I never did 4-H as a kid. In fact, I didn’t have many friends that liked horses, so I’m a strange mixture of jealous and proud of the group of kids and teenagers that make up the 4-H team at my barn. They’re all wonderful people with talented horses!
On Saturday I went down to the Evergreen State Equestrian Center in Monroe to watch the English pleasure and equitation classes. I spent most of the (long) day following along behind my lesson buddy, vicariously living the 4-H experience through her and our other barnmates. I saw a lot of impressive young riders, learned a little bit about the 4-H program, and ogled my fair share of handsome horses.
At the same time, though, I found myself glad that I was never involved in 4-H as a kid. As friendly, encouraging, and enthusiastic as the budding equestrians at the fairgrounds were, there were also some downsides. Classes, for one, ran until 11:00PM, requiring a rider that wanted to participate in both the English equitation and the hunter over fences classes to remain at the fairgrounds for more than twelve hours. By the time the last classes were over, it was pretty clear that everyone (both human and equine) was tired! We were glad to get the horses tucked away into their stalls for the night so that we could head home for some much needed sleep. I, for one, was doubly excited to get to sleep in the next morning, a luxury that the girls who were showing didn’t get to have. 🙂