GROUPS TO GET YOU STARTED
• 4-H. A 4-H horse program is the time-honored place to begin a child’s involvement with horses, and ownership isn’t required. To learn about 4-H horse groups in your area (or to start one), check with your local county extension agent ( 4-h.org/find). • Certified Horsemanship Association. CHA promotes excellence in safety and education by certifying riding instructors; it also accredits equine facilities and produces educational conferences and materials. Find a certified instructor in your area at chainstructors.com. • Time to Ride. Partnering with such groups as the American Quarter Horse Association, Time to Ride connects American families to local equestrian resources, including lessons, camps, and clubs. Check out its interactive Web site at timetoride.com. • Interscholastic Equestrian Association. Serving middle and secondary school students across the United States, the IEA provides the horses and tack for every aspiring rider. “Because we’re the low-cost entry into equestrian sport, we’re exposing young riders to competition who might otherwise not have the financial ability or accessibility to participate,” says Roxane Durant, IEA co-founder and executive director ( rideiea.org). • Breed and sport groups. If your child has an interest in a particular breed or equestrian sport, check the appropriate organization for special programs or offerings for beginners. For examples of innovative ways such groups are attracting new enthusiasts, see “Sounding the Call: Hey, Kids!” at HorseandRider.com.
Compete without owning through the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, for grades six through 12.