Daughters having a hard time riding 4h.... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 07:54 AM
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Couple ideas and some random thoughts. I've been involved with 4H, well, forever (my mom works for Purdue's extension service), I also judge quite a few fair shows. I would encourage her to stick with it (some sort of project anyway) because there are tons of scholarships up for grabs through the 4-H foundation and being a 10 year member (particularly if she gets involved in junior leaders) looks good on college entrance apps. 4H scholarships alone paid for my first year of college.

Not every club is created equal, not even close. I've judged at some fairs that I left shaking my head, they were the kind where "Well, we have some room in the backyard, let's just get a horse at auction and throw our kid on it in a pen with other people's children" then there are others (like my home county) that there are kids riding Congress level horses, A circuit hunter/jumpers & 1D speed horses.

In our state, you don't have to be in 4H in the township, or even county that you reside in. If I were in a county with a club like you've mentioned, I would have my kiddo showing in another. Mine is a mini this year so no 4H horse & pony for another year but if we didn't have a great club here, I know where she would be showing instead. There are a few clubs that take showing seriously and it's not a goof off joke...sadly though they are the rarity more so than the norm.
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post #12 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 08:10 AM
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I wouldn't make her do something she doesn't enjoy, perks or no perks. That's jut asking for resentment and horses and time spent with horses shouldn't be resentful.

The 4H out here are very cliquish and I won't put my daughter in it unless she asks me. If you aren't part or the group, you're never spoken to and looked at, and are generally frowned upon no matter what your background with horses is. That's the way it was when I wa growing up and I never joined 4H for that reason. Not sure if it changed since then.
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post #13 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 08:13 AM
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I'd maybe ask her and see what she thinks, I understand she's younger but it may be a good idea.

I always wanted to be involved in 4H here when I was younger but they made it SO hard, and always excluded those who had "city" parents. My dad grew up on a farm but now living in the city they weren't good enough. There are SO many kids that want to join 4H you get put on a waiting list for the clubs in your county if a spot frees up then you're offered it, given what seems like an interview of sorts, if you decline you go back at the end of the list. I never got offered a spot...

Really discouraging for a me a kid at the time. I had friends in it who always talked about how much fun they had but there was nothing I could do. It's just the way it's run around here, and I think it's wrong...

NOT that 4H isn't a good program, just the leaders and officials from it around here seem to be on their high horses and look down on those kids who aren't from the country. Now I live here full time. I would have loved the opportunity though.

Just see what she wants to do. If her hearts in the rodeo I'd lean more towards that, and maybe stick with 4H on the side. Both are great for her overall.
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Last edited by Annanoel; 05-08-2013 at 08:16 AM.
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post #14 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
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im in 4h and if its not for you then theres realy no reason to be in it .if your not enjoying it then your not learning anything.maby try another club

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post #15 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 08:51 AM
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See..my one year of 4H experience was absolutely horrible. I trained a horse that was taken away from me at every show for a boy who had no interest but was forced to ride, amd everytime I got on that horse after a show of his, I had a huge fight. He's rear, crowhop, take off, etc. By the next show, I could walk him into and arena, canter a pattern, and walk back out..And then it was all lost as soon as the boy got on.

I only talked to one or two people, the one that started me riding at the 4h barn and one or two younger girls. I got into "fights" with many girls from other 4h clubs at shows because I always had the horse in training, not the finished winner. I was told how horrible a trainer I was (because all they saw was how my horse would zig zag, buck, throw a fit, etc at a show) because they didn't see the holes in training that I was fixing one by one. Drew and I were the only ones that saw the progress from one show to the next. No one noticed when my first horse stopped rearing (the one show I got to take him into instead of the boy), no one noticed when Lucky stopped kicking at anything and everything, no one noticed when Fancy stopped crowhopping and throwing her head every 5 seconds, and no one cared that even though I trotted around the barrels after cantering to them on ST that she'd never cantered at all until a month beforehand. So, depending on which 4h group it was..your horse had to either be poorly trained or finished with no bad habits to be a part of the "group".

Every horse I rode in 4h was given away or sold out from under me and I was popped onto another poorly mannered/trained horse. I never got to ride the same horse for more than 6 months.

Which..while I hated my year (and summer to prepare) of 4H, I learned a TON from it. I learned how to ignore the brats, work with different horses in public and keep others safe, and how to drop attachment to a horse I know will be taken away. That last lesson failed me with my current project (who I've decoded to keep unless she'll sell for 10k plus), and my previous lease..I offered to buy her and was told no because of my attitude from 4H. Some horses I can ride and not care about selling/having taken away, but there's the occasional mare I just can't let go of.

Soo..if she learns things, I'd keep her in it. Even if she hates it now, in a few years she'll look back and appreciate the experience it gave her so that HER child won't act like the brats that can't stand to lose. The biggest 4h event here was fair..5-8 different 4h teams showed up and we had fun shows throughout the week and friday was the all-day big show that decided who went to districts for what event. That was the day to show off your horse..even if you could only trot a pole/barrel/stakes pattern. If you had fun (like I did, because there was a time my horse could only walk a pole pattern) like I did at the shows, the whole year of people putting you down was worth it.

My suggestion to her would be to either try another 4h club, maybe get her a horse that isn't finished so she can work on things at their meets and show progress throughout the year, or find another type of group for her to do. I was always told 4H looks GREAT on a college application or resume, that's why I stuck with it (though I've never noted it anywhere).
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post #16 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 12:51 PM
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I'm so glad our 4H isn't that way. I don't believe in making them unhappy for extracurricular. If she wants to drop it unless it hurts the group I would let her.
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post #17 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 02:35 PM
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My sister had so many problems in Pony Club that eventually she just left. And it seemed like everyone was having problems- after we and another family left, nearly the entire club followed. It's unfortunate but kids are competitive, very very competitive and as much as some are in it for the 'fun' others are in it because they expect to win, and those kids cause problems. It didn't help that our club was absolutely fantastic, full of amazing riders which meant all the other clubs completely disregarded sportsmanship when competing with our kids, thus making it unfortunate for everybody... but beyond that those kinds of activities just aren't for everyone. I agree that you should stick with it for the rest of this year, but if she isn't into it then let her drop- but make sure she knows she can and it wont be a problem. My sister was really 'stuck' despite wanting to get out of it, with some crazy dedication to the kids in her club.
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post #18 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 02:40 PM
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Pony clubs, 4-H and Boy/Girl Scout troops can be great when the leadership controls them, and a bad experience when the don't. Honestly, she doesn't NEED a pony club to show. Maybe there is a better pony club that she could try?
Agreed that little girls can be super jealous fatties.

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post #19 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 02:43 PM
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Unfortunately it can be like that. My 4H horse group has been like that for years apparently. It's very cliquey. It's mainly divided into contesters and western pleasure riders, and if your good at one of them your not well liked. I never liked it as a whole, but I had my group of few friends who I knew before I joined and we had fun with it. Fair week and showing was my favorite, showing everything and trying different things. I'd just ask her about it next year. Another thing I also did dogs a few years, loved that group. And it was divided fairly by skill.
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post #20 of 33 Old 05-08-2013, 03:02 PM
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Don't everload her with extra curricular activities. It sounds like her plate is already full. Kids do need time to veg. to unstimulate their brains.

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