Horse and Pony Club 2017
Club Name: “Horsing Around”
Leaders: Kyla Reid & Allison Stirling
It was a busy year for the 4H Horse and Pony Club in Chatham Kent. We had a fantastic group of energetic youth who wanted to learn about our four-legged, long-eared, equine friends!
This year, we were very fortunate to have several guest speakers come to talk to our group about a various topics.
In March, Cindy Cook from Purina joined our meeting to talk about the importance of good equine nutrition. Members were able to inspect different types of feed and learned how to calculate the weight of a horse using a weigh tape.
In June, we visited the Village Hardware and Tack Shop in Thamesville. Our horse club members were provided with a list of various horse tack and accessories that they had to find throughout the store and record it’s price. Once all the items were found on the “scavenger hunt” list, the students tallied up the cost of all the items. They discovered that it can be quite expensive to outfit a horse! Special thanks to Ron Vanroboys for opening his store after hours for us! We had a lot of fun!
In July, we had the opportunity to observe a reining demonstration in Chatham at Dr. Donna Vansegbrook’s farm. Her daughter, Amber, performed a wonderful show and talked to our group about various events that she competes at. Afterwards, Dr. Vansegbrook spoke to the group about different types of equine injuries and emergencies. She talked about ways to prevent some common horse injuries and what to do if they occur. The members enjoyed their visit and especially liked the frozen treats that Dr. Donna provided to the group!
In August, we visited the von Martels farm where we met Cecile von Martels. She graciously invited us in to watch her perform a dressage demonstration. Her and her mother, Debbie, answered all our questions about this sport and gave us a tour of their facility. We all had a wonderful time and greatly appreciated the experience!
But the fun didn’t stop there! We also participated in the Thamesville and Ridgetown parades! We decorated a float and rode through Thamesville showing off our 4H pride! Then, we headed over to Ridgetown for their parade to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday! However, this time we dressed up like rodeo clowns and pushed our wheelbarrows down the streets of Ridgetown to pick up…you guessed it…ROAD APPLES! Our crew did a terrific job by helping out the community during this great day. It wasn’t a glamorous job…but everyone who participated had a positive 4H attitude! A special thank-you goes to Fran Murphy for walking with our group and being a wonderful parent volunteer! It was greatly appreciated and your kindness did not go unnoticed!
Our group “cantered on” into September where they displayed their 4H achievement projects with pride at the Highgate Fair! The members also created two fantastic display boards highlighting this year’s Horse & Pony Club.
We had an amazing group of youth who were eager to learn and happy to help out. Our goal for the year was to teach the basics about handling and caring for horses. Our members were taught different subjects which included barn safety, grooming, equine anatomy and tack. However, if you ask our members which meeting they liked the most they would probably say it was the obstacle course day! The students were able to lead the horses through a pattern of obstacles on a lead line.
Lastly, on behalf of Kyla and myself, we would like to thank our members for participating in this year’s club. We did a lot of “horsing around” and we hope you enjoyed the club as much as we did leading it.
Thanks for a great year!
Kyla & Allison