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‘I can still do it!’

- April 3rd, 2024
After 10 years, Didi Engler returned to competition at the 2024 Cactus Classic with her mare, Lil’ Buckskin Baby, and earned a Top 5 in Legends Non Pro. (Waltenberry photo)

At 86 years young, Didi Engler reenters
reining arena, shines at Cactus Classic

By Horsetrader staff

CHINO HILLS — When Didi Engler learned of a new National Reining Horse Association Legends Non Pro Division, it was the start of something new.

Actually, it was a restart of something quite familiar — and important — to her. It had been 10 years since she had competed in a reining arena, and new rules allowing competitors aged 70 and over to place their hand on the pommel horn was a difference-maker for her confidence.

“That opened up a whole new world,” she says from the breezeway at King Performance Horses, the barn she has been with since 1986. “If I could hold on to a pommel horn, I’d feel safe.”

Precautions after a wet winter

- April 1st, 2024

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

This year has been an extra wet one for most of our country. Some of us have needed it badly and others, not so much. This month I think it is prudent that we discuss some conditions that may become more prevalent this year due to the extra moisture in our environments. If we take some extra steps in care and observation, pests can be minimized, diseases can be prevented, and extra veterinary bills can be avoided.


Flies are a huge nuisance to our livestock. They also can transmit some diseases. With all the added moisture to our environment, we are likely to see an increase in flies. Last year I wrote an article on methods of fly control. I discussed some good control measures including fly sprays, fly bait, feed through fly control and fly predators. If you are not already including these in your husbandry, it may be a good time to evaluate your situation and see if additional measures are warranted. One horse with a bad case of summer sores will definitely make you think twice about neglecting to control flies.

The April ‘In Gate’

- April 1st, 2024
Brannaman L.A. clinic is April 26-28 in Agua Dulce.

Spectators are welcome to Brannaman L.A. clinic April 26-28

From the Horsetrader sales staff

If you are a student of horsemanship, you are familiar with Buck Brannaman, who will be conducting a three-day clinic in Los Angeles April 26-28. Bring your chair (but, please, not your dog) for the event, which will take place at the JPK Ranch in Agua Dulce. No reservations are needed to be a spectator, who can enjoy the educational environment for $30 per day. Each day will feature Foundational Horsemanship from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a lunch break from noon to 1:30. Concluding the afternoon will be Horsemanship 1 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Food will be available on site, and for additional information, contact Sandy at (626) 524-3166, or by checking out the website at www.brannaman.com. Please see the ad on page 15.

The Mules’ Day

- March 26th, 2024
Started by the packers 54 years ago, Bishop Mule Days has grown into an international showcase. (Bishop Mule Days photo)

More than a show, Bishop Mule Days shares heritage

From Staff reports

BISHOP — For five days, every Memorial Day weekend, more than 25,000 fans from around the U.S. and the world converge on Bishop for this colorful and fun festival. It is a tradition that began in 1969 as a send-off event for local packers and outfitters to get the summer season going.

Today, more than 700 mules with their trainers, riders and packers attend 14 mule shows that include equestrian disciplines such as Western, English, youth, barrel racing, gymkhana, packing, shoeing, chariot racing, team roping and driving. The result is a tremendous display of human and animal skills.

Happy Trail!

- March 7th, 2024
Legendary horsewoman Pat Ommert of Temecula cuts the ceremonial ribbon to open the Pat Ommert Trail, flanked by (from left) Riverside County COO Juan Perez, County Supervisor Chuck Washington, County staff member Phayvanh Nanthavongdouangsy, and emcee Mark Madsen. (Photo courtesy Supervisor Chuck Washington)

After a long ride to completion, Temecula trail advocates celebrate

From Horsetrader staff reports

TEMECULA — Travelers along DePortola Road aren’t accustomed to big commotions on a Thursday morning, but there it was on Feb. 22: dozens of observers, several dignitaries, a mounted posse, even media.

It was a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Pat Ommert Trail. After 15 years of dedicated work, the stars had finally aligned and the 2.3-mile trail through Valle de los Caballos, linking Anza Road to the vineyards, would officially open.

The brightest star, legendary horsewoman and lifelong horse advocate Pat Ommert, arrived promptly at 11 a.m. — pulled at age 94 by a team of draft horses instead of Roman Riding them as she gracefully did for decades. When she cut the ribbon, flanked by Riverside County officials including Supervisor Chuck Washington, about five dozen supporters, sponsors and trail users cheered.

Cow horse Kick Off

- February 1st, 2024

New year, same excitement in SCRCHA opener

Chris Delmer and Kiana Cat kicked off their 2024 SCRCHA season with a herd work title at the Cow Horse Kick Off Jan. 5-7 at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula. (Danger Dingo photo)

By SUE CARTER / for the Horsetrader

TEMECULA — Southern California s cow horse community came together Jan. 5-7 to salute its 2023 champions and also launch the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association’s 2024 campaign.

SCRCHA members were glad to be back on their horses after the bustle of the holidays, and the Kick Off Show sponsored by Dr. Doug Lawrence and Dr. Wayne McNeel of Equine Health Management was a great start to the new campaign.

Tucalota Creek Ranch hosted the show, including a fun pizza party with wine tasting that took place while SCRCHA 2023 Year End Champions received their buckles and awards.

Getting the Scoop

- February 1st, 2024

Educating users on trail manure aids communities

Equestrian trail users’ education of non-equestrian trail users can be extremely beneficial to the horse trail community. (ETI photo)

By LYNDALL ERB, PHD. / courtesy of ELCR.org

Horses have been a critical part of human progress from the early days of our history. They have carried men and supplies in times of war and peace, pulled the plows of farmers’ fields and were the main source of transportation during the settlement of the American west. Horses were the backbone of farms, the transportation to town for supplies and social activities, and a family necessity. Historically, many trails were created by horses ridden by people who needed to get from point A to point B. Today those trails are a critical part of recreation in open spaces and parks.

Mules are different…

- September 3rd, 2023
Courtesy photo Colin Dangaard

After 50-plus years’ experience, here is a saddle-maker’s insight

By COLIN DANGAARD / for the Horsetrader

Mules Are different, in more ways than ears.

The biggest difference is something not visible to the human eye. It is wrapped up in their spirit. For example, you can put a horse in a trailer and go down the highway and have a wreck and you manage to get the horse out, but from that day forward you will have trouble loading that horse into a trailer.

Have the same wreck with a mule, and he will never forget that YOU put him in the trailer. Thereafter he will have a different view of YOU. Over time, this feeling might vanish. And it might not.

Leader of the Pack

- March 9th, 2023
Rock Creek Pack Station riders enjoy a “trip of a lifetime” — sometimes again and again. Courtesy photo.

For decades, Craig London, DVM of Rock Creek Pack Station has shared Sierra wilderness with folks on horseback

HORSETRADER: Craig, where did your journey into Sierra wilderness trips begin?
CRAIG: My parents, Herbert and Marge London, bought Rock Creek Pack Station in 1947. My dad was an executive for American Airlines, and when he left L.A., he had been sort of head of flight operations,and he decided he wanted to be a packer. He wanted to go to Bishop.
So, he just had a passion for the outdoors — the wilderness and simple lifestyle — and he never regretted it.

Ranch and cow horse combine

- March 1st, 2023
Danger Dingo photos

New cow horse division comes to WCRH

Special to the Horsetrader

Since 2020, West Coast Ranch Horse has been producing high quality and well-attended ranch horse shows throughout Southern California. This year, WCRH is introducing a new Ranch Cow Horse Division, featuring three classes: Ranch Cutting, Ranch Boxing and Ranch Reining.

There is a division for all levels of horse and rider including Open, Amateur, Green Horse, Green as Grass, Youth 18-under and Short Stirrup 10-under. This line-up of classes and divisions is designed to make cow horse and reining events more accessible, as it does not require a finished reined cow horse or reiner.
The club will introduce this new division with a two-show buckle series April 8 and May 6. Silver buckles will be awarded in every class for the two-show series. As part of the April event, the club is also offering an AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge on April 7.