May 2012

Fly Strategy

May 31, 2012

Use these tips from AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam to to win the war against flies this summer.

Start your fly-control program early to keep fly populations down all season. Journal photo.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

Fly control keeps your horse comfortable. But that’s not the only reason to minimize flies. Flies and other biting insects pose a major health risk to your horse and you. Flies carry a number of dangerous diseases that become more of a problem as fly populations increase. Flies live, feed and breed in filth, where germs, bacteria and communicable diseases thrive. Good hygiene is critical to keeping flies and other filthy problems under control.

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Guess That Horse

May 30, 2012

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

Guess That Horse

A Dash Of Royalty is a 1992 gray stallion.

Congratulations to Taylor Anne on being the first person to correctly identify A Dash Of Royalty as today’s Guess That Horse! Taylor Anne received a one-year subscription to The American Quarter Horse Journal.

A Dash Of Royalty is a 1992 gray stallion by Dash For Cash and out of Peepers Delight by Beduino (TB). Bred by Abigail K. Kawananakoa of Nuevo, California, A Dash Of Royalty won seven out of 23 starts on the racetrack. His best speed index was 97, which he posted twice, and his career earnings totaled $46,677. The stallion only sired one foal, the 1999 mare Chick Called Royalty.

Here’s how the contest works:

  • When the contest is live, 10 hints will be posted – one at a time – every few minutes on this page.
  • Tip: 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.

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Making It Count

May 30, 2012

Two rookie youth exhibitors make the most of their first – and last – year of youth eligibility.

Making It Count

Photo courtesty of Connie Lechleitner.

By Connie Lechleitner for The American Quarter Horse Journal

Your late teens can be a tumultuous time in your life. But for two young ladies, horses are helping to make an exciting – and rewarding – first and last year as an AQHA youth exhibitor.

Living the Dream

18-year-old Allye Deskins of Southville, Ohio, attended her first All American Quarter Horse Congress in 2011, where she watched the hunter under saddle events. Five months later, she’s now competing with many of those same exhibitors. Although she had showed at the Ohio State Fair’s All-Novice show in Columbus previously, 2012 is her first year to consistently compete at the AQHA level.

While looking for a horse to buy, Allye and her mother met Brian and Darla Lee and were impressed by how they worked with their clients and their horses. When they found Sterling Captive, or “Louis,” an APHA-AQHA grey gelding, at another barn, they knew they wanted to work with the Lees.

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Is It My Horse Or Is It Me?

May 29, 2012

Why won’t my horse stand still while I mount?

Bob and Suzanne

Suzanne Sheppard and Bob Jeffreys teaching at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Journal photo.

By AQHA Professional Horsemen Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard in America’s Horse

Time spent with horses can be inspiring and stress relieving … most of the time. But, like with any relationship, things don’t always go smoothly. When there’s a problem, it’s important to understand why the horse is doing what he’s doing so we can develop a specific, effective solution. Sometimes the cause lies within the horse, other times within the human. Often it’s a combination. Here’s one reader’s dilemma:

Dear Bob & Suz,
I trust my mare completely, and we’ve ridden a lot of trails together over the years. The only problem we have is mounting. About a year ago, she began to fidget and move around when I got on. She’s not trying to be mean, she just keeps moving away. Sometimes I almost fall down. What should I do?

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Cushing’s Syndrome

May 28, 2012

Learn how to manage your horse’s health while living with Cushing’s Syndrome.


I have a mare that has Cushing’s disease. I am having trouble figuring out what to feed her. She appears overweight, but it is really muscle wasting, not fat, that makes her appear overweight. What kind of diet should I have her on?

Also, when should I start her on periglide? Her external symptoms aren’t bad yet, so do I wait to start the treatment?

For the answer, we sought out Dr. Lydia Gray from AQHA Corporate Partner SmartPak Equine.

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Celebrating our Centennial

May 28, 2012

The first Calgary Stampede was held in 1912. Guy Weadick organized it as a tribute to western heritage and values. Over the last 100 years, the Stampede has stayed true to that mandate.

Calgary Stampede

Calgarians and visitors alike embrace the Stampede spirit and celebrate our western heritage and values. Photo by Chris Bolin.

By Tina Zakowsky

For 10 days every July, the city of Calgary transforms into a tribute to the Wild West era. Downtown lawyers and chief executive officers of multinational corporations trade their business suits for blue jeans and cowboy boots. Companies decorate their office buildings and retail locations with corral fence boards and straw bales. Country music can be heard on nearly every corner. Locals and tourists gather for free pancakes and coffee. Calgarians and visitors alike embrace the Stampede spirit and celebrate our western heritage and values. After 100 years, there is no end in sight for this amazing festival with humble roots.

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Growing Up on the Rocking P

May 25, 2012

This Canadian ranch nurtures kids, calves and colts.

Rocking P Ranch

Kids and colts prosper on the ranch. Above, Logan Bird, his cousin, Stran Schlosser, and his sister, Lakota Bird, are growing up horseback. Journal photo.

From America’s Horse

It’s a crisp June morning in 2003, and Monica Schlosser springs into the saddle ready to go help her family gather cattle for a branding. Her husband, Blake, hands her a pillow, then hoists up their 2-year-old daughter, Reata.

“If I get to go, she gets to go,” Monica says. Sitting on her cushion, Reata relaxes to the horse’s cadenced walk and is asleep by the time her mom makes it to the pasture. She won’t see much of the gather that day, but she’ll have plenty of other chances. Growing up on the 10,000-acre Rocking P Ranch near Nanton, Alberta, Reata and her brother, Stran – who’s mature far beyond his 4 years and rides his own “big” horse – are likely to have an idyllic childhood much like their mother’s.

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Foal Vaccinations and Health Care

May 24, 2012

Health and management tips to ensure a healthy future for your foal.

Foal health

Foals require careful monitoring to ensure that they are healthy and developing properly. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Pfizer

With spring in full bloom, many American Quarter Horse owners are welcoming new foals into their equine family. Foals require careful monitoring to ensure that they are healthy and developing properly. To help owners as they raise their future champions and performers, we spoke with AQHA life member Dr. Jerry Black, director of the equine science program at Colorado State University and owner of Oak Valley Ranch, an equine reproduction facility in Oakdale, California, on his recommendations for caring for mares and young foals.

Dr. Black emphasizes that the health of the foal is clearly dependent on the health of the mare, particularly in the last trimester. Mares should receive booster vaccinations approximately four to six weeks prior to foaling and be on a sound nutrition and parasite control program, without being overweight.

“Administering booster vaccinations prior to foaling helps to ensure that the mare will have maternal antibodies to pass along to the foal in colostrum,” says Dr. Black. “If a good vaccination regimen has been applied prior to foaling, we don’t need to vaccinate foals until their immune system is ready to develop after maternal antibody levels start to decrease.”

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Ask a Pro Horseman Video Contest

May 23, 2012

Submit a video of you and your American Quarter Horse, and you could receive free advice from a trusted AQHA Professional Horseman.

If you’ve been having trouble with your American Quarter Horse and need some professional training help, here’s your chance to ask an AQHA Professional Horseman for free. Go to the contest tab on AQHA’s Facebook page and submit a video of you and your horse that explains the problem you and your horse have encountered. If you’re selected, we’ll ask an AQHA Professional Horseman to tackle your issue.

AQHA’s Ask an AQHA Pro Horseman Video Contest runs through May 31, 2012. Entrants must be 18 or older, and the horse depicted must be a registered American Quarter Horse. Videos must not contain copyrighted material or children under 18 unless accompanied by a parental consent statement. See below for additional rules.

Enter today at AQHA’s Facebook page for your opportunity to ask a Professional Horseman your questions. AQHA will select multiple winners, and a Professional Horseman will provide advice in written and/or video form. Your entries might be featured in an upcoming digital edition of The American Quarter Horse Journal and/or on AQHA’s web properties. Videos submitted become the property of AQHA and may be used for AQHA’s promotional purposes.

Ask a Pro Horseman Video Contest Rules

  • Entrants must be 18 years old or older, and those featured in the video must be 18 years old or older or have written parental consent to participate in the video and/or contest. Parents or guardians who allow their child under 18 to be featured in a video submission must agree to the entire contest rules and video guidelines; parental consent forms may be sent to If videos are submitted without parental consent, it is assumed that each person in the video is over 18 years of age.
  • Video must explain in detail the issue or problem you’re having with your horse.
  • Horse in the video must be a registered American Quarter Horse.
  • Entries must be submitted by May 31, 2012.
  • Please avoid using personal identifying and biographical information in the videos, including but not limited to middle and last names, cities, states and zip codes. Using an individual’s information in the videos in spoken, audio or video title form may result in your video submission being rejected.
  • Children, including those by marriage or adoption, related family, employees or contractors of AQHA are considered ineligible to participate.
  • Contestants chosen as finalists will be reached via phone and/or e-mail and notified that their video will be submitted to an AQHA Professional Horseman. This notification does not guarantee an answer from an AQHA Professional Horseman.
  • One video submission per entrant.
  • Submitted videos may be no longer than five minutes in duration.
  • All music used in videos must not violate any music or lyric copyrights.
  • The video must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, defamatory, slanderous or libelous. Such videos will be rejected for submission into this contest.
  • The video must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred, harm against any group or individual, or discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • The video must not contain material that is unlawful or in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state where the video is created.
  • Submissions may be rejected for any reason, including (but not limited to) the submission guidelines mentioned above.

The American Quarter Horse Journal provides valuable horse training advice from AQHA Professional Horsemen every month. Subscribe today so you’ll get great horse training tips plus industry news, event results, lifestyle pieces and much more!

First Rate

May 23, 2012

Soften your working cow horse by rating a cow.

First Rate

When you first begin rating training, track the cow at the same speed and cadence the cow is going. Journal photo.

By Andy Adams with Andrea Caudill in The American Quarter Horse Journal

One of the common non-pro mistakes I see in the working cow horse pen is the failure to accurately rate. That is, the horse finding the correct position to be in and waiting for his rider’s cues to step past that cow and turn. Too often, I see a rider pulling on his horse trying to get him to stay in position, then letting go of the reins and kicking to get past that cow all at once. I like my horses to be relaxed in rating and comfortable wherever they’re at. That’s an important deal because I don’t have to kick or pull on my horse to get him in the correct position. If a horse has any cow in him at all, if you have the rate on him and then step by that cow, nine times out of 10, the horse is going to turn. The more I’ve been around, the more I believe a good fence horse is born, not made. All we’ve got to do is stay out of his way, make sure he’s comfortable to do his job, and he’ll do it.

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The First 30 Days

May 22, 2012

What to focus on during your first month’s worth of rides on your horse.

Ken McNabb

Ken McNabb with "Jericho." Journal photo

By AQHA Professional Horseman Ken McNabb in America’s Horse

When I put my first 30 rides on a horse – whether it’s a colt I’ve just started under saddle or an older horse that’s new to me – there are a number of things that I’ll teach or reinforce to the horse.

It’d take a book to talk about everything that need to be accomplished, but I’ll go over a few things that were important to me as I began working with “Jericho,” a 4-year-old gelding registered as WR Turning Diamonds. I handled him (and later purchased him) at the 2010 Road to the Horse colt-starting challenge. So I had started him under saddle, but when we got home, we had a lot more work to do. Here’s where we started:

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Core Stability for Riders

May 22, 2012

Learn how to strengthen your core to improve your back and leg endurance while riding.

By Emily J. Harrington

My last entry addressed endurance and stamina as part of your workout plan to stay in shape for riding.

Next, I’ll look at what you, as a rider, can do out of the saddle if your back and/or legs get tired while you are riding.

I can’t say it enough:  Core, core, core! We are talking abdominals, chest and back muscles. Think of it like posture maintenance. How many of you slouch around at work and home, until you find yourself in the saddle miraculously sitting up straight like you are dining with the Queen of England? Are you slowly raising your arm?

Most of us have an imbalance of back strength to abdominal strength. Think of the front to the back of your upper body staying in constant communication. If your ab muscles are not talking, then your back is going to be doing all the work it can to keep good posture in the saddle.

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