Horse Showing

Meet Your Equestrian Fitness Goals

February 3, 2016

Reach your New Year’s resolution of becoming a stronger rider.

Have you vowed that 2016 is the year you become a better, stronger, more-fit rider? AQHA and The American Quarter Horse Journal have you covered with great tips for achieving your New Year’s resolutions.

With AQHA’s excellent resources from the industry’s finest equestrian fitness experts, you can conquer your 2016 riding goals.

Take a look at our great resources for better fitness, in and out of the saddle.

Read the rest of this entry »

Avoid Back to the Saddle Soreness

January 20, 2016

Perform these exercises to stay in horse-showing shape, even when you can’t ride your horse.

By Emily J. Harrington with The American Quarter Horse Association

showing1In some places, the winter weather becomes so inclement that horse owners are unable to ride for weeks, maybe months, so how do you stay in shape when you’re unable to ride?

AQHA world champion and certified professional trainer Emily Harrington of Aubrey, Texas, explains what riders should focus on when staying in shape during the off-season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Groom to Win for the Horse-Showing Ring

January 6, 2016

These tips will give your horse the ultimate show-ring shine.

Use these tips to have your horse looking sleek and shiny no matter what your discipline. Journal photo

Use these tips to have your horse looking sleek and shiny no matter what your discipline. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam with contributions from Kristin Syverson

Want to prove you are a serious competitor? Then enter the ring with a serious shine. Not only does meticulous grooming demonstrate good horsemanship, but it also creates a lasting impression in the judge’s mind. Set yourself apart from the crowd with these tips.

Manage That Mane

To shorten your horse’s mane, do not cut it with scissors. The proper way to shorten is by pulling and thinning the mane by hand. Horses are not as sensitive about this as humans. However, if too many hairs are jerked out at once, the horse will become irritated. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Showing Goals for the New Year

December 7, 2015

We asked you to tell us your horse-showing goals for the new year. Here’s what you had to say.

Whether your ambitions are big or small, setting goals for you and your horse is a great way to start the upcoming show season. Photo courtesy of Tagxego

Whether your ambitions are big or small, setting goals for you and your horse is a great way to start the upcoming show season. Photo courtesy of Tagxego

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

The turn of the year means a new show season is approaching. While many see the New Year as a chance to start fresh, it can actually be an opportunity to continue growing and build off the hard work you put in last year.

Setting goals is a fantastic way to look ahead to the end of 2015 and envision where you would like to see yourself and your horse. Maybe you really Read the rest of this entry »

Backing Your Horse Like a Champ

November 18, 2015

Ask your horse to back up lightly and willingly with the halter for a positive horse-showing experience.

Margaret Bellville and GPF Legal Version perform the backing portion of their showmanship pattern at the Bayer Select AQHA World Championship Show.

Margaret Bellville and GPF Legal Version perform the backing portion of their showmanship pattern at the 2008 Select World Championship Show.

Backing your horse is a common maneuver in showmanship classes, so it’s important to do it correctly and seemingly effortlessly.

AQHA’s Fundamentals of Horsemanship books offer this advice. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Showtime!

November 4, 2015

Tips for looking your personal best in the horse-showing arena.

A polished appearance can help you show off your horse.

A polished appearance can help you show off your horse.

Although judges are looking for the best horses and horsemen in a class, a polished and professional look completes a fine performance in the show ring like good china completes a gourmet meal.

AQHA Professional Horseman Holly Hover; Bobbi Pullin, wife of AQHA Professional Horseman Doug Pullin; and exhibitor Natalie Unger, a cosmetologist by trade, give their advice help you look your best the next time you step into the ring. Read the rest of this entry »

Choosing a Horse-Show Mentor

October 21, 2015

A good mentor will help you achieve success in the show ring.

The best mentors are often people who have spent time in the show ring. Journal photo

The best mentors are often people who have spent time in the show ring. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

A mentor helps you learn the ropes, establish goals and outline a plan of action.

Your horse-show mentor can be anyone from your mom to a fellow competitor, an experienced horseman to your 4-H leader – anyone who is willing to dedicate time and effort and has the expertise to push you to succeed. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse-Showing Strategies

October 7, 2015

Tips to make Level 1 western pleasure exhibitors look and feel like a pro.

Use cones to practice these passing tips at home. Journal photo

Use cones to practice these passing tips at home. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

In western pleasure, your horse should be a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to ride – no matter what your skill level.

All of your efforts should be aimed at making your horse look smooth.

AQHA judge Louis Hufnagel provides the following tips for novice western pleasure competitors. Read the rest of this entry »

Equine Sports Boots

September 23, 2015

Why your horse might need leg support for his horse-showing and -training endeavors.

your horse might need protection in the show ring

Like some professional athletes, your horse might need protection in the show ring. Photo courtesy of Professional’s Choice

From AQHA Corporate Partner Professional’s Choice

Our equine partners are routinely asked to perform complicated maneuvers they would not normally perform in nature, subjecting them to a wider variety of injuries than in the wild. Read the rest of this entry »

Practice Like You Mean It

September 9, 2015

Simulate a horse-showing competition at home to improve your nerves and your horse’s reactions.

Use these tips to make your horse show practice more effective in the show ring.

Think about the way you practice with your horse. You probably ride with less intensity and face fewer negative consequences if you make a mistake. Use these tips when you practice, and they’ll translate better to your show-ring experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Dressing for the Select Amateur Show Ring, Part 2

August 26, 2015

Here are some of the finer details of choosing a Select Amateur horse-showing outfit, like what to wear for a specific class and what color to choose.

In showmanship, Vlietstra suggests matching your top to your pants or opting for a darker complementary shade of pants. Journal photo

In showmanship, Vlietstra suggests matching your top to your pants or opting for a darker complementary shade of pants. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

In Part 1 of this series, you learned the basics of choosing your attire for the Select division. This time we’ll talk about some specifics, like color and event.

Showmanship Suggestions

Functional, for the older exhibitor, is often a better aspect to consider than flash. “Follow your heart,” Suzanne Vlietstra, president of Hobby Horse Clothing Co. in Chino, California says about dressing for showmanship. “Be sure that whatever you wear is comfortable to move in and doesn’t restrict you.” Read the rest of this entry »

Dressing for the Select Amateur Show Ring, Part 1

August 12, 2015

You dress appropriately for your age in your everyday life, but what about in the horse-showing ring? Here are some tips for your most flattering Select division show ring look.

horsemanship show top

For a sleek look, Suzanne Vlietstra of Hobby Horse Clothing Company suggests choosing a garment with a design that draws the eye upward, as well as keeping a low contrast between shirt and chaps. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Riders older than 50 should beam with confidence and fulfillment as they enter the show pen. There truly are benefits to being “seasoned in life.” If we approach these years with a lighthearted approach and a new look, we’ll reap the benefits. Just create a new beginning. Rethink color, style, accessories, makeup and hair.

Suzanne Vlietstra, president of Hobby Horse Clothing Co. in Chino, California, says that in general, as we age, we dress “a little quieter.” Less becomes more. The look becomes more sophisticated than sexy.

“If you have the body of a younger rider, then go for the styles that flatter your figure,” Suzanne suggests. But, if the post mid-life curse has sent fat cells venturing to where they have never gone before, dress to camouflage the unwelcome weight. Read the rest of this entry »