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Youth in Action: How to Plan a Horse Clinic

Looking to make an impact on the state 4-H level, an AQHYA director shares how she planned a free Ride the Pattern clinic in Nebraska.

By Ashley Anderson, AQHYA Region Two director
The American Quarter Horse Journal
January 14, 2014

AQHYA Director Ashley Anderson coordinated a free Ride the Pattern clinic

Ashley Anderson, an AQHYA Region Two director, was overwhelmed when 200 people turned out to watch the free Ride the Pattern clinic she coordinated at the Nebraska State 4-H Horse Show. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Anderson)

With inspiration from the popular AQHA Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinic series, I coordinated and planned a Ride the Pattern clinic for July 14 at the Nebraska State 4-H Horse Show in Grand Island, Nebraska. The clinic was in the evening and lasted an hour.

I scheduled AQHA Professional Horseman Danielle Marie Burns of Omaha to teach the clinic, along with my mother, AQHA judge Kathy Anderson, as the co-host.

For the clinic, we only featured showmanship, as this was the first year for this event and I didn’t want to pack in too much. I had three members of the Nebraska Quarter Horse Youth Association demonstrate the prelim patterns for both the junior and senior divisions. The girls made common mistakes for each pattern so that the audience could see the difference between good and bad patterns. The clinic had roughly 200 attendees, a much higher number than I anticipated.

In preparation for this event, I made a flyer to put into each exhibitor’s handbook. I also posted flyers around the grounds, in barns and both offices.

I had great response to this event. Many kids chose to ask questions of the trainers at the end. I also received comments about never experiencing something like this before, so overall I was extremely thrilled with the turn out.

Thanks to the popularity of the clinic, I am considering having this again in 2014, and possibly adding horsemanship.

Because opportunities abound for horse-interested kids, the new AQHYA blog, Youth in Action, captures those adventures. Learn more about the endless prospects for young horsemen through AQHYA at www.aqha.com/youth-in-action.