Each year in May, actually the 2nd weekend of May unless it is raining, the 4H hosts a show to end the year of learning and practicing and to show what they have learn. The show is open to anyone 18 years and younger and in the 4th through the 12th grade. Before the show starts, each rider must present a negative coggins for each horse they will enter into the show. The show begins with a special event, though, and that is the lead line class for kids from 1 year old through 3rd grade. In this class, the riders are not "real" horse riders and their horses are lead by a parent, brother or sister or friend. The horse and rider show their stuff as they go around the arena. At the end of the class, each rider receives a blue ribbon because it is impossible for the judge to call a winner. Next in the classes may be the gaited classes. These horses and riders will show what they can do in Gaited Showmanship, Gaited Halter, Gaited Pleasure, Equitation and Country Pleasure. They also take part in Hunter classes. In both English and Western classes there are ribbons from 1st place through 5th place. Some riders will show in both western and English but on different horses. The the western classes are Western Beginner Rider;is a first year showing. This class is a walk only class. Other clases are Western Ranch, Western Halter, Western Pleasure and Western Horsemanship. Also western classes include Hunter classes too. In addition to these type of classes, there are Trail and Trail in Hand classes. Along with all of these classes there are two speed events, which are barrel racing and pole bending. Other fun games are Tunnel Racing, Egg and Spoon and Old Timers which is usually for those who are paying the bills for the 4Her.
Running concurrently with the classes is an obstacle course. The rider must take his/her horse over a bridge that rocks, across a blue tarp that looks like water, through a gate opening and closing the gate while on the horse. The rider must walk up to a mailbox, take out a letter and then place it in another mailbox. The horse must also step over and between pieces of PVC pipes. There are additional obstacles and the horses and rider are graded individually on all obstacles. The highest totalled grade will take 1st place.
The show takes a lot of "behind the scene" work to be a success. Both parents and ETRC members work the weekend before the show, weeding around the arena, washing down the arena fence, painting, mowing the grass areas of the barn, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the concession stand and more. The day before the show, each participant bathes the horse or horses he/she will use in the show, trims the hair around the face and hoofs, then dresses the hoof with show shine or other products and then grooms the horse until it looks fantastic. In some cases, the mane and tail are braided. On the day of the show, parents and ETRC members work in the concession stand, work the gate and hand out ribbons to the class winners, help set up needed equipment and do other jobs as they come up. Everyone's goal is to make the show a success and a great memory for all the youth who participate.
Take a look at last year's 4H show then come a take part in this year's show as a rider or as a spectator. If you would like to see more shows, go the archive page.