Horseback Riding

College Prep, Part 2

March 23, 2015

A collegiate horseback-riding career starts with recruitment. Here’s what coaches look for.

Some equestrian team coaches attend championship shows such as the AQHYA World Championship Show to recruit riders. Journal photo

Some equestrian team coaches attend championship shows such as the AQHYA World Championship Show to recruit riders. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

In Part 1 of this series, you learned how Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and National Collegiate Equestrian Association collegiate horse showing works. Read on to learn how coaches search for potential team riders.

How You React

While shows and circuits across the country are fodder for recruiting opportunities, many coaches flock to the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show to find their next star rider or to keep an eye on potential recruits. Read the rest of this entry »

College Prep, Part 1

March 9, 2015

Tips and how-to’s for launching your collegiate horseback-riding career.

Collegiate riders must be adaptable so they can ride a wide variety of horses. Journal photo

Collegiate riders must be adaptable so they can ride a wide variety of horses. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Saying goodbye to the ol’ show horse and the beloved show scene – that’s a daunting thought for a youth competitor. Thanks to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (formerly Varsity Equestrian), showing doesn’t have to wait until college graduation day. These organizations offer student exhibitors Read the rest of this entry »

New Game for Horse-Crazy Kids

February 23, 2015

The Hoof Stuff horse game is a fun way to educate youth about horse care.

Hoof Stuff teaches horse care to youth in a fun, easy way.

Hoof Stuff teaches horse care to youth in a fun, easy way.

Take Me Riding, an educational portal dedicated to introducing children and their parents to the wonderful world of horses, has released a new online game for children ages 5 to 9. Hoof Stuff allows horse-crazy kids to care for their very own, interactive horse while learning basic horse-care facts.

The game begins with selecting an American Quarter Horse and giving it a name. Children learn the difference between a mare and gelding, and Read the rest of this entry »

Team Roping Terminology

February 16, 2015

Is team roping your style of horseback riding? Then you’ll want to know these terms from the USTRC.

Learning the proper team roping techniques from the start will be beneficial when you add steers to the mix Journal photo

Learn about team roping from the USTRC. Journal photo

From AQHA Alliance Partner United States Team Roping Championships

In 2014, AQHA and the United States Team Roping Championships created an alliance that gives USTRC members competing on American Quarter Horses the opportunity to take home an even bigger check with the American Quarter Horse Performance Bonus Program.

The USTRC glossary of roping terms gives you an A to Z guide to the sport of team roping.

Added Money – Money added to the purse that was not derived from entry fees. Read the rest of this entry »

Managing Ammonia in Horse Barns

February 9, 2015

Protect your horse’s respiratory health by clearing the air.

Breathing ammonia can increase your horse’s susceptibility for infections. Journal photo

Breathing ammonia can increase your horse’s susceptibility for infections. Journal photo

By Dr. Thomas Lenz in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Walk into many horse barns this time of year, especially if they are closed or have poor ventilation, and the acrid stench of ammonia burns your nose and causes your eyes to water.

Moderate to high ammonia levels in barns are not only irritating to mucus membranes but increase our horse’s susceptibility to serious respiratory infections.

Horses excrete urea in their feces and urine to eliminate excess Read the rest of this entry »

New Year Brings New English Helmet Regulations

January 26, 2015

AQHA rules now require helmets for youth in English flat and over-fence classes.

Recruiting a friend to help measure your head can assure that your new helmet will fit properly. Journal photo

Recruiting a friend to help measure your head can assure that your new helmet will fit properly. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

2015 marks the implementation of new rules requiring AQHA youth exhibitors to wear ASTM/SEI approved helmets for all English classes including flat and over fences. The 2015 rule on English attire reads:

SHW320.2 It is mandatory for riders in all hunter, jumper and equitation over fence classes, including hunter hack, where jumping is required and when jumping anywhere on the competition ground to Read the rest of this entry »

Stretching for Better Horsemanship, Part 2

January 19, 2015

Try these five stretches prior to horseback riding to increase your connection with your horse.

Stretches such as the kneeling hip stretch shown here are ideal for loosening up your muscles and joints to help you connect better with your horse. Abigail Boatwright photo

Stretches such as the kneeling hip stretch shown here are ideal for loosening up your muscles and joints to help you connect better with your horse. Abigail Boatwright photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

There’s nothing like riding your horse right after you’ve gone to the gym. If you’ve never tried it, you might be surprised how much your horsemanship improves after a workout. Equestrienne Monica Brant says she gets connected to her horse much quicker if she rides with her muscles still warm from exertion.

Warming up your muscles before you ride can make a big difference, and Monica recommends some stretching exercises to get started. See Part 1 to understand why stretching is so important, and how often you should do it. Read the rest of this entry »

Stretching for Better Horsemanship, Part 1

January 12, 2015

Learn the importance of stretching before horseback riding.

“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

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

We know our horses are incredible athletes. That’s why we always take time to warm the horse up before we work them hard. Have you ever considered preparing your own muscles before you ride? If you can spare a few minutes before you saddle up, AQHA member Monica Brant has five stretches that can improve your riding experience.

Why Stretch Before You Ride?

There’s nothing like riding your horse right after you’ve gone to the gym. If you’ve never tried it, you might be surprised how much your horsemanship improves after a workout. Monica says she gets connected to her horse much quicker if she rides with her muscles still warm from exertion. Read the rest of this entry »

Build Rhythm While Horseback Riding

January 5, 2015

Developing a better riding relationship with your horse starts with building rhythm. Try out these great rhythm-building exercises from Richard Shrake.

rhythm on horseback

Exercises like the rope twirl exercise can help riders of any discipline develop better rhythm on horseback. Journal photo

By Richard Shrake in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Making beautiful music with your horse doesn’t take special instruments; you just need patience to develop rhythm, timing and precision – and anyone can do it.

Riding a horse uses skills you already know. You can use these observations to convince your non-horsey friends and family to give riding a try, or you can use the tips to improve your own skills. Read the rest of this entry »

Roping a Cow in Versatility Ranch Horse, Part 2

December 15, 2014

Have you put in your practice roping time? Let’s talk about live action!

shadow of the rope on cow

Notice the shadow of the rope marking the spot where Lavert Avent likes to look for a good catch. Sara Gugelmeyer photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

In Part 1 of this series, you learned how to start roping by practicing on a hay bale before roping from horseback. Now, learn what to do when you start roping the real cows.

If at First You Don’t Succeed . . .

Remember that roping takes lots and lots of practice, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch right away, says successful Versatility Ranch Horse exhibitor and trainer Lavert Avent of Watrous, New Mexico. It takes time and patience. Getting frustrated will just make it worse. If you miss, stop, collect yourself and your horse, get everything reset and try again. Repeat the process of tracking the cow until all three are comfortable and relaxed, and then throw. Read the rest of this entry »

Roping a Cow in Versatility Ranch Horse, Part 1

December 8, 2014

When learning to rope a cow from horseback, it’s best to begin on the ground with a still target and practice, practice, practice.

Lavert encourages all levels of ropers to practice roping the bale

Lavert encourages all levels of ropers to practice roping the bale. Sara Gugelmeyer photo

By Lavert Avent in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Roping and stopping a cow is part of nearly all ranch horse competitions, including AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse competition. But for those who haven’t been roping all their life, roping a cow in competition is a daunting, if not seemingly impossible, feat. However, successful Versatility Ranch Horse exhibitor and trainer Lavert Avent says it’s doable for anyone who is willing to work at it.

From the Ground Up

Lavert says it’s best to start on the ground: “I don’t think there’s a person around that doesn’t need to rope the dummy.” Using the right rope and dummy is important. The first tip? Don’t use a brand-new rope, Lavert says. Read the rest of this entry »

Wonders Cowboy Dan

December 3, 2014

Learn more about one of the AQHA-PRCA horses of the year, Wonders Cowboy Dan.

Kaley Bass competes in barrel racing with Wonders Cowboy Dan. Photo by Dan Hubbell

Kaley Bass competes in barrel racing with Wonders Cowboy Dan. Photo by Dan Hubbell

From America’s Horse

The 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo kicks off December 4 in Las Vegas. We’ll be cheering on all of the talented American Quarter Horses competing for top honors. If you’re lucky enough to be in attendance, be sure to come visit us at the AQHA booth!

And get in the NFR spirit by meeting the AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association barrel racing horse of the year, Wonders Cowboy Dan, aka “Cowboy,” who will be running at the NFR.

When Quinton Bass of Davenport, Florida, went looking for a high-school rodeo speed-event horse for his daughter, Kristen, breeder Se’Belle Dymmek told him, “I’ve got one here that’s perfect.” But they had no idea how true that would turn out to be.

Kristen high school rodeoed on Wonders Cowboy Dan, mostly doing pole bending, before turning “Cowboy” over to her little sister, Kaley, who did junior rodeos and then slowly began focusing on barrel racing. She and Cowboy won the Florida state high school rodeo championship, as well as a National Barrel Horse Association state championship. Read the rest of this entry »