Exert from recent Western Horseman article with Frank Merrill....

Q.  Many horse-related organizations are experiencing downturns in membership.  How can they best face that challenge?

A.  Our horse organizations, whether they are discipline-driven associations or breed organizations, have realized a down trend in membership numbers.  This is disconcerting because we have gotten so much competition from other forms of recreation.  We have to come up with a way capture youth at a pre-school age and attract them to the horse-not just a Quarter Horse, but any breed. 
We haven't done a very good job in the horse industry of trying to cultivate the youngest people because we never had to do it before.
We have got to start paying attention to try to cultivate our youngest kids.

  There are no secrets about our breeding program.  It is centered on Leo and due for publication was a biography of this great horse by Frank Holmes.  Frank recently passed away, at age 65, from cancer.  Perhaps those of us who find value in Leo's legacy will be fortunate enough that Frank's unpublished work will someday be sent to press.  He also wrote a biography about the great Dale Wilkinson, the "father" of modern reining.  For many of us, Franks passing leaves us a little lesser.  He reminded us of the great horses and horseman of the past in a way that was compelling and motivational.  It is important to know where you have been to know where you are going.  Frank had written for most of his adult life and left us with a plethora of written words through The Western Horseman, the APHA Journal, and the Legend Series.  Considering Leo and Dale, he saved the best for last.  Thanks for what you did Frank.  It was a life well spent. 

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.  ~Meister Eckhart
  We are new to the blogosphere, but thought we would give this a try.  It is not that what we are doing here on the ranch is all that interesting to the casual observer, but what our friends are doing with their horses is.  We thought it would be nice to provide a place for folks to stick a comment on how they are getting along with their colts, how training is going, and how the last race went.  It might be a good place to share information about other things as well.  Training, feeding, conditioning...having a bad hair day or the best day of your life (so far).  To open up the ball, I thought I would post a little clip of Shayla on her filly from last winter.  She is doing fine with her, and spent the summer seasoning her at local shows, trail riding, and doing some basic things that are suitable for a three year old.  We are really looking forward to seeing her this spring as she starts to learn to develop her filly into a barrel horse.