To be a contender in the halter classes, your horse has to be in tip-top shape. Photo © Lisa Lee

Maintaining Your Halter Horse’s Peak, Part 1

How do you keep your halter horse at the top of his game, big show after big show?

“When you say a halter horse is at his ‘peak,’ it means he’s 100 percent fit in his body and mind, in tune and at the top of his game,” says AQHA Professional Horseman Luke Castle of Wayne, Oklahoma. “It means peak performance in the way a horse looks and shows, physically and mentally.”

Maintaining that look is especially tricky when you have to get a horse through several big shows in a row, each requiring that peak performance. The Journal asked Luke for his advice on maintaining that peak. Here’s what he had to say.

When do you push a horse toward a peak?

When I’m peaking a horse out, the critical time for me is three weeks out from that big show. That’s when I put the last of the weight on him and harden him up at the same time. You have to keep after his neck to keep it thin, and you really want that hair coat to tighten up. When you go to really push him toward a show, you’ll see him make a move, so to speak, getting heavier and hard-looking.

And that’s with a horse that’s already in your program, getting worked and sweated and brushed. It’s not three weeks from when you bring him out of a pasture.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article from The American Quarter Horse Journal