Horse Showing

Safety Tips for Horse Showing Success

April 23, 2014

Whether you’re a horse-show exhibitor or the person in charge, these smart show safety tips can help everyone stay safe at the show.

At a horse show an individuals actions can affect the performance of other exhibitors But if you take certain precautions youll be a positive addition to any horse showing event

At a horse show, an individual’s actions can affect the performance of other exhibitors. But if you take certain precautions, you’ll be a positive addition to any horse-showing event. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Although horse showing is typically a fun experience for both horses and competitors, it does not come without risks. The Journal gathered tips for exhibitors and show management to maximize the chances of a safe horse-show experience.

Advice for Exhibitors

As an exhibitor, you have an influence on how smoothly a show runs. Enlist these 11 tips so you can be an exemplary horse-show exhibitor: Read the rest of this entry »

A Horse-Showing How-To: Pleasure Driving

April 16, 2014

Hang up the saddle and try your hand at a different kind of horse sport.

To maximize your chances of a safe pleasure drive, always check that your Quarter Horse is harnessed and hooked to the cart correctly.

To maximize your chances of a safe pleasure drive, always check that your Quarter Horse is harnessed and hooked to the cart correctly. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

It’s no secret that American Quarter Horses are a versatile breed. Many people think of Quarter Horses as a breed that excels in events like working cow horse and cutting, but they’re also used in dressage, over-fences classes and even pleasure driving. If you’ve considered trying the sport of pleasure driving, brush up on the basic rules and safety tips first so you can succeed in the show ring.

What is the purpose of pleasure driving anyway?

According to SHW610 of the 2014 AQHA Official Handbook, the purpose of this class is to evaluate the horse’s ability and pleasurable attitude while pulling a cart. Additionally, SHW610 offers these three standards:

Read the rest of this entry »

Supportive Horse Show Spouses

April 9, 2014

Learn how you can be a helpful horse-showing hand with these three tips from veteran show spouses.

As a horse show helper taking care of your spouse and the horses are only two parts of the equation Remember to schedule downtime for yourself too Got someone in mind who would make an excellent horse showing hand Share this story with him or her on Facebook

As a horse-show helper, taking care of your spouse and the horses are only two parts of the equation. Remember to schedule downtime for yourself, too. Journal illustration
Got someone in mind who would make an excellent horse-showing hand? Share this story with him or her on Facebook!

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

They are the backbone of the exhibitor. They are the ones who are there for the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. They ensure that the horse is show-ring ready and the exhibitor is perfect.

They are show spouses. Always behind the scenes, show spouses are usually only recognized by their significant other for their contributions. The exhibitor gets all the glory for a win he wouldn’t necessarily have achieved without that lone person who groomed and exercised the horse and ensured that all the tack was clean and the exhibitor was spotless. Read the rest of this entry »

Preparing for Your Reining Debut

April 2, 2014

In Part 2 of this series about reining, discover what not to do in your horse-showing excursions.

Watching other riders compete in reining can tell you how the judges are scoring and teach you other horse training strategies

Watching other riders compete in reining can tell you how the judges are scoring and teach you other horse-training strategies. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

As you school your horse in the warm-up pen, you realize the competition is tough – really tough. It’s one of your first competitions and, as a novice rider, your heart is already pounding as you wait for your draw. You ponder last-minute miracle efforts that might bring your horse up to par with your rivals. You think you need a quick fix to contend because you know your horse can’t spin that fast and you know you’ve never run that hard.

Calm down, says Brent Wright, renowned reining horse trainer. Last-minute changes will only frustrate you and your horse. With this in mind, Brent shares additional strategies and tips for reinforcing your horse’s strengths, while also calming your horse-show nerves. Read the rest of this entry »

Preparing for Your Reining Debut

March 26, 2014

Examine these tips to optimize your horse-showing success in reining competition.

Upon entering a reining competition know your horses ability level and stick to it

Upon entering a reining competition, know your horse’s ability level and stick to it. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

As you school your horse in the warm-up pen, you realize the competition is tough – really tough. It’s one of your first competitions and, as a novice rider, your heart is already pounding as you wait for your draw. You ponder last-minute miracle efforts that might bring your horse up to par with your rivals.’ You think you need a quick fix to contend because you know your horse can’t spin that fast and you know you’ve never run that hard.

Calm down, says Brent Wright, renowned reining-horse trainer. Last-minute changes will only frustrate you and your horse.

A lot of people, myself included, get to the horse show and think they have to change their program,” says Brent of Ottawa, Kansas. “But it’s too late at that point to go changing things. Go with what you’ve got there.” Read the rest of this entry »

Smart Horse Showing: Haul Your Horse Safely

March 19, 2014

Help your show horse acclimate to different climates.

In cool weather, your horse will need the most help adjusting to the temperatures when he’s in his stall. Journal photo.

In cool weather, your horse will need the most help adjusting to the temperatures when he’s in his stall. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

One often-overlooked aspect of hauling performance horses to shows or other events is adjustment to changes in climate and altitude. Some changes don’t affect a horse severely, but others can zap him physically, change him mentally and cause poor performance.

Christian Rammerstorfer of Oroville, California, is a reining trainer who has a Ph.D. in equine nutrition and exercise physiology. He has hauled horses to several states where temperatures, humidity and altitude were extremely different from what the horses were used to at home. Read the rest of this entry »

Creating a Beneficial Horse-Showing Project for Youth

March 5, 2014

In Part 2 of this series, learn more tips for creating a positive horse-showing project for your child.

Parents should encourage their young horseback rider to set horse related goals regardless of their experience level

Parents should encourage their young horseback rider to set horse-related goals, regardless of their experience level. Journal photo.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Douglas Householder in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Once a kid is involved in a horse project, there are a few things will help ensure that blue ribbons aren’t the project’s only benefit. Utilizing horses as a developmental tool is far from an exact science. The following philosophy was gleaned from more than 20 years of work with moms and dads, 4-H volunteer leaders, youth-oriented horse trainers and, most importantly, kids.

In the previous post, we discussed six ways to make a child’s horse experience a success:

1. Be aware of the development stage of youth

2. Purchase horses to fit developmental stages of youth.

3. Commit yourself to your child’s project

4. Encourage youth to join horse organizations.

5. Help kids design a guiding road map.

6. Track your family’s progress.

Here are five additional important considerations: Read the rest of this entry »

Creating a Beneficial Horse-Showing Project for Youth, Part 1

February 26, 2014

Make your kids’ horse-showing experience positive with these six tips.

Both kids and parents should set goals for the horse showing project and determine how involved they want to be

Both kids and parents should set goals for the horse-showing project and determine how involved they want to be. Share this story on Facebook! Journal photo.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Douglas Householder in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Once a kid is involved in a horse project, there are a few things will help ensure that blue ribbons aren’t the project’s only benefit. Utilizing horses as a developmental tool is far from an exact science. The following philosophy was gleaned from more than 20 years of work with moms and dads, 4-H volunteer leaders, youth-oriented horse trainers and, most importantly, kids. Read the rest of this entry »

Purchasing Your First Cutting Horse

February 19, 2014

A horse-showing how-to: Prepare to step into the cutting pen.

Purchasing a cutting horse requires asking the right questions in regard to the horses past and experience

Purchasing a cutting horse requires asking the right questions in regard to the horse’s past and experience. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

It’s time.

You’ve taken a few lessons and perhaps even ridden a show or two aboard someone else’s horse. Now you’ve decided you’re ready for your very own cutting horse.

But how do you go about finding the right one for you?

National Cutting Horse Association former president and AQHA judge Mike Mowery of Llano, Texas, offers this advice on choosing your first cutting horse: Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Showing Help: Halter Horse Line-Up

February 12, 2014

AQHA Professional Horsewoman Kathy Smallwood offers tips for optimizing your line-up in a halter class.

Knowing your halter horses faults will help position him in the best possible way for the judge

Knowing your halter horse’s faults will help position him in the best possible way for the judge. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Your horse is fit and shiny. He walked into the show pen and tracked him past the judge. Now, you’re headed to the line-up. Will you be ready? Will your horse look its best?

AQHA Professional Horsewoman Kathy Smallwood, of Pilot Point, Texas, says to stand up your halter horse based on his conformation as an individual. Honestly appraising your halter horse based on his conformation as an individual will help you do a better job of positioning him so that he looks his best to the judge. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Showing in a Pattern Class

February 5, 2014

Improve your pattern-class performance with these tips.

Setting the cones in a pattern class can help you gain a better understanding of the judges intentions for the pattern

Setting the cones in a pattern class can help you gain a better understanding of the judge’s intentions for the pattern. Journal photo.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Tom McBeath with Larri Jo Starkey in The American Quarter Horse Journal

You wouldn’t set off on a journey without mapping out a course. Don’t set off in a pattern class without planning just as carefully.

Think of each new arena as a new territory to be mastered, and you’ll find yourself navigating patterns with ease – or at least with a plan. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Braid a Horse’s Mane

January 29, 2014

Follow these step-by-step horse-showing instructions for braiding a horse’s mane for English classes.

Before you start braiding a mane, youll want the pulled and even, clean and dry AQHA Video Photo.

Before you start braiding a mane, you’ll want the mane pulled and even, clean and dry. AQHA Video Photo.

By Tara Matsler for The American Quarter Horse Journal

English competition exudes class and style. Not surprisingly, what is quick to draw the judge’s eye is a horse and rider who look clean and professional, and neat, tidy mane braids are a means to accomplish that.

American Quarter Horses are seen sporting braids in a multitude of AQHA classes, including hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, hunter hack, equitation over fences, working hunter and pleasure driving.

While braided manes may look like the impossible, learning how to braid a horse’s mane becomes easier and easier with practice. Read the rest of this entry »