Thursday, March 27, 2008

4-H

As of tonight, the 4-H horse season is officially upon us. Tonight we had the annual horse safety meeting for the horse project kids. It is a mandatory meeting if you want to show in 4-H in South Dakota. This was a good time to get the kids to fill out their goal sheets that I provided for them this year. I am changing the horse practice juuuusssstttt a little. You see...they have been providing the same practice routine for about the last 30 years. This I know because I was in 4-H for 10 years here in Mellette County. I have been out for 20 years. Last year I stepped in to help a little with the practices, but I didn't want to step on any toes so I just helped try to make the existing program a little more effective. This year I am changing the whole routine. No more will there be - Showmanship followed by Stock Seat followed by a few kids trying out the Trail course and a few kids running their horses repeatedly around the barrels(and making the same mistakes over and over)...
This year there is going to be Showmanship night, Horsemanship patterns night, Reining/Western Riding night and even an English night. This year my goal is to actually get some of these kids to move up a notch. Don't get me wrong...I like and respect the leaders that have kept this 4-H program going here. They are good horse people. But they are busy people and I am not so busy.
I was kind of nervous because I wasn't sure how this was all going to be received by the kids or their parents. I was extremely relieved to see that the kids were excited about it and quickly started filling out their goal sheets after I explained how the practices were going to work. I was totally surprised at the number of kids that wanted to learn to ride English. I contribute this to Megan. Last year, she was the only English rider and even the judge was astounded that there was someone showing English here. This year she is adding Jumping to her roster.
This is Megan and her beloved Strawberry at The State 4-H Horse Show last year...
This is me getting ready to show at the only show I got to participate in last year...
I think the judge just called my number...

Yep...Me and G beat 14 other mares in the Aged Mare Halter...

Not to shabby for the first time ever showing her in a halter class. She also won the Showmanship...but it was all down hill from there. It was about 112 degrees that day(I was dripping wet under that jacket and that was at 9am)and she went into mare mode when I saddled her and that was the end of our winning streak. Oh well...
You know I have said that my dogs go everywhere with me and just so you know - these boys are beyond spoiled when we travel. They get the entire folded down back seat of the pickup to themselves complete with folded comforter for padding and dog bed to snuggle into...
So why does Ute think he needs to nap on Megan's pillow?

And of course the ever serious Red Dog - Are we there yet?Are we there yet? Are we there yet?...

7 comments:

Jessie said...

I really miss showing in 4H. They have an open show every year that I still go to.

That last pic of your dog is priceless!

Mrs Mom said...

Excellent face lift for your 4H program. I used to help out at the local fair, and like you said, year after year it was the same kids making the same mistakes, doing the same classes... And the same kids won the classes year after year too.

I hope that the kids enjoy your changes, and the parents do as well. It sounds like they will get a LOT out of it!

Kudos to you for stepping up!

Mrs Mom said...

PS- I LOVE the pics of the dogs. Red Dog looks like our Jo The Wonder Nanny Dog-- except I think she is a wee bit bigger..lol

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Good for you for not doing the same old - same old. I look forward to hear how the year goes in 4-H. I always wanted to get my kids involved in 4-H, but my hubby's hobbies won out and they ended up doing various ball sports which didn't leave a spare moment in their schedules.

I'm Mikey said...

Good for you!! So glad to hear you're doing 4-H, I think it's so important. For some reason, the 4-H clubs around here don't do much... and I really wanted Mercy to participate in that. Boy it teaches you so much and shapes your life...
Megan looks beautiful English :) Oh how I wish I could be there! Good for her for setting an example (and everyone will follow it)
That's just too cool!!
And you look great doing that Halter :) Your mare looks fantastic, I'm not surprised you won :)

Twinville said...

Red Dog's smushed face cracks me up! Ute looks so content. He probably prefers her pillow because of her scent.

Good for you and G winning! How old IS she? She doesn't look 'aged' at all! wow.

It's really great that you are so involved in making your local 4-H a better more sucessful and challenging place for the kids. Keep updating about your progrees and how it all works out, ok?

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Twinville - yeah - Ute pretty much likes to be as close to me as he can get - sucha momma's boy-LOL.
"G" was 10 in this picture. Not aged by my standards, but the aged class is defined as anything 5 and older. But thank you for the compliment - even the judge was surprised she was 10 - said her topline was great. Of course no babies helps this, but we only have one horse with a "saggy" back and she is 24, so she is excused...