Journal at the World

September 1, 2011

Sharing the Love

A shared love for halter horses has brought this Select couple close.

By Samantha Eckert
The American Quarter Horse Journal

Keith and Rose Bode

The Bodes are attending their first Select World Show together.

Keith and Rose Bode of Columbus, Indiana, have been happily married for 11 years.

It might have something to do with their shared love for halter horses.

Both of them showed horses when they were young. After they got married, they built a house, and behind it was some land.

The first few years, a neighbor planted soybeans on it. Keith didn’t like the amount of dust produced by the harvesting so they decided to turn it into pasture.

“So we both decided horses were the thing we wanted,” Keith said.

“It’s kind of a mutual thing," Rose said. "We both love cattle. We both love horses.”

That's how it all started.

“Then we bought George,” they said in unison. A little gelding, he wasn’t shown much.

“Back when I showed, you had one horse for all the classes. It showed in halter and pleasure. So when I got back in, I thought it was the same way,” Keith admitted.

But it wasn’t. The breed had become more specialized. Keith and Rose both were ready to hit the big time.

“We went to the (All-American Quarter Horse) Congress and the (AQHA) World (Championship Show) and bought some new horses there,” Keith said. “I’ve always kind of liked halter.”

“And the folk we met, that’s what they did,” Rose added.

Ken and Dawn Allen were among the folks who pushed the Bodes into becoming the halter addicts they are now.

“We bought a nice filly off of Andy (Staton), and he offered to keep it,” Keith said. “So we slowly started switching the horses over to them.”

The Bodes say they have never had a fight over a horse.

“We have never had a major fight,” Rose said. “The biggest thing might be that one of us thinks, ‘This is a lot of money; are you sure you want to do this?’ But we just say ‘OK, if that’s what you want.'”

Keith still works when he is at home at his business and Rose works part time at an accounting office.

The couple has six grandchildren who keep them busy when they are not at horse shows.

“We try to keep them equal,” Keith said about how they decide who shows which horse. “We put the horses in both of our names. If I have too many, well Rose needs something to show. We’re into the breeding, too. So we have broodmares. So we usually have babies. We try to keep something moving all the time.”

Both of them enjoy showing both mares and geldings.

“The one I got now, the performance gelding, he is just so nice to show. He may be a rodeo tomorrow, but so far he has been really great. I’ve really had fun with him,” Keith said about his bay gelding JST Topsail Skip that they call “Shooter.”

“I kind of like my geldings, but I have this 2-year-old filly. She is pretty new, I was lucky enough to get her qualified (for the 2011 Adequan Select World Championship Show). She’s pretty nice, pretty quiet,” Rose said about RGD Sensational. “But now I am showing Happy Hour, our 3-year-old gelding, and he has done really well.”

Keith and Rose both joke that at their age, they just like the nice calm ones.

“But you do have to get the yearlings out, you have to get the babies out,” Keith said.

“We’ve had fun,” Keith said.

“We have,” Rose added.

“You meet the most wonderful people.”  Keith said. “We have just had a lot of fun, going new places and meeting new people. That’s what makes it fun.”