Penny Pinching at the Pump

Take these steps to save precious fuel while pulling your horse trailer.

With fuel close to $5 per gallion, hauling horses can seem like the ultimate nightmare. Though hoping for the return of $2 fuel may never pay off, these tips can help you save some green at the pump. After all, your money is better spent on entry fees at your next show.

Get Clean
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your truck's gas mileage up to 10 percent. The air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save gas, it will protect your engine.

Embrace Inflation
You can improve your gas mileage up to 3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure for all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. But be sure not to over-inflate, as that can rapidly decrease your fuel economy.

No Packrats Allowed
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your truck and trailer, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your mileage by up to 2 percent. Clean out your tack room and truck bed, and pack lightly for your trip. Take only the feed that you need for that haul.

Shut It Off
Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Trucks with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than those with smaller engines. If possible, turn your engine off when loading and unloading, or when checking in for the show.

It may sound too simple, but slow down! While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Think of it this way: each 5 mph that you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 30 cents per gallon for gas.

Get More From Your Diesel
Diesel engines produce more torque at the same engine speed as gas and can be more efficient when hauling heavy loads. The power output of an engine is expressed as its torque multiplied by its rotational speed (RPM). Run your heavy-duty diesel truck at an RPM 40 percent below the peak torque. Diesel-powered truck research has indicated that this is the point at which maximum fuel economy is achieved, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Learn more ways to save money at shows. Get AQHA's report: Accounting for the Arena. It's FREE!

Million Dollar Man

The National Reining Horse Association announced recently that Craig Johnson, an NRHA Professional, is on the verge of reaching the pinnacle of reining achievements - breaking the $1 million lifetime earnings mark. It is anticipated that Craig could break into the $1 million rider category during the 2008 All American Quarter Horse Congress.

Craig has trained and exhibited horses for three decades. He started his career showing halter and performance horses before he chose the sport of reining as his specialty. The Middletown, New York, resident has qualified for the NRHA Futurity finals since 1980, rarely missing the finals in the event. Craig has earned the reputation of a respected exhibitor, clinician, trainer and coach. The two-time NRHA Futurity open champion also earned NRHA wins in the Derby and Superstakes and is a multiple AQHA and paint horse world champion as well. Craig's lifetime earnings are more than $993,000.

Other reiners who have surpassed the $1 million rider lifetime earnings mark include Bill Horn, Tim McQuay, Shawn Flarida, Duane Latimer, Todd Bergen, Dell Hendricks, Craig Schmersal, Andrea Fappani, Tom McCutcheon, Mandy McCutcheon and Brent Wright. Tim McQuay and Shawn Flarida have each surpassed the $2 million rider milestone.

Make your dollar go farther while doing what you love. AQHA can help you save money while showing your horse. Download Accounting for the Arena today, and share this FREE resource with your horse-showing friends!

Wanted: Horse Treat Recipes

The American Quarter Horse Journal wants to know your recipes for homemade horsey snacks. Send your name, address and horse treat recipe to Tonya Ratliff-Garrison, and it might be featured in an upcoming issue of the Journal!