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Horses can be fun and educational

By By Beth Randall / 4-H youth agent
April 4, 2004
As a child, my favorite Sunday afternoon pastime was to ride my horse with my dad. My dad and I spent hours ridding through the pasture enjoying the sunshine and green grass. Even though riding for sport is lots of fun, the 4-H Horse Program offers many other great educational opportunities.
Young people ages 8 to 18 who own horses can participate in 4-H Horse Shows. This year, our Southeast District Horse Show will be July 8-10 in Hattiesburg. 4-H'ers who qualify at the district show can participate in the state 4-H Show in Jackson July 14-17.
In order to participate in the 4-H Horse Shows, young people must be 4-H members and must own their horses by May 1.
I know what you are thinking … I love horses but I don't own one … is there something I can do? The answer is yes. Join us April 7, at 3 p.m., at the Lauderdale County Extension Service to find out more about the events described below.
A popular contest is the 4-H Horse Bowl. Just so you will know, it has nothing to do with putting horses in a bowl, nor does it require taking your horse to the local bowling alley! This event is a quiz contest made up of questions about horses. Pairs of four-person teams complete against each other, responding to questions asked by a contest moderator.
The horse contest that I participated in when I was in 4-H was Horse Judging. The horse judging contest consists of teams of four that rank classes of horses and give their reasons for placing the class as they did.
In the 4-H Horse Public Speaking Contest, 4-H'ers give speeches related to the horse industry.
If you enjoy taking photos, the Horse Photography Contest may be the one for you. There are various categories for photos taken since August 1, 2003.
If you are between 14 and 18 years old, and really want to enter an in-depth contest, the Hippology Contest may be what you are looking for. It is a team competition in which members participate in four phases: written exam, stations, judging and team problems.
Perhaps you are an artist. Why not try the Horse Art Contest? It is a great way to express your creativity and love of horses at the same time.
As I was saying If you have a horse, 4-H is for you. If you don't have a horse, 4-H is for you.
However, the time is now. Join us April 7 to find out how you can fit in the 4-H Horse project. You may even want to join the 4-H Horse Club. It meets monthly to learn horse care, ridding techniques and much more.
For more information, call the Lauderdale County 4-H Office at 482-9764.