North American Western Dressage (NAWD) is pleased to announce its Youth Achievement Program. Youth members of NAWD can earn points and awards. Points are awarded for every test that a youth competes in as a NAWD Youth Member. This includes Western Dressage tests (live or virtual), NAWD Six Feet on the Ground Tests, Western Dressage Freestyle tests, or NAWD Western Dressage Trail tests. This membership is for youth who are under the age of 19 (18 and younger) as of January first of the current year.
Linda Lee-Bower of Woodridge Farm Equestrian Center in Pennsylvania helped create the program. Linda is a NAWD Professional member and she presented this excellent idea to NAWD and worked with the team to create a program for youth. Linda shares her motivations for helping to create this program: "One of the reasons that today's youth stray from a narrow path is because they lack a feeling of connectedness. What better way to help today's young people understand their own personal value than to have them involved in a growing equine sport? NAWD is growing so quickly that I felt as though there could be a strong correlation between its continued growth and a youth program. Young riders can have the opportunity to be a part of something that will promote goal-setting, self-improvement, and a solid relationship to a community of western dressage enthusiasts.”
Award levels-points will accumulate from year-to-year. Program details can be found HERE.
20 points - bronze medal
35 points - silver medal
55 points - gold medal
80 points - NAWD Embroidered Star Patch
With the help of the team of NAWD Professional equestrians, and the continued support of Linda Lee-Bower, NAWD will seek sponsors and supporters to help grow this program.
"Creating opportunities for young riders has always been a big part of NAWD's mission. This is just the first phase in a comprehensive program that we have developed. In the next few weeks we will also be releasing a scholastic team equestrian sports program and a scholarship program for low income youth. It is a very exciting time for NAWD and we are very grateful for the hard work of the individuals involved in the creation of these programs,” said Jen Johnson, president of NAWD.
For more information, we encourage you to visit the NAWD Website and help your youth riders sign up in the membership area HERE.
North American Western Dressage is a non-profit organization that offers casual, fun, and affordable ways to learn about Western Dressage in the form of clinics and virtual shows. We start from the ground up with our "Six Feet on the Ground" Groundwork program, continue with Western Dressage Tests, Western Dressage Freestyles, and Western Dressage Trail tests. Our judges are carefully chosen for their understanding that Western Dressage is not dressage in a western saddle and that the fundamentals of good riding are universal. We embrace and include equine enthusiasts from ALL walks of life.