The Wrangler Horse and Rodeo News

04-05-22 TW Digital

The WRANGLER Horse and Rodeo News is an equine and rodeo publication with circulation in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, Utah and Idaho.

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52 The WRANGLER, Horse and Rodeo News • April 5-19, 2022 Wyoming Quarter Horse Association For Memberhip Form go to WQHA Officers and Directors PRESIDENT Adair Walker VICE PRES. Debbie Unrein - SECRETARY Nicole Ballenger TREASURER Susan Nelson YOUTH ADVISOR Josey Bailey DIRECTORS Linda Henderson, Kristin Lyons, Brittany Johnson, Terry McDowell, Sharon Bailey, Sarah Campbell Send Dues To: Susan Nelson PO Box 581, Niwot, CO 80544 Horse Show Opportunities for Youth Through the Interscholastic Equestrian and Wyoming Quarter Horse Associations I was a horse crazed kid back in the 1960s. Most every day in the summer me I rode my bike to the local stables that featured trail rides for tourists (the horses went out to pasture in the winter) and hung out there all day long. When I was 10 years old my dad bought the horse that I typically rode on the dude string, a palomino gelding named Pepe. I never learned to pick up a lead and never saw or heard of a lunge line, but rode that horse in the mountains, raced in the meadows, and swam with him in the creek ll I went away to college. Some mes, when the Gymkhana came to town, we ran around barrels and once I carried a flag in a rodeo parade in our local ice arena, but I had no idea what a horse show was or any knowledge of the various skills I could develop and strive to perfect in partnership with a horse. Such a great childhood but so many things about horses and horsemanship I never learned! These days there are mul ple ways for horse crazed kids to get into the horse world, even if their families don't have horse experience. 4-H, which most everyone in this neck of the woods knows about, offers one way. Another way is through the Interscholas c Equestrian Associa on (IEA) for middle and high school youth. IEA is a nonprofit organiza on founded in 2002 in Ohio. Its members par cipate as individuals and as team members in equestrian compe ons in hunt seat, dressage, western horsemanship, reining, and ranch riding. Some teams ride English and others Western, and there are some kids that cross over and do both. The great thing about IEA is that there's no need for the kids to own or lease a horse! In fact, when the kids go to IEA horse shows they ride whatever horse they select in a computer-generated random draw. They learn about "their" horse by watching a volunteer ride it at the start of the show, and in their pa ern classes they do the rail work first in order to get a feel for the horse. You can imagine how challenging this is but also how effec vely it builds horsemanship skills. You can find out more about the na onal IEA organiza on at Several Wyoming Quarter Horse Associa on (WQHA) members are involved in the IEA program. About 10 years ago then-Colorado based and now Wyoming based trainer Mark Guynn was encouraged by a professional horseman to start an IEA team out west. In 2012 the first Western IEA horseshow west of the Mississippi was held at his and his wife Jan's place in Berthoud, CO. The Guynns have been involved ever since and now that they've rese led their training program near Sheridan, Wyoming they are thinking about star ng a Wyoming team. They need a minimum of three riders to get started (contact Mark if you're interested at guynntraining@ There are several features of the IEA program that Mark really likes: In par cular, it allows kids and their families to explore and assess their interest in horses without making a big investment up front. Although some of Mark's IEA riders have had their own horses, about half have not. For kids who s ck with IEA, Mark says it turns out to be a great pla orm for being invited to join a collegiate horse show team. At least three of Mark's IEA riders have gone on to top colleges, including University of Georgia, Baylor University in Texas, and University of California at Davis, having been recruited by these schools' equestrian teams. About five years ago Mark and Jan convinced Colorado trainers and WQHA members Nancy Nemmers (Nemmers Performance Horse) and Jimmy Daurio (Daurio Performance Horses) to join them as IEA coaches. Nancy and Jimmy both talk about how rewarding it is to watch the IEA youth rise to the challenges offered by the program, including taking on the responsibility of catching, grooming, saddling, and caring for the horses they ride in prac ces; and acquiring sportsmanship and leadership skills, some older kids becoming mentors for younger kids, all while becoming top notch riders. They see IEA as akin to other school sports. Kids must have good grades to par cipate and the program provides a lot of structure to enable success. Par cipants must have a plan to guide their progress, they must a end four lessons per month, and must make up any missed lessons. They emphasize that IEA really stresses and values sportsmanship; par cipants vote for the best sportsman, sportsmanship patches are awarded, and sportsmanship awards can lead to scholarships. Nancy talks about the benefits of being an IEA coach for herself as a professional, especially how rewarding it's been to gain experience coaching a team as well as working with individual riders. For Jimmy, seeing horse crazed kids without their own horses get a chance to connect with horses, ride, and develop horsemanship skills is worth all the significant me and travel commitments. Nancy and Jimmy both con nue to coach IEA in Colorado and welcome you to contact them at and WQHA is hoping and working to boost par cipa on of and support for youth exhibitors who come to showing performance or ranch horses from any number of different backgrounds. As highlighted in Wrangler in April 2021 WQHA has some top youth compe tors; in fact, every year WQHA supports several youth members' par cipa on in the American Quarter Horse Youth Associa on World Championship Show accompanied by WQHA member and Colorado trainer Seth Fender (SF Performance Horses). However, WQHA shows are also accessible to less experienced youth exhibitors and also to those who have horses registered with other breed socie es. There are youth rookie classes, walk-trot classes for all ages, and all breed classes open to Paints, Pintos, Buckskins, and more. WQHA's next show, the Cowboy Summer Classic, will be held July 13- 17 2022 at the fairgrounds in Douglas Wyoming. Please contact youth advisor Jill Stucky (j.stucky5@gmail. com) or WQHA associa on leadership Adair Walker (adair@rhapsodyfarmqh. com) or Debbie Unrein (djunrein@ if you have any ques ons or sugges ons for youth par cipa on. Nicole Ballenger WQHA Secretary WQHA Schedule Sweetwater Classic Horse Show in Rock Springs, WY. The dates are May 20-22. Black Hills Summer Circuit, Central States Fairground, Rapid City, SD. June (dates to be decided). Sweetwater Classic Circuit, Sweetwater Events Complex, Rock Springs, WY, June (dates to be decided). WQHA Cowboy Summer Classic, WY State Fairgrounds, Douglas, WY. July 13- 17 AQHA Region Two Championship. Central States Fairground. Rapid City, South Dakota. September 14-18. (Points count for 2023 Show Year)

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