About Alberta Stock Horse Association
The Northern Alberta Reined Cow Horse Club was founded in 2010 when a group wanted to bring exposure of the sport to our geographic area. In 2024, the club rebranded and is now know as the Alberta Stock Horse Association. Our passion for growth is evident in the variety of shows, clinics and events held throughout the year. ASHA is a non-profit organization that relies on sponsorship to give reined cow horse hopefuls and enthusiasts the opportunity to compete, develop skills, and have fun by attending professionally run cow horse shows. Recently, we have created youth programs that encourage participation in all levels of competition while maintaining an atmosphere where our young members can develop friendships and support each other.
History of the Stock Horse
It’s a judged competition involving horses and cattle. Each horse and rider complete a reining pattern. Each horse and rider then control a cow through a series of turns and circles. What is it called? Is it reined cow horse? Or is it stock horse?
The most contemporary of you will ask Google. That may clarify things or….. NOT. Since the question involves old school activities with cowboys, cowgirls and livestock lets find the answer with an old school approved method. Anecdotal history. That will be accurate and a lot more educational. In the early 1940’s two groups of horse folks were working to preserve the fabled vaquero methods of training and riding in California. In southern California the emphasis was on stock horse competitions. It
was all about the reined work and riding skills that followed the Spanish cowboy tradition. Classes such as “stock seat equitation” provided riders with great background in the vaquero history and style. The northern California group focused on the cow work competitions of the reined cow horse. The reined work was more a secondary result of following the proven vaquero methods of working cattle astride a
horse. By the end of the 1940’s the two groups had blended. They became the California Reined Cow Horse Association. Now the division between stock horse and reined cow horse was blurred and soon would be seamless. The competitions flourished in California and beyond. The California Association became the
National Reined Cow Horse Association. Canadians followed suit albeit later in the calendar. In 1981 the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association
was formed. The mandate was to promote and preserve the vaquero traditions. This mandate was accomplished by promoting shows across the province featuring the reined Cow horse or stock horse. The labels had become synonymous.
That fact was evident in that a predominant number of the contests offered were called stock horse shows. Throughout the 1980’s and beyond competitors enjoyed shows in Cochrane, Pincher Creek, Medicine Hat and Olds. All these shows carried the moniker “Stock Horse Show” preceded by the name of the hosting town.
Today, stock horses or reined cow horses are alive and well in Alberta. Proven by the fact that two healthy and vibrant associations offer competition venues across the province for the cow horse enthusiasts. The original question we asked is answered. The names are synonymous. Either name brings exhibitors
and spectators the same skills and thrills. The excitement is at the cow horse shows. See you there!
A club founded by and for Reined Cow Horse enthusiasts.
We aim to be a friendly supportive organization dedicated to introducing the stock horse competitor to the show arena. We aim to provide professionally run shows balanced between camaraderie and competitiveness.
We aim to encourage skill development in cutting, stock horse and judging, through a variety of expertly guided training experiences. We aim to inspire an atmosphere where individuals can compete, have fun, and develop relationships and encourage each other to new successes.