Moorhouse Ranch Honored

This legendary ranch won the 2008 AQHA/Bayer Best Remuda Award.

Moorhouse Ranch Company of Benjamin, Texas, recently won the 2008 AQHA/Bayer Best Remuda Award, which honors ranches that are preserving our Western heritage while raising quality American Quarter Horses.

The ranch is owned and managed by Tom Moorhouse and includes 50,000 acres. The ranch's remuda has 32 mares, 65 geldings and two stallions. Today's cattle operation includes 1,200 cows and 1,000 stockers.

The Moorhouse ranching tradition began in the 1800s when Edward Moorhouse raised cattle in Texas and Oklahoma's Indian Territory. Edward's youngest son, Togo, purchased land in the 1930s that would grow into the operation that is today Moorhouse Ranch Co. Togo incorporated the ranch with his sons - Ed, John, Tom and Bob. After Togo's death in 1995, the ranch was passed down to his sons, who operated the ranch together until 2000. While the brothers split up their shares of the ranch, Tom continued operating his shares under the Moorhouse Ranch Co. name.

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American Quarter Horses play a key role on the ranch. Geldings are used as working horses to doctor the cattle and to do other ranch work. They are also used in ranch rodeos and ranch horse contests. The broodmare band is used exclusively for breeding, although all fillies are broke as 2-year-olds to allow the fillies to become accustomed to being handled by people. Training the fillies also benefits the ranch when picking replacement mares to return to the broodmare band. Those not kept for broodmares are sold by private treaty or at select sales. The ranch's stallions are used as part of the working remuda or as performance horses when it's not breeding season. As a life member of AQHA, the ranch has registered more than 800 American Quarter Horses.

The Best Remuda Award is presented each year by AQHA and Bayer Animal Health to honor the contributions that ranch horses have made to the heritage of the American Quarter Horse. Since the award's inception in 1992, many outstanding ranches have been recognized for their efforts in raising American Quarter Horses. The term "remuda" means a group of working horses bred by the ranch specifically to work and pen cattle.

Any ranch that has five or more American Quarter Horse mares used to produce horses for ranch work and is a member of AQHA is eligible for this award.

For more information about the Best Remuda award or to request an application, click here. AQHA  accepts applications for the 2009 AQHA/Bayer Best Remuda Award until December 1, 2008.

Head to Vermont

Green Mountain National Forest officials near Manchester, Vermont, are opening parts of the forest to horseback riders and mountain bikers, according to an article on thehorse.com.

About 26 miles of the new horse trails and five bike trails are in the towns of Woodford, Glastenbury, Winhall and Stratton. In Goshen and Ripton, eight miles of trails have been opened for equestrian use and three miles for mountain bikers.

Manchester District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz says officials are trying to balance the different uses of the forest and keep in mind environmental impact.

AQHA's Recreational Riding report shows you many ways to enjoy your horse. Plan out your next trail riding adventure, and get tips for making it safe and fun for everyone. This detailed, valuable report makes a great gift, just in time for the holidays.