Young Adult Alliance

The Young Adult Alliance or "YAA" was established by members of AMHA who saw an opportunity to support the next generation of horse trainers, amateurs, and Morgan Horse enthusiasts between the ages of eighteen and forty. We aim to better connect the Morgan Horse community through networking, fundraising, creating educational content, providing volunteer opportunities, and promoting the next generation of Morgan Breed enthusiast. We welcome all those interested across all disciplines to joing YAA. Members do not need to be actively competing or even own a horse. For more information about YAA's membership levels and how to get involved, check out the below information. We cannot wait to have you join the community!

Click HERE to see the YAA in action!

General Membership:

YAA General Members are AMHA members between the ages of 18 and 40 who have a passion for the Morgan Breed. General Members are invited to attend YAA general meetings, join YAA sub-committees, volunteer at YAA-sponsored events, and suggest new YAA policies and procedures during open floor sessions. This is a great way to network and meet fellow Morgan horse enthusiasts across the country. Please note that you do not need to currently own a horse or Morgan Horse to join YAA.


The YAA Council is comprised of a maximum of fifteen AMHA members between the ages of 18 and 40. Council members are responsible for driving YAA's strategy, electing executive committee members, leading sub-committees, attendingat least 60% of YAA meetings, and voting on YAA policy and procedure. YAA Council members are required to volunteer ar least 25 hours per year of time to YAA events/meetings and committees.

Executive Council:

The YAA Executive Council is comprised of five elected AMHA members (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Marketing Coordinator) between the ages of 18-40. "EC" members are responsible for driving YAA's strategy, leading YAA national meetings, and representing YAA to AMHA and AMHECT members. "EC" members are elected to serve two-year terms by YAA Council Members and should have previously served on the council for at least one year. "EC" members are responsible for volunteering at least 25 per year of time to YAA events/meetings and committees.



Sign up for the Young Adult Alliance Today! Click HERE!

Please send your completed YAA application to Nikki Dumas at



Meet the YAA Executive Council

Katie Schafer -- Chair

I grew up in Massachusetts first learning to ride Saddlebreds until having to relocate to a Morgan farm, where all that was available to show was a Morgan hunter. Devastating news to a 12 year-old obsessed with park trotting Saddlebreds.  Fast forward a few years later and the Morgan hunter division is my absolute favorite to watch, ride and compete in, although the versatility and beauty of all divisions Morgans excel in is what makes the breed so awesome. Today as a competing amateur owner, my favorite part about Morgans is the community of people that slowly became my #morganhorsefamily, that have embraced me through all phases of my journey, from junior exhibitor to young professional that could only afford to be a groom and cheerleader and then again as an amateur owner and competitor. Outside of the barn, I love staying active either running, cross country skiing or hiking with my dogs. During the week I'm a Senior Program Manager in Technology and Operations, so I love problem solving and keeping things organized and efficient. I joined YAA in 2016, eager to give back to the Morgan community that has given me so much.  I'm excited to step up further and serve as Chair for the YAA, to help this group continue to unite young amateurs and professionals across the country, bringing fun events and financial aid to our younger up and coming Morgan amateurs and professionals. Looking forward to continued #morganmomentum with the YAA in 2024!

Olyvia O'Brien -- Vice Chair

I grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts where my love for horses started as far back as preschool. My dad brought me to his good friends at Timber Hill Stables and the rest was history. I did everything I could to be in the barn as much as possible and was lucky enough to work my way to leasing a horse before my parents finally gave into the never-ending “horse girl phase” and bought me my first Morgan in high school. I decided if I ever wanted to do horses full time I’d have to make it a career. I got a degree in Equine Management from the University of New Hampshire and was lucky enough to intern and teach lessons at Taylor River Farm at the same time. The opportunity arose to move to Washington as the as the assistant trainer at Fire Run Farm and have been here since 2021. I joined YAA as a general member simply hoping to connect more with others in the industry. I quickly realized it gave me a greater sense of purpose and loved being able to help the breed that has given me so much more than just riding horses. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by such incredible mentors, that as I continue in the industry I hope to do so for the next generation. Outside of the barn, I love to walk my dog, Arlowe, cook, and spend time with my friends and family! I hope to help keep YAA thriving and continue to connect with as many Morgan lovers as possible!

Daisy Beisler -- Secretary

My love of horses started at a friend’s birthday party when I was just seven years-old. I started lessons within a few months at a local facility riding quarter horses and ponies, learning the basics and showing on the small local circuit and at the county fairs. A few years into taking lessons and leasing horses it was time to have a horse of my own, luckily we found a Morgan and the rest is history. After a very successful junior exhibitor career, I have been fortunate enough to continue my passion in the amateur ranks. Today, I have a classic pleasure horse, Dragonsmeade Iconicfusion that I show under the direction of Memory Lane Farm. I love the Morgan community and the family that I have gained from this sport. Outside of the horse world, you can find me spending time with my dogs, Gracie and Bruno or at my local CrossFit box almost daily working out, and recently I have added coaching CrossFit to my list of hobbies too! To give back to the breed that has provided me with so many opportunities, I joined the YAA in hopes that I can provoke the same passion in others and make the breed stronger through events, fundraisers and educational opportunities that the YAA offers. This year, I am looking forward to continuing my position of secretary and helping to create memorable events at a show near you!

Celia Salmon -- Treasurer

As a third generation Morgan horse owner, I grew up showing the only Morgan horse at the local county fair and park harness at the Morgan Grand National and World Championships — my love of the Morgan breed runs deep!  Growing up, I competed in the Youth of the Year contests as a way to combine my passion for judging and the Morgan horse.  The programs offered through AMHA Youth have been pivotal in shaping me into the young adult that I am today. Over the years, I have been able to give back to the YOTY program as an official and by serving on the AMHA Youth Committee. I got involved with the YAA as a way to give back after receiving the Judging Scholarship. As a young professional, the scholarship was a great way for me to expedite my timeline to obtain my Morgan ‘r’ card and achieve a lifelong dream! I’m looking forward to serving on the YAA Council to help grow the community and engagement for Young Adults in the Morgan community. As Treasurer, I’m excited to continue the #MorganMomentum through the YAA initiatives!  Professionally, I work in the Animal Health industry. After starting my career in marketing, I transitioned to HR, where I am the Talent Acquisition Operations Director. Outside of work you can see me at a horse show cheering on my parents with their horses, rooting for Michigan State, playing soccer or enjoying time with my Mini Aussie, Narduzzi.

Christie Batka -- Marketing Coordinator

Growing up in Northern Illinois, I was a quintessential barn rat, and was introduced to Morgan horses at a young age. It was an instant connection. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people, and horses, who were willing to give me plenty of opportunities at a young age, either in the ring, in the round pen, or simply logging hours doing barn chores.  As a junior exhibitor, I worked hard in my local circuit, doing in-hand, equitation, hunt seat, western pleasure, reining; anything I could get my hands on in order to be around Morgans.  As my Junior Exhibitor years came to an end, I moved to Chicago and received a B.A. in Anthropology from DePaul University. While in Chicago, I explored my many interests and passions, leading me into careers in anthropology, music, art, and climbing. My love for Morgans was always there; so in 2017 I left Chicago and joined the team at Stone Ledge Farm as the Academy Program Director. I am so proud of the team of riders and staff that surround me, and each day I am inspired to be the best team leader and coach that I can. It is that same inspiration to help the next generation of riders that drove me to join YAA in 2023. I know first-hand how much it means to be surrounded by the right people, and be supported by your community. YAA provides a way for young adults to continue building our community, support one another, and share in our passion for Morgan horses. I’m most excited to help elevate the voices of young Morgan enthusiasts, foster this amazing community, and to help it grow for years to come. When I’m not at the barn, I can be found knee-deep in my other passions; climbing, creating art, and hanging out with my two rescue dogs, Iggy and Buck, and my amazing husband Paul.


 Click HERE to learn more about the YAA Judging Scholarship.