March 2012

The Story of Joe Hancock

March 30, 2012

One of the greatest quarter-mile horses in all history had a typically American “rags to riches” career.

Joe Hancock

AQHA Hall of Fame horse Joe Hancock. Quarter Horse Magazine photo.

From Quarter Horse Magazine

Out on a Panhandle prairie in the late summer of 1923, a middle-aged horseman stood talking to his son, who had come to visit him. This man had bred some great Quarter Horses, and he owned John Wilkens, one of the truly great sons of Peter McCue. The man’s name was Walter Hancock.

“See that doggie colt out there,” he told his son. “I’m tired of looking at him. Figure out some way to load him up and take him away from here.”

They went next day, the doggie colt in a “wagon” trailer (they all were in the early ’20s) and the son, secretly proud of a chance to “make a horse.” He was a horseman, too, and while he knew that this doggie was out of a Texas range mare of average breeding, he was by John Wilkens, and all the world knew that this son of Peter McCue had phenomenal early speed. John Wilkens was one of those tragedies of the horse world – a horse as truly great a speedster as his sire, but doomed to obscurity because of small, soft feet.

The doggie colt went down in the Henrietta country, and Walter Hancock’s son grew him into a horse of tremendous stature.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cushing’s Disease

March 29, 2012

If your horse is exhibiting these signs, it might be time to call your veterinarian.

Cushings Disease

Changes in hair coat is a sypmtom of PPID. Photo courtesy of Dr. Patrick McCue.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal


Now that the days are getting longer, and warmer, most of my horses are shedding, except for my older gelding. Last year, he kept a really long hair coat, too. My friends have mentioned that he may have Cushing’s disease – how can I tell if he does?

For our answer, we turned to the April 2012 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal and its feature, “Unharmonious Hormones.”


Equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction is a hormonal disorder affecting the pituitary gland. Formerly known as Cushing’s disease, which is a similar disease that affects humans and dogs, it has been renamed to more accurately reflect the condition in equines.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guess That Horse

March 28, 2012

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

Congratulations to Libby for being the first person to correctly identify Zans Sunflower in AQHA’s Guess That Horse contest!

Welcome to Guess That Horse!

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

When the contest is live, 11 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.

The winner will be announced after all the hints are given; participants must provide a valid e-mail address to to be eligible for the prize.

Congratulations to Libby for being the first person to correctly identify Zans Sunflower in AQHA’s Guess That Horse contest! Be sure to join us next Wednesday at 1 p.m. CDT for another round of Guess That Horse!

Read the rest of this entry »

Home Is Where You Plug In

March 28, 2012

Tips on trailer living on the horse show road.

Home Is Where You Plug In

Make traveling with your horse easier. Journal photo.

By Jennifer Horton for The American Quarter Horse Journal

Ah, the glamorous life on the road. Eating drive-through fast food, cramming clothes into a suitcase and trying to find space for everything you need. For those who travel frequently to horse shows, rodeos or trail rides, living-quarters trailers have certainly made traveling with your horses easier.

Recreational riders, because there are so many people enjoying their horses on the weekends, whether going to small shows or trail rides, are the majority of the living-quarters trailer market these days.

In addition to the different living-quarters trailers on the market, there are also many little tips and bits of information that can make your life on the road easier. I have found it’s much easier to stock the trailer as a second home, keeping linens, towels, toiletries, supplies and clothes in it year-round instead of loading it each week.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Western Call

March 27, 2012

Calculating the odds for a casting call back, and what movies mean for Quarter Horses.

Journal Editor Christine Hamilton

Do you know how Journal Editor Christine Hamilton found herself at the casting call for Disney's The Lone Ranger? Keep reading to find out!

By Christine Hamilton for The American Quarter Horse Journal

I survived! My first (and only?) casting call was certainly something for the bucket list.

When I left the house at 5 a.m., I was prepared with water bottles, a change of clothes, and lip gloss. In a panic, I threw in a book of cowboy poetry to read from if I had to do something like that.

The drive was eight hours through spectacular Colorado country – across South Park, down the Arkansas River Valley and the Sawatch Range, across the San Luis Valley past the Sangre de Christos, through the San Juan Mountains and into Durango under the shadow of the La Platas. Now, that’s a movie.

When I finally got there and finally found parking at the tiny Fort Lewis College campus, I was stunned at the line! Apparently the Sande Alessi Casting people were, too. Hundreds were already lined up around the theater and out across campus toward the dorms a half hour before it officially started.

Present in full force: Grizzled, bearded men wearing cowboy hats and people who could do circus-style acts – backflips and balancing poses and impossible yoga contortions. There were college students, too, families, professors, Harley guys, professional casting-call-goers, you name it … and at least one American Quarter Horse journalist.

I spent the afternoon … in line. Forget possibly wanting to powder your nose (one tip I had found while surfing the Internet) or find a potty or eat – there was NO WAY I was losing my place in line. The best casting call advice I got ahead of time was to have water with me.

I stood in line to get into the theater, the line to get back into the theater, the line to get measurements taken, the one to get photos trimmed and stapled, and the line to double-check everything. Two-and-a-half hours of lines.

That meant I talked a lot to the people in line with me.

We understand your passion for the American Quarter Horse, that’s why we focus on the issues that matter most including training, breeding, health, racing and show activities in every issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Behind me, there was a 79-year-old elderly woman with gray hair streaked purple, yellow and pink wearing a bright red beatnik cap who wished me luck by saying, “Go, be a goddess.” The college psychology professor in front of me came because he had the afternoon free and “Why not?” He also thought I was wearing blue contact lenses.

There was one little girl accompanied by her family. A flaxen-haired pixie in a skirt and bright pink cowboy boots, she’d convinced her dad and mom to let her try out for the movie.

“Are you a cowgirl?” I asked her, expecting horse-craziness to go with the boots.

“No,” she said. I blinked, kind of surprised.

“Why did you want to come?”

“I love movies,” she said and grinned. Her mom later told me that she thinks Johnny Depp is handsome, even though he can look “a little weird.”

The closer we got to the theater, they handed out information forms to fill out – yellow for girls, blue for boys. At the urging of my co-standing-in-liners, I put “do yoga” to beef up my “special skills,” right under my horse stuff, LOL.

The rest of the experience was fairly non-dramatic. Once my group of 50 or so was inside the theater, Sande Alessi called for people to come up on stage to show off their “talent.” People belly-danced, did cartwheels, sang, did backflips, etc. I did NOT read a poem.

How close did I get to Johnny Depp? Well, I drove past the historic Strater Hotel where he was rumored to be staying. Somehow, I don’t think he was in town yet. My closer brush to Mr. Depp was with the woman who took my measurements – she played the old hag in the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.

I dropped off my card and waved goodbye and good luck to my fellow line-standers. The casting company “will call in May,” if I’m lucky. What are the odds of that? 🙂

The industry’s most-read publication, The American Quarter Horse Journal features easy-reference color-coded sections devoted to varied disciplines and activities. Subscribe today!

As I walked away, I kept thinking about that little pixie who loves movies, not horses. I just finished editing an article for the May American Quarter Horse Journal, a status-of-the-horse industry piece, and Mike Jennings mentioned how much our breed has benefitted from at least two generations of people hooked on cowboys and horses by Western movies and TV shows. Mike points out that we can’t sit back and wait for people to come to horses on their own anymore.

It puts a modern Disney remake of the Lone Ranger story into a whole new light. I want that movie to show that sweet little pixie I was in line with – and thousands like her – how cool horses are! And I hope she’ll want one for her very own.

In any case, it was a fun experience and worth doing to go after a chance to see movie-making American Quarter Horses in action. It might be the only casting call I ever do.

Of course, there is a casting call for Tonto’s dog in Moab, Utah, in April. My dog, Tucker, already does a lot of tricks …

Did you read Journal Editor Christine Hamilton’s first blog, which tells the tale of how Christine found herself headed to Durango, Colorado, for a casting call of Disney’s The Lone Ranger? Read Christine’s first blog here.

Do you know how Journal Editor Christine Hamilton found herself at the casting call for Disney’s The Lone Ranger?

[flickr 28429325@N03 72157629673581347]

How Do I Get There?

March 27, 2012

AQHA Professional Horsewoman Debbie Owen explains the transition from flat work to over fences.

How Do I Get There

This simple gymnastic begins with trot poles. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

“There are three things that I think are really important in a flat horse before you even start them over jumps,” AQHA Professional Horsewoman Debbie Owen says.

The horsewoman based in Bisbee, Arizona, might like to linger over a cup of coffee in the morning, but it’s always after her horse chores are done. She knows the importance of getting the work done first, and having a horse prepared on the flat before approaching a jump is just that.

“They need to go straight; that is first and foremost,” she continues. “They need to move connected between your hand and leg so that their bodies can track straight.

“They need to go forward. If you put your leg on them, they need to know what that means.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wrapping the Hock

March 26, 2012

Properly wrap your horse’s injured hock with these tips from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

For more horse health tips, visit AQHA Alliance Partner American Association of Equine Practitioners.


How do you keep a bandage on a hock-area laceration?

Read the rest of this entry »

A Pony Comes to School

March 26, 2012

Giving kids in British Columbia the chance to fall in love with horses.

A Pony Comes to School

Kids were given the opportunity to gain knowledge about horses. Photo courtesy of Glenwood Elementary.

From America’s Horse

Langley, British Columbia, is considered the horse capital of the province, and it’s home to more than 6,000 horses and thousands of horse industry professionals. But it’s a mix of rural and urban areas, and many children there grow up without any knowledge of horses.

The Langley Horse Federation’s education committee aimed to change that through the “A Pony Comes to School” program, intended to teach elementary school-age children about safety, fun horse facts and general information about the agricultural community.

When Sandra Verda, chairwoman of the education committee, told AQHA member Haidee Landry about the project last year, Haidee immediately knew she had the perfect “pony.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Color Coat Testing

March 23, 2012

AQHA now offers a horse coat color test and individual coat color tests.

Color Coat Testing

Determine the actual coat color of your horse. Journal photo.

AQHA is now offering several coat color tests, including a panel test, individual color tests and gray zygosity test. This test is designed to determine the actual coat color of a horse.

These tests can be done in the panel, as well as individually. If done as a panel, the cost is $85 for members and $125 for nonmembers. If ordering individual tests, the cost for members is $25 for each test, and nonmembers pay $65 for each test. Please note, roan is a separate test and not included in the panel test.

Get answers to all your coat color questions with AQHA’s Quarter Horse Coat Colors report.

The gray zygosity test determines if one or two copies of the gray gene are carried in the horse. The gray zygosity test is an additional $15 for members and $55 for nonmembers.

The coat color panel test includes:

Read the rest of this entry »

“Casting Call” or “Dear, Lord!”

March 22, 2012

At the urging of her co-workers, Journal Editor Christine Hamilton is off to try her hand in show biz.

Christine Hamilton and Joe Go Quick

Journal Editor Christine Hamilton is headed to southern Colorado for casting of Disney's remake of the Lone Ranger story. (Journal photo)

By Christine Hamilton

It was Larri Jo Starkey’s dang idea. The subject line in her email should have tipped me off: “YOU HAVE TO DO THIS.” Why on earth did I open it?

An online notice for a casting call in Colorado for an upcoming Western movie, on a weekend when I happened to be in town.

Yeah, right, ha, ha. I wrote LJ back, “:-),” and pointed out that it was right up her alley – my fellow American Quarter Horse Journal editor has been in several play productions over the years and is a talented musician.

But, no, she will be in Louisiana at the Region Nine Championship, and she further pointed out that they were bound to have American Quarter Horses in the movie, I could ride, it was relatively close to me, yada, yada, yada …

Read the rest of this entry »

Vaccination Decisions

March 22, 2012

How a manufacturer’s program supports disease protection.

Vaccination Decisions

Protect your horse from disease. Journal photo.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Pfizer Animal Health

With the plethora of vaccine choices available today, horse owners have a wide range of options when vaccinating their American Quarter Horses. To help provide the most ideal disease protection based on regional risks and activities, horse owners should consult with their veterinarian to develop a thorough vaccination schedule. Utilizing the veterinarian-client relationship also has benefits beyond the initial vaccination. Manufacturer Pfizer Animal Health offers an Equine Immunization Support Guarantee.

With the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee, Pfizer Animal Health provides up to $5,000 for reasonable diagnostic and treatment costs if a horse properly vaccinated by a veterinarian with a Pfizer Animal Health vaccine contracts the corresponding equine disease. Disease protection backed by the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee includes infection from West Nile virus, equine influenza virus, tetanus, eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus, western equine encephalomyelitis virus and Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis virus. Vaccinations must be provided and administered by a licensed veterinarian with an established client-patient relationship to be eligible.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guess That Horse

March 21, 2012

AQHA’s Guess That Horse contests take place Wednesdays at 1 p.m. CDT.

Congratulations to Kelly for correctly identifying Sammy Reed as today's Guess That Horse!

Welcome to Guess That Horse. Today’s winner receives a AQHA-logoed stepping stool, courtesy of Quarter Horse Outfitters.

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 American Quarter Horse wins the prize.

Read the rest of this entry »