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ASHA Announces Marple Lesson Payback Program

ASHA Marple Lesson Payback Program

The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) is pleased to announce the ASHA Marple Lesson Payback Program. 

 Mission Statement

The mission is to increase the number of American Saddlebred Lesson Programs and Riding Instructors and the use of American Saddlebreds in every discipline in underserved areas of the United States and the knowledge of Saddle Seat as a whole as well as promoting the love of the American Saddlebred.

 Applicant Information

An applicant should be a riding instructor with a background and strong commitment to the American Saddlebred.  The individual must have knowledge of what it takes to run their own business and the willingness to do so.  An instructor should be safety-minded and hard working.  This person should be willing to participate in activities connected with the industry.  The applicants need to have a strong moral and ethical attitude that will attract new clients.  This individual should be positive, personable, knowledgeable, fun, organized, thrifty, responsible, careful, particular, flexible, diplomatic, patient, understanding, willing, demanding, and creative.

Overview of the Use of Funds

Funds provided for this program shall be used for any aspect of the behind the scenes cost of a lesson program.The payback program money may be used as deemed appropriate by the ASHA Board which includes but is not limited to technology (website creation and maintenance), advertising campaigns, insurance expenses, adoption/lease fees/purchase of American Saddlebred horses and equipment, such as saddles and bridles.Seed money for equipment and discounts on the purchase of lesson horses for beneficiaries of this program are provided by Terry Bennett’s Tack and Saddlebred Rescue and are official sponsors of the ASHA Bill Marple Lesson Payback Program.Funds shall NOT be used for board or any other item not related to a lesson program (i.e. breeding, show expenses, travel expenses, show clothing, etc).

Program Guidelines

Funds will be granted to instructors who are located in not currently served or severely underserved areas.  Instructors located in Kentucky are not eligible.  Location of a new program within 100 miles of existing American Saddlebred riding programs or training barns shall be considered a plus in evaluating program applicants.  Acceptable areas for the program are cities with a reasonable population (or near a major metropolitan area) and an average or above average annual income per capita.

Funds will be granted to two instructors during a calendar year.  The number of instructors granted money may increase based on donations into the fund and the general fund status.  If the number of grants is increased, the change must be voted on by the ASHA board and recommended by the finance committee.  Grants are not to exceed $2,500 per instructor per calendar year.  Grants will be made to a new or relatively new lesson program involving American Saddlebred horses.  Applications will be accepted all year round and funds will be granted in January in the year following the application (i.e. if an application is submitted in June of 2016, funds will be granted in January of 2017).  Payback program recipients will be announced and introduced in person (at the awards banquet) at the ASHA Convention in February of that year.  If an applicant was not a recipient of money from the program in a particular year, an application must be re-submitted in order to be considered for the next calendar year.

Payback program recipients will receive a free ad on the ASHA website for a period of six months in order to promote their business.  The design of ad may be conducted by ASHA free of charge.  The content of the ad must be approved by ASHA.

Grantees must be a current member of ASHA and it is strongly suggested that they be a member of their local Charter Club, as well.  Within one year grantees should join UPHA.

Each grantee must agree to use at least 50% registered American Saddlebreds in their riding program and must have at least 800 hours (approximately six months) experience as a riding instructor, trainer, or other actual real world work in the horse industry and exhibit knowledge of the American Saddlebred breed and an appreciation of its suitability for use in a riding or lesson program.  No more than 100 hours of experience or time spent in a college program shall be counted toward the 800 hours of experience.  Experience as an instructor in disciplines other than saddle seat shall count toward the experience required.

Grantees must enter into the ASHA Riding Program Council as well as the UPHA Mentor Program.  The grantee must agree to consult with their ASHA and UPHA mentor on a monthly basis.  Their ASHA Riding Program Council representative should conduct an in-person visit at the grantee’s location 90 days after the lesson program is started.  A report of this visit shall be given to the Riding Program Council and the ASHA Board respectively.  Grantees must continue to participate in these programs until program funds have been paid back to ASHA.

Payback of Funds

Each payback program recipient is required to pay back the funds granted.  Payments shall be made directly to ASHA.  A payback schedule shall be submitted by the recipient.  Acceptance of such schedule shall be voted on by the ASHA Board.  The schedule shall be monitored by the finance committee and reported to the board in their monthly financial reports.

It is strongly suggested that the payback schedule should be at least 5% of the initial grant per month until the balance is paid.  Payback need not start until the lesson program has been in existence for one year.

Application Must Include

Application:  A formal application must be filled out in its entirety.

Resume:  A resume of experience with horses, training and instructing.  A background with strong commitment to the American Saddlebred horse is preferable.

Business Plan:  A business plan must be included.  The business plan should include location of lesson program, copy of lesson program rules and regulations, copy of release of liability forms, copy of accident form, copy of consent forms, proposed rates for all aspects of the business, a general income and expense report itemizing all aspects of the riding program, an advertising plan, and a website/technology plan.  Applicants shall also include support that the area is unserved or underserved.  Location of existing Saddlebred barns should be included as well as the proximity of a major metropolitan area.   The cities or areas where customers will be drawn to the lesson program shall also be included.

Use of Funds:  Applicant must outline the way they intend to use the funds.  Details must include an itemized breakdown of expenditures and how much each item will cost.  Including bids or quotes on expenditures is recommended.

Payback of Funds:  Applicants must provide a schedule of how and when they will pay back the grant funds to ASHA.  This will become the grantees payment schedule.

References:  Both professional and personal references are necessary.  At least five of each type is preferable.

ASHA Board Considerations

The ASHA Board shall consider all requirements of the program as outlined above before granting funds.  Other factors that should be researched and considered are potential client demographic information which includes but is not limited to:  the population of city where lesson program resides, the average income of the population where lesson program resides, demographics of the general population where lesson program resides, insurance plan and cost, ability to pay back program money and the timeline submitted to do so.

The ASHA Board will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and will attempt to expand or improve it through soliciting funds to support the development of riding programs in un-served or underserved areas of the United States that agree to use registered American Saddlebreds in the programs, as it deems appropriate.

A majority vote is required to disburse program funds to any individual.Grants shall be voted on by the ASHA Board during the January board meeting either in person or by telephonic conference call.A quorum shall be met for the vote to count.All applications considered shall be delivered to each board member for review no later than December 31 for the formal vote in January.

For more information regarding the ASHA Marple Lesson Payback Program, please visit the ASHA website

Please mail applications to:  ASHA; Attn:  Bill Whitley; 4083 Iron Works Parkway; Lexington, Kentucky  40511

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