The majority of horse lovers agree that there’s nothing better than spending the afternoon riding horses in the backyard, around the arena or on the trail. But what if you could get credit for it? That’s what the AQHA Horseback Riding Program and the AQHA Trail Challenge Program are all about!
The AQHA Horseback Riding Program serves as an opportunity for AQHA and AQHYA members to earn rewards for the hours they spend in the saddle riding American Quarter Horses and other breeds. There are two divisions of the HBR program: Quarter Horse and All Breed. You can sign up for one for $35 or join both divisions for $70. As long as your membership remains current, you don’t have to re-enroll for the duration of the program.
The more time you spend riding horses, the more hours you can log and the more awards you can earn. Participants should keep track of their hours on a log sheet and turn them in to AQHA before December 31. Awards vary from division to division based on the number of hours logged. The highest honor in the American Quarter Horse division is a custom Montana Silversmiths belt buckle, earned after 5,000 hours in the saddle.
Because AQHA-approved trail rides and Trail Challenges count for double hours in the AQHA Horseback Riding Program. The AQHA Trail Challenge Program asks horses and riders to work as a team, navigating natural obstacles they might experience on the trail, such as opening a gate or stepping over a series of logs. The focus is on horsemanship, and the goal is to promote education, safety and fun. Trail challenge merits will be recorded on horses’ permanent AQHA records, giving an added luster to the time you and your horse get to spend at AQHA Trail Challenges.
Want to find an AQHA trail ride in your area? Check out the 2014 ride schedule here!