of disease, vaccination should be timed to precede the anticipated peak challenge during the summer months or fall.

Due to the seasonal incidence of disease, vaccination should be timed to precede the anticipated peak challenge during the summer months or fall.

By The American Association of Equine Practitioners

Equine monocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by Neorickettsia risticii (formerly Ehrlichia risticii). Originally described in 1979 as a sporadic disease affecting horses residing in the eastern United States near the Potomac River, the disease has since been identified in other geographic locations in the United States and Canada. The disease is seasonal, occurring between late spring and early fall in temperate areas, with most cases in July, August and September at the onset of hot weather.

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Western Pleasure Calisthenics: Part III

January 27, 2010

Mix up your horse’s calisthenics for maximum results.

Varying the types of exercises you ask your horse to do will allow you to make sure he is being obedient.

Varying the types of exercises you ask your horse to do will allow you to make sure he is being obedient.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Tina Kaven in The American Quarter Horse Journal

This is the third in a four-part series. Click on the link to view Part I or Part II.

Departures and Transitions

In this exercise, I mix up my departures and transitions to determine what I need to work on. Sometimes I go from a lope down to a trot. Then trot to walk. Lope to walk. Walk to lope. I vary it all up to make sure the horse is obedient to my requests.

New horse owners can learn step-by-step methods to a sound riding foundation with AQHA’s Fundamentals of Horsemanship. Buy yours now!

If the horse doesn’t do a transition correctly, I stop him, back him up and then ask again. If he does it right the next time, then I leave him alone.

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Equipment

January 26, 2010

Make clear communication with your horse a priority with the best equipment for ground work and riding.

Photo courtesy of Julie Goodnight

Photo courtesy of Julie Goodnight

From AQHA’s “Fundamentals of Horsemanship”

The study of horsemanship requires the appropriate quality equipment. Halter and lead rope, used in both ground work and riding, will help you achieve the desired result of clear communication with your horse.

The halter is made from sailing rope that should not be too thick or too thin, because to be effective, a halter must encourage the horse to look for the solution.

If it is too thick, the horse will not be in a sufficiently uncomfortable position to find an alternative answer to the one he usually gives. If it is too thin, the halter could hurt him, which would be utterly ineffective as well as cruel. The aim is not to cause your horse suffering, but to refuse him comfort when he resists.

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Swelling During Pregnancy

January 25, 2010

The American Association of Equine Practitioners helps a mare owner keep his horse comfortable.

Question:

Five days ago, I went to exercise my pregnant mare and noticed some swelling in her back legs. I had not been able to exercise her for several days due to snow and icy conditions. The stable owner where she is boarded said she was just stocked up from standing in her pen and needing exercise. I have been out to exercise her every day since, and the swelling has not subsided. There is no heat in the legs and the mare does not show any lameness.

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Managing Fear

January 25, 2010

Manage your horseback riding fear by staying in the moment.

Avoiding "future thinking" can help you stay in the moment and conquer your horseback riding fear.

Avoiding "future thinking" can help you stay in the moment and conquer your horseback riding fear.

By Jane Savoie

Fear is a very real issue for many horseback riders. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, it would be surprising if you never felt afraid when riding.

After all, you’re dealing with an animal that greatly outweighs you. In addition to their size, horses are not always predictable. After all, they’ve survived all this time because of their flight instinct. The fact that they’re reactive creatures rather than logical ones can be scary.

So what do you do about the fear that stops you from totally enjoying your riding and your horse?

First, understand that when you’re afraid, your mind isn’t in the present. It’s on what might happen in the future.

Then consider the fact that 99 percent of what you fear never happens. Why use up so much energy and emotion worrying about things that might happen but usually never do?

Here’s a quick tip to help you cope with horseback riding fear. Use it not only when you ride, but also for any other area in your life when you’re immobilized by fear.

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False Pregnancy

January 22, 2010

Learn how to recognize this condition in your mare.

  False pregnancies are not uncommon, so don’t rely exclusively on teasing to determine whether a mare is pregnant.

False pregnancies are not uncommon, so don’t rely exclusively on teasing to determine whether a mare is pregnant.

By Dr. Patrick M. McCue for The American Quarter Horse Journal

In mares, 5 to 10 percent of estrous cycles end in false pregnancies. They’re common enough that you should know how to recognize them.

Normally, a mare ovulates follicles one to two days before she goes out of heat. A corpus luteum, or “CL”, then develops and begins to produce progesterone.

The CL of a nonpregnant mare produces progesterone for about 14 or 15 days during the luteal phase of the estrous cycle. At the end of that phase, the mare’s uterus must determine pregnancy, a process called “maternal recognition of pregnancy.” First, the embryo produces a chemical signal and, second, the uterus detects the signal.

If the uterus doesn’t find that signal, the endometrial lining of the uterus releases prostaglandins that travel through the bloodstream to the ovary and destroy the CL. Progesterone levels drop rapidly, and the mare develops another follicle and returns to heat. This cycle repeats itself multiple times each breeding season in a nonpregnant mare.

If an embryo is present, no prostaglandins are released, the CL is preserved, and more progesterone is produced. Progesterone is a key hormone for maintenance of pregnancy. It also prevents the mare from returning to heat.

More Progesterone

In some instances, a nonpregnant mare’s CL can produce progesterone beyond the normal two-week lifespan and a mare won’t return to estrus. The term for persistent progesterone production by a CL is pseudopregnancy, or false pregnancy.

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My First Horse Show

January 22, 2010

Are you a fan of AQHYA?  Then become an official fan on Facebook!

AQHYA Officer Team

AQHYA Officer Team

The American Quarter Horse Youth Association is proud to announce a new, fresh presence on Facebook. Facebook is a great source for networking, and we hope you’ll join in the fun!

Beginning this week, share your personal horse stories with other AQHYA fans and members. Tell us your stories from your first horse show, rodeo or even your first ride on an American Quarter Horse.

Just become a fan of AQHYA’s Facebook page, and start typing!

And don’t forget to invite all your horse-crazy friends!

Speak For Yourself

Maybe this story, from AQHYA member Christine Rogers Brown in Cleveland, Tennessee, will inspire you:

My poor mom and dad.

It all started when I said, “Dad, can Chrissy have a pony?” After that was, “Is there a stable here?” Before I ever got my first horse, I had ridden every dead-head trail horse in every state we had ever been to. At least it seemed that way. Dad realized that owning my own horse was going to satisfy my quest for saddle sores. The exposure to prairie apples, biting horse flies and riding someone else’s horse was not the answer I was looking for.

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