Thanks to one of our big thinking local equestrians, Kari Ketchledge, official American Hanoverian Society (AHS) Inspections were held in Evergreen earlier this month. Kari is an accomplished local horse trainer, instructor and boutique horse breeder.
Each year, the AHS organizes a national inspection tour around the country to register foals, inspect and performance-test mares, and license stallions. For a foal to be registered, both the sire and dam must be AHS approved.
What is a Hanoverian you ask? Hanoverians are a breed that originated in and around Hanover, Germany. In a nutshell, the Hanoverian is a warmblood, which is a cross between “hot” blooded breeds such as Arabians and Thoroughbreds and “cold” blooded breeds such as draft breeds like Percherons and Clydesdales. Three hundred years ago, Hanoverians were bred to serve as carriage and military horses. Since the end of World War II, the breeding goal of the AHS has been to produce a versatile performance horse for sports such as Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing and Combined Driving.
Breeding stock is very carefully inspected and selected for correct conformation, athletic ability and inner qualities such as disposition and trainability. The Hanoverian has natural impulsion and light and elastic gaits characterized by a ground-covering walk, a floating trot, and a soft, round, rhythmic canter.
In 1978, the American Hanoverian Society (AHS) was incorporated to continue the German standard of selectivity when American competitors started importing the breed. AHS works closely with the German Hanoverian Verband, inspecting breeding stock, registering horses and licensing and performance-testing stallions. The AHS is committed to adopting and adhering to the selective breed standards practiced since 1735 in the Hanover breeding area of Germany.
The aim is a “noble, correctly built warmblood horse capable of superior performance, a horse with natural impulsion and space-gaining elastic movements—a horse that because of its temperament, character, and willingness is suited principally as an all-around riding horse.”
Sandy Hunt from Michigan was the AHS Inspector this year in Evergreen for the region. A Hanoverian breeder herself, she took the time to evaluate and explain to the owners, handlers and spectators the scores she gave the mare, yearling and two foals presented for inspection. There is a scoring, rating and evaluation process depending on the age, whether mare or stallion, and potential use.
Sandy was a wealth of knowledge for any breeder. Here are a few of her nuggets:
—When you breed a mare, you must be happy with a carbon copy of her.
—Have no more than two things you are trying to improve on with your mare; any more is expecting too much of the stallion.
—Long pasterns are very undesirable for jumpers and upper-level Dressage horses and result in potential soundness issues down the road, but they do make for more comfortable gaits.
—Especially for jumpers, do not cross jumper lines with Dressage lines. Jumping ability is a highly heritable trait. If you take a horse to the jumper inspections, they receive a score for pedigree, which will be low if crossed with Dressage lines.
The inspection took place at Integrity Equestrian (formerly Conifer Stables), 9229 Hwy 73, in Evergreen. Kristie Cotton and Lizzie Fera have taken over managing the facility. In addition to offering excellent care to their boarders, they offer Dressage training with a focus on equine biomechanics, outside jumper and eventer trainers weekly, as well as clinics, ride-a-tests and monthly visits from a rider biomechanics specialist from Equestriafitness. Outside participants are always welcome!
August 27 and 28, 9 am to 5 pm, Equine Biomechanics Clinic with Kristie Cotton: 2-day clinic. During the clinic you’ll learn to develop a profound awareness of your horse’s movement to detect the slightest signs of tension leading to dysfunctional movement and behavior. Kristie uses a biomechanical approach to solve movement issues that block horses’ ability to optimally perform. Through this approach, our horses not only perform better physically, they are also emotionally balanced and in sync with their riders. Kristie is passionate about bringing out the best in horses and riders so they can become a harmonic pair. Day 1: Evaluation of movement and expression of the horse as well as connection and dialogue between rider and horse. Day 2: Developing an individualized training program. The clinic is open to riders of all disciplines. Auditors welcome at no cost. Please reach out to inquire about cost, stabling, and to reserve a riding spot or to RSVP for auditing.
Bit and Bridle Fitting Clinic in November, Date TBD
For more information on Integrity Equestrian, boarding, training or clinics, contact: 303.478.5480 (Kristie) or 720.814.5750 (Lizzie)
Both Lizzie and Kristie have been featured in the Colorado Corral column in the past! Check out their articles on my blog here:
Kari Ketchledge is a career horse trainer and instructor with 34 years of professional experience. She has an MS in Animal Behavior and specializes in starting and rebuilding sport horses. Her clinics focus on people building partnerships with their horses. She also brings high level instructors locally for clinics. To contact Kari, call 720.563.9973. Kari will be featured in the October Colorado Corral column!
Heather McWilliams © 2022