September 2012

Freezing Epididymal Sperm

September 28, 2012

In some circumstances, this can be a very handy trick of the horse-breeding trade.

Dr. Robert O. Gilbert

Dr. Robert O. Gilbert explains the possibilities behind freezing epididymal sperm. Photo courtesy of Synbiotics.

By Dr. Robert O. Gilbert

Do you have a promising colt? Not sure if you would be better off keeping him intact? Do you feel torn between the desire to preserve his breeding potential and the convenience of working with a gelding? One way to do both is to freeze semen, store it and wait to see how the gelding performs in his athletic career. If you need only a modest amount of frozen semen, it may not be necessary to train the stallion for semen collection, but simply to obtain sperm from his reproductive organs after castration. Similarly, if a stallion's life is cut short by an accident or acute illness, it may be possible to obtain sperm after death and successfully freeze it. (This procedure is less likely to be successful if the stallion has had a prolonged illness or suffered age-related reduction in fertility before death).

Sperm can be obtained from the tail of the epididymis – this is the organ attached to the testis, into which sperm pass after their production in the testis. It functions to support sperm as they mature and acquire the ability to fertilize oocytes, or eggs. The epididymis also serves as the major storage organ for sperm before ejaculation. Transit time for sperm through the epididymis is about two weeks. By the time they reach the tail of the epididymis, they have achieved the ability to fertilize and are held in “suspended animation” as a reservoir for ejaculation. It is this feature that is exploited to allow recovery of sperm from dead stallions or post-castration. Read the rest of this entry »

Consider the Source

September 27, 2012

When you're seeking horse health information, go to a reliable source.

Veterinarian

As a horse owner, unbiased information is extremely important to your horse's health. Photo courtesy of Adequan.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Adequan

Imagine your horse has started limping, has been diagnosed with an ulcer or needs a vaccine. There are so many treatments out there, and they all look the same. How can you make the best decision for the health of your horse?

You aren’t alone in your confusion or your need for unbiased information. As a horse owner, you make decisions every day about how to treat your horse, hoping you make the right choice. There are a few keys to having confidence in these decisions.

AAEP Is a Champion for Knowledge

This proliferation of treatments is partly due to compounding pharmacies and veterinary medical devices. About eight years ago, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (an AQHA alliance partner) noticed not only an abundance of compounds, but also a need to teach veterinarians how they should and should not be used.

“Some of these pharmacies developed sales forces to go out and ‘educate’ the veterinary population about their products,” says Dr. Jim Morehead, owner of Equine Medical Associates PSC in Lexington, Kentucky. “They tried to tell veterinarians that their compounded products were the same thing as Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs. They’re trying to say it’s apples to apples. Read the rest of this entry »

Guess That Horse

September 26, 2012

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

Can you guess this horse?

Congratulations to Diane for being the first person to correctly identify Krog's Dode. Krog's Dode was a 1970 sorrel mare by Leo 3 and out of the Kee McCue Fe mare, Kee's Jo. She was bred by Louie Krogman of White River, South Dakota and competed in AQHA youth events with two different riders. She won AQHA championships in 1974 and 1975. She also earned an AQHA Superior in halter in 1974 and a Superior in western pleasure in 1975.

Think you can guess a horse’s identity by its picture, points or pedigree? Then try your hand at today’s Guess That Horse contest, sponsored by Quarter Horse Outfitters!

Today’s winner will receive a “Low-Stress Colt Starting with Curt Plate” DVD courtesy of 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 horse was a sorrel mare.

Hint #2: This horse competed in AQHA youth events with two different riders.

Hint #3: This horse traces back to Little King, Leo and Little Jim Fe.

Hint #4: This horse won AQHA championships in 1974 and 1975.

Hint #5: This horse earned an AQHA Superior in halter in 1974 and a Superior in western pleasure in 1975.

Hint #6: This horse was born in South Dakota.

Hint #7: This horse was bred by Louie Krogman of White River, South Dakota.

Hint #8: This horse had one foal by Silver Deller.

Hint #9: This horse was out of a Kee McCue Fe mare.

Hint #10: This horse was by Leo 3.

This contest is now closed.

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All-Around Amateur

September 26, 2012

Horse-showing history: A look back at the 2011 Bank of America Amateur World Championship Show.

All Around Amateur 2011

Lauren Eichstadt and Its My Lucky Detail won the Farnam All-Around Amateur Award at the 2011 Bank of America AQHA World Championship Show. Journal photo.

By Tara Christiansen for The American Quarter Horse Journal

In the span of one afternoon, one horse and rider combo came out of the shadows to win the Farnam All-Around Amateur Award at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show.

Lauren Eichstadt of Greenville, Pennsylvania, and Its My Lucky Detail, bred by Larry and Linda Whitaker of Rogers, Arkansas, earned 39 points competing in three classes to win the coveted title.

In addition to bragging rights, Lauren and Its My Lucky Detail took home a Farnam All-Around Amateur prize package that included $15,000, plus $1,000 in Farnam products, an embroidered Fusion Contour blanket, courtesy of WeatherBeeta, a rose bouquet and a bronze by Lisa Perry. Read the rest of this entry »

Hoof, Please!

September 25, 2012

Horse training from the ground up: Asking politely for your horse's feet.

Picking up hoof.

From AQHA's “Fundamentals of Horsemanship”

If you’ve messed with very many horses’ hooves, most likely you’ve come across the type of horse who anticipates the request to lift a hoof, raising up his foot just as you run your hand down his leg. That’s well and good, unless you’re trying to doctor or wrap that leg.

You’ve also likely encountered horses who resist, either by pulling their legs away or leaning heavily on the person holding the hoof. That is also well and good, unless you want to take care of your back or your farrier.

The solution is to give the horse a specific cue that means: “I’d like you to give me your foot.” From Step 1 of AQHA’s “Fundamentals of Horsemanship,” here’s how to do it: Read the rest of this entry »

Preparing for a Trail Course

September 24, 2012

Preparing for your first time in trail doesn't require a lot of bling, just practice, practice, practice!

Question:

I need some advice. This will be my first AQHA show. How do I prepare for a trail course, and what should I expect? I am just a newbie on a pretty nice green horse. I don't have lots of bling bling clothes or tack and feel quite worried that I will be laughed at.

– Melissa Ryan Harris Read the rest of this entry »

Runnin' With Madonna

September 24, 2012

An impressive horse runs barrels with a tracheotomy.

Madonna running barrels

By Richard Chamberlain in America's Horse

Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the January-February 2011 issue of America’s Horse.“Madonna” is now 19 years old and is retired from barrel racing. She is still a member of the Steiner family, and Jamie Steiner says the family still rides her regularly to keep her in shape. Steely Steiner is now 9 years old, Rocker Steiner is now 7 years old, and their father, Sid, is now 37.

Everyone knows of Madonna, the racy pop singer who is as famous for what she wears – or doesn’t wear – as she is for her music.

Down in Texas, another “Madonna” also draws attention during her performances – she runs barrels with a hole in her neck. The 18-year-old mare has a tracheotomy, but it doesn’t slow her down.
Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Breeding History

September 21, 2012

Lynx Melody delivered big results in a small package.

Lynx Melody

Lynx Melody had a big impact on American Quarter Horse breeding. AQHA file photo.

Compilations from The American Quarter Horse Journal

Larry Reeder wasn’t quite sure what was wrong with the 3-year-old filly.

She was getting a belly on her, and the Stephenville, Texas, cutting horse trainer thought it might be worms. However, as her belly continued to grow, he began to suspect she was in foal.

Tulia, Texas, rancher Billy Cogdell had purchased Lynx Melody as a 2-year-old at the 1977 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Sale. She was barely 13 hands, and no one wanted her because of her size. However, Cogdell and Reeder, his trainer, both liked the way she worked in the demonstration before the sale.

“I knew she was the horse I wanted to select,” Reeder said in the February 1979 Quarter Horse Journal. “You don’t measure a horse’s ability by the height of her withers.” Read the rest of this entry »

Take Extra Care With Vaccines

September 20, 2012

Vaccines that are handled and cared for properly can provide maximum benefits.

Vaccine refrigerator.

Proper storage of your vaccines is important to their effectiveness. Photo courtesy of Pfizer Animal Health.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Pfizer Animal Health

Vaccines are an important part of disease prevention and control. Because of this, it’s vital that horse owners work with their veterinarian to understand proper vaccine handling and storage.

Correct vaccine storage and handling techniques are critical for ensuring vaccine efficacy and to help provide disease protection for your horses. Vaccines must be maintained at appropriate temperatures from the time they leave the manufacturer to the time of administration. Horse owners can monitor this by storing a thermometer, typically registering between 35 degrees to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, along with the vaccines in a refrigerator. Also, vaccines stored in the refrigerator should be placed in the middle, not in the door or against the back, and stocked with the shortest expiration date toward the front. Read the rest of this entry »

Guess That Horse

September 19, 2012

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

Guess That Horse contest

Congratulations to Luis for being the first person to correctly identify Dashing Folly!

Congratulations to Luis for being the first person to correctly identify Dashing Folly! Luis will be receiving a plastic tumbler and coffee mug set courtesy of Quarter Horse Outfitters.

Dashing Folly was a 1993 sorrel mare by First Down Dash and out of the Hempen (TB) mare, Hempes Folly. She competed in racing events through 1998 and was the 1996 AQHHA Racing World Champion. She was also named an AQHA  Supreme race horse in 1997. Dashing Folly was bred by Bob Burt of Sandy, Utah and has had 11 performing foals.

Think you can guess a horse’s identity by its picture, points or pedigree? Then try your hand at today’s Guess That Horse contest, sponsored by Quarter Horse Outfitters!

Today’s winner will receive an AQHA World Championship plastic tumbler and coffee mug set courtesy of 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Showing, Novice Championship-Style

September 19, 2012

Whether you live in the East or the West, the AQHA Novice Championship shows are fast approaching.

Novice Championship

The AQHA Novice Championships are just around the corner!

AQHA is excited to welcome more than 4,000 entries to the inaugural AQHA Novice Championships, October 4-7, 2012. The SmartPak AQHA West Novice Championship Show will be held in Las Vegas, while the Nutrena AQHA East Novice Championship Show will be held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And The American Quarter Horse Journal will be on site to cover all of the best moments of each show!

Competitors qualified nationally or through affiliate qualifying methods. Methods of affiliate qualifying varied by affiliate, and the AQHA Affiliate Council helped to coordinate with the state and provincial affiliates to determine the method of affiliate qualifying. Read the rest of this entry »

A Piece of the Puzzle

September 18, 2012

Transitions are an important component of good horse training.

Transitions

Brent Graef gives tips for better transitions. Journal photo.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Brent Graef

One of the most important aspects of good horsemanship is solid transitions.

Nuno Oliveira is considered by many to be one of the greatest horsemen of our time. Here is a quote from his book, “Reflections on Equestrian Art”: “Generally, riders seem to forget that the basis of the horse’s schooling is given by constant transitions and variations between gaits.”

In other words, transitions are pretty darned important!

We are looking for smooth transitions: upward, downward, laterally and transitions from one exercise to another.

Upward and Downward Transitions

We need the horse to perform upward and downward transitions smoothly and easily, with quality. Pay attention to the softness in the horse’s body. Does it go all the way through the horse? Do you lose any of the softness during the transition? Read the rest of this entry »