Youth Pages

Not Every Horse is Easy

By Lyndsey Garvilla

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Lyndsey’s experience with Joey helped her develop leadership and problem solving skills.

Hi, my name is Lyndsey Garvilla, I am 16 years old and I have been involved with horses for half of my life. When I first started riding, no surprise, I was not that good.  But, with time, practice and involvement with my 4-H club I have learned to ride well and become more knowledgeable about horses.   I have also learned more about what it takes to own a horse.

Three years ago my parents bought me a horse to help me further my riding experience. His name is Joey.  The first few times I tried him out he was crazy…and I was not so sure about him. He has put me through a lot of trouble – with falling off and him not always listening  – but these troubles have made me more observant of his behavior.  Now I know what he is going to do before he starts to do something bad.  Growing closer to Joey and becoming a more observant rider have improved my riding skills.

Other experiences have developed my horsemanship skills.  During the summer of 2008 while preparing for a great show season I saw Joey had a cut. My trainer looked at it and we began to clean it out every day and keep it protected. A week later we discovered that it was actually a puncture. We kept cleaning it twice a day. After another week he was lame. We had the vet come out to find out what was going on and she said it was nothing and to just continue the cleaning and protection, so that’s what we did. He did not get much better so we had her come back out. When she did she took x-rays of his leg. He ended up needing surgery. Although this put a setback on my show season and the work I could be putting into him, it did help me to learn more about taking care of horses.

My experiences with Joey have made me a better rider and realize that not every horse is easy. Also my experiences with 4-H and the other girls in our club have furthered my leadership skills and the way I approach different challenges. I am also extremely grateful that my parents support me 100% with everything I do and want to do.

For information about working with horses visit the 4-H Resource Directory
or NYS 4-H Animal Science horse website.


Me and My Pony

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Harmony and 4-H inspire Taylor to be a future equine vet

By Taylor Raymond
Hi, my name is Taylor Raymond and I have been a member of the Young Riders 4-H club for 6 years.  I have been working with horses my whole life. I love horses! My pony’s name is Harmony. She is the sweetest pony and she is an incredible jumper. She is my best friend.

While working with horses I have learned responsibility. Every morning I go out to the barn to care for my horse. Riding is the best part of having a horse. It’s very rewarding when I teach my horse something new and she understands. Jumping is the best part of riding. The cool breeze in my face and the few seconds off the ground is exciting.

4-H gives me a chance to do what I love and meet new people who share my passions. Horsebowl/Hippology are knowledge tests that give me a chance to meet different people and learn more about horses. Over the years I have learned about the horse’s anatomy, illnesses, injuries, equipment, breeding/reproduction, foaling, training, breeds and colors/markings.
Since I was eight I wanted to be a vet. As a career I want to be an equine vet because of my love of horses.

For information about working with horses visit the 4-H Resource Directory
or NYS 4-H Animal Science horse website.


4-H and Me

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Ashlynn enjoys riding her horse, Coco and learning all about horses.

By Ashlynn Elizabeth Kelly

Hi, I’m Ashlynn Elizabeth Kelly from the Young Riders 4-H club ofOrangeCounty. I have been in  4-H for 3 ½ years and loved every minute of it. It’s what got me into horses and I’ve been working with them ever since. I have learned how to ride, manage a horse, how to feed it and much more.  Knowing more about my horse has made me love him even more.

The best thing I do with my horse is ride him. In 4-H, we are always doing cool things and going to neat places. We have been on barn tours, we go to horse races and participate in knowledge contests. We also do horse presentations, scrap book pages, picture frames and show ribbon racks.
Horse bowl and hippology have  made my knowledge of horses grow more than I thought possible.

My mom says she likes it because the contests help me learn about science topics that I have not even learned about in school yet.  It has also given me the confidence to speak in front of a group.  Learning about the animals on our farm helps me appreciate our animals more.

Animals and 4-H have affected my future by giving me knowledge about animals especially horses.  I have also made friends with others that share my interest.  I have gained many skills that will help me be a better person.

For information about working with horses visit the 4-H Resource Directory
or NYS 4-H Animal Science horse website.


“Chicken Business”

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Kevin displaying his Best Rooster Award winning bird

By Kevin Jacks
Hi, my name is Kevin Jacks. I currently have around 75 laying hens. I sell most of the eggs to a local orchard that resells them. I got into the chicken business about 5 years ago with around 30 chickens.

I have learned many things along the way, moving from a backyard hobby to a small business. In the past five years I have found the most important aspect of running a business is controlling expenses and cutting losses as soon as possible.

Currently I have about 35 Buff Orpingtons, 25 Black Australorps and a few Ameraucanas.  I have found the heavy breeds work best for me. Heavy breeds don’t seem to fly well which means they are easier to fence in. They are tough in cold weather and are good layers.

I am a member of Livestockers 4-H Club inOrange County, NY.   My 4-H club has several chicken fanciers in it. Networking with others with similar interests has been a plus. We help each other with issues related to poultry such as diseases, housing situations and some tricks of the trade. I have also learned how to show chickens at the Orange County Fair. I won the Best Rooster Award and was Showmanship Champion last year.   I think the key in the chicken business is to learn from your mistakes and don’t give up.

For information about working with poultry visit the 4-H Resource Directory
or NYS 4-H Animal Science birds and poultry website.


Kids, Cows and Country: an American Tradition

By April Williams

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April wins a blue ribbon and the chance to experience great opportunities

My name is April Williams; I am a 15 year old member of the “The Milk Shakers” anOrangeCounty4-H dairy club.  Although I was not raised on a dairy farm, I remember going to all the county fairs as a young kid and seeing all the 4-H’ers work with their animals and thinking, “Wow!,  that looks like something I would love to do”.  I just happened to have a dairy farm not too far from my house.  So we went to the farm and found out that they actually had two kids around my age that participated in the 4-H dairy program. They gave me a calf to work with and since then my life hasn’t been the same. We soon formed a 4-H club and with their experience with showing cattle I learned a lot in that first year and am still learning.

I have been in 4-H for 7 years now and have come a long way.  I now compete state-wide in dairy bowl, dairy judging and even ranked nationally in dairy challenge.  My involvement with cows and 4-H has taught me teamwork, how to win, how to loose and that hard work does pay off.  Showing cows is a lot of hard work and dedication.   It’s hard to think where I would be without all the long hours in the summer of prepping our cows for shows or all those 4-H trips and the continuous help and support from the other kids in the program.

While in this program I have had the chance to travel and meet many amazing people and along the way have had some of the best times of my life and made friendships that will surely last a lifetime.  I know I want to be involved in making the world a better, cleaner world and stay with agriculture and animals and to continue giving back to my community, to animals and people alike.

For information about working with dairy cows visit the 4-H Animal Science dairy website.

Avatar of Rachel Whiteheart

Rachel Whiteheart

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