Stable Sheet | November 2018
Stable Sheet - November 2018
An American Legacy - The Morgan Horse
From The Board
President's Message
Another year has come to a close. It was a fun year with lots of activity and some new programs added.

New this year we added a Trail Ride/Drive program and added a Fall Trail Ride Event. If you enjoy the trails you need to get enrolled in this new program and to begin keeping a log of your miles. Once we start getting in mileage information from our members we will begin offering awards for it at our year end banquet. Our thanks to Leanne Roth and Carol Dombrowsky for creating this program.
We received a donation from the Nancy Falk Trust to be used in two ways over a 15 year time frame: a new Colorful Morgan Award including prize money to be awarded at the Oregon Morgan Classic each year, and additional support for our Youth of the Year program. Each one can use $500 per year over 15 years. We are so grateful to Robbie Falk and Kathleen DeFazio for facilitating this. All of this is in honor of Nancy Falk.

The Oregon Morgan Classic (OMC) returned to an all club run show and was a great success. We added some much needed new signage utilizing a Jeanne Mellen drawing that was donated by Nancy Eidam. 2018 was the first year that we have included Saddlebred horses. It seems like a natural pairing, and Nancy Eidam and her team did an excellent job of making OMC a welcoming and family friendly show for everyone. The new "horse bouncy ball relay" was a wonderful addition, too. Our thanks to everyone involved for all their hard work. It takes a lot of people to put on a show like OMC. We are very grateful to our many sponsors as well.

Our Award Banquet returned to the beautiful Willamette Heritage Center (Mission Mill) in Salem for a fun pot luck. Erin Silver took over the reins mid-year and did a fabulous job. See more about the Award Banquet later in this newsletter. The food and company were great! Thank you Erin.
Congratulations to all our winners!

These are just a few of the highlights of the year. Now it is time to start thinking about what lies ahead. The holidays are upon us, and your Board wishes all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Gay Adams, MHAO President

Gay Adams, (503) 936-4276 or .
General Membership Meeting Minutes
November 4, 2018 - Draft
Present: Gay Adams, Kathy Christensen, Martha Woodland, Karen Breckenridge, Erin Silver, Leanne Roth and David Silver
Not Present: Nancy Eidam, Diane Pixlee and John Shaver
Quorum Present
Meeting called to order at 2:20pm
Financial report as of 10/31/2018 - Karen Breckenridge
$7,271 general checking account
$25,489 Savings account
$3,304 futurity account
$13,765 Nancy Falk Trust Donation – Restricted Funds
$9,025 OMC account
Total after reconciliations $58,980

Karen is still working on finalizing the Profit & Loss Statement, but Net Income for the club looks like it will be right at breakeven for the year.  Our budget for the year was breakeven.

OMC approximate net profit was $2,000

Note: A final financial report will be available next month and will be published in the Stable Sheet
Gay announced two new Life members for MHAO in honor of their contributions to the Morgan breed and to MHAO:
Kathy DeFazio and Carol Dombrowsky each received a special thank you plaque.  Congratulations to both!  
Gay thanked the Directors who are leaving the Board:
Carol Dombrowsky, Erica Parker, David Silver, & Leanne Roth received plaques to thank them for their service. They will all be missed.

Hi-Point Committee – Erin Silver
About 45 horses participated in the Hi-Point program this year. New for 2019, all who show on the Morgan circuit need to get registered for Hi-Point so that Erin will have an easier time of finding their results. Once registered she will track them for BC, Key, OMC, Far West, C-Fair, PNW and Nationals. For any other shows (Morgan or open), points need to be sent in.
Education – Erin Silver
The Spring Clinic, General Membership Meeting, & Stallion Service Auction will take place March 9, 2019 at Shelley Bullard’s farm. It will be a Ranch Pleasure Clinic facilitated by Peggy Bond-Heath. Riding spots are limited so register early if you want to bring your horse. More info will follow. 
Youth – Gay Adams for Diane Pixlee
Diane, David, & Sierra have been working on bringing some articles together for a new MHAO Youth Newsletter. There has also been talk of a possible cyber show in the early months of 2019. More information to follow. 
Stallion Service Auction (SSA) – Gay Adams
Although we did not hit our aggressive goal for income from the Stallion Service Auction in 2018, we still had a good year. That is especially true considering our advertising for the year was delayed due to reasons beyond our control (AMHA changed their publication date). As a result of their change our ad for the auction did not come out until after the auction had concluded. Helping to offset this, we had over 12,300 hits on the SSA website as well as increased hits on the SSA facebook page. Even without our TMH ad we received $6,800 in bids. 
This year we will expand our advertising for the SSA using "The Blast" as well as TMH. Additionally we are looking at using HorseShowWire so we can add on-line bidding availability and generate some extra hype. 
Gay is excited to announce that Leslie Arnould is helping on the SSA in getting stallions nominated and in increasing the quality of our SSA advertising and graphics for ads and on our website.
Futurity – Gay Adams
There are 40 horses in the Futurity currently, down from over 50 last year. Per Gay, although we would like the number of horses in the futurity to be higher the drop is caused by horses selling and that is a good thing. One of our goals with the futurity is to help our breeders market their horses.
Leslie Arnould has stepped forward to help on both the SSA and the Futurity. She is bringing new energy to both and is talking to people in California and other states about getting involved with our Futurity. We are the last remaining Futurity in the Western Region.
Promotion – Kathy Christensen
Kathy needs someone to step up to head the promotion committee for next year. She said the Albany expo had fewer people going thru and is really hit and miss as far as effectiveness in adding members to MHAO. She suggests that going to local tack stores with an information booth and doing more smaller functions to promote the Morgan Horse might be more effective. We need someone to step forward for this important position.
Membership & Membership Directory –Kathy Christensen
There are 37 renewals for 2019 to date. Reminders will go out shortly. The MHAO Directory went out with ballots along with membership renewal requests. Our goal is to switch to an on-line directory for the future.

A suggestion came from the floor to look at adding a Youth Membership level. Gay Agreed to refer it to the Board for discussion & consideration.
Ride/Drive Program – Leanne Roth
Only one person enrolled in this new program which started in 2018. No miles have been turned in yet. Leanne wants to reach out to everyone who participated in the MHAO Trail Ride and get them to enroll. Leanne will not be on the Board next year, but said there was discussion at the MHAO Trail Ride about how to improve the ride and where to have it for next year. Carol & Leanne will remain on this committee but we will need a new Chair.   
Open Incentive Program – Gay Adams for John Shaver
Per Karen, participation in this program is down. Gay reviewed the program for attendees at the meeting.  People can earn enough in reimbursement to more than cover the cost of their membership. Getting Morgan horses out to open shows, clinics, or other types of functions is a great way to show people what a Morgan horse is like and to promote the breed.
Website, Facebook & Stable Sheet – Gay Adams
Gay is still looking for an editor for the Stable Sheet. She can’t continue to devote as much time to it as she has this past couple of years. Ami Ericson has agreed to help with membership news and we are working to get her operational. We can use more people with each one focusing on a different area. We now have the ability to have several people entering info - so if anyone is interested in helping, please step forward. See new business for information on the website.
Oregon Morgan Classic – Gay Adams for Nancy Eidam
Paula Hague will be our show chair for 2019. Nancy Eidam will be Vice Chair. Sponsorship support is crucial to our show and needs to be a major focus of the OMC team. We brought in over $13,000 in 2018 & hope to improve on it for 2019.  While down a bit from 2017 when we were combined with Far West, 2018 sponsorships were much higher than what we have done historically.
A request came from the floor at the meeting to change the dates of the show from Wednesday thru Saturday to be Thursday thru Sunday. It is very hard for working people to get extra time off work and the members are hearing that it has stopped some from coming. In the discussion that followed, everyone at the meeting agreed and requested the change. Gay promised to pass this info on to the Show committee.
New items we are working on for 2019
Scholarship Fund – We are investigating what would be required to add a scholarship fund to our club offerings. Leanne is helping us to pull some information together. Our hope is that having one will aid us in gaining more sponsorship support from companies. We need to figure out what the terms will be and how we will pay for it.
Club History -  Dallas would like help to collect and publish information about our club history on our website. We have not done a good job of maintaining our history in the past. Volunteers are needed to work on this and are welcome. 
Pursuit of Charity Status - MHAO is a 501c5 Non-Profit organization. As it is currently organized it does not qualify as a Charity (501c3) because it is a membership organization. We are looking at establishing some sort of arm of MHAO that would qualify as a Charity organization. We would likely put the SSA into it, OMC, Education functions, our scholarship fund, etc. More information to follow. Volunteers to help work on this are welcome.
Election Results for 2019
President – Gay Adams
Vice President – Kathy Christensen
Secretary – To be determined – Kathy Carlson voted in but needs to accept
Treasurer – Karen Breckenridge
Nancy Eidam, Martha Woodland, Diane Pixlee, John Shaver, & Shirley Champion were elected. Erin Silver has another year to her term. 
Youth Directors – Natalie Woodland and Grace Martin were elected.
Four additional positions are open:  The following individuals have been voted onto the Board but need to accept the responsibility: Kathy Carlson, Leanne Roth, Julie Nygaard, Paula Hague, Glenn Carr, Stephanie Connor & Rhea Turner. By meeting time, Stephanie Connor, Leanne Roth, & Glenn Carr had declined.  Gay will contact the remaining four. Any positions that remain empty can be filled by appointment.  
Note: All directors & officers need to be members of MHAO.
By Law Changes – The By-Law changes were approved as submitted. 
The meeting was adjourned at 4:00pm
Respectfully submitted,
Martha Woodland, MHAO Secretary
MHAO Award Banquet

Kathy Christensen created a special cake just for this event.

Pictured above is the award table and the wonderful food everyone brought.
As outgoing Board members, Carol Dombrowsky, David Silver & Leanne Roth received plaques thanking them for their service. Erica Trager will also receive a plaque but was not present.
Nancy Eidam was given a herb garden as a thank you gift for all her hard work on the Oregon Morgan Classic.
Carol Dombrowsky and
Kathy DeFazio (not present)
were awarded
Life Membership in MHAO
Gay Adams conducted the
General Membership Meeting
Hi-Point Award Winners
Erin Silver is the Hi-Point Chair. Mike Silver called the winners forward
while Erin handed out the awards.
Wonderful chairs were given to
the Overall Hi-Point winners.
Pictured above is Shelley Bullard,
(R) is Sandi Humphfres.

Congratulations to all our winners!
Morgan Division
In Hand:
           Ch.     Emma Downtown       Leslie & Dustin Arnould
           Res. Argosy                    Sharon & Shannon Harper
Park Saddle:
           Ch. FCM No Boundaries            Kurt & Teri Rumens
           Res.  Hollywood Godfather   Carole Bradford
Park Harness:
           Ch.    Hollywood Godfather    Carole Bradford
           Res.  Gordels Deliverance      Leslie Beauregard
Pleasure Driving:
           Ch.    Tres Flaire                             Pat Lonergen
           Res.  RPS Presumed Innocent      Bob & Shelley Bullard
English Pleasure:
           Ch.     Double Ws Sweet Treat          Kurt & Teri Rumens
           Res. Crown Wickedly Good           Dallas Bolen
Classic Driving:       
           Ch.    RPS Presumed Innocent          Bob & Shelley Bullard
           Res.  FCM Whiskey Neat                   Angela Burckhand-Edington

Classic Pleasure Saddle:
           Ch.     FCM Whiskey Neat               Angela Burckhand-Edington
           Res. RPS Presumed Innocent      Bob & Shelley Bullard

Hunter Pleasure:
           Ch.    Baccarats Street Smart                Woodland Family
           Res.  Crown Belle Star                           Paula Hague
Western Pleasure:
           Ch.    Rosehaven HC Korver                  Jim Breckenridge
           Res.  Tomeri Nicollo                                Kathy Christensen
           Ch.     Latours Outta Cash                       CZ Reins
           Res. Argosy                                      Sharon & Shannon Harper
Morgan Jr. Exhibitor
           Ch.    Aaron Woodland
           Res.   Taylor Tatum
                       Myckayla Shaver
Western Pleasure:
           Ch.     QVM National Treasure             Tatyana Carr
           Res. Artistic Revolution                     Myckayla Shaver
Western Equitation:
           Ch.     Tatyana Carr
           Res.  Myckayla Shaver
Hunter Pleasure:
           Ch.     Baccarats Street Smart               Sarah Woodland
Saddle Seat Equitation:
           Ch.     Myckayla Shaver
           Res.   Tatyana Carr
Classic Pleasure Saddle:
           Ch:     MEM Bacardi                               Natalie Woodland
           Res.   Sacred Path Fortune                    Myckayla Shaver
Hunt Seat Equitation:
           Ch:     Tatyana Carr
Walk Trot/Jog:
           Ch.     Lucy Fetters
           Res.  Taylor Tatum
           Ch.    Maddie Arnould
Open Division
           Ch:     Sutton Remembrance                  Liz Goldmann
           Res.  SDL Sonshine Daydream             Pat Lonergen
           Ch.     Dream Catcher Don Juan            Kristen Cesnik
           Res.   ATMF Exclamation                       Jim Breckenridge
Ranch Pleasure:
           Ch:     Dream Catcher Don Juan            Kristen Cesnik
           Res:   ATMF Exclamation                       Jim Breckenridge
           Ch:     ATMF Exclamation                      Jim Breckenridge
           Res:   Sunstone Uptown Lady               John & Gay Adams
           Ch:    Rogue Hill Catalina                      Sandi Humphfres
           Res:   Glass Rails Ebony Night              Sandi Humphfres
Sport Horse in Hand:
           Ch:     Sunstone Uptown Lady               John & Gay Adams
           Res:  Sutton Remembrance              Liz Goldman
           Ch:     Aranaway Dante                          Sierra Breckenridge
           Res:  Sutton Remembrance               Liz Goldmann
Western Dressage:
           Ch:     Tomeri Nicollo                             Kathy Christensen
           Res: Neariver Savvanah Miss             Devin Cruickshank
In Hand:
           Ch:     Glass Rail Ebony Night              Sandi Humphfres
           Res:   Dream Catcher Don Juan           Kristen Cesnik
Western Pleasure:
           Ch:     Tomeri Nicollo                            Kathy Christensen
           Res: Neariver Savannah Miss     Devin Cruickshank
Hunter Pleasure:
           Ch:     LaTours Outta Cash                     CZ Reins
           Res:   Glass Rail Ebony Night                Sandi Humphfres
English Equitation:
           Ch:     Ami Ericson
Western Equitation:
           Ch:     Kathy Christensen
 Overall Champions
Overall Morgan Division High Point
           Ch:     RPS Presumed Innocent             Bob & Shelley Bullard
           Res:   Rosehaven HC Korver                 Jim & Karen Breckenridge
Overall Jr. Exhibitor Division High Point
          Ch:    Tatyana Carr
          Res:   Myckayla Shaver
Overall Open Division High Point
          Ch:   Rogue Hills Catalina      Sandi Humphfres
           Res:  Sutton Remembrance  Liz Goldmann
Maddie Arnould
Taylor Tatum
Sierra Breckenridge
Shelley Bullard
Sarah Woodland
Sandi Humphfres
Pat Lonergan
Natalie Woodland
Leslie Arnould
Kathy Christensen
Aaron Woodland
Gay Adams
Dallas Bolen
Karen Breckenridge

Get Registered for
2019 Hi-Point!
Required for 2019

Click here for information on our Hi-point Program
Click here for a form to register for 2019
Election Results
President – Gay Adams
Vice President – Kathy Christensen
Secretary – To be determined
Treasurer – Karen Breckenridge
Nancy Eidam
Martha Woodland
Diane Pixlee
John Shaver
Shirley Champion
Erin Silver
Paula Hague
Julie Nygaard
Youth Directors:
Natalie Woodland
Grace Martin

2 Board positions remain open.
Let Gay know if you are interested in joining the Board.
(503) 936-4276
By Law Changes:
The By-Law changes were approved as submitted.
Save The Date!
Spring Clinic, General Membership Meeting, &
Stallion Service Auction
March 9, 2019
Ranch Pleasure Clinic
A limited # of rides will be available
Facilitated by Peggy Bond-Heath

Hosted by Northwest Morgans
Bob & Shelley Bullard
12145 SW Madrona Ridge Drive
Hillsboro, OR 97123
Watch for more information in the next issue of the Stable Sheet.
Ranch Pleasure classes are offered at the Oregon Morgan Classic.

Questions on the clinic: Contact Erin Silver
(971) 600-8933,
Standlee Forage Sponsored
Fall Leaves, Are They Toxic?
Fall is here!

The leaves are changing and the temperatures are cooling off. It’s hard to imagine that such a pretty time of the year could possibly be harmful to our horses; however, falling leaves can pose a potentially deadly threat to our horses.
The following trees are highly toxic to horses:

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
©Wiki Commons

Poisonings occur generally in late summer and fall, when leaves fall and drift onto pasture area. Red maple leaves are HIGHLY TOXIC to horses. Ingestion of 1.5 lbs is toxic, ingestion of 3 lbs or more is fatal. Death is common in cases of red maple poisoning, due to massive destruction of red blood cells.
Signs include breathing difficulty, jaundice, urine that is dark brown in appearance, increased heart and respiratory rates and lethargy. Fifty to 75% of affected horses will die or be euthanized. Do not put leaves in hay and make sure there are none within reach of pasture area. In case of ingestion, call your vet immediately.

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
©Wiki Commons
Black walnut can be introduced to horses through trees that grow around pasture land or, more commonly, as shavings used in stall bedding. Shavings with any black walnut content are toxic within 24 hours of exposure, but can be non-fatal with proper treatment.
Signs of black walnut toxicity include laminitis (which will worsen with continued exposure) reluctance to move, increased temperature and heart rate, difficulty breathing, digital pulse, limb edema and increased gut sounds. Remove stall shavings immediately. Cooling the legs and hooves with a hose can help make the horse more comfortable. If caught relatively soon, recovery should be complete. In cases of severe laminitis and edema, consult your veterinarian.

Oak (Quercus species)
©Wiki Commons

Oak trees in horse pastures should not be cut down, but branches should be kept out of reach of horses. Horses should be fenced out of areas where wilted oak leaves are, or acorns are plentiful. The leaves and acorns are poisonous to horses in large amounts, due to the toxin tannic acid, and causes kidney damage and gastroenteritis. Horse owners are encouraged to fence out Oak trees from their pasture, especially if forage is scarce.
Symptoms of poisoning include lack of appetite, depression, constipation, diarrhea (which may contain blood), blood in urine and colic.

Cherry and Plum Trees (Prunus species)
©Wiki Commons

Cherry and plum trees, and their relatives, contain cyanide-containing compounds, which are found in the leaves, fruit and pits of the trees. The plants are most toxic when drought or frost stresses them. Wilted leaves are also quite toxic.
Symptoms include anxiety, weakness, heavy breathing, flared nostrils, convulsion and death. The problem is caused by cyanide released; only ¼ lb leaves per 1000 lb horse can be fatal. Once the plant material is chewed and exposed to the acid within the horse’s stomach, hydrogen cyanide is released and rapidly absorbed into the horse’s bloodstream. Cyanide works as a poison, in that it prevents normal cellular uptake of oxygen. As a result, an affected horse’s blood is bright cherry red because it is overloaded with oxygen that cannot be utilized.

Do not dispose of your raked leaves into your pasture

Horses like the taste and smell of recently fallen leaves. Leaves are dense and can compact in the horse’s digestive system and cause compaction colic. Leaves may also come from plant species that are poisonous to the horse. Be aware of leaves and trees that are toxic to your horse and fence off wooded areas or fence rows that contain possible toxic substances. If branches fall into the pasture, make sure they are removed immediately.

For more information and access to additional resources, please visit

Article from the Horse Network
This is a reminder  that, as a USEF Competing Member 18 years of age or older, you are required to complete all three modules of the Safe Sport Training by January 1, 2019 .
If you do not complete the training, you are ineligible to participate in all USEF activities, including competitions.
To complete the training, log in to your USEF member dashboard at and click the “Safe Sport Training” icon.
USEF Deadline November 30th For The
2019 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team Application
The purpose of these teams is to develop riders for future U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup competitions. During years that the Saddle Seat World Cup competition is not held, members of the Young Riders Team will be eligible to represent the United States in other international competitions, whether at home or abroad. 

The World Cup is a bi-annual competition that originated in the early 1980s with an informal exchange of Saddle Seat riders in the United States and South Africa, and was named the Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup in 1992. Originally a three-gaited Saddle Seat Equitation showcase, it has expanded to include a five-gaited component as well. Teams from as many as five nations now compete for the coveted World Cup titles.

For 2019, we will be fielding a team of twelve (six athletes for both the three- and five-gaited sections) to compete at an Invitational Test Event in New Orleans in May. It is possible a second team will be selected to compete at an Invitational Test Event on the west coast in July or October of 2019.

Click here to download information on the
selection process

Please thoroughly read all sections of the application prior to commencing the application process as there are requirements and commitments that must be met to participate. Unlike the selection process for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team, riders will not have to attend live tryouts to be selected for the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Rider Team. Instead, selection will be based on an online application and riding video.

Applications must be submitted online through the My USEF Account. You may only submit one application for either the Three- or Five-Gaited Team.

To apply please follow the steps below:
  1. Access your My USEF Account at
  2. Click "Athlete Dashboard" then "Online Applications"
  3. Choose "Saddle Seat" in the drop down box
  4. Update the year to 2019 and click search
  5. Applications for the 3- and 5-Gaited Teams should appear

Completed applications and fees must be received on or before November 30, 2018 at midnight Eastern Standard Time. We cannot make any exceptions to this deadline as each application packet must be available to the Selectors for review shortly after the deadline. You should receive notice from USEF as to whether you have been selected to participate on the 2019 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Rider Team no later than January 15, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact Erin DesNoyers at or 859-225-6977. 


The United States Equestrian Federation
Donate To the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund and Join US Equestrian in Helping Horses Affected by California Wildfires
Through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund , US Equestrian is providing financial assistance to support the efforts of emergency response groups and organizations that are helping horses impacted by recent California wildfires and other disasters. One hundred percent of donations will go toward this equine aid. Click below to learn how the fund is supporting local efforts to help horses—and how you can help.
New Publication
The November issue of Horse Illustrated magazine is now available.
It has an excellent eight-page feature from Dressage the Cowboy Way in it.

Cowboy Dressage - Dressage the Cowboy Way
Available NOW

THE COMPLETE Guide to Training & Riding with Soft Feel and Kindness. Paperback – Eitan’s new Book Coauthored by Jenni Grimmett DVM.

Photo by Lesley Deutsch - Copyright
Nominations Now Being Accepted
For The MHAO Stallion Service Auction
  • Nominations are open! Nominations received before December 9th will be included in our advertising with The Morgan Horse Magazine, Breeders’ Guide edition.
  • The name of each stallion nominated will be put in a drawing for a chance to win an additional 2-page centerfold spread in the MHAO Breeders’ Cup Futurity Booklet.
Time To Think About Futurity Renewals

Coming Up!
Futurity renewals will be out soon! Renewal requests will be sent out
via email in late November.

Due December 31st

Akira Embellished by HVK Bell Flaire with dam, SSLLC In Vogue.
Owned & photographed by Leslie Arnould
Questions: Contact Gay Adams, MHAO Breeders' Cup Futurity Chair
(503) 936-4276 or
"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom."
– Helen Thompson
AMHA Hosts Inaugural Distance Championship
Submitted by Carrie Mortensen, photo by Kristen Warning

AMHA was honored to be invited to host its inaugural Distance Championship alongside the expert team of organizers from the Arabian Horse Association and other affiliated breed organizations on Friday, October 26 in Henryville, Indiana. The AMHA 50-mile championship was just one of many events held during the competition that ran October 26-28. Other options for riders included both Open 50-mile and 100-mile championships, a limited distance challenge, and a competitive trail tide.

Pictured: Mary Coleman on Romeo
I’ve always had respect for competitors in different disciplines, but this weekend showed me that the sport of endurance requires WARRIORS! This discipline is not for the faint of heart (whether competing or volunteering). I stepped off the plane to warm, beautiful weather and an amazingly beautiful display of changing leaves. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to host the ride. However, we could’ve asked for better weather. Friday and much of the rest of the weekend consisted of rain, windy cold breezes, and oh yes, MORE RAIN! Continual rain. Never-ending rain. And mud. Lots of mud. This is where you see what these people are made of and it is some sturdy, tough stuff! Lights on helmets, rain gear, boots, and horses both willing and wanting to head out were the sights that kicked things off.

It was a crash course on everything “endurance” and I got to meet and work with the wonderful team of volunteers who put on this high-caliber event. It truly takes a village to do so including the riders, horses, pit crews, timers, vets, competition staff, crossing guards, management services, and let’s not forget the people feeding this crew! It was quite impressive to see it all come together and we look forward to expanding our Morgan presence in the years to come.

Representing the Morgan breed in this first 50-mile AMHA championship was Mary Coleman of Cassville, Pennsylvania, riding her 14-year-old gelding Westwind Eldorado (W A R Justin x Sweet’s Dixie Daisy), bred by Bryan Blatt of Montana. Mary and "Romeo" proved to be great ambassadors for the Morgan breed placing 15th overall in the Open All Breed 50-mile Championship and first in the AMHA 50-mile Championship. Romeo also took home the Best Conditioned Award for Morgans. We look forward to seeing Mary and Romeo in future competitions and we appreciate the long ten-hour drive they took in order participate and showcase our beloved Morgan breed.

Some Morgan blood showed up to compete in Sunday’s American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Open Endurance Ride too. I was at the volunteer timing table when I overheard someone ask, “What kind of horse is that?” The owner stated, “A Morgan.” I popped up out of my seat to see Ginny Grulke of Lexington, Kentucky, holding her nine-year-old, buckskin gelding UDM Cozumel (Finally’s Mr Amos Frick x Elmhurst Donlee), bred by Michael & Karen Burridge of Florida. Many know Ginny from her longtime service as the previous executive director of the Kentucky Horse Council. It was a great example of how Morgans can quickly turn people’s heads!

Congratulations to all participating, well done! We hope to see an even bigger Morgan turnout at next year’s Distance National Championship, which is scheduled to be held in Vinita, Oklahoma, October 25-27. More information will be posted on the AMHA website as it becomes available. Start planning your qualification for this exciting event now. Ride on Warriors!
Get Enrolled in the MHAO Ride/Drive
Trail Program
Let The Fun Begin!
Enroll once for $15

You will stay enrolled
as long as you keep
your MHAO membership current.
Click here to download an enrollment form
2019 AMHA Judges Schools Announced
In 2019, AMHA will be holding three judges' schools across the country. Judges schools are open to all, whether you would like to get a judge's card, renew your card, keep your card current, or would like to audit a school.

The 2019 judges' schools are:

AMHA Annual Convention – "R" Only
San Antonio, TX
February 8-9, 2019

Carousel Charity Horse Show
Scottsdale, AZ
March 14-16, 2019
Morgan Gold Cup
Columbus, OH
June 13-15, 2019

Fees for the 2019 Judges Schools are:
Applicants & Carded Judges: $200
Applicants Second Clinic: $150
Auditors: $150

Applications are now available. Please go to to download.
Oregon Horse Center
Mountain Trail Haul In
Unique Opportunity to Practice on the Oregon Horse Center Mountain Trail Course!

November 12th - December 9th, 2018

Participants MUST register ONLINE-

Oregon Horse Center, 90751 Prairie Rd, Eugene, OR. 97402, USA
Horse Network Publication Article
Spotting Lameness - The Game Plan
Every horse person with a couple of years under her belt has some sense of when a horse looks “off” or “not quite right,” but even when your eye can spy the hitch or hesitation, determining the source of the problem is a challenge few can conquer. Acknowledging that even veterinarians tend to rely more on expensive (and often inconclusive) diagnostic tests rather than well-trained perception to identify lameness and trace it to its origin, Dr. Bob Grisel has written a guide intended to simplify the process. His book Equine Lameness for the Layman instructs all in the fundamental knowledge that can make “seeing” what’s wrong, and what the likely cause is, second nature, ensuring happier, healthier horses. Here he outlines his basic game plan.

We visually assess our horses with the intention of recognizing potential lameness and surmising the likely source(s) of the problem. Satisfying our ambition is relatively painless when the horse is noticeably “off”; it can be considerably more difficult when gait abnormalities are visibly faint. Fortunately, we can make lameness more conspicuous by:
  • Improving our ability to see it.
  • Maximizing the horse’s expression of it.
Choosing the best approach, gait, and setting for our assessment will decidedly support our efforts.

Choosing the Approach
Lameness evaluation is a daunting venture for many of us because there are so many visual components to the horse’s gait. Making rhyme or reason out of what we’re seeing can sometimes seem to be an insurmountable task. We should realize, however, that we are not required to process all of the visual input simultaneously. In fact, our optical acuity is significantly sharpened when we are only asked to assess one thing at a time. By following a step-wise approach, we force ourselves to interpret each aspect of the horse’s gait independently from one another, thereby simplifying the overall process. A single, large, complicated exercise essentially becomes many small simple exercises. In the end, we can use our compilation of impressions to complete our assessment and formulate an opinion with respect to how the horse is moving.

Once we’ve established the necessary steps, we can then arrange them in a way that maximizes the efficiency of our examination. It is important that we follow the same basic procedure with each and every assessment, whether it is performed on a single animal multiple times or many different animals. With practice, the examination process will become very familiar and progress quickly for you. Most seasoned performance veterinarians, for instance, can navigate through a multitude of “sub-examinations” to complete their overall visual assessment of a horse in less than 10 minutes.
Each of the evaluation steps is intended to distinguish a specific feature of the horse’s lameness:
  • Which regions are affected?
  • Is the horse lame in the forelimbs?
  • Is the horse lame in the hind limbs?
  • Is the horse expressing axial lameness?
  • What is the nature of the lameness?
  • Is there a weight-bearing component?
  • Is there a non weight-bearing component?
  • What is the severity or grade of lameness?
  • Is it evident while the horse is standing still?
  • Is it evident at the walk?
  • Is it evident at the trot?
  • Is it only evident under certain circumstances?
  • At which gait(s) is lameness observed?
  • Is it evident at the walk?
  • Is it evident at the trot?
  • Is it evident at the canter?
  • Is it evident during any other gait(s)?
  • Is it evident during upward or downward transitions?
  • What factors exacerbate the lameness?
  • How does the lameness change with regard to surface?
  • How does the lameness change with regard to direction?
  • How does the lameness change with regard to velocity?
  • How does the lameness change with regard to acceleration or deceleration?
  • How does the lameness change under saddle?
  • How does the lameness change with regard to duration of activity?
  • How does the lameness change with regard to temperature?
  • Are there any distinguishing traits to the lameness?
Answering each of these questions separately takes the complexity out of the process but still enables us to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the horse’s gait. Things begin to make sense once we integrate all of the puzzle pieces that we’ve gathered during the course of our assessment.
Choosing the Gait
Most observers find it easiest to observe horses at the trot because it is the simplest gait, comprising a two-beat stride pattern in which the horse’s weight is distributed evenly between diagonal pairs of limbs ( click here for video explanation ). The left hind and right front limbs comprise one diagonal pair, whereas the right hind and left front limb comprise the other. Assessing movement of the horse in motion requires that we evaluate both diagonal pairs, visually comparing one with the other. The slower the horse moves during our assessment, the more time our eyes have to pick up on relative discrepancies.

At the trot, the two limbs constituting each diagonal pair have a special relationship with each other:
  • A horse that chooses to underload one limb of a diagonal pair will proportionately overload the other so as to support its own weight. It is important to remember that lameness is defined as any alteration in gait and can manifest as a result of underloading in one limb and/or overloading in a compensating limb—the visual interpretation of bearing not enough weight in one limb or too much weight in the other limb may be identical.
  • Any alteration in the timing and length of one limb’s stride will be mirrored in the stride of its diagonal counterpart so as to maintain synchrony and balance. This principle constitutes the basis for diagonal synchrony of stride.

Once the relationship between diagonally paired limbs is acknowledged, detection of a limb’s altered response to factors affecting its diagonal counterpart can actually facilitate (rather than complicate) our visual interpretation of lameness.
Choosing the Venue
In order to get the most out of our assessment, we should go to the trouble of making the horse’s asymmetric movement as transparent as possible. Most of us have the choice of speed, gait, surface congruity, footing, and direction at our disposal. Choosing the right venue for our assessment can make all the difference when it comes to recognizing important visual markers. Periodically modifying environmental factors as we navigate through the evaluation process can also be extremely rewarding.

Increasing the horse’s asymmetric movement can transform an obscure lameness into one that is obvious, thereby simplifying our job as effective observers. Altering the horse’s environmental setting can also facilitate our isolation, identification, and classification of significant gait characteristics.

This excerpt from  Equine Lameness for the Layman by Dr. Robert Grisel was used by permission from  Trafalgar Square Books .
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