Practice Makes Perfect

Want to fine-tune your horse and yourself before the big event? Put on a practice horse show!

Want to fine-tune your horse and yourself before the big event? Put on a practice horse show!

Training horses requires durable and comfortable boots. Journal photo
Calm those pre-horse-show jitters and go into the ring with confidence by practicing before hand. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal, with contributions from Kristin Syverson

It can be tough, especially in this economy, to afford all the big-time shows you want.

To get the most for your money, you probably want to find a way to fine-tune your performance before you hit the circuit. If you need a chance to knock off your winter rust, head to a practice show. Continue reading “Practice Makes Perfect”

Penny Wise

Tips to keep your horse-showing costs from breaking the bank.

Tips to keep your horse-showing costs from breaking the bank.

aqha world show jumping
Get the most bang for your showing buck with these tips form the American Quarter Horse Journal. KC Montgomery Photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

The Shows

When a trainer takes a group of youths or amateurs to a big show, very little time is spent in the hotel room, so bunking together is a painless way to save money, says AQHA Professional Horsewoman Nancy Cahill. “We’re very communal.” Continue reading “Penny Wise”

Nervous? Me?

Tips for managing your pre-horse showing jitters.

Tips for managing your pre-horse showing jitters.

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Tips from “America’s Horse” give you a leg-up to success in the show ring despite your nerves. Photo courtesy of the American Quarter Horse Journal.

From America’s Horse

The amount of pressure you perform best under varies from person to person.

When your nervousness exceeds your optimum levels, you lose focus and your skills suffer. Here are a few ways to manage that anxiety you feel before an event. Continue reading “Nervous? Me?”

Meet Your Equestrian Fitness Goals

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

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.

Continue reading “Meet Your Equestrian Fitness Goals”

Avoid Back to the Saddle Soreness

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

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.

Continue reading “Avoid Back to the Saddle Soreness”

Groom to Win for the Horse-Showing Ring

Use these tips to give your horse the ultimate show-ring shine.

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. Continue reading “Groom to Win for the Horse-Showing Ring”

Horse-Showing Goals for the New Year

We asked you to tell us your horse-showing goals for 2015. Here’s what you had to say.

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 Continue reading “Horse-Showing Goals for the New Year”

Backing Your Horse Like a Champ

Ask your horse to back up lightly and willingly with the halter.

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. Continue reading “Backing Your Horse Like a Champ”

It’s Showtime!

Tips for looking your personal best in the show ring.

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. Continue reading “It’s Showtime!”

Choosing a Horse-Show Mentor

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

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. Continue reading “Choosing a Horse-Show Mentor”

Horse-Showing Strategies

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

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. Continue reading “Horse-Showing Strategies”

Equine Sports Boots

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

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. Continue reading “Equine Sports Boots”