Chat Transcript – Leslie Lange

EquiSearchStaff – Welcome. Tonight we will be chatting with horsewoman Leslie Lange

EquiSearchStaff – Leslie has a distinguished showing career including two All American Quarter Horse Congress championships, three AQHA world championships, and one reserve world championship. Leslie and her husband, Tom, train all-around horses and coach youth and amateurs from their T&L Quarter Horses in Greeley, Colorado. When Leslie is not riding, training, teaching, or showing, she is scoring from the sidelines as a judge. Please feel free to ask expert Leslie any questions!

EquiSearchStaff – Leslie, can you tell us a little bit about what you have been doing recently?

LeslieLange – Hi there! My husband and I just returned from Italy–doing a 4-day series of clinics. We had a great time and learned a lot about the horse industry taking off in Europe.

EquiSearchStaff – Can you tell us what people in your clinics were focusing on?

LeslieLange – People in the clinics were looking for an all-around horse. We did a full day of Western riding, trail, showmanship, horsemanship, hunt seat and hunt seat equitation. The Western riding and trail days were most interesting to me. We had some people who already competed in those events. Most of the people I visited with come to the world shows as spectators. They might have horses both places–some with American trainers and European trainers. The lady that hired me to go over first contacted me to go over in 1995–just after I won the World show. We met again the end of January–during the Sun Circuit. Then, everything fell into place.

Roger – Hi, Leslie. I was wondering what type of horse is best for trail classes. I have a relatively quiet Thoroughbred that I have been riding English and want to try Western since there are more opportunities in my area. What do you think?

Jack – Hi, I am new to Quarter Horses, I have ridden Arabs all of my life. I would like to start showing, just small local shows at first. Where should I start? My horse is 3 and needs work, so do I actually. What should I look for in a trainer.

LeslieLange – Roger, In showing trail horses, I have a variety of types of horses. One horse is a compact Quarter Horse that’s 15 hands. The horse I’ve won the World show with is 16’1. The body type is not as important as training and maneuverability.

EquiSearchStaff – Leslie will get to your question in just a moment, Jack.

Roger – What about head carriage? My horse carries his head much higher than I’ve seen at trail classes. How do you get that effect?

LeslieLange – Roger, try your Thoroughbred in trail. The trot shouldn’t be a problem, you might have to work on his lope a little bit. You might need to shorten his stride a little bit.

LeslieLange – Roger, head carriage can be changed by using some training apparatus–I use a German martingale.

Roger – This is probably a dumb question, but remember I have been riding English! Can you tell me how to get the lope down?

EquiSearchStaff – b0o, please feel free to jump in with questions at any time

LeslieLange – Jack, look for someone who has a good record. If you’re looking for a trainer that specializes in a breed, check your professional horseman list with the breed association. Check the AQHA or APHA web sites for a trainer list.

EquiSearchStaff – There are no dumb questions, Roger!

LeslieLange – Jack, in your switch to Quarter Horses, you’ll find some local Quarter Horse shows. Check out some of the local shows, notice who does well and who you like, and find out how they train.

Roger – How did you get started, Leslie?

b0o_ – I have question. How old does a horse have to be to compete in competitive trail/endurance

LeslieLange – Roger, to slow your horse’s lope down, try counter cantering. All the lope is, is the Western term for cantering.

LeslieLange – English horses have a bigger stride. They canter with a 10-12′ stride–maybe a little shorter on the flat. In trail, we want the stride to be about half that. In stock horses, you’re working on a 6′-7′ stride for a lope in a trail class.

EquiSearchStaff – We’re just discussing the transition from English to Western.

LeslieLange – You want to be adjustable. In trail, like in English, you want to adjust your horse’s stride–especially when you’re loping poles. You want to get yourself set up and in the middle of the poles–you can do that by adjusting your stride.

LeslieLange – Boo, I don’t know about endurance, but in the breed shows, we have junior and senior divisions. Mostly, we start showing competitive trail at 4 years old. Junior classes are 5 and under. Senior is 6 and older.

b0o_ – Thanks

Roger – How did you get started, Leslie?

LeslieLange – Roger, I started showing as youth when I was 5. I grew up on a ranch–started riding when I was 2. My dad trained roping horses when I was little. I had brothers and sisters that jumped, and my parents went to rodeos. I competed in Quarter Horse shows as a youth–but my family had diverse riding backgrounds. Now, my dad’s retired. I’m the only one of 7 kids still riding. Now, my brothers and sisters are supportive. My brother raises a few cattle–other than that, they’re all city slickers now. I do have one niece that would love to come.

twomoon – What is the best way to wean a colt when the only seperation possible is the barn and the pasture and there right next to each other?

Roger – What is your world champion like–Wrought Iron Blues? What is his breeding?

LeslieLange – Twomoon, when we wean our colts, we start out with the mare and colt in the pasture. One night, we’ll put the mare and colt inside together. The next night, we put the colt in a stall next door. The mare and colt can see each other through the stall bars. We leave them like that until they’re more comfortable, then we’ll turn the mare out. We do make sure the colt is used to eating grain before they’re weaned.

Jack – Do you have your own breeding program?

twomoon – I only have 1 stall available to use

LeslieLange – The colts are usually pretty interested in switching to grain–by 6 weeks/ 2 months. We also have colt feeders so the mare can’t eat the colt’s grain.

LeslieLange – Since you only have one stall available, I’d put the colt in the stall and put the mare in the pasture. That’s probably more safe for the colt–they won’t run around and get caught in the fence.

twomoon – He is 2 months old and is eating hay and grain.

LeslieLange – Wrought Iron Blues is by Natural Iron and is out of a daughter of General Reveille.

LeslieLange – Jack, I don’t have a breeding program. I do have some broodmares, but I don’t have a stud of my own.

EquiSearchStaff – You may ask expert horsewoman Leslie Lange a question at any time!

LeslieLange – We have a stallion that we show, but we don’t stand him. We do book him, but take him to a breeding station and they do all the breeding.

LeslieLange – Twomoon, I suggest waiting to wean until your colt is 4-5 months old.

Jack – What do you look for in a young horse for a western pleasure/trail prospect?

LeslieLange – You can buy portable stalls. Also, if you wait a little to wean, it will be a lot easier–the mare will be ready!

LeslieLange – I want a horse that’s a good loper that has good cadence to his gaits. A good mover in trail is flat in his knee in the front and deep in the hock, behind.

LeslieLange – Good in his hocks, behind–that will mean they can carry themselves. They’re balanced in the rear. A good mover in the hunter world is a good canterer in Western. They might have a different head carriage, but the movement is the same.

LeslieLange – Our Quarter Horse breed is a little bit down hill–they might be a little bit more on the forehand. As long as they can be square on their shoulders, they’ll make a good trail horse.

LeslieLange – We do find when we get to QH bred hunters, our horses don’t have the range that hunter-breed horses do. Because of the way they’re built, they aren’t able to get the jump heights that a Thoroughbred can.

LeslieLange – What about English-type QHs? You only have to have one parent that’s a QH to be registered. You could have a QH with a Thoroughbred parent.

EquiSearchStaff – So, you can show a horse that is mostly Thoroughbred, for example, in the QH competitions?

LeslieLange – To have an English-type horse, you can breed this way. You’ll have a temporary registration at first, then you can earn points to get a permanent registration.

EquiSearchStaff – cj, do you show Quarter Horses?

cj – not these days… but I find the topic interesting ..thanks

cj – Can I still be in the room if I no longer show ??

EquiSearchStaff – Of course!!!!

bucky – Leslie, what do you mean by “deep in the hocks”

LeslieLange – Interdisciplinary training? It’s great to try some of all. In Italy, there was a 12 year old horse who had never done reining. He was in the reining clinic. By the end of the clinic, we had used horsemanship and trail and got the horse to change leads.

LeslieLange – Bucky–deep in the hocks means the lead leg reaches far up underneath the horse’s stomach.

cj – Leslie.. I am currently visiting in Australia. I’ve leased an Arab X mare for while I am here. We’ve been doing some pretty extensive trail riding and I’ve noticed alot of people having trouble with horses getting girth galls. Any suggestions on that ?

Jesse – Thanks. I may have to hold off until I get some things under control but I do have a few questions.

EquiSearchStaff – Leslie says that for girth galls, use bag balm or corona and try a fleece cinch cover.

EquiSearchStaff – She adds that you may need to give your horse a day off because they aren’t used to being worked so much.

LeslieLange – Bucky, Flat kneed is when the horse places its front foot and doesn’t bend its knee very much.

EquiSearchStaff – No problem, Jesse. But try to ask sooner rather than later because we only have Leslie with us for another five minutes!

LeslieLange – They move out of their shoulder for the extension in their forearm and don’t move their knee to get the extension in their leg.

Jack – Can they be trained to move like that or is it natural?

cj – thanks… I’ve got the fleece cover… Has she tried a neoprene cinch ?(sp)

LeslieLange – Jack, the flat kneed motion is natural–80 percent natural. Twenty percent can be enhanced by training.

LeslieLange – CJ, we use neoprene or leather cinches.

LeslieLange – Rope cinches are less and less popular.

Roger – Thanks, Leslie for a great chat. Gotta go!

EquiSearchStaff – Jesse, would you like to ask Leslie something before we say goodnight?

EquiSearchStaff – Thanks for joining us Roger

LeslieLange – Neoprene and leather are much easier to keep clean. With other cinches, hair can get balled up and it’s hard to get clean.

EquiSearchStaff – Good luck!

EquiSearchStaff – Any final words for us Leslie?

cj – Thanks Leslie…I’m sorry to arrived so late.

LeslieLange – Thanks for the chat! Enjoy your horses–whether it’s for show or hobby. If you want to show and continue your education, keep going. If you’re thirsty for knowledge, it will make you a better horseman.

Lena – Thanks Leslie!

Jack – Thanks for your time.

EquiSearchStaff – Thank you, Leslie. We appreciate your wisdom!

cj – I’ll make sure I have some real tough questions for ya next time !!

EquiSearchStaff – Please check out Horse and Rider magazine, the April issue for more of Leslie’s expertise.

cj – thanks for your help..

EquiSearchStaff – Leslie is available via email, for any further questions or comments.

EquiSearchStaff – A transcipt of this chat will be available on, so come back and refer to it for helpful information!

LeslieLange – Thanks for joining the chat room, CJ. Jesse, if you get things sorted out, email me at my email address.

EquiSearchStaff – Thank you Leslie and fellow chatters! Goodnight.

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