FORT WORTH, TX — MAR. 26, 2013 — There’s probably no horse more noble than the Western horse that proudly ‘does it all.’ Today’s stock horses are versatile, trustworthy, and steadfast.
Recognizing those qualities in a horse is exactly why the American Stock Horse Association (ASHA) was created. The organization is committed to educating people about stock horse training, and offers an opportunity for those people to participate in sanctioned ASHA events in regular and collegiate divisions. Its mission is quite simple: Help people ride better horses.
The ASHA was developed based on a unique format, believing that anyone could ‘ride a better horse’ through education. The ASHA promotes stock horse competition in conjunction with a dedicated educational program. In fact, their program is based on a training clinic before each sanctioned show, followed by a judged event that consists of four components: Pleasure, Trail, Reining and Working Cow Horse.
“Our goal is to have a grassroots organization that allows people on a beginner level to come into a national show venue and not feel intimidated. It’s the driving force of our association,” said ASHA President, Tommy Fuller.
Rewarding competitors for their accomplishments is also a significant part of the organization’s objectives.
“Our organization is continually growing and seeking ways to acknowledge our members at regional and national levels. I’m proud to announce that we recently approved honoring National Champions Overall and National Reserve Champions Overall in each of the six regular divisions and three collegiate divisions with a Trophy Buckle for the Division Champions and a Monogrammed Cinch Vest for the Reserve Champions,” said Lenn Morris, Chair of the ASHA Awards Committee.
So how did ASHA come about? The original ASHA organizers saw trends developing in the horse world that, in their opinions, were not supportive of the industry. These founders believed that specializing horses for one purpose only was replacing the historic versatility of horses. Rider skills were also becoming specialized, relating only to a single discipline or event. There was no link between a truly well-trained horse and the versatile horse that could perform many tasks. These organizers also recognized a need for affordable, solid education for those who wanted to learn to ride better horses.
The idea of having a clinic preceding every ASHA competition has proven its success, meeting the need for standardized western stock horse riding with training clinics that are fun and challenging. Through this combined educational program and competition format, both rider and horse have the opportunity to become multi-talented and polished.
For more information about the American Stock Horse Association, its educational program (including independent home study curriculum), event schedule, and membership application, visit www.AmericanStockHorse.org, call 254.898.0906 or email [email protected].