Mark Gratny’s Quart Horses in Leavenworth

(Ernie Rodina) Hello, friends. I’m Ernie Rodina. Welcome to AGam in Kansas, the Horsin’ Around segment. Had a great opportunity to come out here to Mark Gratny’s Quarter Horses out in Leavenworth. Mark, great to see you. What a neat place you have out here. You got all kinds of great stuff happening out here. You’re training. You’re doing the reining. You’re doing the ranch horse. Tell us a little bit about your program. (Mark Gratny) Yes, we also stand studs, and have a breeding program, and have our own mares, and raise colts, and breed outside mares. Of course, we do a lot of lessons, and we have a lot of non-pros that ride with us, non-pros and amateurs who ride with us, and do the ranch riding and the reining both. (Ernie) Tell us the difference between a non-pro and an amateur. Is there a difference? (Mark) Yes. The amateurs are related to the AQHA or the Quarter Horse Association, whereas the non-pros are more related to the reining type situation. (Ernie) Well, you can definitely say that Mark Gratny Quarter Horses is a family operation. You’re all involved in horses. Just right down the road, you got your daughter Kelly and your son-in-law, got a great Heartland Equine Hospital. (Mark) Correct. (Ernie) Then Maggie comes home to show your daughter, and it’s got to be a lot of fun. (Mark) It is. Kelly just had our first grandchild, five months old now. She’s back showing, and last week at the American Royal, she got qualified on two horses for next year’s ranch riding. (Ernie) Talking about your grandchild, you got a horse picked out for him yet? (Mark) This one right here. [Laughs] (Ernie) I wondered about that. (Mark) We already bought a pony. (Ernie) A pony and everything. (Mark) Popcorn. (Ernie) Popcorn. I tell you what; it’s just a lot of fun. I just want to say how do you guys– how about this ranch riding, how it has exploded? (Mark) It is. It expanded multi times more than we ever thought it would. It’s basically a horsemanship pattern for adults. Of course, our youth class too, but it’s really come on strong. (Ernie) One of the things I hope we get out of this segment, is I want our viewers to say, “I want to get in. I would like to ride with Mark.” They don’t necessarily have to have a horse at first to get introduced to this program, but you’ll help them find a horse, and get them set up. It’s all about matching that rider and that horse together, isn’t it? (Mark) Right. Horses vary. It takes a really smooth moving horse that knows how to change at the different gates, the walk, trot, and the canter while they show. (Ernie) Tell us as little bit about the ranch horse patterns. There’s more than one pattern, I take it? (Mark) Yes, there are seven or eight patterns, and a judge’s …as long as he gets the required movements; he can make up his own pattern, even in the AQHA shows. All those shows, of course you need five horses for a point, and that’s what you try to do, is try to get qualified for the world show. It takes about four points this year. (Ernie) Well, it’s really doing that shot, a lot of energy into the reining shows, into the Quarter Horse shows and everything from that standpoint. I just think that my hat goes off to what you’re getting done. The best way to go get a hold of you, I found you on your website, Mark Gratny Quarter Horses. Do you have a Facebook page? (Mark) No. (Ernie) That could be coming down the road. (Mark) That can be coming down the road. (Ernie) But I tell you what, Mark, thank you so much for being part of the Horsing Around segment on AG am in Kansas. Hope to come back out here again. (Mark) You bet. Anytime. (Ernie) Thanks, and make sure you check out our radio show, Better Horses Radio Show. Go to I’m Ernie Rodina, and adios.

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