AQHA Horseback Riding Program: 2,500 Hour Awards

Congratulations to AQHA Horseback Riding Program participants who have reached the 2,500-hour milestone. Most importantly, it was with the most loyal, responsive, hardworking, and willing teammate - the American Quarter Horse.

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Jessica Ewert
The Obvious Gain aka "Jezzy"
Medora, North Dakota
"While growing up, our elderly neighbors would ask me to stop by brush and fuss over their horses. In turn, I made a little money for the chore. Soon, I traded the cash for the opportunity to learn to ride. Later I learned many of his horses were Two Eyed Jack bred stock. 
               To this day I love a good Pitzer Ranch-bred horse. In all reality I'm a horse lover in general, I see the beauty in all of them. 
               My husband and I, along with some good friends, enjoy riding aggressive rugged land. We make several trips a year, just to enjoy the landscape.  Our favorite place to spend time riding is Bar X Ranch Medora, ND and The Black Hills, SD."


Linda Holder
Thee Final Leaguer aka “Smoky”
Schaffhausen, Switzerland
I started riding at the age of 14. Living in Switzerland, I was riding school horses for 13 years.  They were ridden the English way and they were not Quarter Horses.

Then in 1991, I watched an AQHA horse show, one of the first ones in Switzerland, and I was fascinated.  I went to the LT Farm in Müllheim to take my first lessons in western riding on Quarter Horses. After that I knew my own horse will be an American Quarter Horse.

In 1993 I bought “LT Kims Diamant Dust” aka “Dusty” a 3 year old gelding. With this wonderful companion I also started in AQHA Shows, but the most I did with him was trail riding. With him I spent nearly the half of the 2500 hours. Sadly, Dusty died in February 2016 at the age of 26 because of cancer.

In May 2017 I was very lucky to find the wonderful 3 year old gelding “Thee Final Leaguer” aka “Smoky”.  I showed him in 2019 once in AQHA Halter. Then came covid, and I found out that Smoky and I are very happy to do trail riding in our beautiful environment in the north of Switzerland. 

Theresa Hockman
The Great Sorcerer
Kingston, Tennessee
Growing up I would ride any horse, pony or donkey and enjoyed every minute. Through the years I noticed how great the American Quarter Horses were and knew that when I was able to buy my own horse it would be a Quarter Horse. I am in the Parelli levels program and spend time doing both ground work and riding, and I enjoy any and all time spent riding my horse but my favorite places are out on trails.

Lene Havn
JMC Broadway Blondy
Syddanmark, Denmark
I started riding and working with quarter horses because of a good friend, who needed help to ride his horse, and that day I lost my heart to quarter horses. My husband and I have 3 quarter horses (22 year, 21 year and 2 1/2 year, all family).

I am a very all-round rider by working with my horses, shows, cattle training, mountain trail, stock horse, but the best way to be with my horses is in nature together with good friends. We live in the woods, and enjoy every day together with all 3 horses.

Pam LaPorte
  Shes Good
      Niles, Michigan

I got started riding American Quarter Horses because my mom loved riding and I inherited the riding bug. I spend my hours working with my horse to prepare for shows and learning new skills. My favorite place to ride is around the farm and any show grounds with my friends. 


Anne Lewis
Zans Golden Ruler aka “Simon”
Coalhurst, Alberta, Canada
My first horse was an American Quarter Horse and I have stuck with the breed ever since.  I love the look and versatility of them. Trail riding is my passion.  Living in southern Alberta, winter means indoor riding with the occasional coulee ride on a warm day.  I take dressage lessons and clinics when available. I live a hour away from the Rocky Mountains.  Waterton Lakes National Park and Castle Provincial Park offer trails galore to explore and camp.


Susan Brooks
San Marco, California

"I started taking riding lessons at the age of 26 and got my first Quarter Horse a few months later. I’m now 77 and riding my 22 year old retired reining horse, Roostin. We spend our time pleasure riding in San Marcos, CA. Two retired folks enjoying life together. I’ve had three wonderful Quarter Horses and am thankful for all the joy and love they have given me."


Melissa Fowler
Smart Cutting Cat RG
Buffalo, South Dakota
"I have been riding American Quarter horses since I was a young girl. My parents bought me my first quarter horse and I’ve been hooked ever since!  I spend most of my time riding my American Quarter Horses here on our cattle ranch gathering and trailing cattle to new pasture, sorting cattle, shipping cattle in the fall, pasture doctoring cattle and roping at brandings. I also find time to take them to AQHA and NRCHA shows. My favorite place to ride is here on our cattle ranch! We have a lot of wide open space! I also love competing at the AQHA and NRCHA shows!"


Jamie Underwood
Handsome Preview aka "Cheyenne"
Florence, Alabama
I have had horses all my life.  I started out on a Shetland pony and advanced to Quarter Horses as soon as I could swing up on one; I have always loved riding American Quarter Horses.  I was lucky enough that we had a barn and pasture  and we always had around 10 head of horses.  My whole family enjoyed riding and would often go on trail rides. I competed in Saturday night horse shows doing western pleasure, barrels and poles. It was an excellent way to grow up - taking care of horses and learning responsibility.  I also enjoyed team penning for a while, but mostly I love to explore  trails on my horse.   The picture is of my retired horse, Cheyenne.  He contracted EPM in 2020 and I am riding another Quarter Horse now, but since most of the hours were done on him I felt I should honor him.  My favorite place to ride is at Land Between the Lakes in Golden Pond, Kentucky.   You can’t beat the trails and the scenery!  ​​​​​​


Barbara Muchnick
 The Whiskey Blues
    Lake Worth, Florida

I’ve owned horses for many years. However, my involvement with Quarter Horses began about 20 years ago.  While shopping, I remember that this one horse just kept watching me. I wasn’t looking for any particular breed but, it turns out the decision for the purchase wasn’t really mine…this Quarter Horse picked me! I ride almost daily in a large equestrian community.  I’m 71 and my horse is now 27 years old.  Lots of my time is spent just hand walking or riding while we enjoy our time together. 


Tess Brown
Bueno Rocky Bar aka "Rocky"
Taylor Ridge, Illinois

I got started riding American Quarter Horses through my Dad.  I have an early picture of my Dad and me sitting on his horse "Rocky."  I was 3 months old and I named my dun gelding "Rocky" in honor of my Dad.

I just recently purchased a bay Quarter Horse so I can log more hours in the saddle. I spend my time with my horses trail riding and working on obstacles.

One of my favorite sayings is:  "You can see what man made from the seat of an automobile, but the best way to see what God  made is from the back of a horse." -Charles M. Russell.

 I have Winston Churchill's saying  cross stitched on my wall:  "There is something about the outside of a horse, that is good for the inside of a man."  In this case a woman.

I have a goal to see all the places that God created from the back of a horse.


Tonya Willson
TT Poco Sweetwater
Barnard, Missouri
I got started riding horses when I met my husband 30 years ago.  We spend our time riding young horses, and putting in the time and starting them right. My favorite place to ride is anywhere in the saddle that my horse will take me.