By 1974, a group of western Washington state parents who’d started a Pony Club chapter back in 1960 decided to emulate the Pony Club model and establish a “horsemastership” club for adults. USDF founder Lowell Boomer reached out to the fledgling Equestrians Institute, which soon became a charter USDF GMO.
A favorite memory of many members is the Christmas party and parade of decorated horses, ponies, and carriages through neighborhoods—an annual feature during EI’s early years.
EI, which now has members throughout the Pacific Northwest, is a unique GMO in that it includes driving as well as dressage and eventing. Its slate of activities includes driving trials and clinics in addition to USEF/USDF dressage competitions, US Eventing Association-sanctioned horse trials, and clinics and educational opportunities for all three disciplines. There are year-end awards for driving, eventing, and dressage, as well.