At Your Service

AQHA Trail Challenges

May 23, 2016

These fun events are the perfect way to show off your trail horse’s skills in a competitive setting.

There are generally 6 to 16 obstacles in any given Trail Challenge, depending on the land and terrain of the host location. (AQHA photo)

Spring is quickly turning to summer, which means it is the perfect time to ride your American Quarter Horse at an AQHA Trail Challenge

“What’s an AQHA Trail Challenge?” you say. We’re glad you asked!

An AQHA Trail Challenge is a judged course that tests a horse and rider’s ability to work as a team and navigate through natural obstacles they might experience on a trail. By competing in a trail challenge, riders enhance their horsemanship skills while learning about safety and fun on the trail.

There are generally six to 16 obstacles in any given trail challenge, depending on the land and terrain of the host location. A judge or judges (determined by the amount of obstacles) are located throughout the course evaluating a rider’s skills to maneuver his horse through the obstacle. Each horse-and-rider team starts out with a value of 70 and then gains or loses points, depending on their ability to navigate the course. The horse and rider (partnership) with the highest overall value is declared the trail challenge winner in each division.

AQHA offers an all-breed division, as well as an American Quarter Horse division at each trail challenge. Every division will include a youth and adult category. Within each division, there are three levels:

  • Training level – new horse-and-rider partnerships
  • Intermediate level – established horse-and-rider partnerships
  • Master level – partnerships ready for a more demanding course

Riders compete for a first through fifth placing and must be an AQHA or AQHYA member to participate. Those aboard American Quarter Horses will have the chance to earn trail challenge merits to be put on the horse’s permanent AQHA record. (Note: At this time, trail challenge merits do not show up on a horse’s competition record. When the technology is available, these merits will be uploaded into the database.)

Riders can also earn great prizes while participating in trail challenges by enrolling in the AQHA Horseback Riding Program. Not only will you be recognized for each trail challenge you attend, you’ll also earn double the hours you spend on your horse during an AQHA Trail Challenge.

For more information on the trail challenges or to find a challenge near you, visit  

AQHA Memberships Defined

May 16, 2016

A detailed description of what AQHA has to offer!

AQHA offers three types of memberships: general, amateur and youth. We’ve discussed your membership discounts and how to get a new membership card if you’ve lost yours, but what about the type of membership that is right for you? This is definitely a frequently asked question, so read on for the answer!

When applying for your AQHA membership, keep a couple things in mind: Whether or not you are going to show in AQHA events and your age. Another nice little policy we’re going to share with you is that you have 60 days from the date AQHA receives your membership to change it or change your mind, unless horse-related work was completed within that 60-day time frame. So, don’t sweat it if you think you want to change. Just call AQHA Customer Service. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Sure Your Horse Is the Right Color

May 1, 2016

Does your American Quarter Horse’s registration certificate reflect his correct coat color?

The Midas Touch Kid, owned and bred by Kimberlee Brown of New Richmond, Wisconsin, is a cremello.

It’s important that your horse’s true coat color matches its registration papers. This horse is a cremello. Not sure about your horse’s color? Join AQHA Equine Coat Color Specialist Lisa Covey most Friday afternoons for a live chat on the AQHA Facebook page.

It’s a common scenario: You welcome your new American Quarter Horse foal into the world in spring and use the AQHA Coat Color Chart to chose the most logical color and get him registered with AQHA. Come summer, he loses his foal coat and appears to be a color very different from what his registration papers reflect. Now it’s fall, and you have a very different opinion of his coat color.

Fear not!

It’s important to get your horse’s papers corrected, and we’re here to help every step of the way.

AQHA equine color specialist Lisa Covey is one of several people at AQHA who specialize in Quarter Horse color genetics. Here, she takes some time to answer your important questions regarding your horse’s coat color.

Why is it important for your Quarter Horse’s coat color to be correct on his registration certificate?

Identification of a horse is one important reason the color should be correct on his papers. Whether you’re purchasing a horse or trying to identify horses in various situations, being able to verify the correct color and markings is important. Read the rest of this entry »

AQHA Horseback Riding Program

April 26, 2016

Earn rewards for what you love doing most – riding your horse!

AQHA’s Horseback Riding Program rewards you for doing what you love – saddling up and riding. Whether you are exclusive to the American Quarter Horse or also ride other breeds, you can participate in this fun and rewarding program. Read the rest of this entry »

AQHA Records and Pedigrees

April 18, 2016

Learn how to easily order AQHA records and pedigrees online.

Mixer Horse

AQHA members receive $10 in free records research each month. Log in to AQHA Member Services to choose from numerous pedigree and record options.

AQHA’s online records are a great resource for our members, whether you’re a recreational rider or a professional. AQHA records aid in buying, selling or breeding your American Quarter Horse, as well as keeping up with performance points.

The best part about AQHA’s online records system is that you don’t have to call and wait for the records you need! Read the rest of this entry »

The AQHA Facebook Connection

April 13, 2016

Try these tips for catching all of AQHA’s great posts and enjoying fast, friendly customer service.

Youre not catching all of our Facebook posts? Weve got an easy fix to help you hear us loud and clear

What’s that? You’re not catching all of AQHA’s Facebook posts? We’ve got an easy fix to help you hear us loud and clear.

By AQHA Manager of Online/Interactive Communications Jody Reynolds

Facebook has become a lot like my kids. Thanks to its new algorithm, it has developed selective hearing.

Take, for instance, these two messages:

  • “Who wants ice cream?”
  • “Time to do your homework.”

It’s no secret which of the two messages my kids will hear and which they’ll accidentally ignore.

But if I posted both messages to Facebook today, there’s no telling which message – if any – followers would see. Why? Because Facebook’s complicated algorithm makes it harder than ever to get our messages to the people who need them. Facebook wants us Read the rest of this entry »

How To Register Your AQHA Foal

April 4, 2016

Use these tips to make your foal a part of the world’s largest breed registry.

Register Your AQHA Foal

When it’s time to register your foal, you need to ask yourself a few questions, such as “Does my foal need to be parentage verified?” (Journal photo)

Everyone loves American Quarter Horse babies.

But it takes a lot more than a sire and dam to get a foal registration in the works. One of our most frequently asked questions by AQHA members is, ‘How do I register my foal?’

Every year, AQHA mails out a pre-printed registration application (also called a breeder’s certificate) to every stallion owner who files a stallion breeding report. This application will contain pertinent information such as the sire and dam’s information, mare and stallion owner’s name and address and the breeding dates. It’s up to you, the proud owner of a new foal, to fill in the rest.

Read the rest of this entry »

Make Your AQHA Membership Work for You

March 28, 2016

These AQHA corporate partners give you an extra bang for your membership buck.

AQHA member benefits

Learn the ways your AQHA membership can work for you.

We get asked a lot what comes with your AQHA membership. AQHA works hard to provide many discounts and awesome freebies, plus wonderful programs and even the award-winning America’s Horse magazine. All these member benefits are possible because of support from our generous corporate partners. So, who are these awesome partners, and what are the benefits you get from them?

Read the rest of this entry »

DNA and Parentage Verification

March 21, 2016

Get the lowdown on the DNA and parentage requirements for registering your new American Quarter Horse.

When training your foal its important to work each exercise from both the right and left sides

At AQHA, we’re here to help you get your new foals registered.

Since AQHA’s inception in 1940, science and information technology have advanced by leaps and bounds, making it easier than ever to verify an American Quarter Horse’s identity. Utilizing these advancements, AQHA has certain DNA testing and parentage verification requirements in place to protect owners and breeders of American Quarter Horses. Read the rest of this entry »

Leasing a Horse

February 29, 2016

Get the facts on how to lease an American Quarter Horse.

Reining horse

A showing lease has a one-year minimum and a maximum of three years. (Journal photo)

Lease agreements are designed to protect both the owner and the lessee of the American Quarter Horse, and as a business decision, it’s a very wise one to make.

A horse can be leased, according to the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations, for two purposes: breeding or showing.

Read the rest of this entry »

AQHA Shows

February 24, 2016

Find out how American Quarter Horses and their riders compete on a level playing field at AQHA shows.

horsemanship class at the Sun and Surf Circuit, an AQHA horse showFrom the brand-new competitor to the seasoned road warrior, everyone has a place at AQHA shows.

At AQHA shows, you’ll find that classes are offered in multiple divisions (open, amateur and youth). From there, class divisions are further broken down into levels. The levels group horses and riders with their peers of similar experience and achievements earned. This means Rookies are showing against other beginning competitors, while Level 3 riders are competing against those with the same high skill level.

Read the rest of this entry »

AQHA Convention

February 16, 2016

Learn more about the annual AQHA convention and how you can be more involved with the decision-making processes of your Association.

2016 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas

The 2016 AQHA Convention is March 11-14 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

One of the great things about AQHA is that it is governed by our members. Each spring, AQHA members gather for the annual AQHA convention to discuss AQHA rules and policies, review member-submitted rule changes, appoint new AQHA directors, induct new members into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and present year-end awards.

While this event is a lot of fun, with entertaining banquets and social events, AQHA convention is an important opportunity for the AQHA Executive Committee and board of directors to hear the ideas and suggestions of our valued membership.

Read the rest of this entry »