My First Year as a 4-H MemberBy: Malo Le Faou
This year was my first year as a member of the 4-H Buena Vista Mavericks.
I love being around horses, taking care of them, feeding them, and most of all, riding them. I have been riding horses for four years now. But I could not join 4-H before turning nine years old.
My parents leased a horse for me this year. Her name is Cindy. She is a little bit old (she is 24 years old) and it is sometimes hard for me to make her move. She is really sweet and nice. I learned a lot with Cindy. My riding technique improved a lot because I rode more than ever this year. I had my weekly lesson with my trainer Shari Petersen. She is the best teacher. I was also riding at least another time during the week (either trail ride, or riding meeting, or open ride with 4-H). I am now able to gallop by myself and I am really proud of it. My parents are looking for a horse to buy so next year I can try jumping, because Cindy can not jump. I can not wait to ride my new horse.
When I first joined 4-H, I was a little bit scared because I was the only boy, and because I was also the youngest member. But I was excited because I knew I would be around horses a lot, and because I would be with members who share my passion for horses. The other members and our team leader made me feel comfortable really fast. They are all so nice. I had such a great welcome from all of them.
They answered my questions, helped me fit in, and I learned a lot from them. It was a great experience and I loved every minute of it.
What I really loved was when I competed in my first horse shows. I learned how to have Cindy ready before showing by showering her, trimming, pampering her, and doing her hair. I did not realize how much work it was before I had to actually do it.
Going to these two shows was overwhelming. I was experiencing so many new feelings. I was really scared and excited at the same time. But the other members were with me, and I could just learn by watching them. After entering the arena, all my fears disappeared, I was with Cindy, having fun doing what I love. That day, I really felt I was even more part of the Mavericks. I was now competing too, as the other members.
It was interesting and fun discussing the show afterwards, what went well and what went wrong, what we liked best.
I feel more confident in myself, on a horse as a rider, but also as a member of 4-H, as a friend. I can not wait for next year to start. I am excited to meet new members. Who knows, maybe next year, I will not be the only boy!!