October means it’s time for the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. It’s the mecca for anyone showing stock horse–thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the Ohio State Fairgrounds to show, shop, and just experience the world’s largest single-breed horse show.
While working on another article for The Equine Chronicle, I met Russ Louderbeck, a hotel architect that lived approximately 30 minutes from me. He’s the owner of an up-and-coming Western pleasure stallion, Extremely Hot Chips, and I wanted to share their story. I came out to his farm, Louderbeck Ranch, and met him and the handsome dark brown boy. Not only did I get to know both parties, Russ invited me to take a few laps on his prized stallion–Are you kidding me!? I hadn’t swung my leg over a well-trained Western pleasure horse in years, and it was so much fun! It says a lot about Chip’s personality and attitude to come straight out his stall and allow a stranger to ride without much of a warm-up.
That’s why it’s fun to share this stallion’s story. Russ, a hobby horseman and breeder, will be showing Chip at Congress later this month in the Select Amateur Western Pleasure. Last year they finished in the Top 5, and he hopes to replicate, or do better, this year. All without campaigning or a professional trainer. Again, another testament to this wonderful stallion.
Read the article from The Equine Chronicle: Behind the Stall Door: Extremely Hot Chips
Earlier this week I was excited to find out that an article I wrote for the American Quarter Horse Journal was awarded Honorable Mention in the Production/Management class for association magazines at the Livestock Publications Council awards. The article was on handling stallions, and that now all stallions are the same and they’re not all ready to mount a mare when they hit the breeding shed.
It was enlightening to talk with Dr. Sue McDonnell, who is an adjunct professor of equine reproductive behavior and founding head of the equine behavior program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. We discussed types of stallions such as the “Bashful Bachelor” and “Mr. Too-Big-Shot in the Shed,” and how stallions owners and handlers can make life a little better for the men of the farm.
You can read more of the article: Handling Stallions
I’ve been meaning to share a few photos I took while I was covering events at the All American Quarter Horse Congress for the American Quarter Horse Journal. I picked a fun day to go, as it definitely showed the versatility of the Quarter Horse–from hunter under saddle, to pole bending, Western pleasure, and barrel racing.
When you’re watching greatness like Peyton Manning last night (yes, I am a Colts fan, but also a Manning fan), or even some of the top horses competing at the All American Quarter Horse Congress this month, it’s hard to imagine that at one point, everyone had to start somewhere. Peyton had to start in the pee-wee football leagues. Harley D Zip had to start out with a trainer to figure out the right buttons.
Here are a few quotes and tidbits about some of the horse industry’s top performers and how they were before they were legends:
- Harley D Zip “I hobbled him; I rode him in orchards and in cow pens, and I treated him like a horse and wore him down,” trainer Doug Pratt remembers. “Jason Martin still had his hands full when he got him, but as he got to be seven, eight, and nine, he got better. But even when he was six or seven, if you didn’t longe him just right, he’d have a hump in his back and you’d have to grit through it.”
- RL Best Of Sudden “When we first saw him we knew he was special, truly, he just had such a presence he looked like a special one,” says Candy Parrish. “Then, when we saw him lope around under saddle with just a handful of rides, we had no doubt he was a great one. Bo was exceptionally easy to train. He was so naturally gifted that Bret just had to show him what to do and it was easy for him.”
- Allocate Your Assets When Brian Isbell and partner Kevin Garcia first saw Allocate Your Assets as a long yearling in 2001, it was all they could do to keep calm—they knew he was going to be something. “I knew right then and there, he was going to be my once-in-a-lifetime horse,” recalls multiple World Champion trainer, Isbell.
- RPL My Te Cheerful RPL My Te Cheerful’s first show wasn’t until late into his two year-old year with Monte Horn. His breeder, Bobbie and Henry Atkinson, felt that the late-blooming son of My Te Telusive needed some time to just grow and be a horse, so he spent many days out to pasture, with some light work here and there with the Atkinson’s farm manager, Michael Ochetto.
- John Simon “There was never a question the second I saw him move that he would turn into something special,” says Tim Gillespie, who said he was the best minded stallion he has ever trained. “He was very easy to finish out and was a true gentleman. He never had any quirks or gave us any trouble.”
Harley D Zip, ridden by then-owner Brian Ale, and trainer Doug Pratt at the 1998 Tom Powers. Photo courtesy Doug Pratt
Read more about these legends and their younger years on GoHorseShow.com: Before They Were Legends: A Look Back at their Younger Years