Horse Showing

Horse-Showing Standards, Part 1

August 27, 2014

Learn why body control is so important in a western pleasure horse.

With western pleasure, a lot of people don’t realize that horses have to be in a certain position to have the lift and control the class requires. Journal photo

With western pleasure, a lot of people don’t realize that horses have to be in a certain position to have the lift and control the class requires. Journal photo

By AQHA Professional Horseman Shane Dowdy in The American Quarter Horse Journal

I ask the same basic things of all of my horses, from within their individual ages and experience levels. I want my horses to relax and “give” both face and body to the signals of my hands and legs.

I’ll often talk about the importance of “steering.” That means how easily and quickly a horse responds to his signals via rein and leg; much of that has to do with how balanced a horse is in his action.

A horse heavy on the forehand can’t respond quickly. I use neck suppling exercises, riding over poles and around cones, and working the flag to help a horse use his hind end more, working up off his forehand. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Showing Details

August 20, 2014

Find success in your next halter class with a properly fitting lead shank.

AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Smith offers his advice on how to fit your halter shank correctly and look professional in the show ring. Journal photo

AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Smith offers his advice on how to fit your halter shank correctly and look professional in the show ring. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

There are definite do’s and don’ts in how you fit your halter lead shank, and not having a lead shank rigged correctly is one of AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Smith’s pet peeves.

The trainer from Whitesboro, Texas, points out that a professional presentation shows good horsemanship more than style, and that’s especially true with your shank. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Showing History

August 13, 2014

Get excited for the 2014 Adequan Select World Championship Show by taking a look back at a thrilling moment from last year’s ranch horse pleasure competition.

Greyt Socks and Thomas Hicks cross the logs on their way to winning gold at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show. Journal photo

Greyt Socks and Thomas Hicks cross the logs on their way to winning gold at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

With the 2014 Adequan Select World Championship Show starting just next week, it’s worth remembering a few of the great moments from last year’s show.

The first ranch horse pleasure Select world championship class pitted friend against friend at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show.

After a preliminary go, 15 riders returned for the finals. After all 15 finished, the ring crew started in to pull the cones and logs from the arena. Read the rest of this entry »

Reined Cow Horse 101, Part 2

August 6, 2014

Take your horse showing to a new level with this detailed look at the rein work and cow work components of reined cow horse competition.

Cow work demonstrates the ability of the horse and rider to control the movements of a cow down the fence and in the center of the arena. Journal photo

Cow work demonstrates the ability of the horse and rider to control the movements of a cow down the fence and in the center of the arena. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Reined cow horse is one of the most thrilling and demanding of all performance-horse events. Combining reining, cutting and solitary cow work, the event challenges the skill of both the horse and rider.

In Part 1 of this series, we learned about the history of reined cow horse and one of its components, herd work. The second and final part of this series will detail the other two components, rein work and cow work. Read the rest of this entry »

Reined Cow Horse 101, Part 1

July 30, 2014

In Part 1 of this series, learn the history behind reined cow horse competition and begin to understand its three parts.

One phase of reined cow horse special events – such as bridle spectaculars, derbies and futurities –is similar to cutting, where the horse shows his ability to control a cow with little assistance from the rider within a 2 1/2-minute period. Journal photo

One phase of reined cow horse special events – such as bridle spectaculars, derbies and futurities – is similar to cutting, where the horse shows his ability to control a cow with little assistance from the rider within a 2 1/2-minute period. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

The three-phase events of National Reined Cow Horse Association competition make it one of the most thrilling and demanding of all performance horse classes. At NRCHA futurities, derbies and bridle spectaculars, horses and their riders must compete in rein work, similar to reining; herd work, similar to cutting; and cow work. This three-leg event challenges the skill of both the horse and rider.

Like reining and cutting, reined cow horse traces its roots to the vast ranches of the Southwest. Read the rest of this entry »

A Horse-Showing Family

July 23, 2014

With youth exhibitors converging on Oklahoma City next week for the 2014 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show, let’s take a look at an exciting moment from last year’s barrel racing.

Jacie Etbauer runs Whistle Bugs for home and the world championship at the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. Journal photo

Jacie Etbauer runs Whistle Bugs for home and the world championship at the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Get ready for this year’s Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show by remembering one of the best moments from last year’s competition:

The barrel racing competition at the 2013 Ford Youth World proved that it’s all in the family when three Etbauer siblings brought home a world championship, a reserve world championship and a top-10 placing. Read the rest of this entry »

Riding to Horse-Showing Success

July 16, 2014

Explore the undeveloped potential that all equestrians and horses possess.

The way you view and treat all horses and all people in your life determines your experience with them. Journal photo

The way you view and treat all horses and all people in your life determines your experience with them. Journal photo

By Barbra Schulte in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Two amateurs can look for the same kind of horse at the same auction on the same day. One leaves the sale thinking there was nothing there worth buying. The other purchases an inexpensive gelding and eventually has more show success on that horse than ever before.

Joe gets along well with Jim, a famous trainer, while Mary thinks he’s too demanding and rude when he coaches.

A reining horse labeled crazy and unresponsive could be rejected by one person and catapulted to great success by another. Read the rest of this entry »

Riding the Perfect Horsemanship Pattern

July 9, 2014

Horse Showing 101: Approach a horsemanship pattern with your best skills and a solid plan.

Horsemanship is about displaying skills and training to the best of the horse and riders ability. The horsemanship pattern shown is from the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

Horsemanship is about displaying skills and training to the best of the horse and rider’s ability. The horsemanship pattern shown is from the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Brad Kearns in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Horsemanship is about creating a dance between you and your horse that everyone else watches and thinks, “Wow, how did they do that?” It’s about showing off your partnership.

You have to think of it as a dance, and you are your horse’s lead. You must be the lead and tell your equine partner where to go, and guide him to his most graceful position correctly. A good lead can make a partner look a lot better than he or she might actually be.

That’s what a great horsemanship pattern is all about: showing what you’ve got, the best you can. Read the rest of this entry »

Speedy Horse-Showing Equipment

June 25, 2014

From bits and bats to saddles and spurs, AQHA Professional Horseman Doug Leasor shares his horse tack preferences for his speed-event horses.

Doug Leasor describes the horse tack he uses for speed events. Journal photo.

Doug Leasor describes the horse tack he uses for speed events. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

AQHA Professional Horseman Doug Leasor, born and raised in Kentucky, has found his niche with Quarter Horses, even in the midst of Thoroughbred country. He got his first pony at 6, upgraded to a Quarter Horse at 12 and has had a passion for speed events ever since. Doug grew up competing in 4-H team roping and barrel racing. Now he trains and rides speed even horses.

Doug shares his equipment preferences for his speed-event horses, from bits to bats and saddles to spurs. Doug’s advice will ensure that you are prepared for your next event. Read the rest of this entry »

A Horse-Showing How-To: The Longe-Line Class

June 18, 2014

Part 2: So, you’ve decided you want to show in the longe-line class. Examine these tips for prepping a yearling to step into the show ring.

Judges inspect a yearling during a longe-line class at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Larri Jo Starkey photo.

Judges inspect a yearling during a longe-line class at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Larri Jo Starkey photo.

By Jet Thompson in The American Quarter Horse Journal

If you’re looking for another way to expose your yearling to the show ring, the longe-line class might be for you. Offered by the National Snaffle Bit Association (an AQHA alliance partner), the class enables both western and English prospects a chance to experience the horse-showing scene.

Before diving into the nitty gritty of the longe-line class, review Part 1 to learn the basics of the class. Read the rest of this entry »

A Horse-Showing How-To: The Longe-Line Class

June 11, 2014

In Part 1, discover a new way to expose your yearling to the horse show scene.

The purpose of showing a yearling in a longe-line class is to demonstrate the horse has the movement, manner and conformation to be competitive under saddle. Journal photo.

The purpose of showing a yearling in a longe-line class is to demonstrate the horse has the movement, manner and conformation to be competitive under saddle. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

At AQHA shows, the only class offered for yearlings is halter. However, many futurities and AQHA alliance partners like the National Snaffle Bit Association offer longe-line classes, which are designed to highlight the western pleasure or English prospect.

Avid horse-show exhibitor Jet Thompson of Kearney, Nebraska, has trained and shown many successful longe-liners. Check out his fine-tuned program for taking yearlings from the pasture to the winners circle. Read the rest of this entry »

The Other Side of Horse Showing

June 4, 2014

Pamela Britton-Baer chronicles the tale of her first experience judging a horse show.

Pamela Britton-Baer stepped into the show ring once again. But this time, she was the judge.

Pamela Britton-Baer stepped into the show ring once again. But this time, she was the judge. Photo courtesy of Pamela Britton-Baer

By Pamela Britton-Baer in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Recently, someone asked me to judge a 4-H horse show.

I’ll admit, I was flattered. Being asked to judge is almost a rite of passage. Someone thought enough of my abilities that they reasoned I could judge little kids.

It brought tears to my eyes.

I said, “Yes,” of course, after making sure my day as a volunteer wasn’t against amateur status rules. Read the rest of this entry »