NFO Launches New Youth Organization

Attention all youth horse lovers and parents of horse-crazy kids; a new opportunity to learn and meet fellow horsemen in a fun, safe environment is coming soon!

Northfork Farms and Outback in Webberville, Michigan, is launching a new organization called the Northfork Youth Horsemen’s Association, or NYHA. Different from other existing organizations, such as 4H or FFA, the focus of NYHA is exclusive to horses and improving the quality and depth of its’ members’ education in horsemanship.

The mission of NYHA is to provide youth horse lovers with the skills and experiences they need to feel confident and inspired to continue to pursue opportunities with horses throughout the rest of their lives.

When children express an interest in horses, parents tend to look for horseback riding lessons. While horseback riding lessons are valuable, riding is only a small part of horsemanship. NYHA teaches its members about fundamentals of horse behavior and health and uses horseback riding to put this knowledge into practice.

It is the goal of group leader, Kara Grupe, to encourage members to think critically about how the information they learn about horses translates to horse riding and handling.

“Lots of information is already available about horses,” says Kara, “kids don’t always need a teacher to learn what horses eat and the names of horse body parts. The problem is that no one is taking the time to educate and demonstrate why this knowledge is important and how it applies to managing and riding a horse.”

In contrast to many horseback riding lesson programs, which tend to focus on the rider and their individual skills, NYHA members will work together as a team. The educational content of each meeting will be taught in a manner that requires team work, communication, and leadership among NYHA members.

Northfork Farms will host NYHA general meetings on the first Friday of each month, beginning February 5th. This meeting will consist of an interactive, hands-on information session to setup the educational theme of the month. On the remaining Fridays of each month, riding workout sessions will be held for members. NYHA accepts members ages 6 and up with all levels of horse experience. Horse ownership is not required to join.

Interested parties should contact Kara Grupe via email at or contact farm owner, Christie Showerman at 517. 881.9142.

Visit the NYHA website,, and the NHYA Facebook Page by searching “NYHA – Northfork Youth Horsemen’s Association”.

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