After a couple slow years, it finally feels as though Area VII Young Riders has gotten back on its feet.
This year at our annual Young Rider camp, I was excited to see many new faces, which truly excites me. I believe Young Riders is the best program for encouraging involvement of younger riders in the larger eventing community and bringing up the next generation in our sport, which is so important.
The program this year is incorporating some exciting new features, including a team challenge at Caber Farm Horse Trials, where Young Riders will compete in a team style similar to the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, getting the opportunity to jog their horses for vets, create a team name and sport team gear during competition.
In addition to this new opportunity, there were several guest speakers at camp offering information on a variety of subjects and rider fitness classes every morning. The many educational opportunities offered at camp included an equine nutrition talk given by Gina Fresquez, the local Purina rep; a talk with John Camlin on post cross country leg care for your horse; a lameness and general veterinary Q&A session with Dr. Rachael Gotfield of NWEP; and talks with Jordan Linstedt and Anna Collier about the road to Rolex.
In addition to amazing unmounted eduction, campers received lessons with Area VII coach Dayna Lynd-Pugh, John Camlin, Anna Collier and Jordan Linstedt. Riders received lessons in all disciplines, as well as a lesson on pacing, a very important yet often forgotten skill.
The final day of camp utilized a competition style derby, where campers could put what they’d learned to use in the dressage arena and on course. Overall, the week boasted abundant opportunities for learning and fun. Every rider went home with more knowledge and excitement for the remainder of the season.
The Young Riders program is truly the best this sport can offer for support and involvement of the younger generation and is undoubtably ripe with opportunity for ambitious young riders looking to advance in the sport. The purpose of the program is to help young riders build a network and foundation for the years to come and can only offer more support with more involvement.
As a young rider myself, I can attest for the opportunities this program has given me, in addition to the lifelong friendships and memories I’ve gathered throughout my years of involvement. It’s cliche, but its true: Nothing is more gratifying and invigorating than seeing fresh faces and excitement surrounding the program and its many opportunities.
If you’re interested in joining Area VII Young Riders (I highly encourage it!), or are simply interested in finding out more about the program, please visit our website.