American Horsemen Challenge Association is one of the fastest growing venues today. There are several competitions, clinics, and competitions with special needs divisions in many different states with new affiliates being formed on a regular basis. There are trail challenge competitions all year round and often there are multiple events on the same weekend across the country, especially as the weather gets nicer. However, I have seen more than a couple of pictures in the snow and the rain. After all, it is a trail challenge.
There is a 150-mile distance requirement between approved events on the same weekend. The excitement from the organizational growth, the new competitors, as well as returning competitors is tangible. Often ‘this is just what I’ve been looking for’ is frequently heard by the new to our venue participates. When new people join as members or affiliates they will be welcomed to their new AHCA family. That being said, a welcoming, encouraging atmosphere
makes competing at one of the many AHCA sanctioned events a fun, family atmosphere.
The clinics offer a fantastic way for a person to get started as you can have guidance with introducing themselves and their horse to obstacles. Also, many seasoned riders and horses will participate, as a way to get extra tips and pointers. There is a place for every level of horseman or woman and every level of equine. Personally, I think it is exciting to see the horse that won’t stand still for 2 seconds resting a leg and sleeping in the shade with his rider waiting his turn to compete. It is equally exciting to watch the rider that can’t get their horse to cross the bridge, not only cross the bridge, but will get up on the high side of a teeter totter with confidence. When the Wrangler rider that couldn’t get their pony close to the flag and hold the reins with 1 hand gets to where they can ride up without problems and carry the flag and ride with 1 hand successfully, everyone will cheer!
This time of year the various affiliates, member, and the American Horsemen Challenge Association Facebook pages are filled with pictures and videos of people competing, in clinics and practicing at home.
You can find out where the closest affiliate to you is on the national website as well as find the most current rule book and information on how to talk with someone to get your questions answered. If you want to start your own affiliate, there will be several people willing to guide and help you along the way, myself included.
By Meg Wills-O’Daniel
AHCA Charter Member
Horsemen of Arkansas AHCA Affiliate Organizer
For more information visit the AHCA national website: americanhorsemenchallenge.com