The mission of the American Ranch Horse Association is to promote well broke, reliable, working horses and members who share a love for that true equine athlete.

ARHA is open to all registered western stock horse breeds, whether ridden on the ranch, on the trail, or in the ring; and to all horse enthusiasts who want to become better horsemen and have more fun with their horses.

To promote the abilities of the all-around versatile working horse, regardless of breed, through shows, clinics and sales in a positive atmosphere where honesty, personal growth and politeness towards fellow horsemen exists, where horses are always respected, and where true western tradition is genuinely honored.


The American Ranch Horse Association is organized to encourage, promote, advertise and develop the ranch type horses as a unique and excellent athlete.

The Association shall carry out the foregoing purpose by conducting and sponsoring ranch horse activities, events and contests nation-wide; establishing standards, rules and regulations for the efficient promotion of ranch horse competitions; establishing qualified affiliate groups and organizations; establishing requirements, categories & criteria for membership in the association; establishing standards for judging the performance of ranch horses; maintaining active records of individual ranch horses and riders; establishing appropriate recognition for such achievements; maintaining the traditional and historical connection of the ranch horse with the ranching and livestock industry; and cooperating with other equine associations having a common purpose.


The Ranch Horse Association of Michigan is an affiliate of the ARHA and was founded for the purpose of promoting and exhibiting the ARHA horse in the State of Michigan. The goal of the RHAM is to provide ARHA events, programs and services that encourage fun, friendly, relaxed, family-oriented competition at all levels where members can participate in many fun activities and learning experiences and share a passion for the true equine athlete. It is our purpose to promote and educate the horse enthusiasts about the various ranch horse events through clinics for any level horse and rider and competitions in which every contestant desiring to compete is given a fair and equal chance.

The American Ranch Horse Association provides members with a wide range of opportunities to prove and show horses where they are recognized in each event that they excel in via a point system. Starting with horses as young as weanlings, ARHA registered horses may begin amassing lifetime points in recognition of their achievements in the show ring.

ARHA honors outstanding achievements and establishes a record of exceptional conformation and performance with an elaborate and prestigious awards system. Any horse participating in a RHAM show approved by ARHA will receive points towards ARHA awards, in addition to Michigan’s own Year End Circuit Awards presented at an annual year end banquet.

*More information about these awards can be found in the ARHA Rule Book which is available on the ARHA website.


Article I: Title and Objectives

Section 1: This organization shall be known as the Ranch Horse Association of Michigan (RHAM) and is a non-profit organization in accordance with the laws of the State of Michigan.

Section 2: The term for which it will exist is perpetual. If, for any reason, RHAM shall cease to exist, refer to Dissolution Bylaw.

Section 3: All RHAM events shall be run according to ARHA rules, unless otherwise noted in the RHAM bylaws, rules and regulations, or other RHAM directives.

Section 4: The fiscal year of RHAM shall be January 1 through December 31 of each year unless otherwise determined. 

Article II: The Board of Directors

Section 1: Only current members in good standing of ARHA and RHAM who are over the age of 19 as of the fiscal year may serve on the Board of Directors or become Officers. All Directors must agree to attend Board Meetings as set forth.

Section 2: The General Membership will elect all Directors to serve the Association. There will be a minimum of 9 Directors that will serve. The board will have the ability to increase or decrease proportionality with the membership of the club.  The elected Directors will vote at the meeting following the General Election to determine the Official positions.  The Official positions will be as follows: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Official positions shall be held for one (1) year, while the total term of a Director shall be held for two (2) years.

Section 3: The business of this association shall be managed by its elected Board of Directors.

Section 4: The Board of Directors shall have the power and authority to make, amend, repeal, and enforce such rules and regulations, not contrary to law, or this Constitution and Bylaws, as they deem necessary concerning the conduct, management, and activities of RHAM, the admission, classification, qualification, supervision, and expulsion of members, removal of officers, the rules and regulations setting the procedure of such suspension, expulsion or removal, the fixing and collection of dues and fees, the expenditure of money, the auditing of books and records, the conduction of shows, contests, and exhibitions and other details relating to the general purposes of RHAM, subject to the approval, revision, or amendment by the members at any regular or special meeting of the members called in accordance with this Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 5: During his or her term of service, any Director who misses three consecutive regular meetings of the Board of Directors may be immediately terminated at the discretion of the Board.

Section 6: The Board of Directors, from time to time, may create and empower committees, general or special.

Article III: Election of the Board of Directors

Section 1: The nominations for the elected Directors of the Association will be named by members in good standing of the association. The nominations must be received by the Board of Directors no less than sixty (60) days prior to initiation of the vote.

Section 2: Each member in good standing shall be entitled to one vote. Absentee ballots, as appropriate, bearing the signature of the member in good standing can be submitted and counted. No proxy voting will be allowed.

Section 3: The election of Directors shall be by closed ballot. Voting can be conducted at the annual meeting, by mail with ballots sent to all current members, or electronically via a link to a secure voting site.

Section 4: All elected members of the Board of Directors will serve a term of two (2) years. The immediate Past President will serve a one-year term immediately following his/her term as president with voting rights.

Article IV: Duties of Officers

Section 1: The open positions on the Board of Directors shall be elected by the general membership.  The Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer,) shall be elected by, and from within, the Board of Directors.

Section 2: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Association and will preside at all meetings of the Association. The President shall conduct the business of RHAM in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws and other rules and regulations of RHAM. The President will be an ex-officio member of all committees. He/she may sign, with the secretary or any other proper officer of the Association thereunto authorized by the Board of Directors, any deeds, mortgages, bonds, contracts or other instruments which the Board of Directors has authorized to be executed, except in cases where the signing and execution thereof shall be expressly delegated by the Board of Directors or by these bylaws to some other officer or agent of the Association, or shall be required by law to be otherwise signed or executed and in general, shall perform all duties incident to the office of the President and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors from time to time.

Section 3: It will be the duty of the Vice-President to perform all duties of the President in the case of the President’s absence, disability, resignation, or removal.

Section 4: It will be the duty of the Past President to bring continuity to the newly elected Board Members

Section 5: A Secretary shall be elected by and from within the Board of Directors, and shall keep the minutes of all meetings. The Secretary’s duties will consist of issuing all notices of meetings; keeping the membership roll; issuing membership cards or certificates; conducting, supervising counting, and recording the balloting of all elections; and performing such other and further duties as designated from time to time by the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall not also hold the Treasurer position.

Section 6: The Treasurer will be responsible for the financial business of the association. Duties will consist of maintaining a checking account and, if finances allow, a savings account for the association with signature cards completed for both the Treasurer and President. The Past President shall reamin on the signature card if the Treasurer and the President are the same person. The Treasurer shall collect all monies due RHAM in the course of its regular operations and for its special events and keep and safeguard the records and funds of RHAM. The Treasurer shall make a report of all receipts and disbursements of funds since their last meeting at each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and at the annual meeting of the membership. In addition, a copy of an audited financial statement will be furnished to the Board of Directors, if they have instructed so, as received by the Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall not also hold the Secretary position.

Section 7: All Directors shall be in charge of the daily operational responsibilities of the Association, including but not limited to decisions necessary for continuity and those requiring immediate attention. All other matters of concern will be brought before the Board of Directors at a regular meeting. All long-term contractual agreements exceeding one-hundred dollars ($100) requires an affirmative vote by the Board of Directors.

Section 8: The President shall have the authority from time to time to create additional appointive offices and may delegate and assign to any such office the duties and responsibilities he or she deems in the best interest of the RHAM and necessary for its efficient operation.

Section 9: Any Director elected by the membership may be removed by 2/3 vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 10: Vacancies. A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification, or other may be filled by means of succession for the remaining term of said office. In the event that all Director positions become vacant, an Executive Director will be appointed by the Membership until an election is held at a special or the Annual Meeting of the Association.

Article V: Duties of Board of Directors

Section 1: The Board of Directors shall have general charge of the affairs and finances and property of the Association, to which they shall report at the annual meeting.

Section 2: The Board of Directors will be empowered to fill vacancies occurring in said Board. Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors may be filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining Directors of the Association. Said appointee must still come under the criteria of Article II, Section 1 of these bylaws. A director appointed to fill that vacancy will continue to hold this position for the unexpired term of his predecessor in office.

Section 3: All members of the Board of Directors are responsible for attending all RHAM meetings at such time and place as they shall determine. Notice and purpose of any special meeting shall be given at least five (5) days in advance by mail, phone, or email to each Director. The attendance of a Director at a meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting, except where a Director attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting was not lawfully called or convened. A quorum of the Board of Directors shall consist of one half (1/2) of the Board members, a majority of such quorum shall decide upon any question that may come before the meeting.

Section 4: Each Director and officer shall be indemnified by the Association against any liability and/or expenses reasonably incurred by him/her in connection with the defense of any action suit, or proceeding instituted in which he/she may be made party defendant by reason of his/her being or have been a Director or officer of the Association. Liability and/or expense shall include the cost of reasonable settlement made with a view of avoiding the cost of litigation and the payment of any judgment or decree entered in such action, suit, or proceeding. The Association shall not, however, indemnify such Director or officer with respect to matters as to which he/she shall be finally adjudged in any such action suit, or proceeding to have been derelict in the performance of his/her duties as such officer or Director, and in no way shall anything herein be so construed as to authorize the Association to indemnify as such director or officer against any liability he/she would be subject to by reason or willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his/her office. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of other rights to which any Director or officer may be entitled as a matter of law. Said indemnity shall also ensure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, and administrator of such person.

Article VI: RHAM Youth Association

Section 1: There may be a Youth committee of the Ranch Horse Association of Michigan and shall operate within the scope of the bylaws, rules, and regulations of the RHAM and shall herewith also be referred to as the Ranch Horse Association of Michigan Youth (RHAMY).

Section 2: Objectives of the RHAMY are:

  1. To develop sportsmanship, leadership, and other desirable traits
  2. To promote pride in ownership of ranch horses among youth members
  3. To teach and learn safe horsemanship, both care and handling of horses
  4. To improve and develop the ability of youth members through group participation
  5. To be of service to RHAM

Section 3: Membership. Members of RHAMY shall consist of and be limited to those members of RHAM who are not yet nineteen (19) years old by January 1st of current year. Initial membership to the RHAMY shall be accompanied by a birth certificate or ARHA youth card to establish birth date for eligibility to accumulate show points in the correct age division. All RHAMY members shall abide by the rules of the American Ranch Horse Association and RHAM. A member in good standing of the RHAMY shall be entitled to all rights and privileges for the Youth Association which includes the right and privileges for members of the RHAM.

Article VII: Meeting of Members of the Association

Section 1: An annual meeting of the Association shall be held at a time and place designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice will be given to each member no less than thirty (30) days prior to the Annual meeting of the Association stating the date, time, and place of said meeting.

Section 2: Special meetings of the Members of the Association may be called by direction of the President, or majority of the Board of Directors, or by the written direction of not less than twenty percent of the members in good standing with no less than ten (10) days notice regarding items needing immediate attention. Said notice shall state in writing the date, time, place, and purpose of said meeting. Only such business as is set forth in the written notice of said special meeting shall be transacted at said meeting.

Section 3: Those members present shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the RHAM and a simple majority vote of such quorum shall decide any question that may come before the meeting.

Section 4: Except as hereinafter provided relative to the voting for Directors, each member in good standing of RHAM shall be entitled to one vote. Voting by mail ballot for the election of Directors and bylaw changes of RHAM shall be permitted. Voting by proxy shall not be allowed.

Section 5: The order of business at any regular meeting of the members shall be as follows:

  1. Call to order
  2. Reading and Acceptance of minutes into the record
  3. Officers’ and Committee Reports
  4. Election matters, if any
  5. Unfinished business
  6. New business
  7. Adjournment

Article VIII: Membership

Section 1: Any individual of good character and reputation interested in ranch horses may become a member of this Association.

Section 2: Members shall be admitted and retained in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Ranch Horse Association of Michigan.

Section 3: Each member of the Association shall pay annual membership dues to the RHAM.  Said dues are due and payable at the commencement of each calendar year. The calendar year of the Association will be January 1 through December 31 of each year.

Section 4: All dues to the association shall be set by the Board of Directors.

Section 5: All monies paid to RHAM must be in US funds.

Section 6: Membership in RHAM is a privilege, not a right, application for which shall be made on forms and by fees and procedures prescribed from time to time by RHAM. Membership, or application therefore, may be terminated or rejected by the Board of Directors for cause detrimental to the interest of RHAM, its programs, policies, objectives, and harmonious relationship of its members, as determined by the Board of Directors.

Article IX: Annual Statements

Section 1: The Board of Directors shall present at each annual meeting of the Association a full and complete statement of the business and affairs of the Association for the preceding year. Such statements shall be prepared and presented in whatever manner the Board of Directors deem advisable and need not be verified by certified public accountant, unless the Board of Directors feel that such verification of the statement is warranted.

Article X: Amendments

Amendments to the bylaws must be presented to the RHAM Board of Directors. All proposed bylaw changes will then be sent by written notice to the General Membership, and will include a ballot. Any changes to the bylaws will be voted on by the membership, proper notice of which will be provided with the ballot. Absentee votes will be accepted for any member unable to attend the special meeting.

Dissolution Bylaw

In the event of the dissolution of this Club/Association, any assets remaining after club liabilities have been met will be turned over to the American Ranch Horse Association or another organization having similar nonpartisan, non-profit objectives as determined by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Association (RHAM). In such an event, a special meeting of the remaining members of the Association will be called with no less than thirty (30) days notice of said meeting.

Updated February 2018