It’s time again to saddle up the family for some cowboy fun and education.
City slickers, cowboys and cowgirls alike can ride a quarter horse, hear stories of a 19th-century cowboy actor, make a stick horse and more — and all for no cost — during the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum’s National Day of the Cowboy festivities from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturday.
“We are excited to celebrate National Day of the Cowboy again this year with our local community,” said Craig Huffhines, AQHA executive vice president. “Not only will we honor cowboys who have shaped our Western heritage, but we’ll educate attendees on the history of the West and give youth the opportunity to experience their first ride on an American Quarter Horse.”
The National Day of the Cowboy campaign was founded in 2004 to preserve, protect and promote the cowboy and America’s Western heritage. The campaign lobbies for the passage of a national resolution designating the fourth Saturday of every July a permanent national celebration. The campaign believes in honoring cowboys and cowgirls for their enduring contribution and their courageous, pioneering American spirit.
One of the goals of this year’s National Day of the Cowboy is participating in the American Horse Council’s “A Time to Ride” initiative.
“The goal of A Time to Ride is to increase the benefits of horse activities,” Sarah Davisson, manager of special events for AQHA said.
Children can begin signing up to ride a Quarter Horse at 10 a.m.
“The test rides will start at 11:30 and go until 2 p.m.,” Davisson said. “Another feature this year that is new is a chance to see Charros (Mexican cowboy riding in ritual dress and formation) in action and visit the exhibit in the museum.”
The Amarillo library will again read stories about cowboys and Michael Grauer, curator of Western history and art for the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, will portray a cowboy and debunk some of the myths — like guns being shot from atop a horse.
“This is a highlight for us every year,” Davisson said. “National Day of the Cowboy and the American Quarter Horse fit together, and it is a great event for families.”