Horse-Training Opportunities: The Young Horse Development Program

Learn more about the AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program for AQHYA members.

AQHA’s Young Horse Development Program gives youth the opportunity to expand their horsemanship skills and connect with youth across the country. Photo courtesy of ______.

AQHA’s Young Horse Development Program gives youth the opportunity to be matched with their own foal, donated by a Ranching Heritage Breeder, to raise and train. In an effort to earn scholarships and earn prizes, participants are to showcase their horsemanship skills and knowledge. Not only do YHD participants learn about general horse care, but they also learn responsibility and horsemanship skills.


The priority application deadline was August 15, but there is still time to apply. The late application deadline is October 1. Don’t let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass. Encourage AQHYA members to apply! To apply, fill out this application and send it in to the Youth Development office by the deadline.


Interested in a behind- the- scenes look at past YHD participants’ experiences? Here are some pictures and excerpts of personal blogs from some of the 2016-2017 participants:


Grace Johnson and “Theo"


Theo is such an amazing yearling now! He loves learning and conquers all the obstacles I throw at him. He is one of the quietest and calmest babies that I have known, and he amazes me every day at how quickly he learns something new. I am so beyond thankful for all of the amazing opportunists that this program has allowed me to have, and I am excited to continue to learn more through the AQHA Young Horse Development Program.”


Sarah Schwieterman and “Shiloh”

“The filly I graciously received from Emerson Ranch in Nebraska is such a level- minded horse. I plan on getting her halter ready, but will be using her as either a pleasure horse or ranch riding/cow horse in the long run. I cannot wait to see where she takes us!

“I found the name Shiloh, meaning "the gift" and ‘"quiet’" and knew it was perfect. She handled her big move from the beautiful state of Nebraska like a champ, and has taught me more in the past weeks than I ever could have imagined.”

Brynne Matula and “Remi”

“If it had not been for the amazing people at Lauing Mill Iron L Ranch and AQHYA, I would not have my crazy-amazing little filly or have gotten to know so many great horse people. The Young Horse Development Program is a fantastic opportunity for young horse people!”