West District 4-H 3 Day Clinic a Huge Success!!

— Written By
Image of Carly Hopkins

Carly Hopkins getting her horse ready to ride under Western Clinician James Lamb.

The end of June means one thing for West District 4-H Horse Clubs, it is time for the 3-Day Horsemanship Clinic at WNC Ag Center, in Fletcher. Hosted each year by the West District 4-H Horse Program Board, the WD 4-H Horse Clinic is 3 days of bringing your horse and yourself to work with professional trainers in your horsemanship discipline at a cost that is affordable for parents and 4-H clubs.

Image of Robbie Potter

Robbie Potter giving some horsemanship pointers to some of the riders on Wednesday or he is sticking them up for their money, LOL!

Image of Annette and Carroll

Annette and Carroll doing ground work with some of the non-trotting group at the clinic.

Image of Anita Randle

Anita Randle talking to Grace Henderson before her barrel run.

This year was one of the best! Our youth were able to ride with a champion barrel racer in the Games division, Mrs. Anita Randle and a Hunter trainer with 40+ years of experience training hunters and jumpers, Mrs. Maxine Herring. Our Western and Non-trotting trainers were nothing but fabulous as well, Mr. James Lamb not only worked the Western discipline through showmanship but also taught them about the Ranch side of Western riding bringing out his famous purple cow. Our Non-Trotting trainer, Mrs. Annette Ensley and her fabulous husband Carroll, put our non-trotting riders to the test. They worked on the ground and in the saddle, with pattern work and anything else they could pull out of Mrs. Annette’s box of training tricks. She worked the kids hard and they loved every minute of it. And our novice and cloverbuds were treated to a great 4-H volunteer, Carrie Britt, who happens to donate her time to kids needing that bit of confidence with their horse to move to the next level or to the kids that this is the first time they have been out of their own barn with their horse or pony and just want to learn to ride. They loved Ms. Carrie and even though she had the hottest job there since she spent the whole day in the sun and still had a smile on her face at the end of the event.

Image of Grace Henderson

Grace Henderson

Image of Freya Burgess

Freya Burgess

Image of Freya, Grace, Sydney, Emmy, and Samantha

L to R: Freya, Grace, Sydney, Emmy, and Samantha

And the last day is always cow day and Justin Gillespie with his helpers on horseback keeping everyone safe and timing them, while they learned to cowboy a bit with some team penning and ranch sorting. Also available on Wednesday, this year was professional horseman and retired 4-H agent, Robbie Potter. Robbie worked with the youth to become more in tune with their horse so the horse and rider could have a great relationship that is safe for the horse and rider. And we even got in a little dressage lesson in the outside arena with retired 4-H volunteer, Lisa Mackey and some preparation for the state horse show with Mrs. Annette.

Image of Sydney Elliott

Our seasoned riders are helping out our cloverbud rider by working her pony on the cows to see if they will get along. Sydney Elliott was so happy to help out McKenna by riding Super Fly Buttercup in with the cows, pony saddle and all.

When youth had a break from riding they could participate in crafts like wood burning and leather punch. They loved making frames and leather bracelets to remember their time at the 3-day clinic.

Image of Samantha

We even have a little bit of fun with water gun fights and water balloon fights. Samantha is picking on Brannon while he is being serious and watching Dawson run a barrel pattern.

The youth attending from Cherokee County 4-H Club, the Cherokee Rider’s 4-H Club had a great time as well. This year we had:  Carly Hopkins and mom/club leader Angie Hopkins, Emmy Madrigal with chaperone and former 4-H horse club member Samantha House, Freya Burgess and her grandmother Juliette Kent,  Sydney and Dawson Elliott with their dad Brannon Elliott, Grace Henderson and mom Lore, and new to the club and such a joy she brought to everyone McKenna Ward and mom Wendy. Our youth did a great job and represented Cherokee County well, McKenna even got a bow in the hair of our Clinic Chairman, Colin, so he could have a pretty bow too!!

Image of McKenna

McKenna, on the paint pony, sorting cows with a watchful eye on the cloverbud, from Clinic Chair Colin Corbett (guy with bow in his hair on the left) and Justin Gillespie (cattle provider).

One of the greatest things about this clinic is that the cost is low and the youth have a great time it happens every year around the same time so contact your local 4-H agent or Shannon Coleman, shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu or 828-837-2210 ext 4 to find out about next years clinic.