Western Riding

Al Aska
1981 - 2007
showing actively
1988 - 2000

more pictures of Al Aska here

more text about Al Aska here

UB Kids Habibi
born 1997
showing from 2002

more pictures of Kid here

more text about Kid here

Click images to enlarge

What is Reining? see the explanation of the
National Reining Horse Association of Switzerland



UB Kids Habibi (Kid)

I bought this nice sorrel gelding in December 2002. This typical American Quarter Horse was born in 1997 at the place of his breeder, Dr. Thomas Ulbrich, Vettweiss-Kelz, Germany.

As a four year old he has been imported into Switzerland and trained by Peter Markwalder. His pedigree shows famous stallions as Colonel Freckles and Dry Doc of whom he got his cowsense and reining abilities. The Certificate of Registration with his pedigree can be seen here.

He is a well trained reining horse and has already been successful at several shows. It is my goal to further educate him to a Cowhorse and Allround horse.

Further reports on Kid:
Dear English speaking friends: I apologize for not being able to translate the annual reports on Kid anymore for time reasons. But as you can see from the German text, we are still doing good and I would gladly like to tell you more once we meet personally. Hope to hear from you soon.

Kid in the Year 2011:
Fortunately, Kid was fit and healthy all year and we were able to ride more than 50 classes. It was not only the quantity but the quality was also there. Kid is now a mature horse, calm and listen carefully. In the Ranch Horse Shows we had a good start already in Eiken, where we won the ranch trail and ranch sorting. In Orpundand Würenlos we were 3rd in ranch trail and in each of the three tournaments second in the overall standings. In the cattle work, we were always well classified, and the two Working Cow Horse tests in Tramelanand Matzendorf we ended with a 9th resp. a third place. Just as Kid gets always better in Trail this goes also for Super Horse, where we won the silver medal in the Open Class in the Swiss championship and in Matzendorfwe won the first place. We went two times to Mooslargue to participate in NRHA Shows and both times we got third places in Limited Non Pro and Prime Time Open classes. At the Swiss Championship in Reining we won a 4th place in Prime Time Open. In the SWRA annual ranking we received the High Point Trophies for Super Horse LK1 and Reining LK1.

Kid in the Year 2010:
In the beginning of the year there were still some up's and down's because of the hoof injury from last December, and therefore we could not participate in all the shows. However we had a good start of the season at the Easter show in Mooslargue with a score of 139.5. In Bellelay we won the Reining LK1A and got a 3rd place in Working Cowhorse. At the trail rides in Otelfingen and in Remigen, where we participated together with Olivia and her horse Nando, we could improve very much compared to previous years and landed within the first 10. One climax of the year was the Prime Time Open at the Swiss Championship in Reining at Matzendorf, where I as President of the SWRA lost the tie break for the first place against the President of the NRHA, Sven Friesecke, by only 0.5 points. At the Swiss Championship Western in Deitingen Kid showed a beautiful Superhorse pattern which brought us a 4th place. Although we participated only in three of the six SWRA shows, Kid got the Reserve High Point title in Amateur Western Riding. Despite everything it was a successful show year and we are looking forward to the next season.

Kid in the year 2009:
Our show season started at the NRHA Easter show with quite good scores. At the Pentecost show we could even improve and reached some good places. Due to last year's success we had to show in the highest performance class, LK1A, in the SWRA shows. Kid dominated the reining classes without problems and thus became High Point Champion Reining Senior Horses. In the Western Riding and Superhorse classes it was much more difficult to keep track with the competitors at this high level. The best places we got in autumn in Deitingen with a 4th and a 5th place. We like the Ranch Horse Festivals because they offer various challenges at a high level. In Eiken we got a 2nd place in Ranch Reining and in Niederrohrdorf we won the Ranch Sorting in an excellent run. We were the only team able to move all 7 cows to the other pen within the timeframe. We participated also in two Working Cowhorse classes. In Müllheim we got a 3rd and in Bellelay a 4th place. Due to the heavy professional workload in autumn we did not participate at the two NRHA shows and the Swiss Championship. Nevertheless the show season made a lot of fun. Before Christmas 2009 Kid hurt himself and scratched his hoof open to the dermis. It looked scary and Kid could not be ridden until end of February 2010. But now it has healed well and we are looking forward to the next show season.

Kid in the year 2008:
A successful year full of shows and trainings, also in Cow Work and Roping. In the NRHA Reinings we reached good scores at the beginning of the season, in the second half of the year we were no more able to participate due to an overload in the business work. On the other hand we had our first starts in trail rides together with Olivia and her horse Nando, which was a lot of fun. In Working Cowhorse at Müllheim we won 4. and in the Ranch Horse Festivals at Eiken 3. and at Niederrohrdorf even 2. of the whole event. Kid was with Peter Markwalder at the Eliesenhof Open Ranch Horse Versatility and was 3. of the total event. The SWRA-shows went very successful also, we made High Point Champions in Amateur Reining and in Amateur Western Riding. Therefore we have been promoted to participate in performance class 1A next year. At the Swiss Championship we won 4. in Amateur Western Riding and 6. in Superhorse Open.

Kid in the year 2007:
We had a very good start of the season at the Easter Show of NRHA in Mooslargue and at the SWRA Show in Fehraltorf (best amateur in Reining, Western Riding and Superhorse, Reserve Champion Amateur). In the beginning of May Kid hurt himself at the right hind leg, and since the antibiotics didn't work quickly, we lost half of the show season. We could start again only beginning of August at the 1st Ranch Horse Festival in Würenlos. But with a great success: we won the second place in Working Ranchhorse and the 3rd place overall! Then we participated with quite good success at the Euro Slide and at the NRHA Futurity. Beginning of October we got two second places in Amateur Superhorse and Amateur Reining and a third place in Amateur Western Riding at the SWRA show in Fehraltorf. At the Swiss Championship there was no reining contest and in Superhorse we rode a beautiful pattern but with a gross mistake so that we were not qualified for the final. However in Amateur Western Riding we got a third place in the finals. Although we participated only in two of the five SWRA shows, Kid got the Reserve High Point title in Amateur Superhorse. Despite everything it was finally a successful show year.

Kid in the year 2006:
The year 2006 was rather a year of consolidation and we could not reach any spectacular successes. Only in October at the Swiss Championship we could harvest: a silver medal in Reining Amateur, a bronce medal in Superhorse Open and a fifth place in Western Riding Amateur. I am specially proud of the success in Superhorse, Kid was really doing well.

Kid in the year 2005:
Fortunately we had no hoof or other health problems in the year 2005 so we could participate in all shows and clinics as planned. Thanks to our trainers Steffen Breug and Marie-Therese Bretscher we had a very successful year:

- NRHA CH Open Champion 2005
- NRHA CH Non-Pro Reserve Champion 2005
- SWRA High Point Horse 2005 Western Riding Amateur
- SWRA High Point Rating 2005 Superhorse 3rd place
- Open Working Cow Horse Müllheim 5th place

I enjoy this wonderful horse the longer the more.

Kid in the year 2004:
Because of hoof problems we could not participate in many shows in the beginning of the season. We got an improvement thanks to leather soles for the front hooves, and then we reached the following results:

- ERC Mooslargue NRHA Rookie 1st place
- Final Slide Wängi NRHA Rookie 1st place
- NRHA Rookie Champion 2004
- HHS Circuit Champion Nov. Amateur Reining 2004

First successes with UB Kids Habibi in 2003:
- SWRA Swiss Cup Limited Amateur Reining 1st place
- NRHA Rookie of the Year 2nd place
- Swiss Championship Finals Reining Amateur 9th place


Al Aska

Farewell to Al Aska in 2007:
On Wednesday April 30, 2007 I had to bring Al Aska to the eternal pasture. He was 26 years old in February. He suffered from pulmonary insufficience and got problems on warm days. Past Friday he could hardly breathe, so I had to take this decision.

Al Aska, my dear "Schnüfu", thank you for 23 years of faithfulness and I am sure you are much better now.

Al Aska in the year 2006:
In spring Al Aska had a colic and had to go to the vet hospital. They found out that two of his lower front teeth were broken and took them out. Now Al Aska is fine again and has no problems with eating despite of the missing teeth. He enjoys his life, finally retired after a long life full of success.

Al Aska in the year 2005:
The tendon problem did not improve, so Al Aska has been finally retired. We took away his shoes and he is now enjoying his life on the pasture. He gets his daily portion of Ginger which is very good for old horses and helps him very much. He turned 25 on February 17, 2006 and is still enjoying life.

Al Aska in the year 2004:
In August 2004 Al Aska hurt himself a tendon of the right front leg. The healing process now takes a long time for an old horse. Despite of the lameness Al Aska does not sufffer and enjoys the life on the pasture.

Al Aska im Jahr 2003:
With his 22 years and despite his various health problems, Al Aska is still in good shape and is being ridden on a regular basis.

In the beginning of this year he had to replace Kiddy in a Cow Clinic with Mike Bridges, because Kiddy was hurt. It was the first time for Al Aska to work with cows and he obviously had very much fun. With lots of verve he even showed younger horses how to do it!

Images from the past


Click to enlarge

Felix Ruhier & Al Aska

Swiss Champion:
1990 All Around Champion Amateur
1991 Western Riding Amateur
1991 Reserve Champion Amateur
1992 Reserve Champion Amateur
1993 Superhorse Open
1993 All Around Champion Amateur
1994 All Around Champion Amateur
1995 All Around Champion Amateur

High Point Horse:

1990 Western Riding Amateur
1991 Western Riding Amateur
1991 Pole Bending Open
1992 All Around Amateur
1993 Western Riding Amateur
1993 Reining Amateur
1993 All Around Amateur
1994 Reining Amateur
1994 Pole Bending Open
1994 All Around Amateur
1995 Western Riding Amateur
1995 All Around Amateur

He doesn't mind being a has-been;
It beats a never-was by far......
(James Bourke)

Al Aska retired from showing

The 19 years old Partbred Arabian Al Aska, one of the last allrounders in the Swiss western scene, has retired from the show sport. After 12 years of successful showing I decided not to participate anymore in shows with Al Aska as from the year 2000.

Al Aska and I began to show on 19 Juni 1988 at the qualification show in Uster, where we reached the 3rd place in Reining. Al Aska was a real allrounder, in the first years we participated in all eight disciplines which were open for Amateurs, from Pleasure to Reining and the races. In Rennaz 1991 for example we won the Pleasure, got a second place in Reining, third in Pole Bending and Western Riding and fourth in Trail and Barrel Race. Nowadays in the age of the specialists something like this is unthinkable.

In the past twelve years we qualified and participated nine times at the Swiss Championships in Western Riding. We were four times All Around Champion Amateur and two times Reserve Champion Amateur. In 1991 we were Swiss Champion in Western Riding Amateur and in 1993 in Superhorse Open. Besides that we reached 17 High Point Horse titles during these years.

The first climax of the last showing season (1999) was a very demanding Trail in Faido, where Al Aska worked in a excellent manner even though he is not a specialized Trail horse and we got a fourth place. The second one was our improvised presentation of a Western Riding Pattern without halter and reins in Poliez-Pittet.

The arthrosis in Al Aska's hip joint which began in 1996 is now well under control with Acupuncture, Physiotherapy and homeopathic pills. Also the bone fissure in the right knee which happened to Al Aska past November when he slipped in the frozen paddock has healed well again.

Now Al Aska has merited a calm life without showing, but riding out in the forests and doing some regular workout in the paddock to stay in shape.

I enjoy remembering all the shows with Al Aska, as well as the time spent with all my friends who have the same views about equestrian sports respecting the horses.

Our best wishes with Al Aska's motto:

he doesn't mind being a has-been, it beats a never-was by far

Link to SWRA Swiss Western Riding Association:

PHONE 056 241 24 38 · FAX 056 241 23 68 ·