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I love to see kids on horses. In the news you can find twenty stories about kids doing bad things, if you can find one. It’s so refreshing to see a group of kids striving for something that is good and healthy. Growing up in a city, I had plenty of opportunites to stray into dangerous territory. But I was Hooked On Horses from a very young age and once I started riding at 13, I did everything I could to earn one more lesson. I worked at part time jobs, I washed my coach’s truck and trailer in exchange for lessons, I begged my mother for a ride out to the barn, even if I was just bringing my leased horse in to brush and pamper with treats.

The CN FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAYRC) were held July 29-Aug 3 in Parker, Colorado at the Colorado Horse Park. For the first time, reiners were a part of the action. Typically this competition is for jumping, dressage and eventing – the current Olympic-approved disciplines.

Team USA took first place, and three of their members swept individual medals. You can read more about their accomplishments at the NRHA site.

The Canadian team came in second, but not without wonderful team spirit and enthusiasm that you can read about at Reining Canada’s web site. One of the best parts about the weekend, I think, was the “ride a reiner” hour that the reiners hosted, getting some of the English riders up on western horses and teaching them how to slide and spin. Word was that some of the riders felt like beginners!

I encourage you to get involved with youth reining wherever and whenever you can. There are some excellent programs run by regional associations and right up to the NRHA or National Federation level. In Canada you can learn more about the Young Rider Medal Program or Varsity Reining,
which is a part of the US-based National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA).

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