California Riding Magazine • May, 2008

Western Side Story
Can’t make it to the PCQHA’s new trail events? Grab your cameras and
enter a virtual IPHDA show!

by Gayle Carline

There is so much going on in the western world, I hope I can get it all in this month.

First of all, I’d like to invite everyone to my corner of Southern California on Sat., May 3, when the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association (PCQHA) hosts a special, one-day trail event at the Chino Hills Equestrian Center. Two rounds of trail classes will be offered for open, novice and amateur competitors, in the morning and in the afternoon.

The PCQHA is hosting three of these one-day trail events to allow California competitors more opportunities to earn points toward the World invitational shows. The other two shows will be held in Central and Northern California venues, and I’ll post the dates and places soon. For more information visit www.pcqha.com.

As for the Chino Hills show, since it’s down the street from my trainer’s ranch, Snoopy plans to be there, and so do I!

The second show news I need to let everyone know about is the 2008 Jack and Linda Baker Reining Classic. This is the 18th year that the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA) has held qualifying classes at their western shows, culminating in the finals to be held Aug. 15-16 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Prizes include custom saddles, headstalls, silver spurs and more. Over 25 horse and rider teams already have points toward the awards, making this year’s Reining Classic the biggest year yet. For more information contact PCHA at 818-842-8194, Georgiana Rodrigues at 661-268-8654 or residual@pacbell.net.

Last, I want to talk about a new program that I stumbled across as a result of an e-mail from Western Horse News, introducing a new YouTube for the Quarter Horse enthusiast. It’s at www.QuarterHorseTube.com, and contains videos of mostly western riding and mostly Quarter Horses. I say mostly, because there are also some paint horses doing reining and cow work, and a few Quarter Horses trotting around in english saddles.

One video, IPHDA Introduction, caught my attention. The initial frame had the following text overlay,“Welcome to the International Performance Horse Association.”

Having never heard of the organization, I looked it up. What I found was intriguing. Established in Nov. 2007, the International Performance Horse Development Association offers a program for horse owners who want to train their own horses, as well as improving their riding skills. Although professionals are welcomed, the program seems geared toward the horse owner who would like to show their horse, but doesn’t have a trainer.

According to founder Rod Miller, the IPHDA is designed to help members create a broke horse, develop their horse’s athletic potential and become more effective riders. They do this by offering clinics and shows, with seven levels of competition. Their skill levels begin at the walk and jog, and progress to loping, flying lead changes and sliding stops. The patterns are a combination of western horsemanship and reining.

Based in Texas, they have 11 regions, eight in the United States, two in Canada and one in Mexico. As this organization is new, they are still looking for affiliates, and members, in all of the regions.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this organization is that they are holding virtual shows. Competitors videotape their ride and send it to the IPHDA, where the judges watch the videos and place the classes. There are strict rules about the video, that the entire ride is filmed and there has been no stoppage in the tape. The videos are posted on YouTube, along with comments by judges and clinicians, to suggest ways to improve.

Although I am already blessed with great trainers Tina Duree and Niki Owrey, and clear goals for my horses and my riding, I’m certain that the IPHDA would appeal to the owner who is training their horse and working through various problems along the way. Anyone who is interested in joining can get more information at www.iphda.com, or by contacting info@IPHDA.com.

Their use of videos and Youtube seems like a tremendous leap in the use of the Internet for horse shows, and I’d be curious to hear from the equine community. With the rising costs in taking your horse to a show, do you see virtual horse shows as a viable option for the future?