Horseback Riding

Standing Still

April 18, 2016

Horseback Riding Tip: A horse that stands quietly can be invaluable in and out of the arena.

Learn what to do to take care of a leg wound. Journal photo

Teaching  your horse to stand quietly and respectfully is sure to instill confidence in you both. Journal photo

From AQHA’s Fundamentals of Horsemanship

In everyday tasks involving your horse, it is useful to have a horse that has learned to stand still, calmly and patiently, without the company of other horses.

A horse that halts quietly at your side as soon as you stop walking, and keeps the same composure when he sees the vet or the blacksmith or is left tied up is an altogether more pleasant animal.

Standing quietly also helps the horse become calmer and braver, which are useful qualities when you ride him. Read the rest of this entry »

Barn Time

April 4, 2016

How much time does owning a horse really take?

Horse ownership can be an extremely rewarding experience. Journal Photo

Horse ownership can be an extremely rewarding experience. Journal Photo

By  Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor, Gerrie Barnes

Does having a job, family or other time commitments mean that you can’t enjoy horses? Absolutely not! It means that you need to decide how much time on a regular basis you have available for an equine friend. There are several options available that might meet your needs and the needs of the horse. Read the rest of this entry »

STEP Lightly

March 21, 2016

Let’s team up to protect the horseback-riding trails you and your horse love.

Step into action by joining up and making a difference on the trails you and your American Quarter Horse love.

Step into action by joining up and making a difference on the trails you and your American Quarter Horse love.

Here at AQHA, we believe that taking an active role in land preservation is part of our responsibility as horse enthusiasts.

Stewards for Trails, Education and Partnerships is a program to increase participation in trail stewardship among equine enthusiasts while casting a positive light on horseback riders to land managers and other trail users.

Equestrian groups and individuals are encouraged to participate in trail maintenance and restoration projects. AQHA funds these groups or organizations that have the most impact for community involvement and trail sustainability. Applications must be received by AQHA on or before August 1 of each year to be considered.

The STEP program allows individuals to submit trail conservation project proposals nationwide. Read the rest of this entry »

12 Yoga Tips For Equestrians

February 29, 2016

Improve your experience horseback with these stretches and exercises.

“Doing a few stretches on the rail before you get on will really help you feel connected to the horse,” Monica Brant says. “You’ll feel better, feel more energetic, and you’ll sit up straighter.” Abigail Boatwright photo

“Doing a few stretches on the rail before you get on will really help you feel connected to the horse,” Monica Brant says. “You’ll feel better, feel more energetic, and you’ll sit up straighter.” Abigail Boatwright photo

For The American Quarter Horse Journal

Have you ever had one of those rides when you just felt “off”? You might be surprised how much your horsemanship improves after a workout. Read the rest of this entry »

Stop the Slop

February 22, 2016

Keep yourself and your horses dry with these land and paddock drainage tips.

Keep your land dry and your appetite for other great horsemanship tips "whet" with an AQHA membership. Journal photo

Keep your land dry and your appetite for other great horsemanship tips “whet” with an AQHA membership. Journal photo

From America’s Horse, with contributions from Kristin Syverson

Here in Amarillo, we get the occasional winter storm. When the sun makes its reappearance the next day, most of the snow promptly melts, leaving us to slog around in its wake. There’s no time quite like spring for messy, squishy conditions, so we think it’s a good time to talk about drainage. Read the rest of this entry »

How AQHA Is Governed

February 1, 2016

AQHA members can change the course of the Association.

By Camille Graupman, AQHA Publications intern

AQHA is an organization that works for our members. Each spring, AQHA holds a convention to review AQHA rules and policies.

AQHA is an organization that works for our members. Each spring, AQHA holds a convention to review AQHA rules and policies.

In just a matter of weeks, the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will host the 2016 AQHA Convention March 11-14. While this is an exciting weekend filled with everything from year-end awards to Hall of Fame inductions, it’s also a time for Association-related business discussions.

Convention is a chance for members to get involved with the organization. AQHA is truly a member-run organization, and the convention is the perfect place to see that testament played out. Read the rest of this entry »

A Trail Rider’s Top 10 Resolutions

January 25, 2016

Wherever your trail-riding adventures take you, completing a milestone on the trail comes with a sense of accomplishment for you and your horse.

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Hit the trails with your horse in 2016! Journal photo

By Camille Graupman, AQHA digital communications intern

There’s nothing like the feeling of freedom and partnership while riding a horse through an open flat land, the historic valleys of a majestic canyon or the meandering trails of a hardwood forest.

We’ve compiled a list of trail-rider resolutions to spice up your trail-riding endeavors this year. Including everything from testing your trail-riding skills to how to get involved in preserving the trails you love, this list is sure to offer up some out-of-the-box ideas to excite your time on the trails.

Read the rest of this entry »

Finding the Perfect Fit

January 18, 2016

Horseback riding tip: Accurate horse-blanket fit is important for your horse’s comfort, warmth and movement.

From AQHA Corporate Partner SmartPak

When horseback riding, everyone knows your saddle needs to fit; but what about your horse blankets? Here’s how to make sure you’re wrapping your horses in well fitted blankets and giving them a big hug (and not a big rub)!

Photo Courtesy of Blankets 101- SmartPak Blog

Photo Courtesy of Blankets 101- SmartPak Blog

How to evaluate fit

A well-fitting blanket will keep your horse warm, cozy, and comfortable, but an ill-fitting blanket can restrict movement, cause rubs, shift, or get tangled. To ensure your horse’s new blanket is just right, test the fit by watching him walk and graze in it. These natural movements will highlight flaws in the fit. Be sure to evaluate the fit in these three key areas: the shoulders, the withers, and the length at the side.

A. Shoulders
The top of the front closure should line up with the point of your horse’s shoulder, and
the neckline should lie smoothly above his shoulder without pulling.

B. Withers
A blanket that’s pulled tight across your horse’s withers is a recipe for rubs. You should be able to slide one hand between the blanket and your horse’s withers.
Read the rest of this entry »

Clipping for Beginners

January 4, 2016

Get started clipping your horse with these top-notch tips from Dana Boyd-Miller.

Clipping doesn’t have to be a challenge.

Dana Boyd-Miller has been a professional in the horse industry for more than 25 years. With a long list of equine specialties, she is highly sought after for her talent as a master body clipper, and she works on some of the country’s best show ponies, hunters and jumpers. Read the rest of this entry »

Winterize the “Green” Way

December 7, 2015

Horseback riding isn’t the only thing you need to do this winter! Check out the top 10 environmentally friendly winterization tips for your barn.

Are your horses ready for winter? Journal photo

From Laurie Cerny for Green Horsekeeping Guide

“Taking care of what you have as a horse owner goes a long way toward being green,” says Laurie Cerny, editor and publisher of Green Horsekeeping Guide.  “Anytime you have to replace something, either from damage done by a horse or because of negligent maintenance, it not only costs you money, it also costs the environment.” Read the rest of this entry »

A Close Call

November 16, 2015

Prevent an accident by installing your trailer hitch properly.

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Properly functioning trailer hitches are crucial to keeping your horses safe when on the road.

By Brittania Cassiday, The American Quarter Horse Journal intern

Headed home to Ohio from a show in Oklahoma, Fred and Sue Mazzarini had been on the road for almost 500 miles when they decided to pull off at a truck stop in St. Louis to switch drivers. Read the rest of this entry »

The Healing Power of Horses

November 2, 2015

One woman’s horse gave her hope in a time of despair.

Pamela Higginbotham and Skipas Gold Star

Pamela Higginbotham and Skipas Gold Star

From America’s Horse

Pamela Higginbotham of Meadville, Mississippi, bought Skipas Gold Star in 2003, shortly after the death of her father. The yearling filly was in poor body condition when Pamela purchased her, but she poured her time and love into the mare, doing hours of groundwork each day.

“I needed this mare, because my dad had died,” Pamela says. “I had a rough time. It was the first death in the family, and we were very close.

“Then my mom got breast cancer, and my husband, Derrell, fell and shattered several bones in his leg. Three days later, my little sister, who had taken my dad’s death pretty hard, overdosed.” Read the rest of this entry »