IEA WaltenberrywebPhoto credit Waltenberry, courtesy IEAThe new IEA Horsemanship Program is designed to provide youth with an introduction to the basics of horses, equine care and safety, focusing on the components of the horse experience outside the show ring. For 2016–2017, the Horsemanship Program will be available to fourth–12th graders who do not otherwise participate as a rider in the IEA mounted team program. 

“This new Horsemanship Program provides a way to respond to youngsters who want to be part of the IEA and either do not ride competitively, do not have access to a team or are too young for our mounted offerings,” said Roxane (Lawrence) Durant, IEA co-founder and executive director. “They have an interest in horses, and they want a way to be involved with our organization. The program is an additional offering that relates to the IEA mission of providing education regarding equestrian sport.”

As an educational program with grade-appropriate information and tests, the IEA Horsemanship Program is a great opportunity for a young person to become a member of the IEA and benefit from being part of the organization.  Participants in this program do not need to be members of a team or have the skills and resources necessary to compete in mounted equestrian competitions.
The Horsemanship Program has three main components: online quizzes, a horsemanship journal and a final horsemanship test.  Informational videos and online resources will also be added throughout the season to supplement the educational resources.  Members who meet the minimum requirements of the program will receive recognition and awards from the IEA to celebrate completion of the 2016–2017 Horsemanship Program.

Currently celebrating its 15th anniversary, the IEA has more than 12,500 middle- and high-school student-riders across the United States. As a non-profit (501.c.3), the IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle- and secondary-school students. IEA membership is open to public and private schools and barn teams. No rider needs to own a horse to compete in the IEA. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information about the creation and development of school-associated equestrian programs, and to generally promote safe riding instruction, competition and education on matters related to equestrian competition. For more information on how to get involved, please visit



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