By Danika Overstreet
This January 7th I found myself once again surrounded by one of the most passionate and inspiring groups of people I know, my region! Region 5 held another Equestfest this year to celebrate our passion for these beloved creatures as well as educate ourselves and any public who wanted to come and join the fun. This was the second Equestfest organized by our wondrous director Michelle Pease Paulson and Shannon Bedell along with the help of many volunteers. This year I helped out at our mini AHYA booth in the front again. It was so wonderful to be able to see all young kids from 4-H or even no horse background come up and ask questions. Part of it may have been the fact that we had a bunch of coloring supplies and Horseman Magazines with shiny colors, but that’s just technicalities. We had quite the large silent auction full of unique and useful items. My dad was fortunate enough to win a horseshoe hand crafted with premium stones and gems and copper. Unfortunately, my mom wasn’t able to snag the large Pilchuck first aid kit she had her eyes on, but the amount of money that that product alone was able to raise was just incredible! All the proceeds of the Silent Auction went to the Region 5 Youth and Judging Team as well as to Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. The Region also got some beautiful cakes donated to host a dessert dash at the awards banquet. Mike Whelihan and Ron Copple gave very moving speeches about the Arabian Horseman’s Distress Fund (AHDF), and through the dessert dash we were able to raise thousands of dollars for AHDF! There were double the vendors this year, so everyone got to enjoy a little shopping on the side.
There were many memorable and vibrant speakers at the convention. I, personally, was able to attend the seminar on confidence as well as the one on rider fitness. The confidence seminar I found very insightful and a great deal of help. The best advice I heard was to write down your goal for the upcoming year, but write it in past tense. Then read this out loud to yourself. This sounds as if you have already completed your goal and boosts your confidence that you can. If you act as if it is a certainty, not a maybe, you will be more motivated and successful in completing your mission. I thought this was so innovative as I personally have never looked at a distant goal that way, but I found it to be quite helpful! The rider fitness seminar focused a lot on stability and balance both mentally and physically as well as some aspects of flexibility. I learned some new steps to help with my mobility as a rider, all of which I have begun doing and so far I have found them quite useful! There was another fashion show this year as well, showcasing a variety of disciplines and styles. Overall the NW Equestfest was even grander this year and I enjoyed all the opportunities it had to offer for both the youth and the adults! It was a great experience and I love how there is so much knowledge and experience to be obtained from it. I look forward to attending another one in the future!
About the Author Danika Overstreet is the 2016-2017 AHYA Secretary