Jack and Kay Carmody transition from training and showing horses to enjoying trail ridesJack and Kay Carmody live in a beautiful and privately located area where their ranch spreads out over 100 acres of spring green pastures and wooded areas near Hartman, Ark. Their home is over 140 years old. “It used to be an old nunnery and when our house burnt, I moved this building out here and made it our new house,” said Jack. “It took a lot of work because I also worked a full time job and broke horses too.”
Jack stated, “Horses have been in my life forever.” Jack broke and trained horses for himself, his sons and other people. This helped supplement his income as he raised his five boys.
Kay had always had horses too, so the couple had a lot in common with loving horses and competing in horse events.
The couple started showing with Westark Horse Show Association and showed for over 10 years. Jack was on the board and Kay was vice president and over fundraising where they raised over $10,000. At that time they were in so many horse shows that they were meeting themselves coming and going. Jack suggested the couple get into trail riding, so the couple joined the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). “We started gathering points,” said Kay, “and we won bridles, buckles and trophys of all sorts.”
With encouragement from son, Chris, Jack purchased an indoor arena. Jack explained that Chris is a dreamer, always dreaming, whereas Jack is the detail man. So they put the two together and they now have an indoor arena with a really fancy barn. The arena has no sides yet but it is a covered arena.
Jack designed the stalls to make them more accessible after years of doing things the hard way. Chris built them so you can just open the door to let the horse in and out of the stall, or you can slide a bolt, and the whole front of the stall will open to clean with the skid loader, along with installing a metal hay feeder. It opens to the outside, and you put the hay and feed in and close the feeder back. It keeps the horse’s head down while eating, which is a normal way for them, instead of reaching up to get hay from an upward angle.
Jack goes by how a horse looks as to how much and what kind of feed to give to a horse. Jack stated, “If a horse is dull eyed and has a dull coat, I deworm them first and then start them out on good hay, preferably bermuda. The feed includes about a cup full a day of Horseman’s Edge, sunflower seeds or rice hulls. The quantity fed is according to how they have to perform. I also feed at regular times everyday. Biotin is good for foot problems.”
All Jack and Kay do now is trail ride and host trail rides. They have six water and electric hookups and two cabins for people that don’t have living quarters in the trailers. “People just come out, play, ride and have fun,” said Kay. “It’s not a business but we do have clinics here. And when some of our friends want to come out and have competitive trail rides, they can come out and have them here.”
Jack and Kay’s grandchildren love to ride. In their opinion a horse is the best thing for a kid. It keeps them interested in riding plus gets them outside and learning.   


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