NDSU Extension - Dickey County


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Dickey County 4-Her Accepted Into The AQHA Young Development Program

Breana Kiser, Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent

Kali Norton is the 12 year old daughter of Jason and Lana Norton. She is an active Dickey County 4-H member belonging to the Prairie Rose Club. Kali competes on the Dickey County Horse Hippology Team and shows at the Horse Achievement Days. This summer she applied for the American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program that she read about in the American Quarter Horse Association magazine.

The AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program (YHD) showcases the stock being bred and raised by American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Ranching Heritage members by matching donated weanlings with American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) members. Youth in this program are engaged in the horse industry at a fundamental level that is both fun and educational.

Participating Ranching Heritage breeders donate young horses for Young Horse Development participants to raise and train. Young horsemen and women learn responsibility and goal-setting, important components of horse ownership - and life skills that can follow them for years to come. Encouraged by good fun, as well as key education in the horse industry, youth learn to raise and train their weanlings.

Through the Young Horse Development program, AQHYA members 12 years and older receive a hands-on horse training opportunity focusing on the fundamentals of horsemanship. The program is not only an excellent educational experience, it is also a lot of fun! Prizes and scholarships are at stake. Participants can showcase the skills and knowledge they have acquired for chances to win scholarships and awards.

Throughout the program, participants further their knowledge in horse health by prioritizing equine wellness.

Participants are encouraged to help ensure their horse’s health by working closely with a veterinarian and completing the Zoetis Good Start Equine Wellness Certificate. The certificate outlines key aspects of horse health care to help build a solid foundation of equine wellness for both horses and youth members. The Good Start certificate records veterinary wellness exam details, including core and risk-based vaccinations, to help the weanlings excel in both health and performance.

The AQHYA member must complete an application which includes two letters of reference, the last two years grade reports, 10-10-19 Open Box Rafter Ranch Groupa persuasive essay and a google map of their property indicating shelter, pastures etc. About two weeks after submitting her 12 page application, the Norton family received a call that Kali was one of the lucky applicants to be selected. She was matched with Jim & Joni Hunt and family from Open Box Rafter Ranch. She will continue for the next year in the program completing projects and the top participants are eligible for scholarships and prizes. We are so proud of her hard work!

2019 Open Box Rafter Ranch weanling recipients.

The family traveled to Fairgrounds at Rapid City, SD in September where she was awarded this sorrel filly from Open Box Rafter Ranch. Congratulation to Kali Norton for being able to have such a great opportunity to further her experience in the horse industry.

10-10-19 Kali Norton & Flaire


10-10-19 Kali Norton & Stan Weaver

Kali Norton with her sorrel filly, Flaire.
               10-10-19 Kali Norton Jim & Joni Hunt                                           




Kali Norton with Jim & Joni Hunt                                                            


                                                                                                           Kali Norton with Stan Weaver, AQHA President

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