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4 steps to make a smooth transition from 4-H to APHA competition

Going from 4-H green to Paint proud is more common than you’d think. In the June issue of Paint Horse Journal, several 4-H alumni turned APHA members share their stories and ways to ease into showing at APHA breed shows.

  • Familiarize yourself with APHA rules—that helps you know what’s expected in each class, what judges are looking for in you and your horse, as well as legal equipment. A digital, mobile-friendly version of the 2015 Official APHA Rule Book is available on apha.com.
  • Find a mentor to show you the ropes. Trainers and other knowledgeable Paint exhibitors are happy to answer questions and help guide you in the right direction. Utilize available resources to prepare as well, like the award-winning Paint Horse Journal series, “From Start to Show.” Originally published in the January­­­–June 2013 issues, this article series is now available as a free download at phj.apha.com.
  • Scout out the Paint shows in your area. Picking the right show for your APHA debut is important to build confidence and gain experience—many regional clubs offer smaller one- or two-judge shows that might be less intimidating for your big debut.

“Two-judge shows are a natural place for these kids to test the Paint waters,” said Julie Harnish, an APHA breeder and exhibitor who also leads a local 4-H program in South Bend, Indiana.

  • Choose classes in which you are comfortable. APHA offers Novice Youth and Novice Amateur classes for exhibitors with less breed-show experience, which lets you compete on a level playing field with other exhibitors of similar backgrounds.  Learn more about the Youth and Amateur programs on apha.com.

For more tips to make a smooth transition from 4-H to breed shows—and tons of other great articles, pick up your copy of the June Journal. Subscribe, renew or order a back issue of the Journal today.


 [Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.] 


About APHA

The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.