082516 UngerE-7-27-16-FF-015

Back on the Road

082516 UngerE-7-27-16-FF-015I showed Pale Conquistador at the Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association Summer Slide, where he was the Futurity Open Reserve Champion for owner Eric Unger. • Photo by Fletch

Summer is over, the kids are back in school and we are hitting the road for the futurities. Our next stop is Las Vegas for the High Roller Reining Classic, where we will show both our 3-year-olds and our derby horses.

The High Roller is always a customer favorite based on its venue. There is a lot of entertainment in addition to the show, which makes it a fun place for me to enjoy some time with my customers. After Vegas, we are headed back to the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio, my home state. I enjoy this show, as it reminds me of my roots and where I came from.

My goals this fall are to keep my 3-year-olds progressing in their training, and keep them mentally and physically healthy, and happy. One of the ways I do this is by hauling them with me to shows where I do not show them, but just ride them in the arenas, schooling them without a lot of pressure. They get used to different environments without the stress of being shown. This does so much for them! They learn how to eat and drink on the trailer, and rest and adapt to different environments, barn mates and ground. I believe being able to school in different environments is some of the most valuable training time I have.

I am also diligent about having my veterinarians go over my horses and make sure we are keeping them physically healthy at all times. Catching any potential soreness early on saves us from lay offs. Also, my horses diets are closely monitored. We feed Purina Ultium to our show horses, along with Super Sport, which is an amino acid formulation for muscle performance, exercise capacity and recovery. I am a strong believer in good quality feed and hay

Feel free to approach me at any of the shows for advice on keeping your horses happy and healthy. Years of experience has taught me a few things!

Good luck to everyone! 

About Craig 

Reining horse professional Craig Schmersal is the fourth-leading rider of all-time, with earnings of more than $3.2 million. Over the last decade, Craig has won almost all of the major reining events, often taking all three of his entries into the finals.