June 2011

Keep Your Focus

June 22, 2011

Ten tips to stay mentally focused in the show ring.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

hunter under saddle

If you are relaxed going into the ring, chances are your horse will be tool. Journal photo.

Everyone makes mistakes in the show ring. Many times, people let those mistakes affect the rest of their show experience. But there are ways to overcome adversity and stay mentally tough in the show ring.

Michigan State University Equine Extension Specialist Karen Waite of East Lansing, Michigan, and trainer Brynne Bassler of Tomball, Texas, offer these tips for exhibitors: Read the rest of this entry »

Back-Around Drill: Part 1

June 21, 2011

In Part 1 of this series, learn about an exercise that can be used to prepare your horse for any discipline.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Al Dunning in The American Quarter Horse Journal

backing horse

Improve your horse's flexibility by using the back-around drill. Journal photo.

This circle-backaround drill is a multiple-part drill that really works on one thing – a horse’s flexibility, one side at a time.

It’s all about making perfect circles, going forward and back, teaching a horse how to arc his body. I use it as a warm-up drill, a way to get that horse round and broke at the poll and comfortable. It has a lot to do with helping a horse’s overall form and balance. Read the rest of this entry »

Hunter Under Saddle Strategy

June 15, 2011

Here are a few tips to help improve your hunter under saddle show-ring strategy.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Chuck Briggs in The American Quarter Horse Journal

hunter under saddle horse

Catch the judges eye in a good way from the time you enter the arena. Journal photo.

In hunter under saddle classes, judges find their favorite horses during the first direction around the ring. In the second direction, they place their horses. That’s why we call the second direction the “money direction” – that’s when it’s all said and done. Getting your horse shown well in both directions requires a little defensive driving on your part. Read the rest of this entry »

Buying Big

June 8, 2011

Tempting horses are for sale everywhere at the big shows. Here’s what you should know before you break out the checkbook.

By Sarah Elder for The American Quarter Horse Journal

halter horses lined up

There are many good horses for sale. Choose the one that best fits your needs. Journal photo.


So you have looked through all of the Internet ads for horses, talked to friends and called up trainers, when someone suggests driving to a show to look for horses for sale. Sounds like a good idea. More than 10,000 horses will be at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in October – surely something loping around up there is for sale. Actually, the prospects sound better than a year-end clearance at Nieman’s.   Read the rest of this entry »

Hosting a Budget Horse Show

June 1, 2011

Tips and hints to help build an accurate budget for any horse show or competition.

By AQHA Professional Horsewoman Gerrie Barnes

Woman on a horse at a horse show

Hosting a horse show can be alot of fun. Plan the budget out far in advance to take away any extra stress. Journal photo.

First, make a tentative budget to determine reasonable costs for the event. This will help when you choose your facility, judges, cattle supplier and other expenses. The budget will also help you establish the participant fee.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start building your budget by listing expenses. Fill in tentative numbers. Add your expenses categories and come up with the total anticipated expense for your event. Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Region 10 Marines

May 16, 2011

Meet Tatum! She’s 4, from North Carolina and wants to be a horse trainer. And she has some pretty special parents.

Tatum has some pretty special horse-showing Marine parents; we met them at the 2011 Region 10 Championship. (Scroll down for more Journal photos!)

Jack and Amy McLallen are both Marines, and have been deployed all over the world and the United States. Right now, Jack is stationed at Cherry Point and Amy is at Camp LeJeune.

In their non-military life, Jack has just completed farrier training and Amy’s dream is to show her American Quarter Horses at AQHA shows. The McLallens hauled in for the Region 10 Championship so Amy could try OHK Krymsun Gold, aka “Okie,” in the western pleasure. Jack and Amy just bought the horse in January.

“I have been spectating for many years,” Amy says, “and I’ve been showing open for a lot of years…. I have two good horses now, and I thought this is my year to transition to (AQHA).” Amy plans to show Okie and a hunt seat horse she bred and raised named Skys Smokin Blue.

Amy rode Tennessee Walking horses as a girl, in small local shows, and eventually fell in love with Quarter Horses. Her aunt showed paints and that’s where she got the showing bug.

“I’ve been chasing the Quarter Horse dream ever since,” she says.

It’s tough to juggle showing horses with the military life – Jack and Amy have been everywhere from Iraq to Kosovo, never together. Read the rest of this entry »

Self-Carriage, Part 1

May 4, 2011

Train your horse for proper self-carriage with AQHA Professional Horsewoman Andy Moorman.

By AQHA Professional Horsewoman Andy Moorman with Christine Hamilton for The American Quarter Horse Journal

An example of a horse not in self carriage: he is behind the bridle and heavy on the forehand. Journal photo.

When a horse has “self-carriage,” the horse literally carries his weight (including the rider’s weight) balanced over his haunches. Because he’s balanced on the hindquarters, he has a light forehand and a soft poll. He carries his weight without leaning on the rider.

A horse in true self-carriage is on the bit, not above it or behind it. With a soft poll, the rein affects the hind legs and haunches, rather than stopping in the neck as it does when horses are on the forehand, above or behind the bit.

In the Quarter Horse industry, many of us have a problem with our horses not being in self-carriage. Read the rest of this entry »

Eternal Sun

April 29, 2011

AAA Racehorse, AQHA Champion and sire of champions, Eternal Sun was a beloved member of the Howard family for nearly two decades.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Legendary Quarter Horse stallion Eternal Sun and Harold A. Howard.

The late Harold A. Howard grew up on a farm and spent long summer days driving teams of heavy horses across the fertile Michigan landscape. He also dreamed of the horse he’d own one day: an eye-catching horse that could do it all. By the time he tilled his own farm with his wife, Darlene, and their six children, machines had replaced broad-backed draft horses, but his dream remained.

“Dad studied every Quarter Horse Journal,” Harold’s son, Dar Howard, says. “Then in 1966, he saw an ad for a production sale at B.F. Phillips’ ranch in Texas.”

“There was a photo of a proud stallion standing with his band of broodmares,” daughter Mary Kay (Howard) Smith continues. “Dad said, ‘I’m going to buy that horse,’ got in his car and drove to Texas.” Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Virginia Quarter Horse Classic

April 13, 2011

Springtime in the Shenandoah Valley makes a great setting for a Quarter Horse show.

Springtime at the Virginia Quarter Horse Association Virginia Classic Horse Show.

Springtime at the 2011 Virginia Classic Quarter Horse Show. (Journal photo)

Daffodils on the roadside and redbuds in the woods all surrounded by a new-leaf green made a pretty backdrop for the Virginia Quarter Horse Association’s 2011 Virginia Classic at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, April 7-10.

The show grew in leaps and bounds from 2010 to 2011. Mark Harrell Horse Shows reported more than 6,000 entries, AQHA entries alone were at 4,700 – an increase of 700 over 2010.

The show’s weekend feature was the Hylton Maiden 3 & Over Western Pleasure class – 29 entries vying for a $122,250 purse, with $50,000 to the winner. Horses’ owners came from 15 states, with one from Australia. Read the rest of this entry »

Flat Kneed in Western Pleasure

April 11, 2011

This question came from one of our readers on this Daily post: What Judges Look For in Western Pleasure .


How would you address the “flat knee” within the context of what you look for? Is that part of the cadence or stride? My horse has the level top line, beautiful, happy expression, no head bob, consistent frame, free-flowing movement, but he has a little more knee action and is a little faster in the lope than others. It just doesn’t flatten out totally in the front at the lope. He gets placed below horses that have a lot of head bob and cant, with less proper cadence and poor expression. This happens consistently. I am wondering why this is?

Read the rest of this entry »

Futurity Foresight, Part 2

March 30, 2011

AQHA Professional Horseman Dave Dellin gives advice on prepping your 2-year-old for the fall futurities.

It is important that horse shows are positive experiences for a young horse. Journal photo.

Are you thinking your 2-year-old has what it takes to show at the futurities this fall?  Prep your prospect right with advice from AQHA Professional Horseman Dave Dellin of Purcell, Oklahoma. Dave has trained a lot of youngsters for big shows, including One Hot Krysum, who won the 2001 2-year-old western pleasure AQHA World Championship. This is the second in a two-part series; want to review Part 1?

Show Preparation
Dave familiarizes his horses with the futurity environment by taking them to shows where he is exhibiting other horses. Even though he’ll take the youngsters along to local shows, Dave isn’t afraid to take them to the big ones, either. Read the rest of this entry »

A Lifetime of Awards

March 4, 2011

Athene Ward and her get could fill a trophy case with awards.

By Megan Brownell in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Oscar A Ward is Athene Ward's third foal. After several Youth World Shows, he now carries lead-liners in his retirement years.

When Paulette Higdon of Yakima, Washington got Athene Ward as a yearling in 1976, she had no idea the chain reaction that would take place over the years, through the mare and her get.

By Buddy Ward (by Sugar Bars) and out of Bo’s Scorchy (by Midnight Hank), Athene Ward began her show career as a 3-year-old. Within two months, Athene Ward earned her Superior in open western pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »