Paint Horse Association seeks adventurers for Ride America
WORTH, Texas-The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) announced
recently that it has improved and expanded its innovative Ride America
saddle-log program, making it easier than ever for recreational
riders to join.
"It's the horse color that attracts you and the people who
keep you," said Alice Singleton of her involvement with the
American Paint Horse breed and the American Paint Horse Association
(APHA). She is pictured here riding her Paint, Sir Jeta Moon. APHA
is Ride America?
The Ride America program is for people who enjoy experiencing the
great outdoors on horseback. For time spent riding or driving their
American Paint Horses, participants receive recognition and valuable
prizes from APHA and its sponsors.
riders enroll in Ride America, they receive an official time log
and a Ride America patch. They record each hour spent riding their
American Paint Horse and as they move through several achievement
levels, APHA records their accomplishments and rewards them with
on hours of riding reached, participants can also earn saddle bags,
halters, lead ropes, saddle pads and other valuable merchandise.
A time log must be kept for a participant's riding or driving hours
with a specific horse. There is no time limit for riders to achieve
their hours, as long as their APHA membership remains active.
APHA has added many achievement levels to ensure participants receive
their well-deserved recognition as they tally their hours. This
includes 14 different riding milestones from 100 to 10,000 hours.
make it easier to participate in the program, APHA recently improved
its Web site, so riders can actually log and track their hours online.
They can simply visit the Ride America Web site at http://www.apha.com/rideamerica
to enter their hours and access their records.
earn bonus hours by riding in parks, grasslands or historic areas
recognized by the U.S. or Canadian National Parks Service. Riders
can also earn double hours for every hour spent on a trail in a
U.S. or Canadian recreational park.
strong case for serving trail riders
APHA has long recognized the need to serve its members who are primarily
interested in recreational riding. In fact, a recent survey conducted
by the association indicated that 76 percent of its membership participates
in trail riding. In the survey, members described their relationship
with their horse as an activity that contributed to their overall
relaxation and pleasure. Serving the needs of these riders is the
goal of the association's Ride America program.
which now has 106,845 active members, reports that participation
in its Ride America program has grown to more than 4,100 people-nearly
double the total from five years ago.
One APHA member, Alice Singleton, of Mount Vernon, Ark., became
involved with Ride America because she liked the idea of keeping
a written record of the time she spent with her horses. Earning
rewards and patches were added bonuses, said Singleton, who signed
up with Ride America during its inaugural year of 1992.
bonds with Paint Horses and fellow APHA members have grown and strengthened
through the years. Now a member of APHA's executive committee, Singleton
has accumulated more than 5,000 Ride America hours with her American
Paint Horse, Sir Jeta Moon. On five other American Paint Horses,
Singleton has logged a combined 1,363 hours of riding time.
have enjoyed Ride America because it allows me to set goals for
myself," Singleton said. "In the process, I have developed
strong relationships with my horses because of the quality time
I have spent with them on the trail. Trainers today tell us that
communication with our horses is so important. Well, the best way
I've found to develop that rapport with a horse is after days and
months on the trail. That communication only happens through time.
And with Ride America, it's quality time."
addition to strengthening her relationships with her horses, Singleton
said logging hours through Ride America has done a lot to clear
her mind from the challenges of everyday life. "It's just you,
your horse and the good Lord out on the trail. It really helps put
things in perspective.
hope we can get more people involved in Ride America, because if
you like to ride, it's a great way to keep track of what you're
doing, achieve your objectives and earn rewards and recognition
for yourself and your horse. It's a great program.
course, I'll always be partial to Paints. You know, someone once
told me, 'It's the horse color that attracts you and the people
who keep you.' And, I've found that's true. I love the American
Paint Horse. It was the beauty of the Paint Horse that attracted
me to this breed. And what's kept me involved in APHA is that I've
just met so many nice people in this association who share my passion."
To find out more about APHA and the services it provides for members,
visit http://www.apha.com. Ride America information may be accessed
at http://www.apha.com/rideamerica, or call Amy Foerster, Ride America
coordinator, at (817) 834-2742, extension 249.
Guide to Recreational Riding
APHA also offers a free Guide to Recreational Riding. The 36-page
trail riding guide is packed full of useful information, from the
importance of keeping horses in good condition to critical safety
guidelines. The booklet also contains valuable information on tack
and equipment, saddling up, trailering a horse, and general horsemanship.
Guide to Recreational Riding may be accessed online at http://www.apha.com/forms/guidebooks.html.
Or for a printed copy, call APHA at (817) 834-2742, extension 773.