February 2012

Guess That Horse

February 29, 2012

AQHA’s Guess That Horse contest takes place each Wednesday at 1 p.m. CST.

GTH February 29

The American Quarter Horse Hesa Skipa Star, correctly identified by Jessie.

Today’s winner will receive a one-year subscription to The American Quarter Horse Journal.

The contest will start at 1 p.m. CST. At that time, the photo and first hint are given.

When the contest is live, 10 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 full registered name of the American Quarter Horse pictured wins the prize.

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Hall of Fame Part III: Frank Howell and Skipper W

February 29, 2012

One of the most universally recognized American Quarter Horse names is that of Skipper W.

Skipper W

A painting of Skipper W by Darol Dickinson.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

At the 2012 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas in March, six new inductees will join the prestigious walls of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. The new inductees include Gordon Hannagan, Walter Fletcher, Bob Loomis, Indigo Illusion, Streakin La Jolla and Hollywood Dun It.

In April, America’s Horse Daily will feature biographies about the new members of the Hall of Fame. Until then, enjoy this series about the people and horses honored in 2011 by induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Skipper W

One of the most universally recognized names in the annals of the American Quarter Horse is that of Skipper W. This sorrel stallion by Nick Shoemaker and out of Hired Girl by Cowboy P-12 was foaled in the spring of 1945 on the Alamosa, Colorado, ranch of H. J. “Hank” Wiescamp. Hank – a 1994 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductee – began his storied horse-breeding career in the 1920s and 1930s by crossing middle-of-the road Thoroughbred stallions with “Steel Dust” mares to produce cavalry mounts and polo ponies.

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Inside the Pages of March-April

February 28, 2012

The latest issue of America’s Horse has some people in it you’ll want to meet.

Here at AQHA, we’re gearing up for the Road to the Horse colt-starting championship, March 9-11. As sponsors of the remuda, we’ll have a booth there, and Quarter Horse Outfitters will be selling logoed merchandise to the throngs — and I do mean throngs — that will be crusing the concourse during breaks in the action. I’ll be there covering the event, so look for regular updates on Facebook and Twitter, as well as here on America’s Horse Daily and in the print magazine.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to is meeting our March-April cover boy, Caton Parelli, in person. He’ll be there with his dad, Pat, who’s a competitor on the U.S. team with Craig Cameron, vying against teams from Australia and Canada. As a demonstration, Caton and Pat will perform together in a father-and-son reining pattern.

In doing the America’s Horse story on Caton, I just spoke with him on the phone. He was actually working one of his horses when I called, and his dad simply handed the phone to him on horseback. When we got through talking, I understood completely why so many of  his fellow horse-show competitors have adopted him as family. He loves to talk about his Ford truck and his American Quarter Horses, not necessarily in that order, and he’s passionate about competing and breeding better horses. It’ll be fun to talk more in person.

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Unusual Markings

February 28, 2012

America’s Horse is calling for photos of your odd-colored or unusually marked American Quarter Horse.

Go Man Go

The 1953 stallion Go Man Go, registered as a roan, was a sorrel with rabicano markings. AQHA file photo.

It’s the exciting and busy time of year when foals are hitting the ground. Eager foal owners are looking for coat color advice so they can decide the correct color to register their foals with AQHA.

AQHA is here to help with every step of that process! You can e-mail an AQHA equine color specialist, or ask us your questions on AQHA’s Facebook page any time. We even offer a live chat with a color specialist on Facebook each Friday through June from 2 to 4 p.m. CST.

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Baby’s Second Steps

February 28, 2012

Tom and Margo Ball share more of their halter-starting program based on good, old-fashioned horsemanship.

Babys Second Steps

Have patience while training your foal. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

“We don’t halter-break foals until they’re ready to be halter-broken,” says Tom Ball of Fort Collins, Colorado. For Tom and his sister, Margo, a longtime AQHA judge and trainer, that often means waiting a while.

“You don’t have to start halter training the first week of a foal’s life,” Margo says. “It depends on the foal and his temperament. If you start a foal too young, you can create problems. But if you wait until he’s mature enough to handle what you’re doing and used to humans, he’ll actually come along quicker and do better with fewer problems.

“Your program has to adjust to the temperament of the horse,” Margo continues. “Your basic techniques are the same, but you adjust as to how long you spend on a step or how old they are according to the individual foal.”

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How to Haul a Weanling

February 27, 2012

Learn how to safely haul your weanling.

Question:

I’ve been reading the “Futurity Foals” series in The American Quarter Horse Journal, and it has got me thinking that it might be fun to show a weanling. But I was wondering, how do you haul a weanling? Shouldn’t you worry about them slipping under dividers?

Answer:

Years ago, we used to haul our weanlings to shows with their heads tied, and when we arrived, the baby was stressed out and sick. When a weanling arrives at a show stressed, he’s not going to show as well, and he can become sick and die. Hauling tied is enough stress on grown horses. Babies don’t need it.

If your trailer doesn’t have specific compartments, see whether you can remove some dividers to give your weanling more room.

The next thing we do is attach a big piece of plywood across the rubber mat at the lower edge of the divider so that the weanling won’t slide through. If they lay down and get their legs under the rubber mat, they can end up in the next stall. We get the wood at the lumber yard, cut to the width of the trailer, and then we trim it at home if we need to.

–AQHA Professional Horseman Jack Brizendine

Learn more about safely hauling a weanling or foal in “Safe Travels With Baby” on Page 133  in the January 2012 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Operation Free Ride

February 27, 2012

AQHA members are invited to give back to those who serve our country.

Operation Free Ride

Flying S Ranch in Luling, Texas. Photo courtesy of Operation Free Ride.

The Armed Forces Foundation and Horses4Heroes Inc., is inviting all AQHA members, instructors and facility owners, to participate in an unprecedented collaboration between breed associations and equestrian organizations, united for one important mission: to give our active-duty military personnel, returning combat veterans, wounded warriors and their families the opportunity to ride a horse for free!

Launching this spring, Operation Free Ride will be an important opportunity for participating facilities to show your support for the soldiers and veterans and their families who have sacrificed for us to keep us safe and free, participate in a nationwide community service project and attract new customers to your facilities.

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Color and Cow Sense

February 24, 2012

For more than 100 years, gray hair has been a good thing on this Texas ranch.

Color and Cow Sense

When someone trots up on a gray horse, the first response is to step back and say "Wow." Michele Jones photo.

By Colleen Schreiber for America’s Horse

Frank Jones Jr.’s family has been raising gray cow horses for more than 100 years now, continuing a long line of horses that knew how to get a job done and looked good doing it.

It makes perfect sense that when you ask Frank’s son, Bedford, what makes a good horse, he replies, “Well, first it has to be gray. When someone trots up on a gray horse, the first response is to step back and say, ‘Wow.’ ”

In addition to this American Quarter Horse program, the Jones family operates a diversified farming and ranching operation in on the Wicker Ranch in Yoakum, Gaines, Dawson, Borden, Crosby and Dickens counties in West Texas.

Bedford, now 36, came back to the family operation in 1998 after completing two degree programs at Texas A&M University. He lives with his wife, Michele, and their 5-year-old son, Henry, on their ranch just outside of Spur, Texas. His parents, Frank and Jean, are also actively involved in the family’s operations. Bedford’s younger sister, a Dartmouth graduate, has recently come back to the family operation as well. She’s handling the books and may in the future take over the farming side of the operation.

“You could change the cows around, but you weren’t going to change the horses around,” Bedford says. “They were our Wicker Ranch horses.”

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2012 Academy Awards

February 23, 2012

As we gear up for Billy Crystal to host the big show on Sunday, let’s look back at one of his most memorable Oscar moments with his American Quarter Horse.

Host of Sunday's 84th Academy Awards, Billy Crystal rode his American Quarter Horse onstage at the 63rd awards show in 1991. Photo courtesy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Nicknamed after a brand of chewing tobaco, Charlies Surprise grew up as a ranch horse who was used for roping and gathering cattle. With all that exposure to obstacles, it was no surprise that the calm, cool and collected “Beechnut” found his way to working on movie sets, one of which was “City Slickers.”

The set of “City Slickers” is where actor Billy Crystal met Beechnut. A man who says he can’t and won’t have animals because he’s never home, Billy says he and the black gelding started an “on-location romance.” Because of the connection the pair made, movie wrangler Jack Lilley gave Beechnut to Billy after filming was done. Then with Beechnut’s blaze Read the rest of this entry »

Preventing Barn Fires

February 23, 2012

The risk of barn fire increases significantly in winter.

Fire Prevention

Search your barn for fire risks and correct them. Journal photo.

By Dr. Thomas R. Lenz for The American Quarter Horse Journal

When the weather grows cold and horses are moved indoors, the risk of barn fires increases dramatically. In the summer, lightning and spontaneous combustion of hay are primary causes of fire. In the winter, fire usually results from faulty heaters, electrical wiring problems or rodents chewing through wires.

Generally, a fire involving combustible materials such as wood, hay, straw and shavings doubles in size every minute – meaning you have about eight minutes to get your horses out of a burning barn. Even if the horses escape, smoke inhalation could cause permanent lung damage or even death. Prevention is paramount.

Search your barn for fire risks, correct them and keep them corrected.

11 Barn Fire Trouble Spots:
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Hall of Fame Part II: Joe Kirk and Mr San Peppy

February 22, 2012

Joe Kirk and Mr San Peppy made significant marks on different areas of the Quarter Horse world.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Mr San Peppy

Not many horses can be said to have changed the course of an entire industry, but Mr San Peppy did just that for two segments – ranching and cutting. Journal Photo

At the 2012 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas in March, six new inductees will join the prestigious walls of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. The new inductees include Gordon Hannagan, Walter Fletcher, Bob Loomis, Indigo Illusion, Streakin La Jolla and Hollywood Dun It.

In April, America’s Horse Daily will feature biographies about the new members of the Hall of Fame. Until then, enjoy this series about the people and horses honored in 2011 by induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Joe Kirk Fulton

The American Quarter Horse owes a debt of gratitude to Joe Kirk Fulton.

The lifelong horseman has improved the breed, and Quarter Horses are better for having “Joe Kirk,” as he’s known throughout the industry, on their side – not only as an owner and competitor but as a breeder for 50 consecutive years.

“They have been my hobby; they’ve been my love,” says the 79-year-old Lubbock, Texas, businessman and rancher. “My dad bought me my first Quarter Horses when I was probably 14 or 15, and from that day forward, I’ve just continued to acquire good mares and tried to raise some awfully nice colts. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve raised a few pretty nice ones.” Read the rest of this entry »

Yielding the Hindquarters

February 21, 2012

These four exercises help build a more supple horse and a stronger relationship between horse and rider.

Yeilding the Hindquarters

These four ways to yield the hindquarters will help you check your horse's suppleness. Kris Graef photo.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Brent Graef in America’s Horse

There are lots of reasons why it’s important to have control over all of your horse’s body parts – including his mind. These four ways to yield the hindquarters will help you check your horse’s suppleness; you’ll notice if he yields his hind end more easily to one direction. They’ll help you improve his softness and suppleness both directions, and they’ll also improve the communication between you and your horse.

1. One Rein, One Leg

This is the easiest way to move the horse’s hindquarters, and it’s a good place to start.

Let’s say I’m moving the hindquarters to the right. I’d pick up softly on my left rein and bend the horse’s neck slightly to the left. I’d want the head to remain vertical (not cocked sideways), with a soft bend at the poll. If the nose is tipped sideways, so that the ear would fill up with water if it were raining, that means the horse is locked up in his poll, which is not what we want. Read the rest of this entry »