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What Matters? Friends Matter.

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller

It is in that spirit that the American Saddlebred Horse Association continues to form partnerships that serve the mission of our association to the betterment of the American Saddlebred. 

For those of you that were at the breakfast with the leadership of the Arabian Horse Association at Louisville, you see that they are great friends. They share their information and they work with us. They attended our World Championship Horse Show and leadership from the ASHA will attend the US National Arabian and Half-Arabian Horse Show in October to learn from them. They have been great partners and the ASHA is looking for ways to partner even more closely with this organization that has more than twice as many members and is the largest trotting breed affiliate. 

Friends Matter.

In a different type of partnership, the ASHA continues its efforts to help our trainers and instructors keep current and learn new techniques. Our partnership with Lizzie McMillan of, announced last week, will help four American Saddlebred businesses to learn business development and strong practices to help sustain their endeavors.  Lizzie is our friend and she wants to help our breed. 

Friends Matter.

We also have friends at the University of Kentucky and the ASHA is working with them to create a continuing education program designed to help riding instructors on topics such as: “How to Effectively Teach Riders,” “New and Effective Teaching Methods,” and “How to Create a Successful and Profitable Lesson Program.” Just as professionals in other industries are expected to do, continuing education is important and the ASHA is committed to helping our instructors to stay current.

Friends Matter.

The ASHA has partnered with other breed organizations to influence and effect change. We are an active participant in the Joint Leadership Council that brings together leadership from the Saddlebred, Morgan, Hackney, Roadster, and UPHA organizations to align our views and work together for the betterment of all. The JLC has invited the Arabian Horse Association to join and they are waiting their board’s approval to do so. Additionally, the ASHA has partnered with the other 18 breeds and disciplines to influence change at the USEF. The JLC originated several great initiatives that were then discussed in the Affiliate Workshop in May and passed by the USEF in July—all working together. These initiatives included:

Increasing the number of trotting breed representatives on the National Breeds and Disciplines Council (NBDC) - Three seats were added to the NBDC at the July USEF Board meeting, which significantly improves representation of the trotting breed affiliates on the Council. 

Establishing the National Equestrian of the Year Award - Gives equal consideration to the accomplishment of the national athletes (of which the ASHA and other trotting breed affiliates are a part).

Increasing marketing and promotional push for the trotting breed affiliates - New videos unveiled at the July USEF board meeting that highlight the trotting breed affiliates and the saddle seat discipline as a whole.

Increasing National Affiliate Representation on the Licensed Officials Committee - Two new national affiliate representatives were appointed to the committee, which increases the trotting breed affiliate representation on the committee.

All of which would have been a challenge if we hadn’t banded together with our friends.

Friends Matter.

It is hard to go it alone.  The ASHA recognizes that we have an obligation to our breed and our members that involves partnering with friends who want the same things we do; and are the types of friends you want to hang out with.  “Together we can do so much.”

Friends Matter.

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