Youth News

Quarter Horse Crazy

February 16, 2011

Youth Readers Write

Meet an 11-year-old with great friends who are helping him reach big dreams.

By AQHYA member Stephen Orengo, Ohio, 11

I have been a member of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association since I was 6. I started out riding in the Equestrians With Disabilities classes on my favorite horse, Tippy Sugar Bar. She and I won a lot and, we did EWD classes and walk-trot classes. We even did walk-trot barrels. Tippy is the 2007 AQHA-MD Barns Silver Spur Award Winner. As of February 2011, we are now in our new MD Barn, and Tippy is happy with everything except the automatic waterer.  She does not like it! I rode Tippy for two years at the Western Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association, where I met a bunch of people like Bill and Pat Fuches, Tricia and Vince Utlak, Makayla and Elaina, Kyle Jones and Ashly Wilcox, the Sneizke Family and Sarah Arena. They all helped me with Tippy and helped me ride.

In 2009, I got to take over riding a great mare, Mitos Miss Lucy. Sarah Johnson had ridden her before me. Sarah was also an EWD rider and has graduated up to the other classes.  Sarah Johnson is now Miss Rodeo West Virginia and will be competing for Miss Rodeo America in 2012!  I love Sarah, and I want to be able to ride as good as her some day!

“Lola,” as we call her at the farm, is one of my favorites. She and I did western pleasure, hunter under saddle and showmanship. My favorite is hunter under saddle! I learned hunter under saddle from Allison Applegate and Dakota Diamond Griffith. Dakota and her mom and dad (Leigh Ann and Sid) have helped me so much. I even learned to lope/canter, and now I am in the regular classes! I was the 2010 High Point Pleasure Horse in my county in Ohio for 4-H and got to go to the Ohio State Fair! Lola and I placed at the All American Youth Horse Show in Columbus, Ohio, in both western pleasure and hunter under saddle.  I had so much fun with Lola.

I also have a barrel racing and pole bending horse named  Joeys Last Time. He is 23 years old. I was on the WPQHA Congress Youth Team in barrels with “Joey!”  He is so much fun. I also ride him on trails in the Wayne National Forest with my Aunt Dee and Uncle Lonnie.

But in 2011, I may get to do something I have wanted to do my whole life. My Aunt Dee might let me show one of her halter horses, Coolest Touch, aka “Dallas.” Dallas is the biggest and best halter horse I have ever seen. Aunt Dee says I have to practice perfect, and I have to listen to our trainer, Bill Coffman, and whatever Bill says goes. He will tell me when I am ready to show Dallas. It is hard showing halter, because I only have use of one arm, and Dallas is so big! But I know that with the help of all my Quarter Horse friends, I will do it!

My goal is to go to the AQHYA World Show someday, just like my horse-show heroes Dakota Griffith, Nikki Cosner, Olivia Sneizek and many more. Most of all, I want to make my Aunt Dee, Uncle Lonnie and Bill proud of me.

I want to someday grow up to be AQHYA President just like Dakota!

I have found out that my Quarter Horse family is great. They have never babied me or treated me any different.  They have never been mean to me or picked on me.  They have treated me the same as any other kid, and I want to make them proud.

Want to tell your story? E-mail it to AQHA’s youth department.