June 2011

Through the Equine Looking Glass

June 30, 2011

Corneal ulcers can do more damage than you think.

By Megan Arszman in The American Quarter Horse Journal

horse eye

Check your horse's eyes frequently to ensure they are healthy. Journal photo.

One fall morning, my American Quarter Horse mare, Skips Satin Lark (aka “Lark”), didn’t seem to have the same bright eyes that she normally had. I also noticed significant tearing from her left eye. Thinking she just had something in it, I flushed her eye with artificial tears and applied a warm compress. Read the rest of this entry »

News Roundup

June 29, 2011

Get The Rundown of what’s happening in the AQHA show industry, from the lineup for the Collegiate Reining Championships at the NRHA Derby to the economic impact from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Rebekah Irish of Black Hawk College is one of the four Intercollegiate Horse Show Association reining riders who qualified to compete in the 2011 Collegiate Reining Championships at the NRHA Derby. Journal photo.

The Ultimate Catch Ride

Twelve collegiate riders will experience the ultimate catch ride at the 2011 Collegiate Reining Championships at the National Reining Horse Association Derby July 2 in Oklahoma City.

NRHA selects four riders from a pool of collegiate NRHA members, and this year, a record number of applicants were evaluated on a number of criteria, including NRHA points, earnings and show history. The individuals selected to compete on behalf of NRHA are:

  • Jenna Blumer, Oklahoma State University
  • Jesse Gentile, Ohio State University
  • McKenzie Lantz, University of Georgia
  • Austin Griffith, Ohio State University

Four individuals are selected to represent NCAA Varsity Equestrian competitors. The riders are evaluated by a committee of collegiate coaches who recommend the top four reining athletes. The riders selected to compete on behalf of Varsity Equestrian are:

Guess That Horse

June 29, 2011

AQHA’s Guess That Horse Contest, sponsored by The American Quarter Horse Journal, takes place Wednesdays at 1 p.m. CDT!

American Quarter Horse

Who could this American Quarter Horse be?

Welcome to Guess That Horse. Today’s winner receives a “Showing to Win: Trail” DVD, courtesy of The American Quarter Horse Journal.

When the contest is live, ten hints will be posted, one at a time, every few minutes on this page. Refresh your browser periodically for new hints. Please post your guesses into the “comments” box below. The first person to correctly identify the American Quarter Horse wins the prize. Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Hamar, Norway

June 29, 2011

Amy Heartfield, AQHA’s international intern, and the Texas Tech University horsemanship clinic team finish their first clinic, which lasted four days in Hamar, Norway.

Kelsey Stokes, True Burson, Amy Heartfield, Luke England and Mattie Dunshee gather around after the Texas Tech University horsemanship clinic in Hamar, Norway. Photo by Heidi Gronvold.

By AQHA International Intern Amy Heartfield

Hilsen fra Norge!

We just finished up a wonderful first clinic in Hamar, Norway. The Texas Tech University horsemanship clinic team taught 27 people the fundamentals of horsemanship, and in the meantime, we were able to learn about and enjoy the Norwegian culture.

During the four days of the clinic, riders worked on things such as being able to move the hip and shoulder of the horse, and they also learned the components of reining, trail, horsemanship and lead changes. The people were wonderful and seemed very eager to learn.

Read the rest of this entry »

Halter in Detail

June 29, 2011

Correctly fit your halter horse’s neck sweat.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

correctly fitting neck sweat on a horse

This is a correct fit at the jowl – it sits at the poll and just behind her jaw at the throat. Photo by Bar H Photography.

In fitting a halter horse, one of the most-used pieces of equipment is a neck sweat. Sweats may see daily use in conditioning and fitting a horse to show at halter; a trainer sweats a horse’s neck to enhance the appearance of the throatlatch, neck, shoulder and withers.

With different styles and sizes available, fitting the right neck sweat is crucial to using it properly in conditioning your horse. Read the rest of this entry »

Back-Around Drill: Part 2

June 28, 2011

In Part 2 of this series, Al Dunning ads a few modifications to the back-around drill.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Al Dunning in The American Quarter Horse Journal

horse backing up

Use these modifications to the back-around drill to help improve your horse's flexibility. Journal photo.

In Part 1 of this series, AQHA Professional Horseman Al Dunning gave the basic drill he uses to teach his horses flexibility. He says this drill can be used to prepare a horse for any discipline. Now, he adds some extra ways to modify this drill. Read the rest of this entry »

Halter Insight

June 27, 2011

Have you been wondering how performance halter differs from traditional AQHA halter classes? AQHA Senior Director of Judges Alex Ross clarifies what judges look for in halter.


I’ve been wondering what the difference is between traditional halter and performance halter classes. What is the judge ideally looking for in a performance halter horse?

Read the rest of this entry »

Basics of Pressure

June 27, 2011

Learn the different types of pressure in order to better communicate with your horse.

From AQHA’s “Fundamentals of Horsemanship

putting pressure on a horse

The release of pressure of what tells the horse that he had the correct response. Journal photo.

There are many different types of pressure. Physical pressure is tactile; other types of pressure are not. We can “drive” the horse without making physical contact, or the horse can make another move by using body language. For example, the dominant horse will put his ears back, telling the other to move back before he is bitten or kicked. Read the rest of this entry »

News Roundup

June 24, 2011

A double blow hits Fossil Gate Farms, AQHA recognizes the top horses at the College National Finals Rodeo and a former AQHYA director earns a role in a world-renowned wild west show — get caught up with The Rundown!

FG Versace was the 2010 2-year-old stallion reserve world champion at the Adequan Select World Championship Show. Journal photo.

Double Blow Hits Fossil Gate Farms

On June 22, about 2:20 in the morning, Gary and Linda Gordon’s German Shepherd jumped into their bed and begin shivering and quaking.

At 2:30, the reason for the dog’s fear became clear, as a tornado hit the Gordons’ Fossil Gate Farms in Argyle, Texas.

“I have never heard the wind or anything so bad,” Linda says. “I was scared to death. It hit, and I mean I really – I didn’t think we were going to live through it.”

Tennis ball-size hail broke skylights in the houses and the barns, stripped trees and shrubs of leaves and tore down fences. Frightened horses jumped other fences and scattered down the dirt roads nearby.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dust Bowl

June 24, 2011

Praying for rain, preparing for drought.

Abandoned Oklahoma farm in the Dust Bowl era. Photo by Arthur Rothstein, part of the Library of Congress collection.

I remember the photos of apocalyptic dust clouds, iconic and frightening images of the Dust Bowl that overtook parts of western Oklahoma in the 1930s. What wasn’t covered by those clouds was still stricken with severe drought. My dad, born in 1926, remembered neighbors lining up arms’ lengths apart to walk through pastures, shooting the jackrabbits that were thriving in the desert climate. They were eliminating varmits and feeding their hungry families. My grandmother talked about putting wet towels around her windowsills and still having to sweep out piles of dirt. The crops, the cattle … none of it fared well. To say it was tough times is hardly enough. And to say the people who endured it were tough … that’s also an understatement.

The Oklahoma soil, originally covered by shortgrass prairies, had been cultivated to death. Robbed of its protective cover and subjected to a harsh drought and howling winds, the topsoil picked up and left. Some of it, quite literally, landed in Chicago. Some of the people, too, picked up and left, and many of them landed in California where they became migrant farm workers. John Steinbeck wrote about the emigrant “Okies” in his book “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Read the rest of this entry »

A Real Battle

June 24, 2011

If you’re a fan of all things related to roping, make your way to Battle in the Saddle, presented by RFD-TV, July 8 in Oklahoma City, for high-stakes roping action between PRCA favorites, Fred Whitfield and Ryan Jarrett.

Fred Whitfield, the 2010 Battle in the Saddle Match Roping Champion, will defend his title against Ryan Jarrett on July 9. Journal photo.

It was July 9, 2010, and the tension in the Jim Norick Arena at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City was thick.

Two of the top ropers in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association battled head-to-head in a tie-down match-roping competition, with the fastest on 10 calves taking home $10,000.

In a down-to-the-wire match, it was Fred Whitfield who went home $10,000 richer with the title of the 2010 Battle in the Saddle Match-Roping Champion. Unfortunately for Hunter Herrin, Fred’s adversary, the match-roping was a winner-take-all competition.

Read the rest of this entry »

On The Money Red

June 24, 2011

On The Money Red was a horse with a huge amount of heart who left a legacy that will never be forgotten.

By Honi Roberts in The American Quarter Horse Journal

On The Money Red

On The Money Red was a legendary sire who left his mark on the horse industry. Photo courtesy of Victory Farms.

“ ‘Red’ was in a league all his own,” says Marilyn Clark of Sky Ranch in Ocala, Florida. “He was special.”

Bred by C.E. Johnson of Jacksonville, Florida, On The Money Red was a 1978 stallion by Bennie’s Big Red and out of Dolly Priest by Little Dick Priest. Red blazed around tracks in the Sunshine State, winning both the 1981 Florida Quarter Horse Association Derby and Beau Brummell Stakes. With a top speed index of 103, he was named Florida’s running horse of the year. Read the rest of this entry »