Sitting high on the horse
“You have to live on a farm and own an animal to be in 4-H,” — a common misconception. Because of it, many youths don’t take advantage of the program.
Marion’s Happy Hustler 4-H members Abree, 9, and Paige Ensey, 12, aren’t typical horse members. They live in town and, because of city ordinances, are not allowed to keep horses on their property.
They wanted to show horses. “My mother-in-law came to the rescue,” said Jeremy Ensey, the girls’ father. It was a great help when she gifted the horses to the girls after her husband died.
“We live in town and can’t house horses. So we go to grandma’s house a lot, especially getting ready for the fair.”
The children learn animal care responsibilities even though the family doesn’t live on a farm, he said.
Tristen Williams, 15, another Happy Hustlers 4-H member, brought three horses, two of a miniature breed.
Minis aren’t typical 4-H horses, the 15-year-old said. She has been the only one showing them recently.
Mira, a black mare, was given to Tristen as a gift. She had been abused by a previous owner, and it took Tristen a long time to gain enough trust to touch Mira’s ears and feet.
Her palamino, Medallion, is her newest rescue project. He placed well at the fair as his body composition was very good for his size, the horse judge said.
Eight-year-old Athena Funk of Goessel Goal Getters 4-H, is early in her horse-showing career. Her horse, Drifter — a Kentucky mountain horse — is a bit bigger than she is, but Athena lets him know who’s the boss.