4-H members attend state horse show

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 1, 2013

On July 12-14, members of the Rowan County 4-H Program attended the 2013 State 4-H Horse Show in Raleigh. Members of the East-Equine-Explorers 4-H club, a local 4-H horse interest club led by Dr. Ann Furr, who competed were Hannah Barringer, Maria Weber and me. All three of us competed in the gaited, or non-trotting, division with our Paso Fino horses. We competed in a total of seven classes, including a gaited western pleasure class and a dressage test.
On July 12, all of the counties competing at the show attended the “Parade of Counties.” This event was held in the main arena for everyone to see. Each county would walk around half the arena with banners, dogs and some were even dressed like the Duck Dynasty crew. When that was finished, we all sat in the stands and waited anxiously because we knew what was in store for us.
The show managers planned a spectacular event. We watched several cowboy mounted shooters, which had competed nationally, at their best. The shooters, on horseback, took aim at several balloons in a pattern. That meant balloons had to be blown up, and that is where I came in. I volunteered to help blow the balloons up for the next shooter. Luckily, there was an air compressor or I would have been light headed. After each ride, we handed balloons to other volunteers who mounted the balloons on a pattern of stakes.
The next day is when we started competing. Our first classes were in hand, meaning we handled the horses on the ground. After those classes, we headed to our stalls to get prepared for our riding classes. We all did very well and had a great time. Near the end of the day on Saturday, the three of us competed in our last class of the day, western pleasure. While we were getting ready, it started to pour rain. We had to cover our leather western saddles with blankets and rain coats to try and keep them as dry as possible.
Sunday morning was our dressage test day. In dressage, we had to learn a specific pattern and execute it. This year was our first time entering dressage.
All in all, the State 4-H Show was a blast. Members were responsible for feeding, cleaning and care of their horses. It was a valuable experience for us to learn about being self-reliant. We all really enjoyed it and appreciate our parents and 4-H leader for helping and supporting us.