Hi everyone! Tori, AHYA Vice President, is joining me for this post because we both had a wonderful trip to the American Youth Horse Council Symposium (AYHC) in Hartford, Connecticut!
We arrived in Hartford late on Friday, April 12. Bright and early Saturday (4:00 a.m. California time) we were already at our first session given by Marla Lowder on cowboy ethics. She spoke to us about life guidelines like "Live each day with courage" and "Talk less and say more," among many others. For us this was very interesting because we are able to apply these guidelines to every part of our lives like academics, social relationships, and of course with our horses.
After cowboy ethics, all the kids hopped on busses and drove to the University of Connecticut (UConn) where we were dropped off at their horse arena. We were then broken up into groups and participated in what they called the "Equestrian Olympics" where we had to complete several different activities. Our first one was a race by carrying bales of hay to the opposite end of the arena and spelling out AYHC. Then we had to blindfold our partners and guide them through a trail course. Next, we did a cloverleaf three-legged race, and then a hippology contest, and last but not least had to put together an English bridle under the clock. It was a lot of fun and we got great exercise! We were then brought to the barns where we were taught how to use the Henneke scoring system to determine a horse's body conditioning.
Once we were finished, we met up with the adults who came and ate lunch while UConn put together a bunch of demonstrations. The demos included the Morgan drill team, the English competition team, the UConn breeding program, and the polo team. There were also demonstrations about Dressage, endurance, and distance riding. All were very interesting and it was great for me (especially as a senior) to see what I could be getting involved with on a team in college next year. Each coach gave us a glimpse into what the students were learning and how they were taught. We then returned to the hotel and had a couple of hours to nap!
The Awards Banquet followed Saturday night. It was great to celebrate the AYHC award winners and new members of the Board of Directors, including our very own Shawna Strickland! Lendon Grey spoke to us about all her accomplishments (2 time Olympian, many National Championships in Dressage, etc.) and above all how to be a good learner and a good teacher when it comes to riding. She also talked about being fair to our horses, which many often forget to do in pursuit of a ribbon. Afterwards, we danced for a little with the other youth.
Sunday morning we were able to sit in on a session about judging and what a judge looks for in a class, which was great for me to hear as I prepare for the upcoming shows! We were even able to practice and judged a class by video.
All these activities were fun and educational, and it was really great and beneficial for Tori and I to absorb how other horse industries work and what their youth are interested in so we can share that with you all! It was also amazing to see how horse people from all different kinds of industries like 4-H, FFA, AQHA, and NRHA came together to share their love of the horse, no matter the breed.
I hope you were able to see some of the pictures we took on Instagram and Facebook! If not, follow us at @arabianhorseyouth and like our Facebook page.
Hi guys, I have a lot to fill you in on as the AHYA board has recently come back from our March meeting at AHA headquarters in Denver, Colorado.
To start off, the majority of the board flew in on Thursday and toured Denver on Friday. Unfortunately I missed out because of school; however, I heard it was a ton of fun! By Friday night the whole board was in the hotel and so we met for dinner and hung out for a while.
Clockwise from black hat: Morgan, Brooke, Sydney, Klaire, and Nicole enjoying some downtown Denver shopping on Friday!
Saturday and Sunday were devoted to meetings where we talked about what was going on in each region, fundraising ideas, and most importantly what we were going to do to make Youth Nationals another amazing show this year. The activities for Youth Nationals this year will be Flying Pigs, the Welcome Party, Parade of Regions, Stick Horse Contest, Ice Cream Social, Hippology Contest, Dog Race, Get Flocked, Road Apple Rumble, Judging Contest, and of course CONVENTION! They're all going to be really fun so get excited!
Likewise, our theme for Youth Nationals is "Root for the Home Team," so everyone get out your sports jerseys and other things that can tell the country what makes your region so special.
We also came to a great decision of adopting a charity for the Youth to support, and this charity will be the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This means that some of the proceeds for most activities you all participate in at Youth Nationals will go to this foundation to help a child in need.
Each committee talked about how to make our industry better, so stay tuned for those updates during Convention at Youth Nationals.
When we weren't in session we had lunch with our adult counterparts on the AHA board. Our President and Vice President, Cynthia and Nancy, even sat in on our meetings to help us. We truly have an amazingly supportive team.
Tori, Me, Hannah, and Katie at dinner Saturday night!
We're always talking about how to keep you guys out there involved so please, please, please check us out on all our social media! Post things to our Facebook, tag us on Instagram, and of course feel free to email any one of us for questions, concerns, and ideas!
I can't stress enough how happy I am with this year's Board of Directors. Everyone is working very hard to make our industry even better!
Hello everyone! It's only been a couple months since our Youth National show and Convention, but so much has happened since that I am excited to share with you all. The Arabian Horse Association Convention was held this week from Tuesday to Saturday where several resolutions were discussed and voted on as well as a new adult executive board that was appointed. The youth board all met and sat in on Convention Saturday. It was very interesting to see the adult board at work - there's a lot to do behind the scenes!
I was very excited to make a speech during this convention talking about the amazing things our youth board has in store this year as well as how great last year went for the youth. It was great to see the Youth of the Year award go to region three's Tori Oto, our AHYA Vice President and one of my best friends. This award recognizes an outstanding youth each year, and you all should apply next year.
Saturday night everyone at Convention, including the youth board, dressed up for the Presidential Banquet where we welcomed our new AHA executive board. Cynthia Richardson is our new AHA President who has shared with us her enthusiasm and support of the youth, so everyone get excited! She will be attending Youth Convention in Albuquerque this year if you do not get a chance to meet her before then. The next morning the youth board met bright and early for our board meeting. Everyone is working very hard to make this year memorable for everyone. We talked about ideas for the coming year, with a focus on Youth Nationals. We discussed activity ideas for you all at Youth, fundraising ideas, classes we would like to see added to the show schedule, and our theme for Youth Nationals this year. Overall, our main focus is making sure everyone is informed on what we as a board of directors are working on. Every one of us is dedicated to voicing your opinions so please email us with anything you have on your minds!
Contacting us is very easy. We are all connected to our emails (that you can find on the Who's Who page) as well as on the AHYA or AHA Facebook. We'd love to hear from you!