February 2012

Pulling Back When Tied

February 20, 2012

How do you break a horse from pulling back from tied? Find out how from AQHA Professional Horsewoman and Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor Tara Reimer.


Do you have any suggestions on how to break a horse from yanking back when tied? My mare is a calm horse, but when I put her in a halter and tie her to a trailer, phone pole, etc., she just starts yanking until either the ring, halter or lead rope breaks. She hasn’t tried it once in the trailer when she’s tied. I am guessing that it is a fear thing, but I would like to hear the best way of getting rid of this dangerous behavior, as I don’t want her or anyone else to get hurt.

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Dude Ranch Vacations

February 20, 2012

Dude ranches make the perfect vacation for horse lovers.

Dude Ranch

Parents can relax on their own trail rides.Journal photo.

By Holly Clanahan for America’s Horse

I admit it. I’m a dude.

Not in the cool sense of the teenage vernacular. Nope, we’re talking old-fashioned dude here. As in dude ranch. And it’s a good thing.

Randy Sue Fosha, Dude Ranchers’ Association member and owner of Drowsy Water Ranch with her husband, Ken, invited me and my husband, Chad Hendrix, out to see what dude ranching is all about.

When we arrive, Ken promises us a couple of things. First, he says, the guests will come from a variety of backgrounds, but “everybody here’s going to be just one thing this week, and that’s a cowboy – or a cowgirl.” And second, he predicts that lasting friendships will be made. Read the rest of this entry »

Family Tree: Rocket Wrangler

February 17, 2012

Rocket Wrangler proved himself a great race horse and superb breeding stallion who passed on a willing temperament to later generations.

Rocket Wrangler's get earned more than $9.4 million and included Dash For Cash. Journal photo.

From America’s Horse

Rocket Wrangler. Rocket Wrangler. How’s that for a name for a racing American Quarter Horse – the horse of the cowboy, the fastest breed on earth? It says it all.

“He was small, and I was taking him slow,” said American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame trainer C.W. “Bubba” Cascio, who developed the colt who would have a lasting impact on the breed. “The first time I beared down on him, I said, ‘Well, lookee here.’ Jerry come back – Jerry (Nicodemus) was doing all my riding then – and he said, ‘Say, we might have something here.’ So we began to bear down on him. From then on, it was just history. He was a runner.”

Rocket Wrangler proved it. The champion 2-year-old colt in 1970, Rocket Wrangler started 23 races between 1970 and 1973, coming back a winner from 10 and bringing home $252,167 in earnings. Winning his maiden race, he finished farther back in the Grade 1 Kansas Futurity, the first stop on Ruidoso Downs’ triple-crown trail. Then, with Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Nicodemus in the irons, Rocket Wrangler swept the next two, taking the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity and Quarter Horse racing’s flagship event, the Grade 1 All American Futurity.

Check out AQHA’s Equine Breeding Techniques and Foal Health Tips to learn what to expect during every stage of breeding.

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Core vs. Risk Vaccinations

February 16, 2012

Help ensure that your horses are adequately protected against disease exposure risks in your region.

By AQHA Corporate Partner Pfizer

As responsible horse owners, we know that every year we should vaccinate our horses against infectious diseases. With so many disease risks affecting our horses, it can be challenging to know what to vaccinate for, when to vaccinate and how often. As many equine diseases can vary by season and region of the country, consulting a veterinarian is the best option for ensuring a safe and effective vaccination program.

Vaccinations are broken down based on core vs. risk-based diseases. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners vaccination guidelines, core vaccinations are those “that protect from diseases that are endemic to a region, those with Read the rest of this entry »

Guess That Horse

February 15, 2012

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

This American Quarter Horse is Undercover Angel.

Today’s winner will receive a “Tack Talk” DVD, courtesy of Quarter Horse Outfitters.

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.

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How to Qualify for Novice Championships

February 15, 2012

Learn the three ways to qualify for the inaugural AQHA Novice championship shows.

Competitors can qualify for AQHA's Novice championship shows three different ways.

By Megan Brincks for America’s Horse Daily

It’s nice to be Novice, especially now that AQHA is offering championship-level shows for this division. The AQHA Novice program is available to youth and amateur competitors who have earned fewer than 25 points in the class they are competing in.

The inaugural SmartPak AQHA Western Novice Championship Show in Las Vegas and the Nutrena AQHA Eastern Novice Championship Show in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will be held October 5-7.

Want to know how to get there?

Three Ways to Qualify for a Novice Championship Show

  1. Competitors can qualify by placing in the top 10 at an AQHA regional championship show in a Novice class.
  2. Showing at 20 AQHA shows during the qualifying period will complete eligibility. For this option, there is no requirement about where the rider competes geographically.
  3. Competitors can qualify through their state or provincial affiliate. For this option, competitors should become familiar with their affiliate’s rules because they vary state to state.

Learn the causes, symptoms and treatment options for equine stomach ulcers in AQHA’s FREE Stomach Ulcers in Horses report.

Important Information

The national qualifying period for the 2012 championships is May 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012.

If a competitor graduated out of a Novice class during 2011, he or she is still eligible to compete at the 2012 Novice championship shows.

Once a competitor is qualified, he or she can go to either the eastern or western show. There is no restriction, but competitors can only show at one championship each year.

If the competitor qualifies nationally, his or her invitation to the Novice championship is not class-specific. Once nationally qualified, competitors can participate in any of the available classes.

Classes at the Championships

The following classes will be available at the 2012 Novice championship shows.

  • Halter: yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, aged and performance halter geldings and mares
  • Showmanship
  • Horsemanship
  • Hunt seat equitation
  • Western pleasure
  • Hunter under saddle
  • Trail
  • Western riding
  • Reining
  • Barrel racing
  • Pole bending
  • Stake race

AQHA’s FREE Stomach Ulcers in Horses report explains exactly what to do when you suspect your horse is suffering from this common equine problem.

Please see the Novice championships state qualifying page for more information.

Quotable Quotes

February 14, 2012

Kick back and enjoy the best quotes from the February issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Jernigan Peake and Johnny Brazil Jr.Have you flipped through the pages of the February 2012 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal? What you’re sure to find in the Journal is a plethora of great quotes on western lifestyles, horse care and training insight, all with one great common thread – the American Quarter Horse.

So kick back and enjoy the best of what the February Journal has to offer:

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2012

Quarter Horses hold a special place in our hearts.

Two Bits Valentines Day

Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate the love we have for everyone in our lives and thank those people for the value they add to our lives.

This year, use Valentine’s Day to celebrate all the loves of your life. The significant others who are anxiously last-minute shopping for your present, the parents who support you, the friends who make you laugh, the children who drive you crazy and the horses that bring you joy. Our hearts have room for them all, and our lives would be less meaningful without them.

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Riding Circles

February 14, 2012

Increase control over size and speed while riding your horse in circles.

Using cones will help train you to feel the difference of your horse’s bend between a larger and smaller circle. Illustration by Jean Abernethy.

By Patti Carter-Pratt for The American Quarter Horse Journal

Riding circles correctly teaches both horse and rider balance. It’s a good training exercise because it teaches the horse straightness in his self-carriage while on a curve.

There are four main parts to a horse: the head and neck, the shoulders, the rib cage and the hips. To ride a circle correctly, you have to control all four parts. The horse has to give through the poll; he must be straight between the reins and guide through the shoulders; the rib cage connects the front and the back end of the horse, so he has to be correct and straight in the rib cage; and he must be engaged from behind.

The arc of the horse’s body will accommodate the size of the circle. If your circle is large, your horse’s body will have less bend; the smaller the circle gets, the more the bend in his body increases. Read the rest of this entry »

Ranch Pleasure

February 13, 2012

Learn more about one of AQHA’s new classes, ranch pleasure.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted February 2012. As of January 1, 2015, the class is now referred to as “ranch riding,” and judging criteria can be found in Rule SHW416 of the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.


I was really intrigued when I heard that AQHA is going to be offering a ranch pleasure class, but what really is ranch pleasure? How is it judged? What is the horse and rider required to do? And what makes it “ranch” pleasure?

Read the rest of this entry »

Protect Your Horse From Theft

February 13, 2012

Debi Metcalf shares her tips to keep your horse out of thieves’ hands.

Use these easy steps to keep your horse safe from thieves. Photo courtesy Bailey Farm.

From America’s Horse

Debi Metcalf – whose own horse was stolen in 1997 – is passionate about the topic of horse theft, which she allows is a difficult topic these days.

Yes, it’s a down economy. Yes, you do hear about horses people can’t give away.

And, yes, horses are being stolen across the country on a regular basis. One has little to do with the other, Debi maintains.

She says it’s as important as ever to remain vigilant and take precautions, so that your horses never rank among those numbers. Debi’s group, Stolen Horse International Inc., seeks to create awareness and to help bring stolen horses home.

Its website, Net Posse offers some great theft prevention tips. Identifying your horse – both as a theft deterrent and as a way to recover a stolen horse – is first and foremost.

Learn how to make your own mounting block with AQHA’s FREE How to Build a Mounting Block.

“Freeze branding and microchipping are the two I like the most,” Debi says, “preferably a combination of the two.”

A freeze brand is visible, and thieves don’t like horses that stand out in a crowd. However, if your stolen horse is found in a different state, brands can be difficult to trace back to you. Read the rest of this entry »

Sweeney Shoulder Explained

February 9, 2012

Sweeney shoulder is a rare but devastating injury for horses.

Eight months after surgery, Fancy enjoyed romping in the pasture. The muscles affected by the injury were still noticeably smaller than normal, but she continued to improve. Photo courtesy Rebekah Ellis.

From America’s Horse

For Rebekah Ellis, it was a horse owner’s worst nightmare when she found her horse shaking uncontrollably in the corner of the pasture in May 2009, unable to walk after apparently being kicked by another horse.

“It was awful,” Rebekah says about finding her beloved horse, Fancy Bonanza Doll. “I tried to move her, but she would not budge. I called the vet out, and there was no visible injury that we could see. He finally got her to walk by smacking his hat to her butt. Her walk was horrific.”


Rebekah had three vets from the Kenosha, Wisconsin, area examine “Fancy,” with little success at a diagnosis. She then took the mare to a specialist, who determined that it was an injury to the suprascapular nerve, a condition commonly called “Sweeney shoulder.”

The suprascapular nerve controls the shoulder muscles that bring the front leg forward. Without proper nerve function, the muscles along the shoulder blade cannot function correctly. The muscles degenerate, and the horse is unable to move her leg properly. Read the rest of this entry »