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2008 4H Young Horse Development Presentation

Twenty ambitious and eager senior 4H members converged on the ACE arena of the Keystone Centre in Brandon, MB on August 31, 2008 for the 10th annual 4H Young Horse Development presentation day. This project is a joint initiative of Manitoba 4-H and the Manitoba Equine Ranching Association (MERA), a member of the North American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC). All of the knowledge, hard work and dedication that these youth have put into their project horses over the past year, as well as the trainability and quality of the stock being raised on Manitoba equine ranches, is showcased at the event.

Young Horse Development participants are chosen by a selection committee based on applications received by interested senior 4-H members (14 years of age by January 1 of the current year). Upon selection, members are given a list of participating MERA ranchers from whom they may purchase a weanling for a special predetermined price. The ranchers receive half of this set purchase price and the balance is placed in that year’s Project Enhancement Fund.

The objective of the program is for 4H members to raise and train the horse they purchase, and present it firstly as a yearling in hand, and then as a two-year old under saddle the second year. It involves a two-year commitment, and gives 4-H members the opportunity to learn not only training techniques and methods, but valuable life skills about taking responsibility, setting goals and meeting deadlines, problem solving, confidence building, establishing work ethic, seeking out knowledge and information, making commitments, and having patience. Members receive payouts based on individual achievement by participating in the yearling presentations (1/3 of the Enhancement Fund); participating in the two-year-old presentations (the remaining 2/3 of the fund); completing their project books; and by adhering to the rules and regulations.

The day began at 9:00AM sharp with the 4H pledge and motto. After a brief introduction, the yearling exhibitors took to the ring. Evaluator for the day was Bev McLeod of Brandon with assistance from Candice Bergeson of Birtle as the scribe and Kristine O’Connor as the ring steward. Melanie Colli of Hamiota capably handled the announcing duties. The yearling exhibits were scored on grooming, conformation and movement, body condition, safety, handling and responsiveness to training and their owner by walking, trotting, stopping and backing, lunging, and trailer loading and unloading.

Member’s Name

4H Club

Horse’s Name

Breed

Rancher Name

Gerelea DeYaegher

Brandon Ghost Riders

Sweet Rockin Impulse

QH

Little Valley Quarter Horses

Glenn McCullough

Graysville Light Horse & Pony Club

Boggies Oak Bar

QH

Kirk & Gail Bridgeman

Marsha Dudar

Ethelbert 4H Horse & Beef

KJ Crusin Along

Appaloosa

Kevin & Julie Bridgeman

Aaron Lewis

Archie 4H Light Horse & Pony Club

Diamond Deck Drifter

QH

Little Valley Quarter Horses

Brittany Heaman

Virden 4H Light Horse & Pony Club

Rosie Bar Rhonda

QH

Bruce Farquhar

Megan Kemp

Manitou Sunset Riders

Yankees Poco Bar

QH

Vaughn Mayert

Justine Cornelson

Riding Mountain Wranglers

Leos Driften Zip

QH

Kirk & Gail Bridgeman

Shannon Mullin

Mather Combined

DC Jaylo

QH

Dan & Colleen Mullin



Fourteen 2-year olds were presented under saddle. Each horse and rider was scored based on their individual performance on a standard horsemanship pattern developed for the program. Members were evaluated based on the actual training of the horse, with a horse that responds promptly and willingly to be scored higher over quality and movement. The goal of the program is to teach and develop a good basic foundation for a saddle horse. Horses are expected to stand quietly for mounting, show all three gaits under saddle with smooth transitions in both directions of the ring, make a 90 degree pivot to the left and right, stop willingly and settle, back, sidepass both directions, walk over logs, and stand quietly for dismounting, unbridling, rebridling, and unsaddling. Proper grooming, body condition and safety are all to be observed. Conformation of the horse is also taken into consideration.

Member’s Name

Club

Horse’s Name

Breed

Rancher’s Name

Sarah Nernberg

Binscarth Prairie Pride Riders

Frosted Gill

QH

Bruce Farquhar

Dayna Rowland

Binscarth Prairie Pride Riders

Boggies Cody

QH

Kirk & Gail Bridgeman

Matthew Riding

Interlake Young Riders

Ler Yippy Yo

QH

Jocelyn Kish

Gerelea DeYaegher

Brandon Ghost Riders

BME Prettysilverlady

QH

Bob & Maria McCallum

Monica Coffey

Ethelbert 4H Horse & Beef

Crimson Willy

QH

Bruce Farquhar

Jenna Blair

Langruth Ridge Riders

WS Hot n’ Snippy

QH

Wayne & Sandra Sagin

Marsha Dudar

Ethelbert 4H Horse & Beef

KJ Chip Shot

Appaloosa

Kevin & Julie Bridgeman

Steven Miller

Winkler Trailblazers

Crack

Percheron/QH

Vaughn Mayert

Natasha Sawatsky

Austin Blazing Saddles

WS Snip n’ Hot

QH

Wayne & Sandra Sagin

Ali Mullin

Mather Combined 4H Club

DC Wrangler PicaPaca

QH

Dan & Colleen Mullin

Caitlin Tingey

Coulter Western Trail Riders

Tiger Tiger “Pongo”

Appaloosa

Kevin & Julie Bridgeman

Chantel Colli

Decker Country Riders

Bay Chips R Good

QH

Greg & Faye Little

Stephanie Colli

Decker Coutnry Riders

BMF Poco Irish Toffee

QH

Bob & Maria McCallum

Kayla Hudon

Minnedosa Western Riders

Ms Baby Parr

QH

Gordon & Gladys Mason

Only two members took part in both the yearling and 2-year old division this year. Gerelea DeYaegher from the Brandon Ghost Riders had a busy day with her yearling “Sweet Rockin Impulse” purchased from Little Valley Quarter Horses, and then “BME Prettysilverlady” her 2-year old purchased from Bonnie Meadows Farm. This was Gerelea’s 6th year in the program and she says one of the main things she has learned is that every horse is different and they all respond differently. It is the trainer’s job to read each horse and adapt training methods specific to each horse.

“Each horse has to be treated as an individual,” said Gerelea.

One of the other major life skills that Gerelea as well as many of the other presenters learned was patience. “If I got frustrated, I found it was just better to stop and take a break, or it was no good for either one of us. “If you don’t like doing a certain task, then they don’t either. Everything you feel transfers through to your horse.”

This was reiterated by Marsha Dudar from the Ethelbert 4H Horse and Beef Club, the only other member to have a horse in each division. Her breed of choice was Appaloosa, with both her yearling “KJ Crusin Along” and 2-year old “KJ Chip Shot” being purchased from K & J Bridgeman. She has found that her experience of working with different horses in the 3 years she has been part of the YHD program, has made her a better trainer, and that it is also a good way to purchase an inexpensive horse, train it up yourself, and have a great horse at the end of the day.

Megan Kemp and her dad Ross had nothing but good things to say about the Young Horse Development program. “This was my second attempt at bringing a horse through to presentation day,” said Megan. “It was interesting that I achieved the same results with less effort this time as compared to last.” She attributes this fact to the disposition and nature of this year’s colt being different to the last colt she trained, and also, having been through the program once already, she is more confident and comfortable with her training methods. Megan is also glad to have the deadlines that the program imposes in place as it keeps you on schedule and gives you a goal to shoot for. “Having the deadlines make you do it,” laughed Megan, “otherwise it might not get done!”

She also mentions that the clinics that are offered in conjunction with the program are a really good idea to get you started, and that finding a mentor and coach to work under is imperative. “It is way easier to learn from people other than your parents!”

For the most part, the members indicated that they thought it was a good incentive project and would go through the program again. They have learned a lot of valuable training skills to help them with future colts, and also meaningful life-skills to carry with them in toolbox as they journey through life. Members realized what a huge commitment having a horse is, and what an even bigger commitment it is to train it through to a finished product. They have a new appreciation for their equine companions and what makes them tick, as well as the many horsemen and women out there that dedicate themselves to their horses.

Christine Little is one of the many ranchers that has been involved in the program since its inception, and a trainer herself, so sees the benefits that the program has to offer. As a rancher, they try to match up a foal with the youth that are looking based on the criteria they desire in a mature horse which includes breed, color, discipline, size, etc. In the 10 years that the program has been running, Christine believes they have sold the maximum two colts per year to interested 4Hers. She sees the program as very beneficial for the youth as it teaches them a lot of responsibility and commitment. The program itself gives them the means to access the help they need through clinics and books and it is up to the member to get additional coaching and training guidance if they choose. In the ten years the program has been running, she has seen a definite improvement in the level of training the members are accomplishing and the quality of horses the ranchers are turning out.

This was echoed by fellow rancher Dan Mullin, and parent of two of this year’s Young Horse Development participants. He had nothing but good things to say about the program, and the tremendous learning opportunity it provides the youth. He also added that because it was a structured program with deadlines to meet and goals to set, it gave the youth some ownership and responsibility in having to accomplish it all in a specific time frame. He believes that the kids get out of it what they put into it, and it structured so that each member has the ability to achieve their own individual goals.

Evaluator Bev McLeod was equally impressed with the overall quality of horses and the job that the members did in turning them out. “You kids did an awesome job today, you looked the part, the horses were well turned out and you did a great job in your training. I can’t believe how far 4H has come over the last 30 years.”

Sponsors of the Young Horse Development Program are Cowtown, Saskatchewan Equine Ranchers Association, Manitoba Food & Rural Initiatives, Manitoba Equine Ranchers Association, North American Equine Ranching Information Council, and the Manitoba 4H Council. The advisory committee for 2008 consists of Melanie Colli, Ray Salmon, Lynn Coffey, Candice Bergeson, Becky DeYaegher, Jocelyn Kish, and Kristine O’Connor and Bob McCallum. Selections have already been made for this year’s project participation, and members, leaders, and parents look forward to the continuation of this valuable addition to the Manitoba 4H Program well into the future.

About NAERIC

The North American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC), a non-profit association of equine ranchers engaged in horse production and management of pregnant mares. NAERIC serves its members, the horse industry and general public as an agribusiness resource by providing the latest information and research on all aspects of the equine ranching industry, including equine ranch management, horse care, breeding practices and innovative marketing programs. For more information, please visit http://www.naeric.org.



 

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