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A.K.A. "Michael's Meanderings"

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2024 Adult Amateur Grant Announcement

announcement grant Feb 21, 2024
grant announcement


The Equine Academy by Michael Willham Announces the 2024 Adult Amateur Education Grant
While it is important for the top levels of our sport to foster the up-and-coming riders as well as improve the current “team caliber” riders so that the United States can be competitive on the world stage, I feel that the large bulk of riders who participate as a hobby and support these massive organizations often miss out on opportunities of their own.
Whether it is financial constraints, time constraints with full-time non-riding-related jobs, or location restraints if you are not in an area with experienced upper level instructors, I’ve been seeing more and more about how many Adult Amateurs don’t have the level of access and opportunities that they desire.
This is actually the main reason I started the Equine Academy. While I have a full-time non-horse-related office job, my years of experience at the upper levels has allowed me to teach some lessons on the weekends for those in my area wanting to learn more. I realized that the immense knowledge that I have gained not only from riding at that level, but also being exposed to the Olympic caliber riders is something that very few people get the chance to experience. But given my limited time availability, combined with my desire to help as many people as possible, I knew I couldn’t reach enough people just by giving in-person lessons. So I started the Equine Academy.
The Equine Academy is an online equestrian masterclass program with subjects ranging from nutrition to interviews to course walking to wrapping to riding/training videos and much more. With over three dozen blog posts, 55+ videos encompassing over 25 hours of content, and new videos/content added on an ongoing basis, the Equine Academy is an ever-expanding source of education for those primarily in the disciplines of dressage, eventing, and hunter/jumper and show jumping. A uniquely tailored and personal approach due to its small size and sole instructor, the Equine Academy is able to be adaptive, interactive, and involve you in the interactions and priority of picking which subjects to prioritize for creation and discussion next.

**Who is eligible:**

The 2024 Adult Amateur Education Grant is available to any adult amateur who competed in 2023 at any recognized competition in the disciplines of dressage, eventing, hunter/jumper, or show jumping. As I personally know the struggle of being classified as a “professional” in the USEF definition due to the couple of lessons I teach even though I do not make a living in horses, I am not strictly adhering to their definition for being an Amateur. Instead, these grants are open to anyone who does not make their main source of income in riding/training/instructing with horses.

**What is the Grant**:

There are a total of 4 grants available, with each grant giving the recipient a free 6-month access to the Equine Academy masterclass program. Grant recipients will be randomly chosen from eligible applicants.
BONUS: Be sure to share this, because if we reach over 250 applicants, I will double the grants available to 8!
I know what it is like trying to balance a full-time career with horses. Add on to that those of you who have families and other commitments, I know it can be difficult to make time to further your riding education in person. While there is no substitution for in-person lessons, there is so much knowledge you can learn about horses and riding outside of actually being in the saddle. The Equine Academy allows you to learn theories, tips, tricks, best practices, exercise ideas, and so much more at your convenience, without having to haul yourself or your horse anywhere. You can even watch Equine Academy videos on your phone via the website or a mobile app.

**How to apply:**

Applications will be taken until March 20th, 2024 via the Google Forms link here:
Recipients of the grants will be notified in April 2024!
In the meantime, you can also check out the Equine Academy website and blog at
And don’t forget to follow us on social media!

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