Every Wednesday night during the winter months, 4-H kids gather at the Cache County Fairgrounds to practice their horseback-riding skills.
“It gets the kids active and teaches them responsibility,” said Chris Phillips, one of the instructors.
Each week is a different style of riding and has a different volunteer to teach for the evening. The Wednesdays pattern through English riding, western speed events, western show events and working ranch horse practice. If there is a fifth Wednesday in the month, the students get to practice whatever they would like.
The practices are not exclusive to one 4-H club and are open to anybody showing in 4-H.
“This year it is more structured and we teach them different skills each night,” Phillips said.
Western riding instructor Tracy Hymas said that she grew up in 4-H and showing horses has become a family tradition.
“It’s important for kids to gain confidence, appreciate animals and each other and they learn those skills at 4-H,” said Hymas.
Olivia Larsen is a 4-H participant borrowing an 18-year-old black paint horse named Oreo. Her favorite event is showmanship at halter where the participants are judged on their skills handling the horse on the ground. She said she loves Oreo’s personality.