Non-Horse Friends: They Just Don't Get It

By Megan D'Andrea | March 18, 2015

Spring is definitely in the air, and show season is just around the corner!

As I start to prepare for the show season, some of my non-horsey friends have a hard time understanding how much work goes into show preparation. I try to explain that the riding, training, and daily lessons take up a lot of my time.
A lot of work goes into getting a horse ready to show. More than my non-horse friends could ever fathom!

Like many things, I believe that you have to do something for yourself in order to understand what it's like. I allowed a friend to ride my horse once, and she did all the brushing, tacking up, and cooling down by herself. At the end of the ride she said, "I never thought a horse was that much work!"

A lot of my fellow classmates don't understand my horse addiction, and I believe some never will. Having horses is a commitment and a luxury, all in one. I would never give up my horses for anything; they make me who I am and have helped me grow throughout life. Ever since the first day I got a horse, my life has been changed for the better in so many ways.

I try to explain to my fellow classmates and friends how amazing horses are; however, some will just never understand. We horse people are definitely a breed of our own, but what would life be without horses? Maybe one day other people will understand our horse addictions, but until then, long live cowboys and gals! 


Calling All Horseless Reiners!

By Megan D'Andrea | March 18, 2015

Youth riders who aren't reiners or don't even have a horse to show, listen up: You can be involved with horses, too!

I want to tell you about the National Reining Horse Youth Association’s Varsity Reining Club, which has something for every youth horse enthusiast. The Varsity Reining Club offers youth the opportunity to earn scholarships by submitting photography, writing stories that might be published in The Reiner, selling tickets for the raffle held during the NRHA Futurity to benefit NRHyA, and even getting good grades in school. Each activity is worth a set number of points that you can use to purchase NRHA sweatshirts, hats, duffle bags, and so much more.
Even if you don't have a horse to ride, you can be active in horse activities.

Through the Varsity Reining Club, I’ve learned how hard work really does pay off, whether it be school work or working really hard to sell raffle tickets. Additionally, I’ve been able to interact with other youth who are into horses, just like me.

I encourage everyone to get involved with the Varsity Reining Club—you don't even have to be an NRHA member! Simply go to the NRHA website,  click “Youth,” and then “VRC” to become a member today. I feel that the club has made me a better person by developing my photography and writing, and has given me so many opportunities. If you have any questions about the Varsity Reining Club, please email me at, and put “Megan” in the subject line.


My Reiner, Craig

By Megan D'Andrea | February 17, 2015

Last time I wrote, I told you about the NRHyA Varsity Reining program. So you’ve probably figured out that reining is my choice sport with my horses.

My partner in reining is Craig, my 3-year-old Quarter Horse gelding. Craig got his name from his previous owners, who are from Oklahoma. His registered name is Boomin Wave, but they gave a barn name, Craig because it was a simple, to-the-point name, and it fit him well.
Megan and "The C," registered name Boomin Wave.

Also known as “The C,” Craig is a very interesting horse; he has the most hilarious personality, with a bunch of little quirks. His best maneuvers are his large, fast and small, slow circles. He runs them so nicely and keeps his body in the perfect position the whole time. Sometimes I get nervous about doing my circles, but he helps me stay calm and do them well. I sometimes struggle with his spins to the right, because he tends to drop his shoulder in, which makes it harder for him to gain speed and spin well.

When I first met Craig, I knew he was the horse for me; he just had a fun vibe to him. There’s never a dull moment around him. From grabbing the brush out of my hand to sneaking up behind me while I’m cleaning his stall, he always has something up his sleeve. This year I plan on showing Craig in reining for both the NRHA and the AQHA in youth classes. I also plan to teach Craig cool tricks like lying down and bowing.

I want to hear about your horses! If you don’t own one, tell me about the type of horse you’d like to have someday. 


Addicted to Horses

By Megan D'Andrea | February 12, 2015

My name is Megan D'Andrea, and I am addicted to horses and all activities surrounding them!
Megan with Willow.

I’m from the small town of Fowler, Ohio. And this year, my eager involvement with all things horse led to my being named the NRHyA Youth of the Year and the AQHA Young Horse Development Program Champion. I love working with horses and encouraging more youth to get involved—and that’s what I hope to do here with this blog: inspire you to stay active with your horses (or horsey non-horse activities) by chronicling my adventures. Horses can teach you so many valuable lessons in life, and without them, I know I wouldn’t be who I am today. They have definitely made a positive impact on my life.

A little more about me: I started riding horses six years ago. The first time I got in the saddle, I knew that horses would forever be a part of my life. My very first horse was a Tennessee Walker/Draft cross, and he was the best thing that ever happened to me. A year later, I got into American Quarter Horses. AQHA gives youth so many opportunities to get involved with horses, even if you don’t own one! NRHA also gives youth so many wonderful opportunities. I have two horses right now: Willow, a yearling filly that was in the AQHA YHDP with me, and Craig, my reining show horse.

Throughout this blog, I hope to reach out to youth and help you guys get more involved! I’ll also be open to any comments, letters, and ideas that you guys may have for me. You can reach me in the comments here, or you can email me via Horse&Rider at Just put “Megan” in the subject line.


Subscribe to Horse & Rider
Subscribe to Horse & Rider
today and get a
Free Gift!

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Join the fun and share with friends