By Nathan DuMond, The Kids & Kritters 4-H club
My name is Nathan DuMond. I am eleven years old and I live on a farm named “Golden Gait Farm” inMasonville,New York. I really enjoy horses. I stay very busy on the farm as we are currently raising nine horses, 2 of which I own. The rest of the horses belong to other family members or people boarding horses at the farm. My mom also gives lessons and does training, so there is always something going on at our farm. I hope that one day I can become a professional horse trainer and spend my life raising and training horses as a career. I admire a professional horse trainer named Tommy Turvey. He trains horses for movies and television and someday, I want to be just like him.
There are a lot of things I am responsible for on our farm. Everyday I help take care of the horses. I feed the horses, clean their stalls, give them fresh bedding and make sure they are groomed. I do not like a messy horse. I want the horses to always look nice and ready to ride. Sometimes this can be a little difficult because horses like to roll in the mud wherever they can find it.
Making sure a horse is properly fed is not as easy as some people might think. It’s more than just throwing them hay or putting them out in a pasture: you really need to feed what is right for each animal. Some horses are easier keepers than others so you must be careful when feeding them. Some horses require special diets and supplements as well as different hay and feed requirements. Horses also require proper veterinary care. Just like people they need regular check-ups, shots and even dental visits.
One of the horses that belongs to me I got for my 5th birthday. Her name is Nicole. Nicole is a gray and white mini horse and she is very nice. I used to ride her everywhere on our farm. I have even ridden her up steps. Nicole is now 20 years old and I still have her. As I got bigger I knew I would need a bigger horse so I started saving my money and I bought myself a new horse. His name is Felix.
Three years ago my mom started a 4-H club called “The Kids & Kritters 4-H Club.” Felix and I go to the Delaware County Fair and the New York State Fair and show at the 4-H shows together. 4-H has taught me a lot about farming and responsibility.
I feel great knowing my horses count on me and are waiting for me in the morning and at night. To me, the best sound in the morning is our barn full of horses whinnying at me when I greet them with breakfast and the best sound at night is when I ring their dinner bell and hear their hooves running to me for dinner.
I really enjoy the time I spend on my family’s farm. It’s a lot of hard work but I like it anyway.
For more information about the 4-H Horse programs, visit http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/4H/horses/index.html