Welcome to my journey through The 2019 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program with my 2018 filly KT Alaskan Ruby!
In September of 2018, I applied for the Young Horse Development Program and was delighted to receive an acceptance letter in October! The letter said that I would receive a foal that was donated by KT Ranch! I couldn’t believe it!!! I would receive a registered Ranching Heritage bred Quarter Horse for no cost!!!! So on Saturday, December 2nd my whole family loaded up into our motor home and we hit the road with our horse trailer in tow, bound for KT Ranch in Connell, WA to pick up my filly! When we arrived at KT Ranch, I couldn’t believe my eyes at the absolutely adorable filly I was bringing home!!! Her name is KT Alaskan Ruby so I decided to call her Alaska!! I can’t thank KT Ranch enough for giving me such wonderful filly!
Here is a link to my first week with Alaska>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRpV-9Y5rSs&t=3s
The program lasted 9 months and they were the fastest 9 months of my entire life! There were many assignments I had to complete with Alaska throughout the program such as a bathing video, trailering video and trail pattern. Here are the links to the videos Trail:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiIqoB0n8gM. Bathing:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTcwnFjHRSQ. Trailer Loading:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0FP64WjOzc.
We also had to go to a horse show, as well as, meet with an AQHA Professional Horsemen. All of these assignments helped me to stay motivated to work with Alaska and the experiences have made me a better horsemen and Alaska a better horse! I took Alaska to three shows over the course of the summer, including our county fair, and a B system horse show called the Star Spangled Horse Show, which is the one I decided to summit for the program! I had never gone to a B system show so I was super nervous! Alaska did amazing and was so well behaved for all of our classes! Here is a video of Alaska’s first show >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YPEF_hHorU
For our evaluation with the AQHA Professional Horsemen we met with Alison Trimble. Click here to see how it went>> YHD AQHA Professional Evaluation
One of my goals for the program was to get Alaska exposed to as much as possible while she was young…so we did everything! We played with tarps, balloons, saddles, kites, jumps, tires and anything else we could get our hands on. Alaska also learned important skills such as, how to be ponied behind another horse, stand for the farrier, round pen and even a little bit of ground driving! We also hauled to 4-H and gaming practices, a Tree farm my parents work at and she even went camping with us!
Other than playing with Alaska, I also had to complete multiple written assignments such as monthly logs, progress reports, income and expense sheets, and a growth chart which kept me very very busy!!!! I also decide to make Alaska a facebook page and a youtube channel which I tried to keep up to date throughout the program. Facebook >> Sierra and Alaska 2019 Young Horse Development Program. Youtube>>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRpV-9Y5rSs&list=PLUgibYg5wZSFYB1Nwe_c-6xv21dRIUBJI
One of the last assignments I completed for the Program was the Wild Card. For the wild card you were allowed to pretty much do anything to help showcase your horse or the program. After months of trying to decide what to do I finally settled on doing three different videos. The first one was a video promoting the program. Here is a link>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIwhnA1jKb0&t=1s. The second video I decided on was a compilation of videos from throughout my time with Alaska >>>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBaC9pz1XJU. And the third and most difficult was our liberty (no halter or lead rope) freestyle. It took us hours of hard work and practicing to do this one but in the end it was so worth it! Here is the link>>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuuSfSTGBwU&t=96s
Once the program ended I waited in anticipation for the results to be announced. Once every thing was graded I had a score of 182.25 out of a possible 185 which means I only missed 2.75 points! It was a very competitive year so even with such a high score I didn’t make the top ten. But in the end just having Alaska was the greatest prize of all! Thank you so much KT Ranch and everyone else who makes this program a possibility!