From grassroots horse owners to the American Quarter Horse Association and the American Horse Council, events were hosted by all levels of horse professionals and organizations. At its joint National Meet a Horse Day/National Day of the Cowboy event in Amarillo, Texas, the American Quarter Horse Association provided over 1,800 people with beginner-friendly horse experiences and 191 first-time rides. New people of all ages were invited to celebrate the joy of horses and the spirit of the American cowboy and cowgirl.
Back on the east coast, the American Horse Council welcomed the U.S. Park Service police horses and Klinger, famed equine member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment Old Guard Caisson Platoon, into the center of Washington, D.C. to the USDA Farmers Market. Among other prestigious roles, Klinger has served as escort to the President of the United States, and as a member of our nation’s premier Memorial Affairs and Ceremonial Unit. Visitors walking in the National Mall could pet the horses, ask questions, learn more about what the officers on mounted patrol do, and learn where to connect with a local stable.
“Part of the AHC’s work is to introduce new people to horses and increase accessibility not only to the horses themselves, but the horse industry as well,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “We felt this partnership with the USDA’s Farmers Market was a perfect opportunity to have people come meet a horse in a relaxed atmosphere.” One lucky participant won a free thirty-minute beginner riding lesson generously donated by a local stable.
The Challenge hosts were the most influential participants in National Meet a Horse Day. With everything from hay rides and horse painting to meeting horses at an ice cream parlor, there was no lack of creativity when planning engaging events for newcomers. Some host’s communities are demanding an encore.
Debi O’Brien, owner of Equine LEAD LLC, located in Olney, Illinois, says of their event: “We had a great turnout for [National Meet a Horse Day] at Equine LEAD! People are asking for it to be an annual event, which is really exciting. We’ve participated annually, but not a big event like this year. The community really loved it!”
Such events are the reason that hosts experience business growth by participating in the Challenge. Similar events are planned across the country throughout the remainder of the Challenge.
To learn more about becoming a Challenge host, please visit https://www.timetoride.com/time-to-ride-challenge/. The Challenge runs through September 30th, and registration is free and open throughout. For more information about Time to Ride, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-591-7811.