4-H Horse Club Thriving Despite COVID-19
Hoofing It 4-H Club, is a Seminole County 4-H club consisting of youth participating in the 4-H horse program. Horse clubs typically meet once a month at a local barn to discuss topics related to equine science. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, in-person 4-H events have been canceled. In an effort to continue 4-H programming, clubs such as Hoofing It, have converted to virtual meetings.
Jacquelyn, “As president of Hoofing It, I feel I have been very fortunate to be able to continue meeting during this rough time. After participating in 4-H for 10 years, switching to a virtual meeting every month has definitely been a big challenge. I am proud to say, our club has been able to continue educating everyone as well as have some fun.”
Through virtual platforms, Hoofing It has continued their business meetings, played games, and completed educational activities. The club has discussed topics such as, barn safety, equine nutrition, and types of bits. 4-H members were given scenarios related to these topics and encouraged to discuss them as a team. Additionally, 4-Hers were given a series of risk management scenarios related to horse injuries. They were then provided clues as to the location of the injury, severity, and potential environmental hazards. Together members discussed how the horse was injured and methods for prevention. Jacquelyn, “ As a club, it is important to allow everyone to communicate their feelings and opinions about a topic. This is how we learn from each other as well as our leaders. If something is not favorable or working for everyone, we can work together to find something new that would work even better.”
In addition to club meetings, Hoofing It members also competed virtually in our annual 4-H County Events. 100% of Hoofing It members planned and executed a virtual oral presentation related to equine science. Topics included equine identification, leg wrapping, colic, equine first aid kits, and more. Jacquelyn’s presentation advanced to the state level, eventually scoring 2nd in the state. Members with horses also competed in our local Area East Virtual Horse Show. 4-Hers participated in virtual classes by videoing their rides and then submitted them to be judged.
Jacquelyn, “During this time, the virtual meetings have been a great thing to have, especially when many people are unable to get out and socialize. So many events have been cancelled. At least for us, 4-H has continued to be an event we can still participate in. We all need interaction with others, and while COVID-19 has put an end to this for many, it has not been able to do so with us.”
If you are interested in volunteering with 4-H or becoming a member please join us August 27th at 6pm for our virtual open house. Registration and additional information can be found here: https://4-hopenhouse2020.eventbrite.com
Additional information about 4-H horse clubs, as well as other clubs in the county may be found at: http://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/4-H
Article Authors: C. Woodard, J. Griffith