Is there a future for AFHA

in news

Is There a Future for the AFHA?

Today’s AFHA members are very active; monthly winter derbies, preparations for the 25th anniversary show, trail riding plans and clinics are all part of the plans for 2022. Besides all that, another topic came up for discussion; How can we get the younger generation interested to participate and help them to create a love for horses?

As always, someone took the bull by the horns, “We should organize a kid’s derby.” The news was spread. Invitations went out to potential riders and drivers. The AFHA opened up their derby course for this occasion. The result? On Friday, March 4, 2022 at 4.30 pm, the first kid’s derby in Central Alberta took place.

The Muilwijk arena was buzzing; Horses, ponies, kids, parents, grandparents, family members and neighbors…..Riders and drivers (ages 4-14) were nervous but super excited!

All breeds were welcome. 14 youngsters signed up: 2 girls driving a single Friesian,

1 girl riding a Friesian

and 11 others showed the different breeds.

Kees and Annie Muilwijk welcomed everyone. They walked the course with them.

They explained the rules. Then the first group could do their practice run, followed by 2 timed runs. And so everyone got a chance to show their skills….. And they did!

When the last riders were finished the Muilwijks treated everyone with snacks, beverages and a meal. All participants received a prize and the organizers were blessed with smiley faces and heartfelt thank you’s from everyone when it was time to go home.

Is there a future for the AFHA? I believe so: These kids were invited to this event. They didn’t know what to expect. All of them gave it their best. That day a special connection with the equine sport was established. It created a memory they will not too easily forget. Kids this age have a whole future ahead of them including school, college, jobs, careers etc. But if the love for horses is sparked in their hearts at a younger age, chances are likely that they will try to get back on a horse or a carriage someday…..and maybe that horse will be a Friesian?

Written by Enny Van Aken

The Friesian Magazine

The Friesian magazine is a quarterly publication. If you are interested in "Everything" Friesian, then you won't want to miss this opportunity to order the Friesian magazine.