Hi Everyone! I am Taylor Kyse, the newly elected Arabian Horse Youth Association President. I am so excited and honored to be here on behalf of the Arabian Horse Youth Association.
I am currently a freshman at Cal Poly Pomona and I am majoring in Agribusiness with a focus on Equines. In addition to taking classes and caring for my own horse, I volunteer at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center on campus almost every day of the week. This helps me continue to learn and grow with the Arabian Horse breed while attending college. Once I graduate, I hope to find a career related to equines in some way or another.
The first horse I sat on was an Arabian. The first horse I took a lesson on was an Arabian. My first horse is an Arabian. I was meant to be with Arabian horses. My parents knew I loved horses ever since I received my first plush horse when I was a baby. When I was 3, I got pink cowgirl boots and wore them everywhere while dreaming of riding a horse. Our good friend had an old Arabian horse and when I was 6, I was lucky enough just to sit on the back of him. And finally, when I was 10, I took my first lesson. The lessons were supposed to be once in a while, but they soon turned into every week. A few short months later, I went to my first Arabian horse show. I watched many of the classes at the show and was stunned by all the different disciplines as well as the astonishing beauty of the Arabian horse. And boy, was I hooked! My parents realized my attachment and acknowledged that I was probably going to need my own horse. So on March 21 of 2009, I walked into the barn for my regular Saturday lesson and there was a big pink bow sitting on the stall of my new Half-Arabian mare, Spunn Honey. I couldn’t remember a day in my life when I was any happier. Since then, my Honey and I have worked hard to become a perfect team and best friends. My experiences aren’t exclusive. Horses are amazing creatures and have the ability to change someone’s life, especially a child’s. And as my mother says, “horses keep her away from boys, alcohol, and the mall.”
Horses are amazing creatures and have the ability to change someone’s life, especially a child’s.
I’m excited to say that this is my 3rd year at convention. Every year I have looked forward to coming and seeing my friends, getting the inside scoop, and having a voice in our association. I started out as the Region 3 Vice-Director, and in 2014 I became Region 3 Director! While I was director we built a strong Region 3 Youth Board. The board worked together to have an extremely successful silent auction at our Region 3 show this year, many thanks to our wonderful donors, as well as developing new activity plans for the move of the regional show next year in the hopes of getting our youth more active in the region. I’m proud to say that the new Region 3 Director, Ms. Kailey Wessel, is working hard to have these activities be a success this next year. Last year I was the AHYA Treasurer and this year, as I stated a few minutes ago, I am the newly elected 2015-2016 AHYA President! I’m excited for what this year has in store for the association and we’re only getting started.
Our Arabian Horse Youth Association Convention was a blast this year, as it is every year! This year’s theme was “Horsin’ Around the World,” which inspired great ideas and a lot of fun. To start off we had a wonderful keynote speaker, Mr. Chase Harvill, who provided an inspirational talk with our AHYA youth attendees. He talked to the youth about getting involved at convention and within the association. The Youth Board would again like to thank Mr. Harvill for coming to Albuquerque and speaking with us. Also at the AHYA convention, the youth board members did an excellent job hosting fun activities for the youth throughout the session. In addition, they provided informational discussions about our committees and how other youth can get involved in AHYA. We are all looking forward to what is in store for the 2016 AHYA Convention!
Youth Nationals always has many fun and successful activities. One of our annual activities, the golf cart parade, was very competitive this year. The theme of “Horsin’ Around the World” got many youth and regions involved. One region, Region 9, had hired a mariachi to go along with their Mexico theme for the parade! The judges of the parade obviously couldn’t resist in picking that region’s cart for the winner! The Golf Cart Parade ended with an ice cream social, which became a great way for youth from different regions to interact with one another. Another activity put on annually at Youth Nationals is Pink Flamingo Flocking, which was another big hit this year. We sold about 80 of our limited edition item, which were AHYA dog collars, and we still have some available! They come in different colors and can adjust to any size dog! I know my dogs like theirs limited edition AHYA collars! About 300 raffle tickets were sold for the AHYA Dever golf cart. Thanks again to Dever Golf Cars for sponsoring this raffle item. This year there were 48 entries in the hippology contest. And to round it out, the Youth Nationals qualifier t-shirts raised $6750. This year at Youth Nationals alone, AHYA was able to bring in over $10,000 in fundraising. The AHYA board wants to thank everyone inside and out of the Arabian Horse Association who made our show activities and fundraisers a success. An especially big thank you to Brenna Whitlock, the Youth and Family Programs Coordinator at the Arabian Horse Association. She has spent much of her time and energy making this year’s youth activities and shows a success. Another big thank you goes out to Ms. Debbie Himmel the Youth Committee Chair, Stacey Dunn, the Youth Committee Co-Chair, Cindy Howey and everyone else who have devoted much of their time into the AHYA.
As you all know, the Youth Judging contest held every year at U.S Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma is wonderful way for youth horse enthusiasts to learn and grow within the Arabian Horse Industry. This year we had 29 teams in the judging contest and the highest-scoring individual was Silja Alexander. With her achievement, she won a Go-Pro and a scholarship to judging school as well as having the opportunity to judge the Western Pleasure Junior Horse class at U.S. Nationals. Alexander’s champion and reserve choices were the same as the judges. Quite impressive! A big congratulation goes out to Silja Alexander on her achievements.
The Arabian Horse Youth Association is not just a club. The youth board works hard throughout the year to get all of our youth involved in activities and share our own passion for the Arabian horse. The youth are incredibly important to the Arabian Horse Association. We are the future trainers, ambassadors, and leaders of our breed. And I am sure that this important to all of us because we wouldn’t be here right now if we didn’t care about the Arabian Horse’s future. I am sure that the majority of us in this room acknowledged our passion for horses at a young age. We need to find that passion in youth, both involved with our breed as well as those who have yet to discover the Arabian horse, and share what we have learned about the love, beauty and talent of our breed. Because as we all know, Arabian Horses can change a life.