Youth Programs

Homestead Stables is a strong supporter of our local youth and future generations.
Our goal is to provide education and allow growth through positive equine
experiences. We have opportunities to join 4H, IEA (Interscholastic
Equestrian Association), and youth summer camps.


The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) offers a wonderful opportunity for youth in grades 4 – 12 to participate in competition during the school year without having to own a horse. Our western team, Western NY Equestrian Team, offers riders the opportunity to compete in horsemanship and/or reining at four ability levels. Points are tracked for each individual rider and for each team overall. Students ride horses that are furnished by the host barn and chosen at random draw. What a wonderful way for students to improve their skills on a variety of horses! Practices start in October and go as late at June*. Visit the IEA website for more information or contact Coach Heather Payne with questions.

* Membership deadline for IEA is November 1 each year. A fee will be applied to late registrations.


We offer local youth ages 5 – 19 years of age the opportunity to join our 4H club of Cattaraugus County, “Down the Rail 4H Club.” 4H represents four personal development areas of focus: head, heart, hands, and health. The goal of 4H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility, and life skills through learning programs and a positive youth development approach. Horse Bowl, horse judging, attending clinics, giving public presentations, and showing at the fair are just a few of the opportunities available within 4H. Membership starts October 1 each year and the club meets once a month at Homestead Stables. Contact us for details and with your questions. Visit the 4H website to learn more about the program.

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Get involved and find your passion through our youth programming. We’re waiting for you to join our team of dedicated young riders!

“I went from not even knowing how to steer a horse correctly to successfully competing in horse shows. Heather has been a big part of my success; from making sure I’m prepared for competition to letting me borrow her tack and equipment when I didn’t have things. She has truly made a difference in my skills and abilities and has really helped me become a better person. Heather is someone I look up to and who I want to be like. Whether you’re young or old, she will make you the best you can be!”

– Emma Schmitt