NAYC Mentorship Program

Area IX YR Logo Color




Applications should be turned in to your coordinator by April 15, 2020


PROGRAM SUMMARY:  The NAJYRC USEA Mentorship Program affords Young Riders an opportunity to learn from experienced equine professionals, thus gaining a better understanding of career paths, skill development, networking and goal setting for his/her future.

*Mentoring is a way for more experienced equine professionals to share their experience with YR protégés, providing important learning opportunities for both participants.

*A successful mentoring partnership benefits those involved through increased confidence and a sense of direction.

*The mentoring partnership requires honesty, openness, commitment and effort by both of the participants.

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL MENTORING PARTNERSHIP:  For both the mentor and the protégé, the following contributes to a successful mentoring partnership:

*establish boundaries – times to meet and end each day

*be open about working together and maintain professional behavior

*maintain an absolute commitment to trust and confidentiality between participants



Definition:  A mentor serves as a role model and has the ability to lead, inspire, and motivate his or her YR protégé by expanding his or her awareness, insight, and perspective.  A mentor asks the tough questions and communicates the rules of how things work, identifies political relationships and assists in developing goals with the YR protégé for future career direction and skill development. A mentor:

*listens and offers feedback

*recommends developmental activities

*suggests and provides resources

*communicates experiences and challenges

*serves as a counselor and guide

*discusses training and educational opportunities

*explores career goals of the YR protégé and discusses numerous career paths available to the protégé within the equine world

Qualifications:  A mentor has:

*credibility with colleagues

*respect of peers and professionals

*expertise in his or her field of knowledge

*a desire to help the protégé as well as the organization

*a willingness to commit time and energy to the partnership

*an ability to help the protégé set and attain goals

Responsibilities:  A mentor will provide the following to his/her YR protégé:

*vision and insight

*advice and counsel

*support and encouragement for building self-confidence and stronger insight into the workings of the equine culture

*solid role modeling

*constructive feedback and critical analysis

Benefits/Rewards:  Mentors who participate in mentoring partnerships:

*gain personal satisfaction from helping the YR protégé discover and reach his/her potential

*gain exposure to new perspectives from the YR protégé

*gain enhancement of coaching feedback and leadership skills

*experience personal satisfaction from giving back to the organization

*provide a legacy of personal knowledge, insight and experience to the future leaders of the equine world

Preparation:  Mentors can help to ensure a successful mentoring partnership by:

*being willing to actively involve the YR protégé in any and all activities the mentor deems appropriate

*thinking about relevant books and web resources that might be of value to the YR protégé

*summarizing his/her goals and expectations for the mentoring partnership

*developing 2 or 3 topics the mentor would like to discuss with the YR protégé

*determining times/logistics for daily encounters

Suggested guideline questions that might assist mentors in the beginning to get to know the YR protégé with whom they will be working:

   * “What is important to you?”

* “Tell me about your background and experience?”

* “What gives you the most satisfaction within the equine culture?”

Evaluation:  All mentors will:

*complete written program evaluation

*complete formal, closing oral communication with the YR protégé to conclude the mentoring partnership



Definition:  A young rider protégé is an active member of his or her Area YR Program who desires to work with a mentor from whom he or she may gain guidance, knowledge and training regarding the mentor’s role within the equine world.   

The YR protégé relies on the mentor’s experience and influence to increase his or her own awareness of the mentor’s role within the equine world.  The YR protégé seeks constructive feedback as well as encouragement and has a strong commitment to professional growth and the ambition to succeed.  The success of the mentoring partnership is often based on what the YR protégé wants to achieve from the partnership.

The YR protégé:

*asks questions

*shares ongoing career planning and goals

*is open to the mentor’s suggestions

*keeps lines of communication open with his or her mentor

*is ready to work alongside as per the mentor’s instructions   

Qualifications:  A YR protégé must have the following characteristics:

*a desire to learn and grow

* a commitment and loyalty to the YR program

*both intelligence and common sense

*a strong commitment to goals and personal responsibility

*an ability to listen and follow through with directions

Responsibilities:  A YR protégé must:

*be prepared to tell the mentor how he or she can be helpful (i.e. mentors often ask protégés to define areas in which they can be most helpful to the YR)

*be professional in attire, attendance, punctuality and communication

*observe the rules of confidentiality

*be receptive to feedback and coaching

*be actively involved in every activity with the mentor

*prepare questions in advance of each meeting

*seek out opportunities for substantive work assignments

*take initiative in skill development

*assess his or her individual needs and be proactive in career development

*take advantage of the training and assistance offered

Benefits/Rewards:  YR protégés who participate in a mentoring partnership

*gain assistance in defining career goals, strategies and options

*gain personalized education geared toward his/her specific needs

*gain exposure to behind the scenes workings of international horse competition

*gain help in building confidence to grow beyond the usual expectations

*develop networks

*increase their visibility

*learn to adapt to changing professional and organizational circumstances

*increase their opportunities to develop leadership capabilities

*increase their opportunities to practice risk-taking within a professional context

Preparation:  YR protégés can help to ensure a successful mentoring partnership by

*contacting his/her mentor prior to the competition

*doing some “homework” and researching his/her mentor’s background, accomplishments, and the organization or organizations with which the mentor is associated

*clarifying his/her expectations up front with the mentor

Suggested guideline questions that might assist YR protégés in the beginning to get to know the mentor with whom they will be working:

* “Have you had a mentoring partnership in the past?  What went well? What could have made the partnership better?”

* “What expectations do you have of me?”

* “I’m interested in (specify) skills (knowledge) for my professional

        development.  Can you help me to ____________ these?”

* “How might I prepare for our first meeting?”

Evaluation:  All YR protégés will:

*complete written program evaluation

*complete formal, closing oral communication with their mentors to conclude the mentoring partnership