Rim Country Middle School eighth-grader Tori McDaniel is among the local teenagers reaping the benefits of participation in the American Quarter Horse Association.
McDaniel, who has been riding since she was about 5 years old, recently enrolled in AQHA's Horseback Riding Program.
She and her quarter horse, Doc, are well on their way to receiving the program's first award -- a recognition patch given out after 50 hours have been logged and verified on a registered American quarter horse.
When not riding Doc, McDaniel sometimes rides her father's roping horse, Angel.
Much of her riding is done from the family home in Star Valley where there is also a roping arena.
McDaniel, after receiving her first recognition patch, is in line to receive nine subsequent AQHA awards that are presented at 1,000 to 5,000 hour levels. The awards range from gift certificates to a Montana silversmith's trophy belt buckle.
The time she logs in the AQHA program can be done at a variety of activities including trail rides, shows, working cattle and pleasure driving.
AQHA Manager of Membership Services Stephanie McCommon said, "The horseback riding program is a unique opportunity to earn rewards outside of traditional competition.
"In some cases the program rewards people who already spend many hours riding American quarter horses. For others, the horseback riding program is an incentive to get out and ride."
-- To reach Max Foster call 474-5251 ext. 114 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.