Runoff for the Roses

By Jennifer Paulson | December 07, 2015

Tradition dictates that the winner of the Level 4 NRHA Open Futurity Finals runs his or her horse into the arena for recognition to the tune of "Run for the Roses", written by Dan Fogelberg. Finding the perfect prospect, training him for 3 years, and then competing at the futurity couldn't be better summed up than with the song's line "it's a chance of a lifetime, and a lifetime of chance." Jennifer Paulson
Credit: Jennifer Paulson
Casey Deary and Shesouttayourleague won the 2015 NRHA Level 4 Open Reining Futurity in a runoff.

At this year's 50th annual NRHA Futurity, two horse-and-rider pairs, both competing at the end of the draw, tied with identical 224-point scores, adding to the "chance" element. 

Franco Bertolani drew the 20th spot in the lineup on Inferno Sixty Six (Gunnatrashya x Snip O Gun). Bertolani had the crowd in an uproar with his stud's powerful maneuvers, and his score held for nine more runs.

When Casey Deary ran in for his first stop aboard Shesouttayourleague (Walla Walla Whiz x Wimpys Little Chic), the crowd knew the pair was there to win. It wasn't hard to be taken aback by the mare's gorgeous appearance—chiseled face, hair-commercial mane and tail, golden palomino color—but she has the power and finesse to back it up. 

When the announcer shared Deary's 224-point score, no one in the crowd knew what would happen next. Would Deary and Bertaloni share the title and be co-champions, like Shawn Flarida and Jordan Larson chose last year? Or would the trainers and horse owners opt for a run-off?

The announcer shared that the two would run off, but not before Shesouttayourleague could catch her air and Inferno Sixty Six could be prepped. 

Bertolani went first, blazing into the arena to complete the same pattern he'd just laid down so well, with the crowd cheering loudly for every maneuver. This would've been his first time to win the $150,000 event, and his reining family and fellow competitors supported him 100 percent. He and Inferno Sixty Six earned a 223.5 for their efforts. Jennifer Paulson
Credit: Jennifer Paulson
Franco Bertolani and Inferno Sixty Six took home reserve champion honors.

When Deary and Shesouttayourleague ran into the pen, you knew they wouldn't settle for anything less than the win. Constant whoops, hollers, and whistles served as soundtrack. (You couldn't even hear the music over the PA.) After their final stop, they'd won the Level 4 Open NRHA Futurity Finals, including the $150,000 check. 

More than that, Deary's earnings put him in the elite Million Dollar Riders' Club, with his earnings Saturday night pushing him over the benchmark.

I haven't been to the NRHA Futurity in quite some time. The visibility of international trainers, non-pros, and owners is incredible. Accents and foreign languages fill the concourses during drags. Reining truly has reached its goal of becoming the first international Western discipline.

If you'd like to see more from the futurity, visit our Instagram account (horseandridermag). There you'll find photos and short video clips from Saturday night. 

Mystery Box

By Jennifer Paulson | November 05, 2015

When I saw the box in the H&R mailroom, my eyes lit up. The new Heart to Horse Box had arrived! We received our first box of goodies in December last year (read about it here), and while the treats for both rider and horse are exciting, the cause it supports is greater. For each box sold, a rescue in need receives 25-percent of the proceeds. 

This month, the donation went to Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue. A card in the box introduced us to Radar, a 10-year-old Percheron Mule that resides at the rescue. 
The photo of a horse living at the rescue that benefits from the Horse to Heart Box program is a personal touch that gives warm-fuzzies. Who wouldn't smile at cute Radar the Percheron Mule?

This month's box included a rope halter and lead, horse treats, dewormer, a weather-proofing cream, and lots of other horse-related items. It's all useful stuff and a great way to try new products. To learn more about signing up to receive your Heart to Horse Box (or to sign up a barn friend as a holiday gift), click here.

While you're signing up, be sure to enter the Stateline Tack Winner Takes All Sweepstakes. The winner gets great prizes and a shopping spree! What better way to cross a few things off your holiday-shopping list?

Whoosh! 2015 Is Done

By Jennifer Paulson | October 21, 2015

Happy New Year! What? A little too soon?

You're probably just putting up your Halloween pumpkins and witches, cursing those holiday decorations that are already pushing their way into store aisles. 

But the H&R staff has long since moved on past celebrating 2015's year-end holidays. It's New Year's Day for us, as we send the December 2015 issue to the printer today.

Looking back at our year's offerings, we hope you've found useful features and departments in each issue. 
This stack of 2015 H&R magazines is missing just one issue to complete the entire year.

We covered how to unwind with your horse in Stress Rx. Four top trainers explained how Tom Dorrance's influence is Changing the Way We Train. Craig Johnson Busted Six Training Myths to debunk common training misconceptions you might take as gospel. Andrea Fappani told you how to achieve Invisible Cues. We gave you tested tips to Outsmart Anticipation for a safe, obedient horse. And, remember Tales of Terror? How could you forget! It's especially fitting for this gory time of year.

I won't spoil any surprises, in case you haven't kept up with your fall issues of H&R. But know that our mission to bring you the best in training, horse care, and all that is do-it-yourself continues for the rest of 2015, and well into 2016 and beyond. 

So at H&R HQ, we'll take a few moments to toast what's passed and what's to come, and then get to grinding on the January 2016 issue. We hope you'll take time to enjoy your November issue and eagerly await December—it's an issue we've spent all year curating for a very special project. We can't wait to hear what you think about it!

5 Fall-Feeding Tips

October 15, 2015

Photo provided by Purina Animal Science
Credit: Photo provided by Purina Animal Science
The leaves are changing, the days are shortening, and the daytime temperatures are cooling-----fall is officially here! Many horses are brought off of summer pasture to be put up safely inside for the winter. This means lush pasture grass will be replaced by hay as his primary feed. 

Dr. Karen Davison, of Purina Animal Nutrition suggests these five smart-feeding tips to keep your horse happy, healthy, and fit this fall and through wintertime feeding.

Adjust his supplements. If your horse has been on pasture all summer long, switching to hay during the fall and winter months alters the nutrients he’s getting each day. Fresh pasture grass is often more nutrient dense than hay and other forages so you’ll need to make adjustments to his feed rations in order to keep him in good overall condition. Increase or add rations of grain to prevent weight loss and keep his body score up.

Manage his late-season sugar intake. Sugars produced in pasture plants during the regular season help with growth, but later in the season, as temperatures drop, that excess sugar’s stored in the grass for later use. For horses that are overweight or that have difficulty maintaining normal blood sugar levels, an insulin spike could cause digestive upset or laminitis. So, as the weather changes, limit his turnout on pasture grass and begin to transition him to forage.

Be caution of colic. As temperatures decline, horse owners often up their horse’s feed volume to help him stay warm. The weather change also affects a horse’s water consumption. Less water, coupled with more feed can lead to digestive upset, and especially impaction colic. To combat this, make sure your horse has access to clean, tepid water and salt so he’s encouraged to drink consistently.

Make slow and steady adjustments. Just like when you switch to a new feed or alter his grain rations, changes to your horse’s feeding plan should happen gradually. If he’s been on pasture all summer, switch to forage slowly. Allow him to continue with limited grazing while providing supplementary forage. You’ll eventually take him entirely off of pasture grass and he'll have hay only. These small adjustments over time will decrease the likelihood that he’ll experience gut distress during the switch.

Feed for quality. Feeding good-quality hay will also ensure that your horse’s gut stays healthy, and that he has the nutrients he needs. Remember that hay quality is largely dependent on plant maturity. So, young, leafy, immature plants are preferred over mature plants for their nutrient density and high-protein content. Good-quality hay has these key features: a high leaf-to-stem ratio, a small-diameter stem, has few seed heads or blooms, smells fresh, is brightly colored (faded hay indicate old or poorly-stored hay), and free of allergens and contaminants.

This feeding advice, coupled with proper care and maintenance, will help preserve your horse's condition all winter long.

For more information on horse health and nutrition visit: 

About Purina Animal Nutrition

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC ( is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven by an uncompromising commitment to animal excellence, Purina Animal Nutrition is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Headquartered in Shoreview, Minn., Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Time to Slide: The International Reining's in Full Swing

By Alexis Bennett | September 24, 2015

Today Horse&Rider’s team took the short trip to Denver to watch the Non-Pro competition at The International Reining event, September 23-26, 2015. This show brings reining competitors of every level together to compete and enjoy camaraderie. Check out fun video and photos from the event via our Instragram channel and Facebook page.

About the Event

In 2006, the FEI World Reining Masters competition was held in Denver and The International Reining was formed for the event to allow amateurs to compete alongside world-class level professionals. It’s now become an annual occasion. In addition to the Mile High Derby and Maturity, and AQHA and NRHA affiliate classes, several other offerings make this show unique. The NRHA Mountain Affiliate Regional Championships, the Loot for Grassroots Amateur event, and the FEI World Cup Reining qualifier are all held concurrently. Loot for Grassroots is exclusive to The International Reining, and is designed to encourage local- and regional-level event participation by offering $100,000 in cash prizes to amateur competitors. 

Learn more and find out how you can get involved here.

New This Year

This year, to celebrate Saturday’s open competition, members of the United States World Equestrian Games Team will be available for photographs and to sign memorabilia. Spectators can enjoy the National Championship Youth Freestyle Reining before heading over to the trade show booths to meet Mandy and Tom McCutcheon and Matt Mills.

To check out a full schedule of the events, visit The International Reining website, and then stop by the National Western Event Center to experience the show first hand!  

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