We all know 4-H is a leader in equine education for youth across the nation - but did you know that they pioneer enrichment and learning in other areas, as well? All 4-H programs provide young people with opportunities to improve sportsmanship, learn self-discipline, practice teamwork, and develop self-confidence. Here you can stay up-to-date on the latest 4-H stories, news, and events, and learn about how State Line Tack and 4-H have teamed up to make sure youth empowerment knows no bounds.

May

Demonstrations

4-H DemonstrationsHorse is one of the largest project areas in 4-H. While 4-H horse programs vary from state to state, they all provide opportunities to improve sportsmanship, learn self-discipline, practice citizenship, develop self-confidence, and learn to work with a team. The 4-H horse program typically includes competitive events that challenge youth to acquire very specified knowledge of horses, learn about care & handling of the animal, gain confidence, improve public speaking and more.

In this quarterly series, we'll learn about four of the main areas of focus for 4-H Horse programs: Horse Bowl, Hippology, Demonstrations and Judging. Across all of these, the horse is the area of interest, but the goal of the program is to develop and educate youth.

What are Demonstrations?

4-H Demonstrations help give 4-H youth the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills either as a group or an individual. During an equine demonstration, a 4-H member communicates an idea about a horse-related topic using visual aids and props.

4-H DemonstrationsDemonstrations usually last between 5-15 minutes for both junior and senior 4-H members. The preparation process includes selecting a topic, choosing a title, gathering information, selecting props, creating visuals and finally, practicing!

Giving demonstrations help 4-H youth not only dive deeply into a subject matter but also learn about responsibility, teamwork, help them think on their feet and practice speaking confidently in front of an audience.

When choosing a good demonstration topic, it is best to keep it simple and choose something familiar. Asking some of these questions will help youth narrow down topic options:

  • Am I interested in this subject?
  • Does it have action?
  • Can it be clearly demonstrated?
  • Does it have one main idea?
  • Can I do it easily?

This helpful guide dives deeper into demonstrations and offers useful tips and tricks you can use.

Good luck!

April

Kentucky 4-H Programs

Next in our 4-H Spotlight is the Kentucky 4-H Programs. Partnered with the University of Kentucky's Cooperative Extension Program, the programs offered in this state are incredibly diverse and its members are exceptionally active.

Fernanda Camargo has been the Director of the Kentucky 4-H programs for the last 13 years, and is a veterinarian, a PhD, and an Associate Professor at the U of K. Passionate about 4-H and how it can change and enrich children's lives, she took time out of her busy schedule to give us the scoop on what makes Kentucky's programs special.

Q. What do you want people to know, first and foremost, about the Kentucky 4-H Programs?

South Carolina 4-H ProgramsA. That we are not a single-track competition focus. Shows are fun, and the kids love them, but our main objective is youth development. 4-H has the ability to develop desirable traits of character that serve the kids later in life, and the communities and people they are surrounded by. We just use horses to achieve that personal growth.

Q. Tell us about what 4-H in Kentucky looks like.

A. Well, equine is the largest 4-H animal project in Kentucky - bigger than livestock. There are 120 counties, too. We are part of the southern region, which includes 12 other states plus us. A lot of the southern programs have similarities, except Texas and Oklahoma - they have some unique facets that serve their membership.

Q. What types of activities does Kentucky Equine 4-H offer?

A. We do knowledge competitions - Hippology, Horse Bowl, Communications. We have an equine-exclusive Arts & Crafts division, which differs from other states. Horse Judging, too. We have a state show which takes place at the Louisville State Fairgrounds, but no longer takes place during the actual fair, because the show has gotten too large! It's an entire week, with hundreds of qualifiers attending.

Q. What show divisions do Kentucky 4-H'ers get to compete in?

A. In the English disciplines, we offer hunt seat equitation, hunters, dressage, and jumpers. Western divisions, we have stock type, pleasure, reining, ranch classes, western dressage, and the speed events. We also have saddleseat, which is mostly Morgans, Arabians, and Saddlebreds, but is open to any breed of horse shown in that style. Every child is required to do showmanship, much like other states' programs. We also have divisions especially for minis, special needs equestrians, and we are very well-known for our competitive drill team.

Q. What does a show season look like for a Kentucky 4-H'er?

A. Well, the individual clubs or counties do a competency skill show to ensure the riders are safely able to handle their horses. From there, it's the Kentucky State Show, where the best of the best go to Southern Regionals. Top qualifiers at Regionals then go to Eastern Nationals. We also send our knowledge competitors to Quarter Horse Congress.

Q. Is there anything that the Kentucky programs are known for?

South Carolina 4-H ProgramsA. There are a few things. One thing that is different for us versus some other states is that kids can qualify more than one horse for the State Show. Obviously, they can't do that in rail class divisions, since you can only ride one horse at a time!

Also, we were the pioneers of requiring all kids to wear protective headgear, regardless of discipline. All Kentucky 4-H'ers must wear helmets. Some states still don't require that!

Lastly, we were one of the first states - second to Ohio - to require a minimum BCS score of 4 for competing horses. While we sympathize that some 4-H'ers have either rescued horses, or have recently acquired them in other ways, if the horses do not have that minimum Body Condition Score, we want them to stay home, get acclimated, and get healthy. It is a good lesson in horsemanship first, showmanship second, that will carry the kids through life.

March

South Carolina 4-H Programs

South Carolina 4-H Programs

Next in our 4-H Spotlight is the South Carolina 4-H Programs. Partnered with Clemson University's Cooperative Extension Program, the programs offered in this state are incredibly diverse and its members are exceptionally active.

Katie Shaw, a 4-H Youth Development Specialist, Clemson University employee, former 4-H'er, and mother of 4-H'ers, took time out of her busy schedule to give us the scoop on what makes SC's programs special.

Q. What makes your program unique?

South Carolina 4-H ProgramsA. The main thing is that we have a little something for everyone. Our mission is to design a program that really works for all kids, whether they're in a horse-dense area or not. We are able to access the kids and provide them with horse opportunities.

Another thing that makes us stand out is that we only have a $15 member fee — there is no fee for projects, and only nominal fees for events. We want to make 4-H accessible for every child that has interest.

Q. How has COVID-19 changed your operations?

A. Coronavirus didn't slow us down at all — we went all virtual. Getting all our programs up and running on a digital platform definitely took some work but we are proud to say we were able to keep kids active and engaged throughout the restrictions.

We actually found that the virtual format worked really well for some facets and for some areas, so we will keep offering a hybrid approach going forward.

Q. What offerings do you provide 4-H'ers?

A. We have so many programs!

Educational Hippology, Horse Bowl, and Horse Judging — those are perfect for kids that don't even have horses but love them and want to learn. We did flip these to a digital platform due to COVID, with great success. These educational programs are offered down to the Cloverbud level, as well — it gets them used to the process, excited, and prepared to compete at 9 or 10 years of age.

We offer an overnight horse camp that has always been popular. For 2020, we created a Virtual Camp — kids log in once a day for an hour and receive learning exercises, riding assignments, and crafts. It was very successful and will proceed in 2021.

There is an Art Contest that is horse themed but is open to all state 4-H'ers. We get some great submissions from the other divisions of 4-H, and it is really neat to see the kids from different programs connect through horse art.

We also have added an Online Horse Academy, that has a Cloverbud version as well as an older kid version, and a Horse Institute that is a work-at-your-own-pace enrichment program.

Q. What types of events do your kids participate in?

South Carolina 4-H ProgramsA. At the 4-H Invitational, our teams took 1st place in Hippology, Reserve Champion in Horse Bowl, and Champion in Team Demonstration. We were the Top State, and had several top individual placings, too.

Every 4-H'er is eligible to compete at our state show, which is a little different than some other states. We do not have a County Roundup or District Show to narrow the field of participants.

We also have several kids attend Southern Regionals and Eastern Nationals.

Q. What would you like to say, in closing?

A. Here in South Carolina, we don't just want to produce 4-H horse stars — we mentor kids to become 4-H stars overall. We help them develop the portfolio for state competitions, scholarships, opportunities, and activities. Our kids are well-rounded, driven, and successful individuals that flourish in our programs, and continue to grow outside of it, too.

February

Hippology

Horse is one of the largest project areas in 4-H. While 4-H horse programs vary from state to state, they all provide opportunities to improve sportsmanship, learn self-discipline, practice citizenship, develop self-confidence, and learn to work with a team. The 4-H horse program typically includes competitive events that challenge youth to acquire very specified knowledge of horses, learn about care & handling of the animal, gain confidence, improve public speaking and more.

In this quarterly series, we'll learn about four of the main areas of focus for 4-H Horse programs: Horse Bowl, Hippology, Demonstrations and Judging. Across all of these, the horse is the area of interest, but the goal of the program is to develop and educate youth.

What is Hippology?

Hippology comes from the Greek word hippos horse and logos which means study so it is the study of the horse. The primary objective of the Hippology contest is to provide, in a friendly but competitive setting, an opportunity for 4-H youth to demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge and understanding of equine science and management as well as the practical application of this knowledge and skill. The contest generally consists of four phases: horse judging, written examination/slide identification, ID stations and team problem solving. The contest gives youth an opportunity to display their knowledge of horse, but like many 4-H programs also helps create tangible skills for life and career. Through Hippology youth begin to be life-long learners says Courtney Stierwalt, Indiana 4-H Animal Science Extension Specialist youth not only build upon their knowledge of animal science but also improve their communication, solve real world problems and learn to work as a team. Due to COVID-19, many of the contests have gone virtual this year. However, even with a new format in place, the hippology contest continues to provide kids as young as 3rd grade through high school a place to showcase their knowledge, build new skills and have an opportunity to be awarded for their hard work.

Think YOU know about horse anatomy? Check out this fun quiz and test your knowledge.

Hippology
Hippology

January

Texas 4-H Equine Ambassador Program

Texas 4-H Equine Ambassador Program

They say everything is big in Texas — and that includes the horse industry. Home to over 1 million horses, 15% of all horses in the USA, Texas leads the nation in the number of registered Quarter Horses, Paints, Appaloosas and Miniatures. The horse industry has a large statewide economic impact, as well — over $5 billion a year!

The Texas 4-H Horse Project continues to develop and grow. They support the equine industry through teaching knowledge and skill activities that prepare Texas youth to become integral players. By encompassing horsemanship, judging, quiz bowl, public speaking, and educational presentations to create knowledgeable, well rounded horsemen.

A new generation of kids are being educated through the creation of the Texas 4-H Equine Ambassador Program. The program strives to provide high school aged members the opportunity to develop and practice advanced leadership skills by mentoring other youth and becoming advocates for the equine industry. Besides developing a heightened awareness of career opportunities in the industry, Ambassadors also receive intensive science-based instruction and experiences which prepare them for university settings.

Within the Ambassador Program is the opportunity to become a Mentor. To become a Mentor, current Ambassadors must complete 40 ambassador hours, and complete a rigorous application process. The best of the best are chosen to be leaders for the next class of Ambassadors. Their responsibilities include answering questions about hours and ideas as well as helping with and leading various activities.

Texas Youth Livestock & Agriculture — creating and educating stewards of the horse, one member at a time.

Texas 4-H Equine Ambassador Program

December

Volunteers and Donations: The Backbone of 4-H Programs

4-H welcomes young people from all beliefs and backgrounds, empowering them to create positive change in their communities. Their horse programs, in particular, provide opportunities to improve sportsmanship, learn self-discipline, practice teamwork and develop self-confidence. Volunteers and donations are the backbone of 4-H across the nation.

There are many ways to contribute to 4-H’s cause, across their myriad of programs. Each program focus has a variety of supporters that help maintain the offerings and opportunities afforded to kids throughout the United States. Direct donations, matching fund donations, round up donations and product purchases all enable you to be an integral part of helping 4-H’ers.

State Line Tack is proud to support 4-H, a leader in equine education for youth across the nation, because we care about empowering youth and building a lifelong love of horses in a new generation. Our mission is to make riding affordable and accessible to all, which makes the organizations’ missions naturally cooperative - and every time you shop at State Line Tack, you have the opportunity to contribute in a number of ways:

  • 4-H Product Collection: Exclusive 4-H themed products for both horse and rider! When you purchase any of our 4-H collection items, a portion of each and every sale is given as a direct donation to 4-H and their equine programs across the nation.
  • Matching Funds Program: Various brands partner with State Line Tack to match funds donated by customers, up to $10,000, as a direct donation to 4-H.
  • Round Up at Check Out: When you shop at State Line Tack, you have the option to round your order total up, with the balance between actual total and next dollar up is donated directly to 4-H and equine programs in your state.
  • Donation at Check Out: When you shop at State Line Tack, you also have the option to donate an amount of your choosing during check out.

November

Virginia 4-H Horse Ambassadors at Home Program

When COVID hit and stay at home orders grounded 4-H programming, the Virginia 4-H Horse Ambassadors decided to use their leadership skills and take classes they normally would have taught in-person to the web. Driven by teens wanting to make a difference, they were able to launch a series on 4-H at Home with horse lessons for youth of all ages to address the need for at home studies on various horse topics.

In addition to developing a resource for others, this project provided an opportunity for tremendous person growth. When asked about the lesson series, Sandy Arnold, Virginia Tech equine horse associate remarked that If you see her (Audrey) in the first video you can see she's kind of a quiet girl but how powerful is this that she took it all on by herself to plan it, video it, etc.

See the whole series at https://ext.vt.edu/4h-youth/horse/programs/horse-ambassadors/4h-at-home-with-horses.html

October

The Many Facets of 4-H

If you're here reading this blog, chances are that you are familiar with the equine program offered through 4-H - but did you know that 4-H offers a myriad of other programs as well? Here we are going to take a look into the other avenues available to kids through 4-H, which are consolidated into three umbrella divisions - STEM & Agriculture, Civic Engagement, and Healthy Living.

STEM & Agriculture:

4-H's STEM & Agriculture programs are available through local clubs, schools, and grant-funded programs. They equip youths with skills they need to succeed in life through a variety of focus areas.

  • Engineering & Technology programs utilize hands-on activities in robotics, computer science, and electrical engineering, fostering problem solving and creative and critical thinking skills to inspire kids to explore engineering and technology studies.
  • Entrepreneurship & Financial Literacy programs cover many subject areas, all of them striving to teach kids to navigate the challenges of the real world, such as understanding credit cards and interest rates, or saving for retirement, whether it's economics of raising and selling livestock or using computer science to develop new technologies.
  • Environmental Science & Alternative Energy programs provide youths with first-hand experience utilizing alternative energy, conserving energy and learning how to limit our footprint on the environment.
  • Plant & Animal Science programs aim to engage and excite kids in agricultural science topics, such as veterinary science, biotechnology, raising and training animals, and forestry.

Civic Engagement:

4-H's Civic Engagement programs are designed to empower young people to be well-informed citizens actively engaged in their community and world. They learn about civic affairs, build decision-making skills and develop a sense of understanding and confidence in relating to and connecting with other people.

  • Leadership & Personal Development programs develop youth leadership and decision-making skills to prepare them for the future by engaging them in programs, organizations, and communities where they share a voice.
  • Community Action programs are focused on contributing hundreds of thousands of hours of service to their communities every year. They teach the importance of giving back to improve communities through innovative problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking and engagement.
  • Communication & Expressive Arts programs cover areas such as filmmaking, photography, visual arts (both print and digital), and theater. These specialties teach communication, creative thinking, improvisation, and writing skills.

Healthy Living

4-H's Healthy Living programs aim to teach kids to be healthy, both in body and mind. They give them the skills to make healthy decisions and lead healthy lifestyles, and have the confidence in those decisions, so they can grow into responsible adulthood.

  • Mind: Social & Emotional Well Being programs equip kids with a better understanding of how their choices can help themselves, their families, and their communities. Focuses include substance abuse prevention and mental health, and all encourage good decision-making as well as strong interpersonal skills as keys to holistic well-being.
  • Body: Fitness, Health, Nutrition & Safety programs help youth understand the importance of eating right, being active, and mastering basic health principles. This program puts them on the right track to develop life-long healthy habits in order to manage their long-term health.
  • Teen Mentorship & Leadership programs empower students to become leaders and teachers by developing their leadership skills to serve as champions of health within their communities. A Teens as Teachers initiative is an experimental learning model that delivers research-based information supported by adult mentors to initiate change in behaviors for themselves, their families, and their peers.

All 4-H programs are delivered by Cooperative Extension - a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provide experiences for members to learn by doing. Through these life-changing programs, nearly six million kids from all beliefs and backgrounds have been given a voice to express who they are, and skills to improve their lives and communities. Learn more at: https://4-h.org/parents/programs-at-a-glance/.

September

Fall Festival Online Horse Show

Conceived at the beginning of COVID-19 when spring shows were being cancelled, State Line Tack has been helping 4-H'ers beat the quarantine blues with their online show series specifically for 4-H members and alumni.

The first session, Seclusion Showdown, consisted of 6 shows, each with a themed group of 4 classes. Disciplines covered ranged from English to Western, In-Hand to Jumping, Minis to Bareback Classes - there was literally something for everyone! The classes were also free to enter and were open to current members or alumni members of 4-H. 200 to 350 entries were logged per session, and classes were pinned to 5th place. Ribbons were given, plus winners received the exclusive State Line Tack 4-H halter.

Due to the overwhelming entries, a second session will run this fall. Dubbed the Fall Festival Online Horse Show, the first show will coincide with National 4-H Week, October 4th through 14th. It too will be a free-entry photo show open to current members and alumni, and as such, it truly fits this year's 4-H theme of Opportunity4All. Three additional sessions will run 10/29-11/4, 11/12-11/18, and 11/26-12/2.

Furthermore, we are pleased to offer an additional contest - have you ever wanted a model horse, of your actual horse? Participants in the online show series have a chance to win just that! Compete in the upcoming 4-H Fall Festival or the previously held Seclusion Showdown 4-H Edition, win first or second place in your class, and be enrolled in an online contest where people vote for their favorite 4-H Equine. The winner by popular vote will win a custom model made of their horse!

August

Horse Bowl

"Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls. They give us hope!" - Toni Robinson

Horse is one of the largest project areas in 4-H. While 4-H horse programs vary from state to state, they all provide opportunities to improve sportsmanship, learn self-discipline, practice citizenship, develop self-confidence, and learn to work with a team. The 4-H horse program typically includes competitive events that challenge youth to acquire very specified knowledge of horses, learn about care & handling of the animal, gain confidence, improve public speaking and more.

In this quarterly series, we'll learn about four of the main areas of focus for 4-H Horse programs: Horse Bowl, Hippology, Demonstrations and Judging. Across all of these, the horse is the area of interest, but the goal of the program is to develop and educate youth.

What is Horse Bowl? The Horse Bowl contest provides an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H horse projects to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related topics in a competitive setting. Horse Bowl provides an educational experience for both participants and spectators in the areas of care and management of equine, knowledge of the horse industry, science, and anatomy of a horse and more. State winning teams advance to a national contest where they test their knowledge against other 4-H'ers. "Horse Bowl pits teams of youth in a rapid-fire showdown to determine who has the greatest all around equine knowledge" said Meg Mann, Lake County's Florida Extension Director. "In preparing for competition youth develop an in depth, and well-rounded body of knowledge related to equine health, genetics, nutrition, reproduction, and general equitation and husbandry."

State Line Tack is proud to partner with 4-H to support the growth and learning opportunities offered to all young people through 4-H equine programs. Join us as we develop a lifelong love of horses in a new generation through 4-H! Share your passion for horses with a gift to 4-H today, visit 4-h.org/SLT #4HStateLineTack.

June

Off to the Races: A 2020 Graduate Reflects on a Career in 4-H

Martina Essert, 18, of the Chesapeake 4-H Horse and PonyClub in Virginia has been on a horse since she was in her mom's belly, today she's getting ready to say goodbye to 4-H and turn her sights towards college. She'll be joining the University of Georgia this Fall majoring in Journalism with a minor in International Relations.

As the youngest of 5 children, Martina recalls waiting anxiously to turn 9 years old so she could join 4-H like her siblings "my mom definitely saw the impact 4-H had on my brother and sister and she wanted me to get into it as well...I've ridden my entire life and so has my mom and grandma, so I definitely knew I wanted to join the 4-H horse program." Now in her 10th year in 4-H, Martina is grateful for all of the experiences, lessons and knowledge that have made her who she is today. "It's such a community and such an inspiring place to grow up in."

While competing in horse shows was a big focus of Martina's 4-H experience, she also remembers the valuable lessons she learned around finance, record-keeping and horse science, particularly through Hippology and Horse Bowl competitions "that knowledge from early in my 4-H career still serves me to this day; if I'm having issues with my horses in the barn I can still draw on that knowledge that I gained when I was 9 or 10 years old in 4-H."

Throughout her years in 4-H, Martina also took advantage of the many leadership opportunities to help her overcome her shyness. She currently serves as President of her 4-H Club and Ambassador of Virginia's 4-H Cabinet, in previous years she was elected to be a Virginia 4-H Horse Ambassador (and now serves as mentor to the program). She credits her own 4-H mentors, many of them women who have pushed her to apply for leadership opportunities and aim high "being in 4-H meant being in a very supportive environment, they were really cultivating me and helping me to grow and get more confidence."

In 2018, Martina attended the Legacy Awards, and it was this experience in 4-H that steered her toward a career in Journalism. "I got to meet Jackie Joyner-Kersee and interview her as a green carpet correspondent...I never thought I would be standing there interviewing an Olympian!" The experience also offered her a new perspective on the breadth and impact of 4-H programs "I always knew 4-H was more than horses, but that moment when I got to see all the different pillar winners was so inspiring to me."

While Legacy was a highlight of her 4-H career, Martina also recalls difficult moments in 4-H that helped her grow and become more resilient. In 2017, just days before competing in the Southern Regional Championships, an event that required grueling 5:00 am trainings every day, Martina's horse "Johnny Be Perfect" tore a ligament and was forced out of the competition. "It was so heartbreaking, I couldn't even put into words how upsetting that was." Later that year she attended the State Horse Show without her horse and got to focus on other areas of the show that she had previously overlooked "I got to spend time volunteering in the show office and getting to know all the volunteers that make the show happen, I got to walk around and cheer my friends on and join art and portfolio competitions...it really expanded my perspective of 4-H."

Being in 4-H has also offered very tangible skills that Martina will continue to apply throughout her life and career. The opportunity to get to know her horse and create a bond, for example, has offered a valuable lesson in relationship-building: "I've got this animal who thinks entirely differently from me...whenever you are working with your horse you are trying to take the fear out of them, you are trying to reassure them." Thanks to the horse program, she's also gained valuable organizational and time management skills "being so organized with all of my horse work has really helped me be organized with my academics." Lastly, competition within 4-H has taught her kindness and sportsmanship "instead of getting so wrapped up in my own nerves at shows and competitions, I just go up to someone else who looks like they are nervous and say hey- good luck today- just those tiny comments that take ten seconds out of your day can really make someone else's day."

As she wraps up her last few months in 4-H, Martina has some advice to future 4-H'ers "take advantage of any opportunity that you have access to and don't take any of them for granted because so many kids would give anything to have the opportunities that 4-H'ers have."

April

VA, Virginia 4-H Horse Ambassadors

Virginia 4-H Horse Ambassadors is a unique program open to 4-H'ers who want to use their gifts and passion for horses to serve the community and learn life skills. The program encourages participants to become involved in a variety of outreach and public service opportunities, such as assisting with equine events mentoring and teaching youth, meeting with legislators, and representing the VA horse program at state and regional events. Throughout their term, Ambassadors hone their skills in leadership, public speaking, and networking. They also set individual goals, such as creating their own specialized horse events and fundraisers benefiting local communities. The program was recently recognized by the American Youth Horse Council for the Youth Equine Industry Connections Award. To read more about this unique 4-H equine program, visit: https://ext.vt.edu/4h-youth/horse/programs/horse-ambassadors.html

March

Megan from Ohio: 4-H Grows Dedication

"Through 4-H I have learned to never give up, whatever the frustrations, to just keep trying. Horses and 4-H go hand in hand in my life. Through every project I have taken, every minute in the show pen, I am taught lessons of dedication, sportsmanship and love. Even when I think everything is ruined and nothing is going to work, I hold my head high and keep going."

February

Kendall, Oregon

"Through 4-H, I have been able to make so many new friends, learn new skills, and create bonds. My horse Elliot has definitely been one of my best friends throughout 4-H and OHSET (Oregon High School Equestrian Team). I don't know if I would have been as successful as I am with any other horse."

January

4-H Grows Determination. Kayla, Virginia

Community service is an integral part of 4-H clubs. 4-Hers around the country not only become experts at their chosen projects, but also take the time to give back locally.

Kayla is a State 4-H Horse Judge and makes time with her club to help their community. "Our most memorable service projects have been preparing and serving meals for a local homeless shelter and making up 'blessing' bottles to give out at an outreach for homeless people that live in the woods in our county. I found it both surprising and humbling to interact with the people during these events. I enjoyed talking with them and it made me very grateful for what I have and that I was able to give back at some level. It was refreshing to see how this community of people came together and helped each other out. I think they enjoyed the interaction as much if not more that the items we provided."

December

4-H Grows Determination. Morgan & Teddy, Tennessee

In March of 2018, Morgan's prized Tennessee Walking Horse, Delight's Ted Kennedy aka Teddy, suddenly became lame. After several veterinarian visits it was discovered that Teddy had a very large abscess in his foot. The vets had never seen one as large or so well hidden. After three months of dedicated daily care from Morgan, following the doctor's orders exactly, and stall rest, Teddy still had what seemed to be a permanent change to his gait.

Determined to see Teddy heal and them both succeed. Morgan got to work using her 4-H background to create a training schedule for him. She spent hours every day working on getting him stronger. "As a parent I couldn't be prouder of the hard work, determination and faith this young lady put into her big red gelding", her mom, Doreen, says.

By March 2019 Morgan's hard work was paying off. Teddy improved tremendously, shocking all the naysayers. Morgan decided Teddy would be her 2019 4-H project. In June, Morgan and Teddy were named Southern Regional Pleasure Racking champions! From there she went on to the Tennessee State 4-H Championship Show where they earned a Reserve State Championship in Racking Seat Equitation.

November

Will, Ohio

Doing Takes Grit. "I ride horses to feel the wind in my face, to breathe, to fly, to feel, to overcome, to belong, to feel strong, to be the hardest worker in the room, to be alive, to love and to be loved back. There are days I don't want to go to the barn after school, but I go anyway. I've learned the meaning of grit. Just one year ago, I was anxious to ride, anxious to show, wanted to give up before the fair even started. After seeing the faces of victory last year, I decided to work harder, but not just for me, I owed it to my horse. He showed up every day, he loved me on my highest days, and loved me more on my lowest days."

"We chose 4-H. We wanted to belong to a group where friends become family, where you learn and grow every day, and where the best just strive to become better."

October

4-H Grows with Resilience

Maryann has been around horses her whole life. But after a major accident that left her hospitalized for a week, her medical team was hesitant to let her get back in the saddle.

After only two and a half months of hard work, Maryann was able to get permission to ride again. "I still had to overcome pain every day, and still to this day, but I had the best support system in the world and for them I am forever grateful," she says.

If learning to walk (and ride) again wasn't enough work for one year, through her determination and resilience, Maryann made it to the Southern Regionals the very next August, earning a prize in the competition.

"When someone tells you that 4-H is awesome and amazing and that you should join, go to a meeting and you will not be let down," she says. "You will meet your forever home, your forever family. 4-H is truly outstanding and will be one of the best decisions you ever made!"

September

4-H Alumni Feature: Jumping to New Heights through 4-H

A little over 20 years ago, Lisa Borg started Ozark Miniature Tack and Equine Supplies. A lover of horses and all things equine, Lisa designed and offered quality equine supplies for minis and ponies. About two years ago, Ozark Mini Tack was purchased by State Line Tack, who not only saw a good business opportunity but great leadership and knowledge in Lisa.

Today, Lisa is a member of the State Line Tack marketing team where she uses her equine industry knowledge to help State Line Tack connect with organizations who also want to support the equine community through experiences and education. National 4-H Council is the newest organization to partner with State Line Tack, inspiring kids to jump to new heights through the partnership.

While there's a clear connection between 4-H and State Line Tack, Lisa connects with 4-H on a more personal level.

She is a 4-H Alumna.

Lisa's parents immigrated to the United States from Denmark in the md 1950s. In 1969, at the age of 8, Lisa was introduced to 4-H. As her 4-H experience began in Bellevue, Washington, she discovered what she truly loved - horses.

"[My mom] realized that 4-H was a very American thing," Lisa explained. "And 4-H to her was the equivalent of what your child can do from start to finish."

Like her mother, who grew up on a dairy farm, Lisa also understood the importance of valuing all animals, thanks in part to 4-H. Because of the values learned in 4-H, her mother spent what Lisa describes as "thousands and thousands of hours" driving her back and forth to 4-H club meetings, events, and shows.

"She knew that 4-H would help me in life," Lisa says. "Back then, there wasn't anything out there. And so for [my mom], it was really incredible that [4-H] was a place that she can bring me. I was able to learn not only how to become a better student but be able to help me in my life. I could be the best person I could be because of 4-H. There was no discrimination. We were all the same when we walked into that 4-H meeting."

Lisa also remembers the connections she made through her 4-H experience.

"We learned to rely on each other," she recalls. "Even though we competed against each other, we rooted for each other, and we were always friends at the end."

When remembering the friends she made, the skills she learned, and the opportunities she was fortunate enough to have, she stresses that those experiences would not have been possible without family.

"Without our parents, our family members, or whoever it is that's taking us everywhere, it wouldn't happen. I think we really need to acknowledge the fact that they helped us," she says.

Because of the help she received, plus her 4-H experience, Lisa went on to study International Business at Washington State University, traveled the world, and today, helps State Line Tack become a leader in equine supplies and education for all ages in all communities.

Through the 4-H and State Line Tack partnership, Lisa hopes to create a local impact and help raise more awareness of 4-H programs in communities where 4-H may not be prevalent. Additionally, she wants more kids to experience what 4-H has to offer, whether through equine programs, other livestock learning, and more.

"4-H is great about providing educational opportunities for the kids. And it's on an equal level. I think that's one of the most important things. They understand what it means to win, to lose, to try again and again. There are so many different things that 4-H does for kids and the future."

Lisa credits 4-H with teaching her so many of the valuable professional skills she still uses today including organization, presentations and time management. On a personal level, Lisa raises and shows Shetland ponies, and her first home bred world champion is now being well cared for and loved by a young 4-H'er in Indiana.

About the Partnership

State Line Tack is a proud supporter of 4-H'ers across America. National partners like State Line Tack help fund local equine programs and support National 4-H Council's mission to grow 4-H from 6 million to 10 million kids across the country. Learn more about our partnership.

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  • Published:
  • Updated: 5/6/2021: 10:00:57 AM ET
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