LJ Classic Luke (Left) & Jaylicious (Right)
Cambridge, United Kingdoms
I started this journey 21 years ago when Luke was a 2 year old. I then forgot to log regularly! I’ve had such a good time earning this award and have been to some really nice places whilst totting up the hours. Some of those places include Blenheim Palace, central London including Buckingham Palace, beach rides and many hours riding through Thetford Forest. Lexi (Jaylious) joined the team a few years back and has added hours since she was a yearling. She now ponies Luke on our adventures.
Gotta Lectric Gun & AH Lil Lizzy Whiz
Spending 5,000 hours in the saddle with my two girls really was fun. In 2013 Gotta Lectric Gun came into my life. "Miss Texas", as I call her, became my best friend. Together we started the first competition, spent the first vacation in saddle, and worked cows together for the first time. A few years later we got company by AH Lil Lizzy Whiz. A really wild young lady - that's why I often call her my "Lizzy Tornado". The three of us spend as much time together as we can, and I am very proud of my two girls with their big hearts.
Lesa Michele Jeffries
Last Major Leaguer aka "Conner", Dream N Good aka "Teddy" and Im Barely Lopen aka "Bear"
Saint James, New York
5,000 hours in the saddle... finally!
I started my journey many years ago with "my three boys" Conner, Teddy and Bear when the AQHA Horseback Riding Program was first created. I figured - why not? It was a new program, easy enough to do, and it looked like it would be fun! Better yet, I have to ride three horses and go to shows so this would be easy - and for a beautiful buckle and jacket to celebrate my accomplishment - absolutely, I'm in!
I joined the program, but the real trick is to actually log and submit your hours. I joined, started out okay, but somehow got stuck in a roundabout circling forever. The roundabout was my lack of consistency and dedication - not to riding, mind you, but to the rule (and there are not many) of requiring me to log and submit my hours.
It took a lot longer than I originally anticipated to ride 5,000 hours. 9 years later, I did it! My riding career has been a learning endeavor with some small goals set along the way. All my horses have taught me something, and have been forgiving of my learning curves. The journey may have hit 5,000 hours on paper, but it started long ago, and will continue for much longer. I am excited for all that I will learn in the future and thankful for what skills I have gained, and to those who helped me learn and fine tune them.
KH Leos Last Rose aka "Rose"
The photo above was taken in the Badlands, near Medora, North Dakota.
Rockin Rosie Sun
Watertown, South Dakota
My Melody Memories
Melody has been the only horse I’ve used for my 5,000 hour journey. She has proven herself to be a very special horse. I’ve shown her in Western, HUS, and Trail, but going out in the Forest Preserve seems to be her favorite passion. She has endurance to go all day and a protective quality when she comes across unknown sounds ahead. If the questionable presence doesn’t show itself, she moves forward until it appears. Don’t mess with this girl.
Reflecting on the past rides brings back the memories we’ve encountered with friends. You can’t forget the hours of conversation and the strict rule of “whatever we say on trail, stays on trail” and how it benefits the ride. Of course the horses become trail buddies too.
We’ve also encountered many adventures along the way. Some exciting events have included fires, storms, falling trees, drones, coyotes, bucks, dogs, and most unusual helicopter overhead looking for fugitives. The courage and trust we share throughout our ventures create the bond that stimulates a calmness between the two of us. You have to enjoy the ride.
I couldn’t be luckier to have such a great QH mare!
JRS Miss Jade Moon
I have ridden several different horses on my 5,000 hour journey over the past 15 years. Most of my time was spent riding my beautiful quarter horse, Miss Jade Moon who passed away last summer. Together we traveled many miles of trails, competed in horse shows, went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, participated in parades, and rode mounted for Palm Beach County. She was a very special and loving horse who always gave her best. I completed my riding journey on Midnite Moonshine, my husband's quarter horse, who was born, raised, and trained at our barn. I enjoy riding each day with my horses and am starting my next set of adventures with my new horse, Sailor Moon.
Ruffin, North Carolina
I have ridden five horses to attain this 5000 hour horseback riding award. Tiger Goods, Color Me Coquettish, Color Me All Dun, Step Up To Shine and Bayberry Valentine. The hours were spent trail riding, riding in clinics, and showing western pleasure, HUS, and ranch riding. All of these horses were purchased as weanlings or yearlings, and all have been a joy to own and ride.
I enjoy showing and trail riding and all my quarter horses have been versatile enough to go on beach and mountain rides and then back into the show pen.
Prescott Valley, Arizona
This is the second time I have completed the 5,000 hour AQHA Horseback riding program. I rode both SHEZ IN VOGUE (aka) Blondie and UPPER DIMENSIONAL (aka) Dillon. I am blessed to have had the privilege of owning these two wonderful quarter horses. My Blondie from the time she was 15 months old, until she was laid to rest last year at the age of 31. I still own & ride my special boy Dillon, who was born in my arms 21 years ago.
I have ridden several horses to attain the 5000 hour horseback riding program award. My current horse is CommandsRangDoc and he is a gem.
I enjoy riding horses and I have been in several riding groups. I have even done playdays! I love to trail ride, especially in Yellowstone Park or in the Grand Tetons. There are so many beautiful places that you can get to on horseback. I have done overnight packing trips that usually involved a hot pot. I have seen so many wild animals from wolves, mountain lions, moose and deer to bears. I especially enjoy seeing elk, because most of the time I can get very close to them. I enjoy looking for sheds in the desert that is near my home.
Riding my Quarter Horse lets me get away from all the stresses of life.
Spatz Hibrow Picnic
I have ridden quite a few different horses along my journey to the first 5000 hours. RCR Easter Twist AKA Jessie, was the first. I purchased her at an auction as a 4 year old and my first horse. She is now 22 and deserves all of the credit for not only getting me hooked on horses, but also the breed. She taught me to ride, gave me confidence and has gone on countless adventures with me. Together we have crossed many miles of trails, sorted cows, competed in horse shows and trail competitions, done parades, ponied colts, gone swimming and so much more. She is our steady eddy, who we now put our grandchildren and friends that are beginners on.
The most recent horse I have added to the list is Spatz Hibrow Picnic, who much like Jessie, is a Jill of all trades. We are doing all of the same fun adventures and she is proving to be a shining example of the American Quarter Horse.
I’ve had many wonderful memories made over this journey, but one that stands out above the rest is crossing 50 miles of the Lewis and Clark Trail in the Lolo National Forest on Jessie, camping and riding where they had once explored.
My future plans are to continue riding, learning, growing and adventuring with my wonderful horses.
San Kai 721
Tal Vez Un Kid aka "Tally"
Baden Wuertemberg, Germany
Tally (Tal Vez Un Kid) is my best buddy, confidante and soul horse. She has never let me down and has always had my back no matter the situation. With the help of my trainer, we left the arena and began exploring our surroundings on increasingly long rides. We’ve had so many wonderful and amazing experiences. We’ve ridden in the Alps and the Rockies, competed in ranch rodeos, worked cattle, done mounted archery, been in parades, completed the Pikes Peak Range Ride, flown in an airplane together, been on camp trips and have just had an incredible time.
For the last five years, Tally has also been helping wounded warriors heal. She also babysits my four-year-old daughter, who has been insisting that Tally is now her horse. Tally and I still hit the trails every chance we get, quite often without a bit, bridle or saddle. We’re now working on the next 5000-hour journey and even though I’m having to share her with my daughter, I couldn’t have a better horse to make the journey with again.
Thanks for this great program! Looking forward to all the adventures during the next 5000 hours.
Millhod aka "Millie"
I got Millie from the AQHA Ranching Heritage program and it has been an amazing journey with her. She is so sweet and willing to learn. She has a strong personality and is always willing to go the extra mile for me. Millie has always been loving and truly a best friend.
My favorite memory from my HBR journey is the quality time that I get to spend with my horses. It allowed me to make memories with friends and family, while doing something I love.
My goal, during our next riding chapter, is to compete at a competition with the University of Wyoming ranch horse team.
Blue Driften Lady
This photo was taken in Buffalo, Wyoming. Buffalo Wyoming Blue Driften Lady is the fourth home-raised horse I used for the horseback riding program.