Friday Standing Ovation, Presented by Ovation Riding: Full Circle

This week’s honoree: the American Quarter Horse Association’s Full Circle program, designed to help facilitate the retirement or rehoming of American Quarter Horses by the people who love them.



Each Friday Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world. This week we salute the American Quarter Horse Association’s Full Circle program.

full circle

Originally called the Greener Pastures program, the AQHA launched this effort in 2009 specifically to help responsible horse owners who wanted to do what was right by their animals. Stories pop up in the equestrian world all the time of people finding long-lost animals they used to own–sometimes that horse is well-loved by its current owner and living happily in retirement, but too often that horse is found in poor shape or even in an auction yard. The renamed Full Circle program was designed to help prevent situations like the latter from happening.

Any American Quarter Horse owner who has an AQHA membership can enroll their horse in the Full Circle program. The AQHA will indicate right on the horse’s registration papers that it is enrolled in the program, meaning that any future owners will be able to contact that former owner should the horse ever be unwanted, unusable or just ready to retire. Enrolling in the program makes no guarantee that the former owner will be responsible for buying back or rehoming the horse, but it does offer that person the option to assist in any way they wish.


D. Sikes/Flickr/CC

The Full Circle program is completely free and totally voluntary, and it does not promise that all horses will find homes–but it does put the tools in horse owners’ hands to make connections and communicate, and may give former owners peace of mind knowing that they can still keep a connection to their horses even after they’re sold.

For more information on the Full Circle program, check it out on the AQHA website.

Go riding!

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.


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