WASHINGTON, D.C. — Time To Ride, a program of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, has accepted 62 lesson facilities for its 2019 pilot program.

Three local stables were accepted: Briarwood Farm, Ringoes, N.J.; Happy Tails Therapeutic Riding LLC, Colts Neck, N.J. and L & B Farms, Hershey, Pa.

The new Time To Ride program is designed to introduce school-age children to horseback riding and horse care in a safe, welcoming environment. The goal is to familiarize school-age children with horses through an initial series of six to eight lessons that include basic horse care as well as riding. The lesson series are offered through schools, local youth organizations and recreational leagues.

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Equine facilities and instructors had to meet specific requirements to be considered for the pilot program, including SafeSport training and a criminal background check. All instructors either hold a current professional membership with one or more national breed or discipline associations, are certified as an instructor through a recognized program such as Certified Horsemanship Association or licensed as a riding instructor in the state in which they teach.

“We were expecting to get 20-30 qualified applicants for the pilot program,” said Molly O’Brien, Time To Ride Program Manager. “To our delight, we received over 100 inquiries and applications, and narrowed it down to the 62 selected.”

The facilities participating in the pilot program represent a broad cross-section of the equine industry, with representatives ranging from Arabian horse farms to AQHA professionals, dressage, hunter/jumpers, Saddlebreds, Morgans, Paint Horses, Certified Horsemanship Association, United States Pony Clubs and Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship instructors and more. O’Brien said, “It’s very encouraging to see the support we received promoting the program from so many breed and discipline organizations, and the response from their members. This points to the ongoing need for a program such as Time To Ride to help lesson barns bring new kids into the horse world in a structured, supported fashion.”

Barns and instructors accepted for the pilot program have been designated Time To Ride Program Facilities and are being given marketing tools, techniques and assistance to help with their local outreach. The Time To Ride program emulates the golf industry’s The First Tee, in which schools offer children a series of lessons at a local golf course. The First Tee has reached 15 million children since its start in 1997.

The pilot program will continue through the end of this year. The results and methods will be analyzed and adjustments made where necessary, with plans to roll the program out on a larger scale next year.

To learn more about Time To Ride, visit www.TimeToRide.org.

About Time To Ride

Time To Ride is managed and funded by the American Horse Council Marketing Alliance. The Marketing Alliance was founded by a consortium of equine-related corporations and organizations to encourage and support the growth of the U.S. horse industry. Current members of the Marketing Alliance include: Active Interest Media/Equine Network, American Horse Council, Morris Media Network, Platinum Performance, Purina and Zoetis. Additional support is provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, Troxel Helmets and Weaver Leather. Educational support is provided by Certified Horsemanship Association, United States Equestrian Federation and United States Pony Clubs.

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