July 2012

Give It Your Best Shot

July 31, 2012

Mike Major shares tips on setting up the cow for roping in ranch horse competition.

Mike Major and Smart Whiskey Doc were the 2010 open Versatility Ranch Horse world champions. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Versatility Ranch Horse competitions are gaining popularity, especially with riders who don’t necessarily ride horses for a living, but are enamored with the cowboy lifestyle. For many of these competitors, roping is the most challenging part of ranch horse competitions and the part where many points can be lost as quickly as one can throw a loop.

World champion Versatility Ranch Horse competitor, horse trainer, cowboy and former professional roper Mike Major of Fowler, Colorado, says it’s important to have a plan and set yourself up for success when roping in ranch horse competition. Read the rest of this entry »

AQHA Trail Challenge Clinic

July 30, 2012

The first Iowa Quarter Horse Association Trail Challenge clinic prepped riders for an upcoming AQHA Trail Challenge event.

IQHA Trail Challenge

Riders in the clinic practiced on obstacles, such as jumping logs. (Photo by bar H Photography)

By Jennifer Horton for The American Quarter Horse Journal

Scenic View Ranch on July 21 in Monona, Iowa, was the picturesque setting for the first AQHA Trail Challenge clinic hosted by the Iowa Quarter Horse Association. Larry Voecks of Norfolk, Nebraska, was the clinician and AQHA Director Bill Horton served as coordinator for the clinic.

Ranch owners Lloyd Johanningmeier, an AQHA 40-year breeder, and Janet Skola welcomed riders to learn about the new AQHA trail competition in preparation for the first IQHA Trail Challenge slated for October during the IQHA/AQHA Trail Ride at Scenic View Ranch.

Read the rest of this entry »

Diet for Hot Horses

July 30, 2012

A horse’s diet and nutrition make a major difference in his energy levels.


I have an 8-year-old gelding who is ridden regularly, receives one scoop of sweet feed and grass hay, but is still “hot.” What feeds do you recommend for hot horses? Do calming supplements work?

To answer this question, we sought out nutrition expert Dr. Lydia Gray from AQHA Corporate Partner SmartPak Equine.


I suggest replacing his sweet feed with a ration balancer (or multi-vitamin). Some horses do better when their energy comes from complex carbohydrates or from fat. Make sure he is getting a full serving of this fortified grain for his age, weight and workload.

Sweet feed can contain as much as 50 percent sugars and starches, which are what can cause some horses to be hot. The sugars are quickly digested and absorbed in the blood stream, leading to a spike in insulin release.

As far as calming supplements, you may find you don’t need one after swapping out the sweet feed in his diet. But if you want to try this approach, keep in mind that there are two broad categories of calming supplements: nutritional-based and herbal-based.

Some horses respond better to the nutrients magnesium, B-vitamins and tryptophan (an amino acid), while other horses are able to normalize their nervous systems with herbs such as valerian, vervain, chamomile, hops, passion flower or others.

Dr. Lydia Gray, SmartPak

Two-Minute Trailer-Safety Checklist

July 30, 2012

Is your rig ready for the next trip with your horses?

From AQHA Corporate Partner USRider

Remember to always check your rig before you haul. Photos courtesy of Kent and Charlene Krone.

The last thing you want is to have a mechanical problem with your horse trailer when you’re on your way out or coming back from enjoying a beautiful day at the show or on the trail with your horse. At the least, such a problem can cause a delay; at the worst, it can put your horse in danger.

Next time you’re about to hit the road, use this handy checklist to keep your truck and horse trailer trip-ready and horse-safe. Read the rest of this entry »

Sam Houston’s Ideal Cow Horse

July 27, 2012

This stallion and his home on the range grew up together.

By Richard Chamberlain in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Cutter's Indian, by Cutter Bill and out of Fancy Indian, was just one of many descendants of Copperbottom. AQHA file photo.

The Republic of Texas gained its independence over 176 years ago. On March 2, 1836 – while a doomed band of revolutionaries still was besieged at the Alamo – a rabble-rousing group of their brethren gathered at the tiny village of Washington-On-The-Brazos to put their John Hancocks on the declaration that broke ties with Mexico. Eight weeks later, flush off his victories at Goliad and the Alamo, Santa Anna and his army were defeated at San Jacinto by ragtag rebels under Sam Houston.

Born in Virginia on March 2, 1793, Houston became the first president of the new republic, serving in 1836-38 and again in 1841-44. A colorful character, Houston lived with the Cherokees, fought with Andrew Jackson against the Creeks, was governor of two states, served two terms in Congress and was a U.S. senator. Ol’ Sam also was an excellent horseman, both in the saddle and as a breeder. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Your Horse at Risk for Equine Influenza?

July 26, 2012

Keep your horses performing at their best with proper vaccination against equine influenza.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Pfizer Animal Health

two horses looking over fence

Take the appropriate precautions to protect your horses. Journal photo.

Respiratory diseases are extremely common illnesses that can limit the performance of your American Quarter Horses. Of these cases, equine influenza virus (EIV) is most often the culprit.

Equine influenza is a contagious upper respiratory disease that can cause fever, coughing and nasal discharge, and can spread rapidly among groups of horses.1 Much like other respiratory diseases that afflict horses, equine influenza can be a source of economic loss because of losses in training days and additional veterinary costs.2 Read the rest of this entry »

Guess That Horse

July 25, 2012

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

Cupid's Jane was a 1973 red roan mare.

Congratulations to Trisha Smith for being the first person to correctly identify today’s horse as Cupid’s Jane. Trisha will receive a John Deere paperweight and a special promotional code for 15% off her entire online purchase at Quarter Horse Outfitters. Well done!

Think you can guess a horse by its picture, points or pedigree? Then try your hand at today’s Guess That Horse contest, sponsored by John Deere and Quarter Horse Outfitters! Today’s winner will receive a John Deere paperweight and a special promotional code for 15% off your entire online purchase at Quarter Horse Outfitters.

Here’s how the contest works:

  • When the page 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.

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

Get more help with your guesses! Consult AQHA records for pedigrees, show records and much more!

Hint #1: This American Quarter Horse was a red roan.

Hint #2: This American Quarter Horse was a mare.

Hint #3: This American Quarter Horse was shown by only two youth riders in her show career.

Hint #4: This American Quarter Horse was shown in halter and western pleasure.

Hint #5: This American Quarter Horse features Three Bars and Wimpy in her pedigree.

Hint #6: This American Quarter Horse placed 10th in western horsemanship at the 1979 Youth World Show.

Hint #7: This American Quarter Horse earned her open performance Register of Merit in 1976.

Hint #8: This American Quarter Horse became the dam of nine foals in her lifetime, two of which earned Registers of Merit.

Hint #9: This American Quarter Horse was out of Judge’s Cupid.

Hint #10: This American Quarter Horse was bred by Kenneth B. Jones of Hebron, Nebraska.

Cupid’s Jane was a 1973 red roan mare by The Oletimer and out of Judge’s Cupid by Judge Crocker. Shown in halter and western pleasure, Cupid’s Jane earned her open performance Register of Merit in 1976 and became the dam of nine foals, two of which earned Registers of Merit of their own.

Western Styles of the 1990s

July 25, 2012

Horse show fashions come and go, but it’s still the little things that count.

Joni James

Miss Rodeo America 1990 Joni James models clothing by Tener's Western Outfitters of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Editor’s Note: Check out this fashion-minded blast from the past! This piece and its accompanying photos originally ran in the September 1990 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal. Once you’re done admiring the western chic styles of the 1990s, head on over to Quarter Horse Outfitters and feast your eyes on the styles of 2012!

We’re finally into the ’90s, and the western styles are pretty, practical, sporty and flattering. And, what’s great about the new eye-catching fall fashions is that they fit perfectly well into both city and country lifestyles. Outfits are interchangeable – especially those for women. They can be accessorized with sophisticated or fun-loving bolos and button covers, a variety of colored boots and western belts, or given a completely different Read the rest of this entry »

2012 March, England

July 24, 2012

Keylee Sayler, AQHA’s international intern, and the University of Wyoming horsemanship clinic team teach everything from pleasure to working the flag in March, England.

Great job to the UW team and our hosts for putting on such a successful clinic.

By AQHA International Intern Keylee Sayler

Hello from England!

I just watched the University of Wyoming conduct an awesome horsemanship camp at the lovely facilities of Horse Creek Farm, owned by David and Sarah Deptford, in March, England.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Real Art of Roping Horses

July 24, 2012

It’s a real art, and it’s still practiced today on a lot of ranches.

By Jim Jennings in America’s Horse

Photo by Jim Jennings

There's more to roping than meets the eye. Journal photo.

Roping a horse is not easy; the horse is taller than the cowboy, so the loop has to be tossed into the air so that it falls over the horse’s head. And for those who wonder why cowboys rope horses instead of just walking up to one with a halter or bridle, first you have to ask, who wants to wade in among a hundred or more milling horses and try to bridle the one that’s standing way over on the other side of the herd. Second, the horses are trained to be caught that way. They may try to evade the tossed loop, but once they’re roped, they easily allow themselves to be led to a waiting cowboy who bridles them. Read the rest of this entry »

Fit for the Fall

July 23, 2012

Riders need to be fit to stay on and fit to fall off.

By Emily J. Harrington

riding fit

Have an equestrian fitness question? Comment below, and we'll work hard to find you an answer!

There is always a chance that when you climb aboard a horse, you could find yourself abruptly back on the ground. Sometimes horses spook and catch us off guard, or we just are not paying attention, end up losing our balance – and you know the rest. The question is, how will your body handle the fall? Read the rest of this entry »

Re-Breeding Your Mare

July 23, 2012

Evaluate the health of your mare after foaling before you plan to breed her again.


How soon after delivery can my mare be bred back to another stallion? What are the positives and negatives of breeding my mare soon after she foals?

Read the rest of this entry »