I thought I would take the time this week to give a heads up to or perhaps retell some of you about some great opportunities for training and scholarships.
First, for those of you that have participated in ANY Dressage 4 Kids events, the have two great scholarship opportunities now. The first is the Lendon Gray Scholarship for training. This can be used for clinic fees, training fees or other expenses of education. The link to the application is below. You need to complete the form, have two recommendations letters and then email to the address on the application. A budget for your expenses of your plan is required so you will need to spend some time on that.
Also on the Dressage for Kids site is the Courtney’s Quest scholarship application. This is for international competition level events only. However, when you get to the point of wanting to compete and qualifying to compete in Europe this is the place to apply. Again, you have to have participated in a Dressage 4 Kids event to qualify to apply. This year, I hope when they take a U25 team to Europe all the riders are former D4K participants and everyone applies. I think it would be great to have that bond as a team and to show what a great change D4K has had on dressage youth in America!
The site also has some great ideas on a career search program and a mentoring program. I have not participated in those but anyone who has please leave some input about them in the message section. No matter what I encourage everyone to participate in everything you can. You never know where the next opportunity may come from or where your path might take you as a result.
I mean I even got up and sang at the American Equestrian’s Got talent competition. I was the first singer on the first day of auditions. Truly ugh! I have never been so nervous in my whole life. However, the 500 dollars pays for a lot of feed and shoes (horseshoes of course). But even better I am getting to work with and become friends with some really great girls who are now helping me by being backup singers for the finale. I think you are all going to get a kick out of this (or a big laugh).
Another thing that is new this year is an opportunity with the new youth coaches. The are doing a ‘ride a test’ clinic. The application is below for future ones. I have been selected along with some great riders to do the first one here in Florida at the end of February. I am really excited because it is the week before I do my first ever U25 and it is at a CDI-W. I am really interested to get some judge feedback before then and really work to enhance my potential test scores. Furthermore, I get to see the other riders do nearly similar level tests and gain info from their rides as well.
Lastly, I have learned this season about the unlimited opportunities for young students to work in internship positions, working student positions and sponsored rider jobs. There are some posted full time on the internet like the amazing opportunity to work at Maplecrest Farms with Reese Koffler-Stanfield.
Other opportunities you have to make by asking. Find a trainer you admire or a breeder you think does an amazing job and write to them. Tell them your goals and why you came to them. Explain what you hope to learn and what you could potentially do for them. It never hurts to ask and even if things don’t work out in the end you will have not only tried but have learned valuable information from that failure. Sometimes the things that don’t work teach us more or are better for us than things that do.
Finally, check your breed associations and GMO’s they always have opportunities whether it is volunteering at shows or scholarships everything gets you further into the life of horses and the dream of being part of that world!