Horse Showing

Dressing for the Select Amateur Show Ring, Part 2

October 15, 2014

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

October 8, 2014

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 »

Tail Extensions 101

October 1, 2014

Five definite do’s with your horse’s tail extension.

horse tail extensions

Matching the right color for your horse is the first step in picking the right tail extension. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

When it comes to using a tail extension on your horse, one thing is certain: It shouldn’t stand out as an artificial tail. If it brings attention to itself and takes attention away from your riding performance, it’s a bad tail job. “You want to complement, not overpower the horse with your tail extension,” says Barb Delf, owner and operator of Custom Tails. Barb has hand-built hundreds of tail extensions over the years, and she has seen their use and abuse at hundreds of shows. Here are her top five tips on what to do when it comes to buying and using a tail extension. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Showing at the East Novice Championships

September 24, 2014

Do-it-yourselfer Melissa Price shares her story from 2013.

melissa price novice championships

Get excited for the 2014 Level 1 championships with this story about do-it-yourselfer Melissa Price and her experience last year. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Melissa Price drove nine hours with two Basset Hounds, her boyfriend Shane and her other boyfriend Romeo to get to the 2013 Nutrena East AQHA Novice Championship Show in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Shane isn’t jealous, though. Melissa’s second boyfriend might be a “Romeo,” but he stays in his stall at night.

“A friend of mine owned (Hez A Radical Romeo), and I knew him from a 2-year-old being brought up, being a baby and going through western pleasure,” Melissa told the Journal. “He was sold to a friend who could no longer keep him, so she called me up and said, ‘We want you to have him. First dibs.’ So I bought him.” Read the rest of this entry »

A Judge’s Perspective on Horse-Showing Trends

September 17, 2014

Get a judge’s opinion on recent horse-showing trends and fads.

showmanship trot

An exhibitor’s running style, how she holds her hands and her overall posture should enhance the horse’s performance and not distract from it when competing in showmanship. Journal photo.

By AQHA Judge Kathy Anderson for myhorseuniversity.com

Horse showing is an integral part of many youths’ passion for their horses. Many spend countless hours preparing both their horses and themselves for competition. As with most things, horse showing goes through many trends and fads. However, the bottom line is, how are these new and sometimes expensive fads perceived by the judge in the show ring?

The Mane

To band or not to band, braid or not to braid? Much of this will depend on the level of competition, what classes the horse is being shown in and how skilled the groomer is. There is nothing worse than a poorly banded or braided mane! Read the rest of this entry »

Fitness for Horse-Showing Athletes

September 10, 2014

Make sure your horse is properly conditioned before you head to your next competition.

pole bending horse

Basic conditioning of the equine athlete involves consideration of the event in which the horse will be competing, the level of competition that you expect the horse to achieve, the time you have in which to condition the horse and the horse’s previous conditioning for the event. Journal photo.

From myhorseuniversity.com

The goal of any basic horse-conditioning program is to enhance the psychological and the physical responses to exercise. Psychological responses with conditioning include greater confidence and desire to perform and minimized boredom and resentment. Physical responses include greater strength and endurance, enhanced skills (such as jumping and reining), and minimized soreness or injury due to exercise.

Some of the most important physical adaptations achieved by conditioning your horse involve: Read the rest of this entry »

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 »