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The Arabian Horse Connection

The Arabian Horse Connection

By The Arabian Horse Connection
The Arabian Horse Association presents, The Arabian Horse Connection. Our bi-weekly episodes will showcase the diversity of the Arabian horse community; from industry titans, backyard heroes, and amateur contenders to the latest trends, stories, and news AHA will cover it all.
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Art of the Cowgirl and Working Western with Elise Ulmer
Elise Ulmer of Rising E Performance Horses and Rancho Del Sol is a trainer, NRCHA Judge, international clinician, and competitor within AHA, APHA, AQHA, NRCHA, and NCHA. Elise has amassed multiple and National and Reserve National Championship titles within the Arabian Working Western disciplines, and recently competed at Art of the Cowgirl in the World's Greatest Horsewoman event with Half-Arabian mare, HOTT ROCKETT.  Elise talks about Her Equine Industry background Her training philosophy and goals Her experience competing during Art of the Cowgirl Learn more about Elise by visiting her website, Follow Elise on Facebook at,
March 01, 2022
Running a Successful Discovery Farm with Nedra Johnson
Discovery Farm of the Year recipient Nedra Johnson of The Arabian Horse Riding Academy stops by to talk about all things Discovery Farms.  Nedra discusses; -Using a website and social media to convert clients -The benefit of a group lesson program  -How to utilize promotional materials within your Discovery Farm  Learn more about the Discovery Farm Program here. Follow The Arabian Horse Riding Academy on Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok. 
December 14, 2021
Interview Series: Meet the Directors with Julie Hedden, Carrie Olson, and Nancy Rohde
Region 4 Director Julie Hedden, Region 5 Director Carrie Olson, and Region 6 Director Nancy Rohde stop by to introduce themselves and provide AHA members with more information about their regions as well as their beginnings with the Arabian breed.  Region 4 Resources Follow the Region 4 Facebook Page Region 4 Website  Contact Director Julie Hedden: Region 5 Resources  Follow the Region 5 Facebook Page  Region 5 Website  Contact Director Carrie Olson: Region 6 Resources  Follow the Region 6 Facebook Page  Region 6 Website  Contact Director Nancy Rohde:
December 13, 2021
Interview Series: Meet the Directors with Mary Smith and Laurie Ann Salmi
Region 10 Director Mary Smith and Region 12 Director Laurie Ann Salmi stop by to introduce themselves and give AHA members a look into their experience in the Arabian horse industry. Mary and Laurie comment on their introduction to Arabian horses, the activities within their regions, and provide insight into their roles as Regional Directors. You can reach Laurie at You can reach Mary at Follow Region 10 and Region 12 on Facebook.  Region 10 website. Region 12 website. 
October 13, 2021
Get Ready for Horse Week!
Join Alex Cox and Katie Clinebell for an inside look at Horse Week, brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim. On this episode we discuss how to watch Horse Week content, the 'why' behind Horse Week, and a sneak peak from featured videos.  The Equine Network is thrilled to present Horse Week brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim. During the week-long, equine-centric digital festival, you’ll see profiles of incredible equine athletes, equine storytelling that celebrates the horse-human bond, and heartwarming tales of horse heroics. Riders will get valuable takeaways and advice from world-class trainers. Stream for free from any smart device, wherever you want October 3-9, 2021.  Stay tuned for more and visit:
September 21, 2021
Arabian Horses and Liberty with Patrick Sullivan
Patrick Sullivan of Modern Day Horsemanship, is riding 2,500 miles across the United States with his two Arabian horses, Gamilah and Hal. Along the way, Patrick is stopping at local equine rescues, charities, and organizations providing demonstrations on liberty. On this episode, Patrick discusses his experiences with Arabian horses, his journey riding across the US, and his future goals with Arabian horses.  Follow Patrick on Facebook at Gamilah Unbridled. Find more information here. 
August 23, 2021
Get Ready for Youth and Mid Summer Nationals with Brenna Johnson
AHA Youth and Family Programs Coordinator, Brenna Johnson, joins us to talk about all things Youth and Mid Summer Nationals. We go over what you can expect as a first time exhibitor, special events and activities at the show, and more! Find More National Event Resources Website AHYA Convention Information Facebook Group  Arabian Horse Foundation 
July 09, 2021
5 Tips to Grow Your Equine Business Using Social Media Strategy with Denise Alvarez
Social Media can be intimidating. With the constantly changing trends, app features, and various platforms it can be hard to know how to get started or increase your online presence. On today’s episode, Denise Alvarez of Stormlily Marketing takes us through 5 strategies to help you increase your online presence. Denise covers: How to choose a social media platform and find an audience Engaging effectively with your audience Reaching new people for your business, Discovery Farm, or club Finding the time to post on social media Plus, Denise includes a bonus tip that you don’t want to miss! Follow Denise on all social channels: Facebook: How To Market Your Horse Business Instagram: @stormlilymarketing Website: Follow the Arabian Horse Association on Facebook @ArabianHorseAssoc and on Instagram @arabianhorseassoc. Visit the AHA website for information on all things Arabian horses and to join our newsletter. Follow the Arabian Horse Connection on Facebook @ArabianHorseConnection for podcast and blog updates.
May 11, 2021
Getting Started in Distance Riding with Angie and Bridget of Talkin' Trot
This week the hosts of the Talkin' Trot Podcast, Angie and Bridget stopped by to discuss Distance Riding. We chatted about getting started in Distance Events, finding a mentor, common Distance terminology, and why the Distance community is the best. Plus, Angie and Bridget provide the latest updates in the world of distance.  If you want to learn more about Distance riding, be sure to tune into the Talkin' Trot Podcast! Listen to insider interviews from Distance enthusiasts, professionals, and the latest news. Find all episodes here. You can find more resources regarding Distance events when you visit the AERC website. Find a mentor here. Find a ride in your area here.  Follow Talkin' Trot on Facebook @talkintrot and on Instagram @talkin_trot Follow the Arabian Horse Association on Facebook @ArabianHorseAssoc and on Instagram @arabianhorseassoc. Visit the AHA website for information on all things Arabian horses and to join our newsletter.  Follow the Arabian Horse Connection on Facebook @ArabianHorseConnection for podcast and blog updates. 
April 13, 2021
Designing an Equine Property with Linda Royer of Farm+Ranch Equine Design
Linda Royer, of Farm+Ranch Equine Design is an avid equestrian and has owned and bred Arabian horses since 1982. Linda started Farm+Ranch Equine Design in 1994 and has over 44 years of professional experience and over 25 years of experience designing equine specific properties. Linda talks about the equine property design experience, provides property design tips, and provides a list of the top items you need to think about when designing an equine property.  Follow Linda on Facebook at @farmplusbarn and visit her website. Follow the Arabian Horse Association on Instagram @arabianhorseassoc and Facebook @ArabianHorseAssoc. Visit the AHA website for information on all things Arabian horses and to join our newsletter. Follow the Arabian Horse Connection on Facebook @ArabianHorseConnection for podcast and blog updates
March 09, 2021
Reaching Youth through Horses with Dr. Jane Haven of Taking the Reins
Dr. Jane Haven is the Executive Director of Taking the Reins, a nonprofit organization dedicated to growing the confidence of girls through their equestrian and gardening program. Jane grew up in Western Colorado, finding herself attending Cal Poly Pomona because of her love of horses. Jane’s passions truly lie in horses and youth, as she is heavily involved in youth programming in AHA’s Region 2 as well as a member of the Local Level Committee at AHA.  On this episode, Jane shares the details about the Taking the Reins and how it has benefited and will continue to benefit the Los Angeles community. We speak about the power of horses and how they teach us confidence and kindness.  Learn more about Taking the Reins: Facebook: Donate to Taking the Reins:
February 23, 2021
Trail and All Things Western with Michael Damianos
Michael Damianos is a judge, trainer, and the owner of Michael Damianos Performance Horses in Ojai, CA. Founded in 1982, MDPH originally focused on training Quarter Horses, but then transitioned to encompass Arabian and Half Arabian horses. At MDPH, all disciplines are welcome, as Michael accommodates riders in the Western, Sport Horse, Showmanship, Hunter Pleasure, and Equitation. Michael has also received various awards in the equestrian community including the APAHA Working Western Trainer of the Year twice and USEF Barbara Worth Equestrian of Honor Award. Michael has traveled the country and world judging many prestigious shows including, National, Regional, and Club level shows. Michael holds judging cards with AQHA, ApHC, NRHA, NRCHA, and NSBA. In 2021 Michael will be judging the new AHA show, Ranch Horse Championships. On today’s episode Michael and I discuss his career in the Equine Industry as well as Trail. Michael provides some great training tips for not only the experienced rider, but for the beginner. Find more information and resources at the links below.  Find Michael Damianos on social media: Find more information about Michael Damianos Performance Horses here: AHA Judges School and Seminar:
February 02, 2021
Catching Up with Trainer Duane Esser
Today I caught with Duane Esser, of Esser Valley Arabians. Duane is a longtime Arabian horse advocate, trainer, breeder, and past Region 14 Director. Today we chat about all things Arabian horses including Duane's experience with AHA's Discovery Farm Program, how Duane got started as a trainer, and his experience as an Arabian horse judge. Duane provides valuable insight to those who are looking to expand upon their lesson programs and to those that are just getting started in their Arabian horse journey.  Find out more about Esser Valley Arabians here:
January 13, 2021
Talking Tack with David Freedman
Today my guest is none other than David Freedman, a 6th generation harness and saddle maker hailing from a long line of master craftsmen. David took over as President and CEO of Freedman’s in 1991 continuing the skills that have been passed down from his father, grandfather, and great grandfather, ensuring there is tradition in every stitch. Today David and I talk all about tack, the history of Freedman’s, and how David has adapted the business to fit the ever changing needs of the equine industry while remaining true to his roots. Plus, all Arabian Horse Connection listeners can use the code 12DAYSOFXMAS through December 17th to get FREE shipping on 12 of Freedman’s favorite items. Plus, receive a FREE gift with purchase - a keepsake collector's item, exclusively from Freedman's. Visit to learn more. 
December 15, 2020
Catching Up with the Youth of the Year, Caroline Elik
This week I was able to catch up with Caroline Elik, the recipient of the 2020 AHA Youth of the Year award. Caroline receives the Youth of the Year perpetual trophy as well as a $5,000 scholarship from the Arabian Horse Foundation. Compassion, humility, and motivation are the foundation of Caroline’s approach to life. She is currently enrolled at University of Missouri – Columbia pursuing a degree in journalism. She is a member of the Women in Media club and believes that it is important for women to have the resources and networking opportunities to be able to pursue their passion for media-oriented careers. During High School she was actively involved with her school’s newspaper, and held numerous leadership roles in her local 4-H club. She served as the Region 11 youth vice director, and was elected as the AHYA Secretary in 2019. She believes that involvement at any level is important as it improves not only our own lives, but the lives or others through the work that we do when we are involved in something worthwhile. Caroline’s efforts within the Arabian horse community has led her to strive to be a positive influence on AHYA and to be a role model for those who aspire to become further involved in the Arabian horse community.  She believes that “our youth are not just our future, but also our present – they are already active contributors to the growth and promotion of the Arabian breed”. Caroline Elik is a leader among her peers, serving her breed and others with a selfless attitude and the heart of a champion. Know someone that would be a great candidate for Youth of the Year? Click the link to nominate or apply.
December 08, 2020
Law and Order with Larry Shallcross and Van Jacobsen
Today I sit down and chat with Larry Shallcross, Chair of the Probable Cause Panel and Van Jacobsen, chair of the Ethical Practices and Review Board. We discuss what each panel does from receiving a complaint, all the way to the decision making process. Learn more about how the EPRB and Probably Cause Panel work together and how they help enforce the rules of the Arabian Horse Association.
November 24, 2020
The Ins and Out of Convention with Nancy Harvey and Penny Wardlaw
AHA Convention is one of the best ways to get more involved with the Arabian breed, connecting you with people from all over the country that share the same passion for the Arabian horse. When you attend an AHA Convention, you are able to listen, comment, and provide input on policies that could affect you and the breed association as a whole. Today AHA president Nancy Harvey and longtime Convention participant and Chair of Agenda and Resolutions Penny Wardlaw, discuss what is going to be happening at Virtual Convention and why Convention is so important.  $175 for Delegates/Directors – All access to virtual functions and Voting authority $35 for Alternates/Members – All access to virtual functions $85 for Non-Members – Provides a one year membership and all access to virtual functions Convention information available here: Resolutions available here:
November 10, 2020
What is CHA All About? With Christy Landwehr
We are joined today by Christy Landwehr, CEO of the Certified Horsemanship Association known as (CHA) Christy Landwehr has been in the equine industry for over 35 years riding and teaching many disciplines and breeds. Christy is a Master Level Riding Instructor and Equine Facility Manager through the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and has taught students in 4-H and Pony Club. She is Past President of the American Youth Horse Council and past board member for the Colorado Horse Council.  She founded, competed on and coached the University of Colorado at Boulder Intercollegiate Horse Show Association equestrian team.  Christy is an AQHA and APHA Professional Horseman and sits on the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Advisory Council and on the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Board. Christy has her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Speech and her Masters is in Journalism with a minor in Marketing. She was the Sponsorship/Youth Programs Manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, and the Development Director for The Urban Farm that works with at-risk youth in Denver. Currently, she is the Chief Executive Officer for CHA and a clinician and site accreditor for the organization. Christy has spoken at numerous equine events, breed and discipline conventions throughout her career. Christy gives the inside scoop on CHA and how it can help Arabian Horse owners take their skills to the next level. Christy and I chat about all the various programs CHA offers including certifications from Equine Facility Management to English and Western Disciplines. Arabian Horse Connection listeners will also be receiving a special discount on CHA’s Virtual International Conference with code AHA to receive CHA’s member rate. CHA International Conference Discount Code: AHA CHA Website: CHA Facebook: CHA Instagram: CHA Twitter:
October 13, 2020
All About Judging with Kathy Callahan-Smith
Like so many of us, Kathy Callahan-Smith joined the equine community when she caught the horse bug at a young age. Kathy found that her passion with horses developed into judging when she competed and later coached the judging team at Cal Poly University. Kathy has developed a rich career in the equine industry as she holds judging cards with multiple associations and is a USEF C2 Steward. Kathy is currently the Director for Region 1 at AHA and attends as many horse shows as she can. Today we chat about judging, why it is important and why we need quality judges in the horse industry. As we know, there is always something new to learn.  Judging Resources:
September 29, 2020
Running a Successful Lesson Program with Lorie Henderson of Firelight Arabians
This week I sat down to chat with Lorie Henderson of Firelight Arabians ( Lorie not only runs a successful breeding and training farm (, but offers a unique lesson program and showing opportunities for youth and amateur riders. Lorie and her youth are very involved in the local community, sharing the Arabian breed with the public at Breyerfest and at local tack and feed stores. Lorie explains the how and why behind her successful lesson program, in addition to providing valuable insight into promoting the Arabian breed at the local level. 
September 15, 2020
Registration Q&A with AHA Registrar Debbie Fuentes
Are you thinking about registering your Arabian Horse but aren't sure how to get started? In this episode, we cover the ins and outs of Registration with AHA Registrar, Debbie Fuentes.  Debbie takes us through the steps of registering a foal, from filling out the application to sending in a DNA sample. Learn why registering your foal is so important, get to know the various forms and procedures that are needed, and receive insight on a few frequently asked questions.  All resources  and forms for registration can be found via the Arabian Horse Association website:  For more information regarding Registration, reach out to a Customer Service Representative at 303.696.4500 or email
August 25, 2020
It's All in the DNA -Arabians and Genetics with Dr. Samantha Brooks
Today’s episode is brought to you by the Arabian Horse Foundation. The Arabian Horse Foundation seeks to promote youth, equine research, and educational programs through their scholarships and grant opportunities. Visit to donate and learn more. Today’s guest is an expert in the field of Equine Genetics and has collaborated on monumental studies involving Lavender Foal Syndrome(, Equine coat color(, and Arabian Ancestry( Currently, she resides at the University of Florida, where she runs the Brooks Equine Genetics Lab. There is no doubt you won’t learn a thing or two about equine genetics after listening to this episode.  Horse Genetics Online Course:  Brooks Equine Genetics Lab Facebook Page: Link to Dr. Brooks' Published Articles:
August 11, 2020
All Things AHYA with Harper Hamill and Caroline Elik
On this special episode live from Youth and Mid Summer Nationals, we sit down and chat about All Things AHYA with AHYA Vice President Harper Hamill and Secretary Caroline Elik. These ladies are involved as can be with Youth Programs at the Arabian Horse Association and provide some five star advice about increasing participation within AHYA. We discuss The Be a Hero Challenge, AHYA Convention, and how to get started with AHYA Youth Programs.  Links to AHYA socials:
July 29, 2020
Achieving the Perfect Action Shot with Howie Schatzberg
You may have seen this week’s guest in the middle of the show ring with a camera in his hands, ready to shoot the perfect shot. This week I learned all about show photography from Howie Schatzberg of Howard Schatzberg Photography ( Howie is passionate about his career in Equine Photography and travels to over 25 shows a year. Howie is the official photographer for the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show, the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show, the UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show, the US Nationals Arabian and Half Arabian Horse Show, Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, and the National Show Horse finals. We learn all about Howie’s origins as a photographer, discuss the unique features that make the Arabian breed so special to photograph, and relive some of Howie's favorite photography moments. Howie even gives some tips for capturing the perfect action shot. So sit back, learn, and listen  all about equine show photography. 
July 14, 2020
Arabian Reining with Crystal McNutt
Today I sit down and chat with Crystal McNutt of McNutt performance horses ( Crystal is inspiring, motivating, and just an awesome person to have in the equine community. She is an active competitor and member of NRHA (National Reining Horse Association), ARHA (Arabian Reining Horse Association), AHA (Arabian Horse Association), and AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) and has earned multiple top tens and National titles throughout her career. In addition, she has been named Working Western Trainer of the Year 5x and in 2011 earned the title Horse Woman of the Year. Crystal was also an alternate at the World Equestrian Games in 2006 and is currently working on qualifying for the prestigious The Run For the Million competition. She owns and operates McNutt Performance Horses where she trains and coaches non-pro and youth riders for success in show ring. We chat about all things reining while Crystal provides valuable insights about competing and riding Arabians. 
June 30, 2020
Getting Local with Megan Gilker Thomas and Jessica Gilker
This week we learn about local level involvement from longtime Arabian horse proponents, Meegan Gilker Thomas and Jessica Gilker of JAG Arabians. Meegan and Jessica have been involved with Arabian horses at the local level from a young age and have carried on their advocacy for the breed with their leadership in their local club, Georgia Arabian Horse Association. We discuss successfully running an event from the ground up, understanding using social media as a tool, and adjusting to industry changes while supporting club members. Join us and get inspired to love the Arabian breed at the local level! Find a local club in your region: Get Local Map:
June 16, 2020
Owning and Operating an Arabian Breeding Farm with Lori and Peter Conway
This I week I sit down and chat with the owners of Conway Arabians (, Lori and Peter Conway. Lori and Peter have been breeding and training Arabian and Half Arabian horses since 1999 and have amassed multiple top ten and national championships from horses they have owned and bred. Breeding horses that exhibit quality over quantity sits at the cornerstone of Peter and Lori’s program. Not only are they exemplary industry professionals, they also embody a passion for Arabian horses that are bred to move you. Glean great industry knowledge as we discuss desirable breeding stock characteristics, navigating foal purchases with the use of social media, and the future of Arabian breeding. 
June 02, 2020
Distance Riding 101
This week we are going the distance with Alanna and Gunnar Frank. Alanna and her husband Gunnar own and operate Iron Vikings Equine Endurance in Vinita, Oklahoma where they not only host endurance rides on their ranch, but also sell a myriad of products that assist in the comfort and health of distance riders and their horses. Alanna and Gunnar have been riding and competing with their Distance horses since 2006 and throughout that time have completed multiple 50 and 100 mile rides all over the country. On this episode, we discuss what makes distance riding so unique and learn more about getting started in the sport.  Iron Vikings Equine Endurance: Meet An Arabian Horse Month: Virtual Clinics: Registration Forms:
May 18, 2020
All things Arabian Horses with AHA President Nancy Harvey and AHA Vice President Deborah Johnson
This week we chat with Nancy Harvey, the current President of the Arabian Horse Association and Deborah Johnson, the current Vice President, as they give us the inside look at their unique beginnings in the horse industry. Join us and get the exclusive on their first experiences with the Arabian Horse and why they chose to stay with the Arabian Breed. Nancy and Deborah provide insight on how to become more involved in the horse industry while remaining relevant in an ever changing world. Sit back, listen, and learn with us from these industry leaders. Link to Virtual Clinics:
May 04, 2020