Letter from the Editor

Dear Golden State Members,

As showing season begins in earnest, we’re all out there hauling our horses and sometimes having issues with people who don’t haul and don’t know the rigors of hauling on our horses. In this issue is a letter to those drivers, and don’t we wish we could deliver it to each and every one of them. As soon as this editor is Empress of the Universe, consider it done!

Our first “incentive award” was won at Corning. One will be given at each Golden State show.

The new footing is in the arenas at the Carmel Valley Trail & Saddle Club, venue for the Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic. Details in this issue. Also, entries are open for the AQHA VRH World Show in Guthrie, OK. This editor thinks everyone should go at least once.

Do you show with romals? Have you ever wondered about why they are made as they are? Read on for an explanation.

Guess how many saddles Western States will be awarding at the Finals Show in October? You’ll have to read on to find out, hint hint, it’s a lot!

No quote of the month, a thrilling picture in its place. Quote will return next month.

As always, enjoy your horse, ride often, know that we are among the very fortunate to be able to do what we do! Until next month . . . .

Dawn Poston

Send comments, concerns, & ideas to [email protected]

Hauling Horses?

The Letter We Wish We Could Send

Dear Drivers,

When you see me on the highway, pulling a horse trailer, please know that one of my most treasured friends is inside that trailer. He stepped into that rolling box because I asked him to and because he trusts me. I am in charge of his physical safety and mental well-being. He can’t see where we are going, so he can’t plan for what’s ahead. He balances on his four feet and doesn’t have hands with which to hang on during sudden stops or turns. Unlike a boat or camper, there’s a living creature inside who depends on me to keep his ride safe.

I will do just about anything to avoid sudden stops or turns with my horse in the trailer. However, if you are tailgating and I have to stop suddenly, you may not be able to stop before hitting my trailer. Rear end collisions are the #1 cause of death for horses in trailers.

I make wide turns to keep my horse from scrambling. Scrambling scares my horses and increases his risk of injury. Remember, he has no hands with which to hang on! Please give me room and time for safe turns.

That large distance between my rig and the car in front of me? That’s the amount of space I need to stop safely and carefully so my horse doesn’t scramble or fall. Please deny the urge to pull into that “safety zone” in front of me.

Generally, going up a hill, generally my speed is as fast as I can go, my accelerator is pressed to the floor. I promise to pull over as soon as it is safe for me to do so. Remember I can’t pull over going uphill, too hard to get my speed up again, and I can’t pull over to the shoulder without a long sightline behind me for the same reason.

I can’t swerve easily (and shouldn’t). If you pass me at 80 mph on a blind curve, there’s little I can do and you risk not only my horse, but me, you, and anyone in an oncoming car. Please be patient.

So, next time you see a horse trailer assume there is a horse inside. Remember that he can’t see what you are doing, sudden braking and turning are dangerous for him, and he has no hands with which to hang on. Please be patient, stay your distance, and we will all arrive safely and happily at our destination.

Every Horse Owner/Hauler That Ever Lived

First Incentive Award

Free Stall For Western States Finals

Show secretary Harlee Burtschi did a random drawing at the Corning Golden State/AQHA show for the first incentive award of the year—a stall at the Western States Finals donated by Kathy Torres. Kim Smoot was the lucky winner. Each show until the Finals will have a drawing for some wonderful thing to use in Las Vegas. Stall? Shavings? LQ Parking? Compete at the May Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic (WS & AQHA) to be eligible for the next drawing.

Incentive winner Kim Smoot and her superstar “Junior” rocking the Ranch Trail in Corning.

Running T Round Up

First Golden State Show

The weather presented a travel challenge for many competitors, and some couldn’t make it because of snowy conditions north and east of Corning. Despite that, the show went on and was a success.

GSVRHA All Around Winners:

  • Open- Sarah Clifford, Reserve- David Ellis
  • Advanced Amateur- Dawn Poston, Reserve- Kim Donlon
  • Intermediate- Bryan Jaeger, Reserve Renee Jackson
  • Limited- Stephanie Lewis, Reserve- Jodie Smith
  • Novice- Jessie Smoot, Reserve- Debbie King
  • Youth- Christian Scanlan

These early shows have a theme going on! Mountains to the West of Corning.

Show Manager Stephanie Lewis opened the show with our National Anthem and a prayer.

The entire Lewis family was involved in making the show a success. Even Olive the dog!

Candice Terry and Buddy waiting for the Cow Work.

Intermediate Champion Bryan Jaeger and his new horse “Jewel” proved themselves to be a successful team.

Jessie Smoot (with her horse Dillon) won her first Novice All Around! She is being congratulated by mom Kim Smoot and her trainer Sarah Clifford.

Jessie Smoot & Dillion, Christian Scanlan & Louie, Samantha Scanlan & Josie Driscoll’s Billy, and seemingly abandoned Fred (but don’t worry, he had water!)

These two goofy girls declared themselves to be “vest friends.”

The Lassen Steakhouse provided a great meal after the show concluded! L-R Kim Smoot, Renee Jackson, Dawn Poston, Samantha Scanlan, Josie Driscoll, Sarah Clifford, Jessie Smoot.

Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic

A May Tradition

The CCRHC is always a special show but this year it’s even more special. January 9 the large and small show pens sustained major damage from the flood. All of the footing went “down the river.” Through the efforts of the community and individuals the Club was cleaned, and fundraising efforts provided the resources for new footing. It’s in, it’s awesome, and it’s waiting for you and your horse to ride and slide. We hope to see you there supporting the first show of the year at the Club and the efforts made for restoration.

Carmel Valley Contractor David Casarez is very experienced in arena footings and has done a great job.

No, that gray stuff is not dug up base!!! It’s all sand, just a different color.

Sparing no expense, an extremely scientific experiment was conducted by Fred. He pronounces the footing A-OK.

This is primarily an AQHA VRH show but the CVT&SC Board has allowed it to be sanctioned for Golden State members at a reduced entry cost. Ride once, points in both organizations at a reasonable cost. As a result, there will be no awards for first for the Golden State winners, only for AQHA winners (often they are one and the same.) There will be All Around awards for Golden State. Speaking of awards, the AQHA awards knock it out of the park! For example, high end special buckles for All-Around which will be delivered to champions some weeks after the show with their names engraved on them. The rest of the awards just as cool.

Beautiful venue, generally lovely weather, great competition, new footing. Be there!

Buttons On Rawhide Reins

Do They Have a Purpose?

By Ernest Morris

Buttons on rawhide bridle reins are a thing of beauty to most horsemen. Yet, the buttons are put there for a purpose. When I first began working rawhide years ago, I questioned the origin of the buttons and found they went back to early California history and the Vaqueros. The buttons were designed to add some weight to the chains and balance them. The swinging of the chains and the weighted reins caused a slight movement of the bit. The action of the bit was sufficient to stimulate the saliva flow in the horse’s mouth. This, in conjunction with the copper roller on the bit port, would insure a wet mouth in the horse. A wet mouth causes a horse to be more responsive to the bit. The idea probably originated with the vaqueros who felt that a horse with a dry mouth would not make a good bridle horse.

There was also a preservation factor involved in the use of buttons on rawhide reins. Abrasion from rubbing on the neck of the horse, coupled with sweat from the horse’s neck, will tend to wear and rot the rawhide or leather. The buttons take most of this abuse and save wear on the reins. When a button becomes damaged or worn, it is easily replaced.

The buttons on the romal also have a purpose. They afford the weight that is necessary when the romal is used as a quirt. When not in use, the buttons give the romal sufficient weight to hand down the side of the horse.

A lot of work goes into the making of a good pair of Spanish-type bridle reins. Because of this, the California Vaquero never led his horse with the bridle reins; instead, the Vaquero used his bosal rope, or a tie rope fastened around the horse’s neck.

Entries Open Versatility World Show

Close May 10

The American Quarter Horse Association and its ranching partners return to the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, for four ranch horse shows in one great event during the 2023 AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships; AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals; AQHA Cattle Level 1 Championships, presented by the Four Sixes Ranch; and Alliance National Championship Show, slated for June 20-24. A number of Western states members will be there.

Western States Year-End Saddle Awards

How Many in 2023?

SEVEN. A saddle for every division! Details/pictures will be forthcoming but, in the meantime, get out there and enter! There’s a new schedule too and the entire show will be less expensive. Again, details next issue.

Picture of the Month

Next time a jump in a Ranch Trail course worries you, think of this Calvary guy!

2023 Calendar

Show Dates

For more information, click here to view the complete calendar in a new window

Date Name Location
Apr 28 – 30 WS/AQHA: The Way-Out West Spring Classic (New!) Ceres, CA
May 20 – 21 AQHA: Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic Carmel Valley, CA
Jun 20 – 24 AQHA VRH World Show Guthrie, OK
Jul 8 – 9 Ranch Versatility Challenge San Martin, CA
Jul 27 – 30 Silver State Circuit WS & AQHA Winnemucca, NV
Aug 11 – 13 Clifford Horse Training VRH Show Carmel Valley, CA
Sep 1 – 3 Central Coast Fall Classic San Luis Obispo, CA
Oct 20-22 WSVRHA Finals Las Vegas, NV