Jack Schatzberg...photographs and talks about horses

The Working Quarter Horse

The American Quarter Horse was the first breed developed in the Americas. Originated during colonial times in the Carolinas and Virginia, where match racing was the leading outdoor sport, with races run down village streets. Since the horses were seldom raced beyond 440 yards, the horses were called "quarter milers".

The breeds foundation came from the Arabs, Barbs and Turks brought to the Americas by the Spanish explorers and traders. Selected stallions were crossed with horses brought from England in 1611, producing compact, heavily-muscled horses, which were faster over short distances than any other breed.

As man moves west, the Quarter Horse went with him to help him settle the continent. The breed survived time and change because it excelled in the qualities that were necessary in this new land. It was early adopted by ranchers as the greatest cattle and trail horse in the world, because it had inherent "cow sense".

Today there are more registered Quarter Horses then any other breed in the world.

The Headquarters of this breed is:

The American Quarter Horse Association
     P.O. Box 200, Amarillo, TX  79168
     Phone: 806-376-4811

The official publication of the AQHA is:

The Quarter Horse Journal
     P.O. Box 32470, Amarillo, TX  79120
     Phone: 800-291-7323

Cutting Horse Working Critter

The American Quarter Horse rider shown here is Drew Dunham on his palamino cutting horse. The cutting was during the Arizona Sun Circuit Cutting held on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona.

The cutting horse is graded by a judge on the manner that he is able to separate a single critter from the herd, and then, on the athletic manner that he keeps the animal from rejoining the herd. He is not to be qued by the rider who should be nothing more than a passenger during the actual work.


All Reining Horses in a class perform a specific numbered pattern. The pattern is composed of circles of varying circumferences which are performed a different speeds, flying change of leads, roll backs, fast turns of 90 to 720 degrees in both directions and sliding stops. He is judged on the basis of 70 points being a good performance and is given a comparable score of plus or minus the 70 points, based on his performance during each of his maneuvers.


Reining Horse

This is the 8 year old gelding "In-Dash Flasher" showing his winning slide with his owner Dr. Nita Gulbas. Nita is a Phoenix small animal Veterinarian. With In-Dash Flasher, she was the Novice Amateur Reining Champion at the Arizona Sun Country circuit and the Ladies Non-Pro Champion at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.


Reining Horse Sliding

The American Quarter Horse rider here is Cal Cooper at The Santa Barbara National Horse Show in Santa Barbara, California.


Working Cow Horse

This is a junior horse (less then 5 years) wearing a hackamore. The working cow horse performs a routine which demonstrates the natural cow-sense and agility of the horse.

The cow (which is called a critter) is allowed into one end of the ring in which the horse and rider are waiting. The horse keeps the critter at that end of the ring without any cueing by the rider until he has properly demonstrated his cutting ability. The rider cues the horse into allowing the critter to escape and run up one side of the arena, he then cues the horse to catch the critter, turn him back to run down back toward the end of the arena and again uses cutting horse moves. The rider here is shown completing the routine, which is to move the critter off the rail and turn him in both directions as in a figure of eight.

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