By Justin Seward
There was a small turn-out for the Cactus Country 4-H Rodeo but that did not dampen the spirits of the eight dedicated participants at the Dunmore Equestrian Centre on July 15.
Members of the Saddles and Spurs and the Schuler Horsemanship 4-H Club had fun practicing their roping and riding skills, while learning about safety in the arena in the scorching temperatures.
“We like to instill into our kids horsemanship,” said Cactus Country 4-H Rodeo assistant Lisa Newby.
“Then when we get to these events, that part is already taken care of and we just help them on staying safe when they are doing their events. Lots of times, rodeo and team roping would involve livestock. Part of the thing is that they have these great dummies out now that we can hook to the quad and it keeps it all safe. It can go the speed that the kid wants it because if you have a younger kid that’s just starting this, they don’t want this fast running steer like you see at a rodeo.”
The hats went off to two of the dads who ranch rope and do team roping that were able to guide the kids through what techniques were right and when to use them.
4-H teaches developing leadership, communication, technical and life skills and rodeo is invaluable because the kids learn that there can be disappointment and not everything goes how you want it to.
“You’re dealing with a live animal and people and personalities of horses,” said Newby.
“That makes a big difference. I think it gives them good life skills dealing with the people.”
The 4-H Clubs are fortunate to be able to have the newly built Dunmore Equestrian Centre because the facility is versatile location because it is accessible through the Township Road 120 with the kids traveling a farther distance and the centre’s association is always focusing the youth.
“At a young age if you get a bad experience, whether it’s with your horse or with the people, sometimes it turns these kids off,” said Newby.
“If we don’t have the kids coming up, our sport fizzles out rather quick and so does our associations. I think the Dunmore Equestrian Centre makes sure it doesn’t happen.”