4-H’ers show their equestrian skills

NEW HAVEN — The Addison County 4-H Horse Clinic, held June 3-5, gave local 4-H club members a chance to hone their equestrian skills and knowledge of horses while enjoying a fun weekend at the Addison County Fair and Field Days grounds in New Haven.
The annual event, sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H in Addison County, was open to all Vermont 4-H club members, including those without horses, and included a two-night stay at the fairgrounds. Twenty-one youths participated with their horses and eight without horses.
On Saturday morning, riding lessons were offered for all levels of experience along with stable management for the beginner and novice riders and the horseless group. The latter also attended a session on parts of bridles and saddles.
After lunch, the more experienced riders competed in a gymkhana (speed pattern racing and timed games on horseback) while the rest of the 4-H’ers participated in games. In addition, workshops were held in showmanship, judging and fire safety.
Following the Saturday evening potluck dinner and ice cream social, Vicki Smith, an equestrian from Bridport, gave an extreme trail demonstration, showing the 4-H’ers how she trained her horse, Bob, to maneuver around obstacles. Afterward, the youths took turns leading their horses through the obstacle course. The clinic concluded with Sunday morning lessons in riding and showmanship.
Local participants were, from Addison, Ava and Laci Almeida, Jasmine Beenen, Rebecca DeVries, Ryley Dubois, Maci Forges and Lea Krause; from Brandon, Anna Bower and Jessica Malbon; from Bridport, Lauren Hodsden; from Bristol, Kimberly Gibson, Sadie James, Eliza Kurth and Madison Shepard; from Ferrisburgh, Shelby Paquin; from Lincoln, Sydney Minnerly and Charlotte Willis; from New Haven, Jamee Barnum and Brooklyn Currier; from North Ferrisburgh, Amelia Kennett, Calvin Kennett, Tucker Kennett and Wyatt Kennett; from Salisbury, Nora Warren; from Shoreham, Courtney Bronson; and from Vergennes, Madeline DeGraaf.
For more information about the Addison County 4-H horse program, contact Martha Seifert, UVM Extension 4-H educator, at 802-388-4969, ext. 355.

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