Girl Scout Badge Event Draws 4-Hers from Across the County (posted 9/12)

Early Saturday morning, 9/22, more than a dozen 4-Hers from across the county arrived at the BV Ranchos arena, soon to be joined by nearly 60 eager girl scouts, plus leaders and families. The "Girl Scout Badge Event" was actuallly a Senior Project created by Brittany Gerald to fulfill her graduation requirements at AAEC. Girl Scouts rotated among six stations, where they were given information and hands-on opportunities on topics ranging from horse care, to grooming, to shows/events, and more. Brittany involved BV Mavericks and other county 4-H members as Presenters, earning them Leadership, Education and Community Service credits for their passports and record books. Afterwards, she provided pizza to her crew.

Congratulations, Brittany, we give you a "A+" for this project!

Congratulations! (posted 9/12)

Maverick Gabrielle Petersen is one of five Maricopa County 4-Hers, (eight total from the state), selected as an Arizona Delegate to the National 4-H Congress, the highest honor available to Arizona 4-Hers. Congress will take place in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2012 .

Maverick Haley Zipay was elected as one of ten Staff for the Arizona JOLT Camp, which will be held in June 2013.

Welcome New Website Editors! (posted 8/12)

Several Mavericks took time from their summer vacations to learn a new skill; how to edit our dub website.They attended a training session in which they learned the ins and outs of formatting and adding to the site (they handled the frustrations of dealing with an often "quirky" host site with ease), then mastered their skills by working on their own practice pages. They then completed projects on various pages now published.

Please welcome Hannah Schaefer, Amberly Meiter, Heather Gerald and Molly Brzezinski as your new website "staff," under supervision of Leader/Mentor Tracy Zipay. They will be responsible for updating the website throughout the year, including the calendar. Please let them know if you would like to contribute an article or have any ideas for the website.

JOLT (posted 8/12)

One hundred and forty-three 4-Hers from all over Arizona joined seven Mavericks at JOLT this year. When Brittany, Gabrielle, Sarah, Jamie, Haley, Shea, and I first arrived, we were handed our super-packed schedule of camp events and a souvenir water bottle. Then the fun started! We periodically gathered in our "IC" groups, or Involvement Committees, which are project groups. There are many different IC groups to choose from, such as improv, drama, newscasting, and community service. I chose to be in the playfaire group and played games like "ninja" and other fun group games. At the end of the week, all of the IC groups presented to the camp what they had been working on. For example, the playfaire group taught the camp tons of different games they can play with their own 4-H clubs and the community service IC led the camp in a blanket making activity to aid local hospitals.

But JOLT isn't just about project groups! We attended lots of leadership and self-improvement workshops plus team building activities, an etiquette dinner, dances, and listened to a motivational speaker as well. You wouldn't believe the kinds of flips, spins, and dancing that some 4-Hers can do! We even learned some basic line-dancing moves in one of the mixer events. There were also "Challenges", which is a whole night devoted to problem solving in groups. These really help develop your leadership skills and expose the kind of leader you are. Besides all of the new friends I made, Challenges were one of the most enjoyable parts of camp.

JOLT is also the most inviting camp I've ever been to. Everyone is very welcoming and you make many friends in the very first day. This camp is super charged with exctiting activites and you get to know yourself more than ever before, especially during the challenge activities and bonfire. I encourage all of our Mavericks to take part in this unimaginably fun Journey of Opportunities for the Leaders of Tomorrow. And congratulations to Haley for making it onto JOLT staff for the camp of 2013! She will be working with the other members of staff to make the JOLT experience even better!

 -Molly Brzezinski

Horse Camp (posted 8/12)

Horse camp this year was loads of fun. There were about 50 people that came from all over and even as far as Prescott. It was located south of Tucson in a little town called Sonoita The fairgrounds there are perfect for this camp. There are barns that you keep your horse in and two large dorms to sleep in, one for the boys and one for the girls. There are several arenas in the middle of the race track where we rode. Each discipline had an arena all to themselves to get in some good practice. There are four different disciplines that you can choose from. There is Western, English, Gymkhana, and Sorting. Sometimes you can be in Roping but there weren’t enough people that signed up for it this year so they didn’t have it. For each discipline they hired a professional trainer that would help you learn to improve your riding skills and your horse in the discipline of your choice. The trainers there really help you improve a tremendous amount and you get lots of time with them. At the end of the week each discipline has a small competition to show off how much you have improved and you get awards at the end. Not only is horse camp a great camp for your horse but for you too! When we are all done riding there is always something fun to do when we get back. We had a scavenger hunt, a kickball game, water fights, arts and crafts, line dancing, and so much more! They also had the mounted border patrol come and talk about what they do when they’re out working along with some fire fighters. At the end we even got to spray their hose and they sprayed us with it! The food at camp is amazing too and there is always something really good for dessert. Trust me you will never go hungry at horse camp… they are always offering a snack or something! Horse camp is really fun for all ages. Just be willing to go and learn a lot and have a great time! Hope to see you all next year!

- Sarah Holditch

Dealing with Horse Show Jitters (posted 8/12)

The amount of pressure you perform best under varies from person to person. When your nervousness exceeds your optimum levels, you lose focus and your skills suffer. Here are a few ways to manage that anxiety you feel before an event. 

Plan ahead ; make lists of things you need to do, pack, or clean before you leave. Find necessary iteams ahead of time to avoid frantic last minute searches.  Load your tack and clothes the day before so you can take a mental inventory and make sure you don't forget anything. 

Slow down ; planning ahead allows you to avoid overwhelming stress and concentrate on the competition. Rushing to get you or the horse ready only magnifies unproductive stress. 

Exercise ; working off stress relaxes your muscles and helps you get a good night's sleep. Exercise speeds the flow of blood in you brain, allows you to think more clearly and releases endorphines into your bloodstream, giving you a sense of happiness and well-being. 

Relax ; use relaxation techniques at the event to help calm pre-performance jitters. These will take your mind away from nervous feelings and reinforce you energy in a positve manner. Tension prevents you from riding your best, so think about what part of your body becomes most tense before you preform. To relieve physical tension: contract the tense muscles as tighly as possible, hold the new tension for a few seconds, relax, and then relax even farther to a state of complete relaxation. 

Breathe ; when you're nervous the quality of the breath you take is lower and shallower than usual. Exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling the tension leave you body. The Sam Houston State University Counceling Center recommends thinking "I am" as you inhale, and "calm" as you exhale.

Imagery ; imagine a pleasant scene using all of you senses or imagine seeing all of your anxieties leave your body. Rehearse the competition in your mind.

Friendly faces ; the company you keep at the event should encourage you to exel. Your friends, family, trainer, or whomever you socialize with can have a calming effect on your nerves, or can increase you anxieties. Surrond yourself with encouraging, understanding individuals.

Diet; as the food you eat decreases in nutrition, so does the availability of nutrients that de-stress your body. Eat foods low in fat and protein, and high in complex carbs, like pasta, whole wheat bread, and gronola for a calming effect. Avoiding sugar alleviates that spike and crash of your energy level.

Use a variety of relaxation techniques in different situations and make a mental note of which ones work for you. Eventually, you will develop a pre-competiton ritual that keeps nervousness from undermining your competitive edge.

                                  - submitted by Heather Gerald

Mavericks' Summer Leaders (Posted August 2012)

What do Gabrielle, Hannah S and Amberly have in common? They have all taken on leadership projects before the year has even started! 

Gabrielle has been selected to go to Congress. After Thanksgiving, she will head off on a plane to Atlanta, GA. All week she will do workshops and tour Atlanta. This honor comes with a price - the State pays a majority of the Congress cost, but Gabrielle will need to earn a portion of her expenses.  She's already put the word out, and started planning  a Babysitting Fundraiser to help her cause.

Then there's Hannah Schaefer, who is determined to go to Congress next year.  She knows she will have to prove her leadership and communication skills to do it.  She has put her summer to good use, taking on the "Macy's Shop For A Cause" fundraiser.  As Project Leader, she keeps tabs on the ticket sales, gets the tickets to sellers and buyers, and communicates with Macy's.  She also designed the flyer, and has had quite a few news stories published about the event.

 Finally we have Amberly, proving her title as "Rising Star - Leader." She is the Project Leader for our upcoming county-wide community service for "Feed My Starving Children."  Amberly reserved the time slot, created the flyer, and is handling reservations.  

Our members do amazing things

-Heather Gerald

Jumping Proficiency (Posted September 2012)

 Join us on Sunday, September 9th!  The Mavericks free jumping proficiency event will be held at the BVR Arena from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  But please RSVP and come early to help set up the jump course.  It won't take very long if we all just pitch in.  There will even be a Bake Sale Fundraiser for our club's Congress and Western National Roundup delegates!

 The jumping proficiency is very important if you want to show in any of the jumping classes this year.  You must have Mrs. Petersen sign off on your *Proficiency certificate and bring it with you to every show.  This year, intermediate jumpers can proficieny for the 18"  Hunter Hack class.  This class just has two fences in a row.  The Jr. Advanced jumpers can proficiency for the  18" and 2' Hunter Hack class and can also proficiency for two more full course classes - the Hunter Over Fences class and Hunt Seat Equitation.  Jr. Advanced riders can proficiency at the 2' level or the higher State qualifying level of 2'6".

The Sr. Advanced jumpers can proficiency for the same classes but the heights for them will be 2' or 2'6" for Hunter Hack and either 2' or 2'6" or even 3' for Hunter Over Fences and Hunt Seat Equitation. 3' is the height required to qualify for State. (for details on the classes/heights, click HERE). Our leader, Shari Petersen, is certified by the Maricopa County Horse Advisory Committee to sign off on our proficiencies!  She will make sure we can jump the level we want to safely.  

Remember though, if you jumped last year, you will still need to come and proficiency but you must jump at least as high as you did last year - unless you got a new horse!  

But don't worry.  If you are not ready to jump yet this year, there will be another chance to proficiency later in the year.  Maybe then you will be ready to jump even higher!So come spend an afternoon jumping over fences but please note that this is not a clinic.  We will not be learning to jump.  We will have time to warm up and proficiency only. 

And don't forget to bring money for tasty treats from the Bake Sale!  

-Heather Gerald

Who are the Buena Vista Mavericks? (posted August 2012)

We are a primarily Horse Project 4-H club, open to all Maricopa County residents betwen 9-19 (enrollment is limited, however, due to arena/neighborhood regulations). Our members take part in many activities centered around horse ownership and/or leasing, community responsibility, leadership and teamwork. We sponsor and participate in Horse Shows, Education Events and Clinics, Community Service opportunities and more.  We are excited to offer a Gardening Project this year to maintain our "Revolution of Responsibility" efforts (click "Mavericks' Media," left, for our video), and are introducing Dog   and Poultry Projects.  Members also have the opportunity to enroll in projects during the year to exhibit at the State and County Fairs.  For more information about the 4-H organization, please click on the links to the left.Webs

Our primary focus is to provide safe and fun riding and learning opportunities for our members.

We hold our Riding Meetings at the Buena Vista Ranchos arena on the first and third Friday of each month. Business Meetings will be held this year on the first Monday of alternate months, beginning in October, location TBA.  Open rides will be offered at BV Ranchos Arena and at J-Bar Farms, located off of 71st Street and Warner.

Parents will be happy to know that 4-H is a family program! We offer a variety of opportunities for parents to get involved, and welcome your skills, input and support.

4-H Calendar Filling Fast (posted August 2012)

Once again, another summer has flown by. Soon enough, our year will be in full swing. I attended the HAC meeting on July 23, and got the scoop about the upcoming season. Most notable is that our registration will be done electronically this year!  There  have been changes made to the Jumping and Sorting  rules; read about them on the Show/Event Results page. 

Keep in mind that our club annual Orientation Meeting is on August 27th. Attendance at the meeting is MANDATORY  if you want to be part of the Mavericks this year. You DO NOT need to bring any registration forms with you this year, only your enrollment fee.

Also upcoming is our County-wide Feed My Starving Children Community Service and Social Event on August 30th.

fundraiser tickets ASAP- details are on the FLYER.

We will be kicking off the 4-H Horse Show Season with a HAC-sponsored English Show On Saturday, September 29th. On Sunday, October 6, there will be a Roping/ Gymkhana. 

Did you get your Passports and Record Books handed in?  Did you compete in EIEE last year? Recognition for those and other events will be given at the County Horse Awards on October 5. Winners will receive invitations by mail; all are welcome to attend.

Mark these dates on your calendars for an early start to our 4-H year.

-Hannah Schaefer, HAC Represenative