By Tara MatslerThe American Quarter Horse JournalJanuary 27, 2014
Every other year, AQHYA members from around the world gather for an educational-, leadership- and competition-based event: the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup. (Journal photo) BELOW: Renee Pope shows off the training progress she has made with her Young Horse Development Program filly, "Kit."
I won’t divulge any numbers, but my own AQHYA days are long since passed. But lucky for me, AQHA’s youth association has left a lasting impact on my life.
Where do I start? I guess when I was 10 years old – that’s when I joined AQHYA – my path through youth was down the horse-show trail, where I picked up self-confidence, a sense of responsibility and leadership skills. Best of all, I gained an overwhelming appreciation for the American Quarter Horse and its Association.
I always like to brag that the American Quarter Horse paid my way through college. It’s true! Between scholarships from the American Quarter Horse Foundation, my AQHA state affiliate, plus the National Collegiate Equestrian Association team I competed for, I was able to graduate from college debt-free.
When you look at it that way, $15 for a one-year AQHYA membership is minuscule. For most of the things AQHYA members gain from their $15 membership, you really can’t put a price on those experiences. What makes AQHYA membership all the more appealing is that for a lot of the programs, horse ownership is not required.
To list all the awesome opportunities AQHYA offers would be quite an undertaking, so here are eight reasons why an AQHYA membership truly pays for itself.
Since my internship for AQHA Publications in 2010, then when I started as AQHA’s Internet editor in 2011, I’ve seen story after story about instances where an AQHYA membership paid off. Even if you only try one of these programs, trust me – you won’t regret it.
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.
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