University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Local 4-H'ers Learn New Skills at Addison County 4-H Horse Clinic

More than 40 4-H'ers participated in trail rides, skills workshops and other horse-related activities at the Addison County 4-H Horse Clinic, May 31-June 2 at the Addison County Fair and Field Days grounds in New Haven. (photo courtesy of UVM Extension 4-H)

New Haven--Forty-four youths attended the Addison County 4-H Horse Clinic, May 31- June 2 at the Addison County Fair and Field Days grounds in New Haven to improve their riding skills and learn about horsemanship, safety and other equine topics.

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H in Addison County sponsored the event, which included workshops, trail rides, a gymnkana and other activities, including a presentation by Dr. Keely Henderson, a mobile equine veterinarian from Bristol. Special activities were planned for kids who did not bring a horse. The kids and their horses camped overnight at the fairgrounds.

Participating clubs included the Addison Flaming Manes, Addison; Mountain View 4-H, Bridport, New Haven Twilight Tails, New Haven; Silver Hooves, Cornwall; Sky Riders, Brandon; Stride Out, Bridport and Tally-Ho, Orwell. Some independent 4-H members also attended. New Haven Twilight Tails was presented with an award for best stable management.

On Saturday riders of all abilities received riding lessons both in the morning and the afternoon. Beginners and advanced beginners also participated in a stable management workshop on what to include in a tack box.

Juniors (10-13 years old) and seniors (14 and up) had the choice of drill team or stall safety workshops. For the latter, a stall was set up with 30 hazards for them to identify to make the stall safe for a horse. Thirteen youths signed up for the drill team, learning patterns and practicing for a drill team performance the following day for parents, friends and fellow campers.

The 4-H'ers with jumping experience participated in a workshop designed to hone their skills while others went on a trail ride. The clinic also included a gymnkana and roping demonstration and chance to try roping as well as an ice cream social sponsored by the Addison County 4-H Foundation.

For more information about the Addison County 4-H horse program, please contact Martha Seifert, UVM Extension 4-H educator, at (802) 388-4969.