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Young Horse Development Program

AQHYA’s Young Horse Development Program benefits the future of the American Quarter Horse industry.

The American Quarter Horse Association
May 16, 2013

My Days With Kit logo

The Young Horse Development Program brings together breeders who breed for a purpose with young people who benefit from a connection to horses.

Ranchers and the American Quarter Horses they breed aren’t the only beneficiaries of the American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Breeders Program. An arm of the program also gives a hand up to youth who see themselves breeding and training their own American Quarter Horses in the future.

As part of the Ranching Heritage Breeders Program, the Young Horse Development Program showcases stock being bred and raised by program members. AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders are AQHA member-owned ranches and individuals who represent longevity, honesty and integrity in raising quality American Quarter Horses. Ranching Heritage Breeders must own and breed a minimum of five American Quarter Horse mares used to produce ranch horses and must maintain a remuda of horses used to operate a working cattle operation.

Foals from these breeders are typically used on the ranch or sold for ranch horse competition or recreational riding. However, because Ranching Heritage Breeders know the values, morals and quality life experiences that horses give young people, some foals are designated for the  Young Horse Development Program, which ensures the foals a good home and exemplary care.  

The Young Horse Development Program was created to engage AQHYA members, between the ages of 12 to 18, by giving them an opportunity to participate in hands-on horse training that will teach the fundamentals of horsemanship as well as responsible ownership. The youth who participate have the chance to showcase their skills and knowledge acquired at designated events where they compete to earn scholarships and prizes.

The Young Horse Development Program brings together breeders who breed for a purpose with young people who benefit from a connection to horses. The horses used in the Young Horse Development Program benefit by receiving added care and attention as their ability is developed, often adding value to those horses. AQHYA members who participate in the program also learn the important role America’s ranches have even in today’s modern society.  

Read one Youth Horse Development Program participant’s blog at www.aqha.com/meet-miss-scarlett and watch a video blog from another program participant at www.aqha.com/my-days-with-kit.

For more information on the program contact Brandon Black at bblack@aqha.org.

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