AMHA Youth Programs
The American Morgan Horse Association Youth (AMHAY) is an international organization of young people who have a common interest in the Morgan horse, America’s oldest breed. With youth members in the United States, Canada, and all over the world, AMHAY offers a variety of programs that challenge members to become involved, to learn, and to develop competence in all areas of the horse industry.
As they work with the Morgan horse, members develop a sense of sportsmanship and fair play, learn citizenship skills, master leadership skills, and develop discipline and a sense of responsibility for themselves, their horses, and their clubs.
The Morgan youth program is designed to bring out the best in its members?no matter what their skills or interests. Owning a Morgan horse is not a requirement for membership. Membership in AMHAY is open to all young people who have not reached their 22nd birthday as of December 1 of the previous year.
Need a fun project involving horses? The AMHAY Horsemastership Program is designed to help you become a competent horseperson. The five successive levels of testing are designed to increase knowledge of the Morgan breed and general horsemanship while receiving recognition for hard work.
The first level, Bulrush, teaches the basics of horse anatomy, Morgan history, grooming, safety, tack and horse terms. Woodbury, the second level, builds on the skills learned in Bulrush in addition to record keeping, handling, basic riding control and presentation skills. The third level, Sherman, requires learning about basic horse first-aid, diseases, simple riding tests, shoeing theory and trailering. Black Hawk, the fourth level, involves judging, how to determine horse age, trailer safety, hoof structure, detailed Morgan history and completion of 9 out of 22 riding or driving activities.
The highest level of achievement is Justin Morgan. It requires proficiency in 7 out of 8 working horsemastership areas; youth activity promotion and organization; knowledge of horse behavior, unsoundness, and stable construction. Badge achievers must also instruct a beginning horseperson for three months. Lastly, a score of 70% must be earned on a comprehensive test over all horsemastership program topics.
Horsemastership achievers must be under 22 years of age (as of December 1st) and all badge work must be completed with a registered Morgan. The first two levels may be approved by youth club leaders or other qualified horsepersons, but the top three levels must be approved by an official AMHA horsemastership examiner.
Badge work is challenging, but the rewards and benefits are well worth the effort. Pins, certificates, and special prizes are given to those who pass the first four levels of the program. Black Hawk and Justin Morgan achievers receive additional recognition in the form of a savings bond. Additionally, badge achievers are recognized as important award winners. Horsemastership badge announcements are published in the AMHA website and other AMHA related publications.