If you’re ever going down to Amarillo, Texas, then here’s one attraction you surely wouldn’t want to miss: the great American Quarter Horse Museum. It’s very easy to get there, and if you love the greatest of American horses, than be sure to go and check it out.
However, if you’re not feeling particularly enticed into going, we’re here to give you a few arguments as to why you really, really should. First of all:
It’s the Number One American Quarter Horse Museum of the Nation
Because of the hard work of the people at the American Quarter Horse Association, this museum dedicated to the greatest of American breeds of horses is not only the best and possibly only museum specifically set on a single type of horse, it’s the best horse museum in the entire US.
And that says plenty about the US ranchers’ love for the beautiful horsey that has made its name as one of the most active contributors to American history. The American Quarter is not just a horse, it’s an entire legend based not only on myths, but on true stories of the horse’s skill and finesse.
The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum pays tribute to the beautiful Steeldust by displaying every single part of its rich history, through six amazing main attractions. One of these rooms houses a timeline that goes back way into the 1900s and tells us stories of men, women, and horses that made history in that time.
It’s Been Founded by People with the Same Love of Horses
Do you often get the feeling that nobody loves or cares about horses quite just like you? Do you think that horsemanship is slowly fading into obscurity? Or that respect for horses has all but disappeared what with the less visibility that it has come to have?
Well, some people still muster the same respect as you do. And if you go to the American Quarter Horse Museum in Amarillo, you may just understand what I’m saying. These people did not just put a few equine statues here and there and some pawn-shop bought memorabilia. No. Each and every exhibit has been created with utmost professionalism. And it’s been so ever since the foundation was laid back in the 1940s.
So, in a sense, by visiting the museum you’re not simply seeing past attractions. You’re reconnecting with a time when horses were still tantamount with means of transportation. You’re getting back in touch with the group of people that started this enterprise.
It Has a Very Rich Foundation History
The American Quarter Horse Association birthed in the first month of spring, 1940. Right then and there, at one rancher’s dining table, a group made up of the wealthiest and most famous ranchers of the county gathered. They sat around the table with one single desire. They wanted to save and preserve their favorite horse – the American Quarter Horse.
Little did they know then that what they would start that night would materialize in such a rich and fruitful museum as the American Quarter Horse Museum is today. The talk that one evening was centered on the important contributions that the short but skilled horse had had to American history. The arguments were that it was this horse, and this horse only, which was there during all the key moments of the nation’s formation.
Still, there was another subject that was on everyone’s minds. And if you visit the museum, this little story is sure to be presented to you:
The Legend of Steel Dust
Steel Dust is more legend than actual horse. Yet, this being said, this beautifully named horse is also the origin of the fame surrounding the American Quarter. Were it not for this legend, it may well be that the people that gathered around the table that night would not have agreed to fight to protect this unique breed of horse.
Steel Dust was the horse which, after coming to Texas as a yearling back in 1844, later drove the Longhorn cattle that were native to the region up the trails into the Great Plains. This spawned a great many ranches being established in the vast expanse. At the same time, Steel Dust was said to be able to outrun just about every other breed of horse over the distance of a quarter mile race.
This drove the people interested in researching this story to conclude that this was the original American Quarter Horse, since the name and the legend seem to add up.
The Museum Is Divided Into Six Fascinating Attractions
From the moment you get to the American Quarter Horse Museum, you will be greeted by some amazing equine statues. On the Wall of Honor, you can see a herd of horses running towards you – if you look from the east. But if you look from the other side, you’ll see the names of the people who rode and owned those horses.
Once you enter the museum, you will be awestruck by the beauty of The Grand Hall. On the sides there are rock columns, in the middle on the floor lies a complicated engraving representing American Quarter horse bloodlines. Right in the front lies the emblem of the museum: a great big quarter horse engraved upon a round plate.
After this, you can see the history of the Quarter Horse in a 10 minute film displayed in the Ken & Laina Banks Theater. In the room, you can also see beautiful paintings by Orren Mixer. After you’re finished here, you can go to the Joni Hegel Education Gallery. There you can observe a unique exhibit on what it means to own a horse. This part of the tour is perfect for kids wanting to learn more about horse care.
After you’ve seen all these attractions, it’s time to go to the Timeline Exhibits. Over here, each inductee into the Association’s Hall of Fame is recognized for his contribution to the legacy of the American Quarter horse.
If at any point you get bored, although highly unlikely, you can ask the people there to go to the reading room. This is exactly what it sounds like. In a nice, western setting, you can sit down and read all the books in the room (if you can read that fast). The museum has an impressive collection of horse-related books.
We do hope we’ve convinced you to maybe stop by the museum once while you’re in the neighborhood. If you do decide to do that, here are a few pieces of information that may come in handy:
American Quarter Horse Museum Website: here
American Quarter Horse Museum Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday
American Quarter Horse Phone Number: (806) 376-5181
American Quarter Horse Museum Address:
2601 East I-40
Amarillo, Texas 79104
American Quarter Horse Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
American Quarter Horse Virtual Tour: here