Those that show on a non-breed specific circuit may not be aware of their local breed club. I lease a purebred Arabian, DB Khereym, but we mainly show on the local circuit with the occasional Arabian show. What I love about many breed clubs is that you don't have to show on the breed circuit to be apart of the club. You can show on your local or rated circuit! Many breed clubs have year-end awards for open shows along with the breed shows.
But it's not really all about the showing. You don't have to show at all to take advantage of the best part of any breed club: the community. It's so nice to see my fellow Arabian friends posting pictures of their horses and celebrating each other's successes. You'll find a great group of people that will build you up and help you in a heartbeat.
I am not the only one to love my breed club. Megan Gilker, a member of the Georgia Arabian Horse Association, says: "What I would say I love most about being a part of the Georgia Arabian Horse Association (GAHA) is that even with the wide variety of different types of Arabian horse enthusiasts - adult amateurs, youth riders, recreational owners, avid competitors, breeders, passionate trail riders, trainers, hobbyists, and all from different discipline or riding backgrounds - everyone can come together as community and team with one goal in mind: to share their love for the Arabian Horse."
"The Georgia Arabian Horse Association is a member driven organization so if you have an idea, go for it! Organize your plan, gather your friends to volunteer, run it through the GAHA board and then put your plan into action. I really wanted to have a Sport Horse and Dressage clinic. With the support of fellow GAHA members as volunteers, we had an incredible clinic that was open to every equestrian that wanted to learn - not just those with Arabians, Half Arabians or Anglo-Arabians. I find the club to be inclusive and eager to get each type of member engaged - through the Frequent Rider Program, variety of clinics, annual trail ride, open schooling show, High Point Awards Program, Member Features, social activities (including the annual luncheon), and it's support of the Region 12 Youth Jamboree and Region 12 Championships. There's something for every level, age, and background to get involved in and I think that is what makes the club so successful. The Georgia Arabian Horse Association has had many long standing members and volunteers over the years since it's foundation in 1965. I will add that GAHA had an incredible past two years thanks to the generosity and passion of its members. I cannot wait to see what 2019 holds for the club's membership, the Arabian Horse and the local equestrian community!"
While some people worry about the future of breed clubs, Susan White, a GAHA member since 1974, sees the club continuing to grow. "In the past two years GAHA has come back from near extinction to a thriving, active club membership. It has something for everyone thanks to a group of dedicated hardworking people. The future looks bright!"
Nancy Smith wrote to me about how this club has helped her find her gelding. "Here is Koweta Village Fair, my new best friend of an Arabian gelding. GAHA is an important organization to me, a way to meet friends, see gorgeous horses, and a way to gain insight on good equine management practices, riding and training. I have enjoyed and learned from the riding clinics sponsored by GAHA - they are fun events! Koweta Village Fair made his way into my life from contacts I made when volunteering for a GAHA sponsored show in July 2017. I am so grateful for the event, experience and that meeting the right people to lead me to such a nice horse!"
Grace M., a youth member of GAHA, wrote about being in the club as well. "I absolutely love Arabian horses & will always have to have either a purebred or half Arab in my life. Being part of GAHA is like being in a family. Everybody is always looking out for everybody! I’ve learned so much and made friends throughout Georgia (and the Southeast) at GAHA sponsored functions."
Connecting with your local breed club is a way to meet new people and join a community of people with similar interests as you, whether it be Arabians, Quarter Horses, Paints, or any other breed of choice!