From the Editor
I’LL BE HONEST: Fall isn’t my favorite season. While we’re fortunate here in Colorado to have warm, riding-ready weather well into late autumn, it still comes with many drawbacks for horse owners. The most problematic part of the season for our family is the shorter days mean less saddle time once you factor in the kids’ school and homework. And that annual expected-unexpected early snowstorm sure puts a kink in my family’s horse life.
But fall isn’t all bad. Especially if you’re prepared and have events to look forward to! This issue is packed with information to get you ready.
ANNUAL BLANKET BUYERS’ GUIDE
It’s longstanding H&R tradition to kick off fall with a round-up of what’s new in winter horse blankets. Beginning on page 63, you’ll meet five readers from all different climates and with various blanket needs. We matched them up with blanket options they can consider for their situations, which might mirror your own needs and offer you some much-needed information.
A blanket purchase can be a hefty investment, so “Solutions,” page 36, offers tips for storing and cleaning your winter horsewear to increase its longevity.
FALL = CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON
If you’re a competitor or someone who enjoys watching elite horses demonstrate their skills, you know that fall kicks off the championship show season for most breeds and disciplines. For example, the Paint and Appaloosa world shows and the All American Quarter Horse Congress begin and/or end in October, highlighting the best in the show pen.
Turn to page 30 to learn about a championship event steeped in tradition: the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Snaffle Bit Futurity. This year the event moves from Reno, Nevada, to the more centrally located Fort Worth, Texas. We offer insight into the event, as
well as share the best places to eat, trail ride, and even buy a horse while you attend the futurity.
TIME TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
Fall might mean it’s time to add a new event to your skill set. We have you covered in this issue with two different possibilities to choose from.
Mounted shooting continues to grow in popularity with riders of all levels and ages. But if the thought of desensitizing your horse to gunfire leaves your heart pounding, we have a Private Lesson just for you. World champion gunslinger Kenda Lenseigne offers her best advice to start the process beginning on page 43.
If you have a reiner or working cow horse and are looking to branch out, you’ll want to read Bud Lyon’s advice for adapt- ing your mount for ranch riding. “Thanks to a solid training foundation,” he says, “you could add the event to your reiner or cow horse’s repertoire with minimal training effort on your part. That means one more class for you to compete in and greater diversity for your horse’s skill set.”
YOUR FALL ADVICE
How do you adapt your barn and riding routines for fall? Do you find yourself spending more time at the barn, because the sizzling summer months have passed? Or is your saddle time limited by cool, wet weather, necessitating creativity on your part to spend time with your horse? Share your fall tips, and you could see them in an upcoming issue of Horse&Rider in our reader-driven Saddle Chat department.
You can reach Jennifer Paulson at firstname.lastname@example.org.