Opportunity for children to connect with horses
FREEHOLD, NJ – The majority of children living in New Jersey today are growing up in the suburbs, but 4-H still offers a special opportunity to connect with the State’s agricultural heritage through the animal science program. The 4-H Horse Project of Monmouth County has been busy expanding those opportunities especially for children who don’t own their own horse.
Horse Project Leaders recently hosted an Equine Art Show on Oct. 19 at Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold. Members participated with their equine artwork of all mediums for ranging from sculpture to glass art and paintings.
Anna Maria Espinosa invited more than twenty 4-H members and their families to a free Natural Horsemanship Clinic this past weekend. The event began with a narrated Dressage Demonstration by students, Cherio Caprio riding her half Arab, half Saddlebred mare, Amber Mistique and Jean Goeltz riding her half Andalusion and half Arab gelding Duncan.
Later, as members watched on, Animal Science 4-H Club member, Jillian H. received instruction both on the ground and aboard her young Thoroughbred mare Zara. This was Jill’s first year showing Zara and she said that she looks forward to incorporating these lessons to strengthen their partnership. Anna Maria later gave a tour of Olympia farm, treated the children to hot chocolate and sweets, and spoke about her career with horses.
The horse theme continues this Saturday, Nov. 15 with the MonmouthCounty 4-H Model Horse show.
4-H’ers, non-4-H’ers and adults are all invited to participate. The world of model horses is both interesting and informative. Model horses are more than just toys but rather educational tools. Horse lovers of all ages and families will enjoy participating in this project. It is especially accommodating for people who do not have horses or for 4-H'ers who, because of health reasons, cannot physically work around live horses.
The goal of the animal science program is the same as that for all 4-H programs: to teach children important life skills through hands-on learning. While learning about their animal of choice, children in the animal science clubs gain a sense of responsibility, learn how to keep accurate records, gain self-confidence, discover potential careers, learn to present themselves in public and at the same time have a lot of fun. They may also participate in special countywide, state and national 4-H programs.
The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Now celebrating its 100th year, 4-H offers educational programs to all youth, grades K-13, on an age appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability. For additional information, contact their website at http://www.nj4h.rutgers.edu/.