Get Your Meter Running

The deadline to turn in Horseback Riding Program hours for this year will be here before you know it.

From America's Horse

The AQHA Horseback Riding Program leads riders down many different paths. Some are meandering and slow; others are purposeful and to the point. However you choose to ride, it’s the journey that counts. But, with that said, sometimes you get to the point on the path with a historical marker, so to speak … something worth taking note of. Allow us to introduce you to a rider who’s at that point. Muriel Hohle has earned the top award in the Horseback Riding Program, logging 5,000 hours in the saddle.

Seventy-nine-year-old Muriel of Mobridge, South Dakota, has had horses in her life for 75 years. For 21 of those years, she has been accruing hours for the AQHA Horseback Riding Program, and she recently hit the 5,000-hour mark.

“You can’t ride much in the winter time (because of the weather), so I had to do most of it in the spring, summer and fall,” she says. “To me, it’s kind of a challenge. I would mark the hours on the calendar every day and try to keep track. I enjoyed it a lot.”

You can be a part of this great program, just like Muriel Hohle. Enroll in AQHA's Horseback Riding Program today and start logging your hours!

Her current horse is WR Shes All That, a 13-year-old palomino mare

by the halter horse My Skip Vanzi. Muriel shows “Katie” in open shows in halter, trail and western pleasure.

“I ride every day, just about, unless the weather doesn’t permit,” she says. “I ride along the road or over to the rodeo grounds and work on some of the things I do with her. Or, my friends and I ride. Sometimes we go down in the hills along the Missouri River.”

Over the years, Muriel has used her horses for clinics and demonstrations, and she has judged the South Dakota state 4-H horse show. She was a teacher for 43 years, and although she is retired from teaching, she works part time at a nursing home. The nursing home gives her another venue to share her horses with others.

“They have a loading dock in back, and it’s just about the right height to get on the horse,” Muriel says. “Katie is just unbelievably gentle. I would just sidepass her right up against that, and she would not move. She just stood there while they lifted the different residents on.

AQHA's Horseback Riding program is a great way to be a part of the Quarter Horse community. Enroll today and start your journey to the 5,000-hour mark!

“This one man wanted to ride so bad - he’d been a cowboy all his life - and he just was not physically able to. But we took her up there, and he got to ride her. When they took him off, he was sitting in his wheelchair at the end of that dock. Katie walked up to him, and she put her nose right in his lap. It was amazing. She closed her eyes and just put her nose into his lap.

“She’s a neat horse.”

Like Muriel, you can make your way to the 5,000-hour award in AQHA’s Horseback Riding Program. The deadline to turn in your hours for 2012 is December 31. You can even submit your hours online.

Want to become a member of the AQHA Horseback Riding Program? Enroll now and start earning hours! You can participate in the Quarter Horse division or the all-breeds program, it’s up to you!