The Spring Breakout Quarter Horse Show is a four-day western Quarter horse show offering a full line-up of Southern Maryland Quarter Horse Association, Virginia Quarter Horse Association and American Quarter Horse Association sanctioned halter and performance classes.
Who will be their 2014 Winner for the Harris Work Saddle? Will it be you?
The Cross View Horse Show Series will kick off on March 30, 2014 at Green Hill Park Equestrian Center in Salem, VA. The Hunter/Jumper show will take place on March 29, 2014 starting at 8:30 am and the Open Show will take place on March 30, starting at 9:00 am. All riders are welcome and you do not have to be a member of Cross View Farm or the Blue Ridge Horse Force to participate.
When people search for a new horse, the first thing they often do is make a list of attributes they want in the horse, such as size, color and markings. They then try to find a horse that closely matches the list.
When searching for a trail horse, my advice is to forget the list of those attributes. You shouldn’t care what color he is, how big he is (unless he’s way too big), how small he is (unless he’s puny), or if the horse is a mare or gelding. You shouldn’t care too much if his legs aren’t perfectly straight, if his neck doesn’t come out of his withers just so or his head looks like a briefcase. If you get too hung up on what he looks like, it will cloud your judgment when it comes to evaluating his abilities. Therefore, forget his physical attributes and go straight to checking his credentials. Can he do the job?
The only way to truly determine if a particular horse is the one for you is to spend some time on the trail with him. The seller should let you take him on a few trial trail rides. If the seller won’t, then pass on the horse. Take the horse out as many times as you can and expose him to as many different situations as you can before finalizing a sale. Here are the skills a good trail horse should possess:
He must be patient. A horse that is is in a hurry, is antsy or won’t stand still is annoying.
He must be willing to lead, follow or go his own way, when necessary.
He must be willing to drink whatever water is available to him.
He must like to travel, enjoy going to new places and seeing new country.
He must be social and get along with other horses. A trail ride is no place for a horse that kicks, bites or generally dislikes other horses.
He must willingly go over, under or around whatever is before him.
He must never jump what he is able to step over.
He must be willing to jump what he cannot step over.
He must accept encounters with things he has never seen before as a routine part of his job.
He must have a very low flight response. Some horses will spin and bolt at the slightest sound or sight. They act first, ask questions later, which is not a desirable characteristic of a trail horse.
He must accept flapping jackets and the rattle of plastic bags.
And last, but not least, you must like him and he must genuinely seem to like you. The two of you are going to be spending a lot of time together. It’s important that you get along with each other.
If the horse has the credentials, then go on to the very important pre-purchase exam. During the pre-purchase exam, your veterinarian will check the horse’s soundness and ability to handle the rigors of trail riding. The vet will also check for conformation faults that may hinder the horse’s abilities on trail. However, the best trail horse I ever had also had the worst conformation of any horse I’ve owned. His neck was too heavy, his back was too long and he stood like a bulldog. Most people would take one look at his crooked legs and turn away. But he turned out to be a horse whose innate skills on the trail far outweighed his poor conformation. He wasn’t built to do what he could, and yet he stayed sound for years. For this reason, I have always weighed less-than-ideal physical attributes carefully against skill and disposition. I will always take a good-minded horse with a conformation flaw over a perfectly-proportioned nut case.
And speaking of nut cases, some horses love the great outdoors, while others are scared to death of it. If a young, inexperienced horse is insecure about going out on the trail, he will probably learn to love it over time if he is properly exposed to it and learns in the company of a seasoned trail horse. However, a mature horse that is advertised as being a good trail horse but in reality isn’t, might not ever be. Just as jumpers, reiners, cutters and dressage horses have a certain amount of natural aptitude for their discipline, so, too, do trail horses.
A good trail horse deserves the utmost respect. He should be treated like he is the king of the mountain, and in return, he will take care of you. You can’t measure having a good feeling about a horse. But if its there, you’ll know it. That’s how I found my perfect trail horse.
Jennifer Nice has competed in top-level endurance competitions, so she appreciates the attributes of a well-trained trail horse that can handle any situation in good form.
When I attended the Blog Paws Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference in 2012, I was shocked when Betsy Saul the keynote speaker and Founder of Petfinder mentioned there are as many as 100,000,000 cats in our country and many of these cats fall into the Feral cat category. Can you image ONE HUNDRED MILLION CATS multiplying? This is why I think all of us farm owners and CEC's (Chief Executive Cow-chicks) should consider adding a few cats to our barns. I now have four cats in my barn who work hard to keep my rodent population down. All the cats in my barn are spayed/neutered and although they belong to my neighbor, their favorite place to be is in my barn. They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my horses (and my hay storage area) so they live in my barn.
If you would like to find out how you can add cats to your barn, we have a wonderful organization right here in the Roanoke Valley called Barn Cat Buddies
Please check them out and if you have a barn, please consider adopting a couple of the cats from Barn Cat Buddies. Also you can go to the "Forms and Flyers" on their website and print off flyers to put at local barns, garden stores, and equestrian events.
From Barn Cat Buddies.org The Barn Cat Buddies program was created to save feral or skittish cats from a life of hunger on the streets or being destroyed in local shelters.
Barn Cat Buddies are Rodent Control Technicians who keep stables and farms pest free with their natural non-toxic methods. These natural mousers will stop expensive grain and feed from destruction without costly and harmful chemicals!
Barn Cat Buddies are sterilized and rabies vaccinated prior to moving to their new barn homes.
Barn Cat Buddies does not have a physical facility to house animals awaiting placement. Our emphasis is on education, networking, and referral support in an effort to assist in placing these Rodent Control Technicians in area barns, businesses, warehouses, etc.
Please call the Barn Cat Buddies line at Angels of Assisi (540) 344-8707 ext. 3 or CLICK HERE to request additional information.
File - In this June 5, 2013, file photo, horses stand behind a fence at the Bureau of Land Management's Palomino Valley holding facility in Palomino Valley, Nev. The government spent less than 1 percent of its wild horse management budget on contraception programs and more than 60 percent on horse holding facilities last fiscal year despite a pledge to step up use of fertility control as an alternative to controversial roundups of overpopulated mustang herds on U.S. rangelands, agency records show. Photo: Scott Sonner, AP
RENO, Nev. (AP) — The government spent less than 1 percent of its wild horse management budget on contraception programs and more than 60 percent on horse holding facilities last fiscal year despite a pledge to step up use of fertility control as an alternative to controversial roundups of overpopulated mustang herds on U.S. range lands, agency records show.
Wild horse advocates say the fiscal year 2013 budget numbers show the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has reneged on a commitment to fertility control as the best way moving forward to keep herd numbers in check when necessary in Nevada and nine other Western states.
Instead, the leader of the largest national coalition says she fears the administration is moving to align itself with a growing number of ranching interests urging an end to the ban on slaughter of horses at overflowing holding pens where costs are skyrocketing.
"The only explanation at this point is that the BLM is creating a crisis where slaughter of America's wild horses is the only solution," said Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. She said the 509 mares that received fertility treatment last year were far short of the annual goal of 2,000 the agency set three years ago. Read the full article here on seattlepi.com
We have a great local Equestrian Club here in our area of Southwest Virginia called the Blue Ridge Horse Force. The club has members of all ages who compete for points to go towards year end awards at the end of a calendar year. I hope you check us out and participate. Thanks! Christina Lee - HorseVa.com
The Blue Ridge Horse Force also sanctions horse shows to drive our members to different horse shows and compete for points. For more info on sanctioning and reserving your show dates, please click here.
Photo of Montana taken by Christina Lee for HorseVA.com
Please Note: memberships are processed exactly once per week on Wednesday evenings.
Memberships must be received by a given Wednesday if you need a number for that weekend.
The Blue Ridge Horse Forces Mission:
The mission of the Blue Ridge Horse Force is to promote grassroots showmanship and sportsmanship by uniting local open horse shows.
To increase opportunities for those in Southwest Virginia to show their horses in the sport they love, our organization sanctions approximately 25 shows per year. Members work toward year end awards using a point system.
Mailing Address for all sanctioning and membership forms please mail to:
Blue Ridge Horse Force Sanctioning or Membership
c/o Chris Lee
3962 Bluebird Lane
Salem, VA 24153
BRHF shows are held by organizations ranging from 4-H groups to civic leagues to training stables to charitable organizations. All are able to raise more funds for their group through increased BRHF member participation. Exhibitors can compete at any of these shows knowing that there will be uniformity in class descriptions and offerings. Click here to read about membership.
Points are awarded according to placings at sanctioned shows as follows:
1st ~ 6 points
2nd ~ 5 points
3rd ~ 4 points
4th ~ 3 points
5th ~ 2 points
Y ear-End Awards are given in 42 different divisions!
Since this week marks the Blue Ridge Horse Force's Year End Awards for 2013, I decided to take a look back over the past six or seven years and share some of my photos celebrating our local equestrian community.
Even though I spend most of my time these days in the dog rescue community, I still feel very close to my equestrian friends and community (many who are also doing rescue work). I have to confess I feel totally blessed to know some of the strongest most amazing CEC's (Chief Executive Cow-chicks) who take the world by the horns and seem to say: " I am woman, I drive a big truck, I pull a big trailer, now get out of my way and watch me ride!" All you ladies bring back so many wonderful memories of when I first started showing my horses. You welcomed me with open arms and to my surprise what I discovered was a fun loving group of girls and women. The following photo collages are all dedicated to you ladies because I love ya! Ride on girls, ride on!
Christina Lee - HorseVa.com
Congratulations to all the riders for participating and accomplishing so much in 2013 in the Blue Ridge Horse Force's Year End Awards. Now on to 2014. Happy showing riders!
Since March is just around the corner, I think it is time for all your riders to dust off your tack, start cleaning your riding boots, clean out your tack compartments in your horse trailers, and drop off your show clothing at the local dry cleaners. Here is another great clinic coming up in March hosted by Smith Lilly and Nancy Troutman of Meadow Wood Stables Inc. Happy Showing! Christina Lee - HorseVA.com
The 2013 BRHF Year - End Awards Ceremony will be held at 4:00pm February 16, 2014 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem VA.
They are currently accepting nominations for the Jerry Zwart Sportsmanship Award.
The Jerry Zwart Sportmansship Award is awarded annually to the BRHF member who exhibits the highest level of sportmanship and integrity. This award was established in memory of the late Jerry Zwart. Please send nominations to Leslie Prillaman email@example.com