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Horseless Horse

Many years ago our Horse & Pony Project had a great horseless/horse program.   It had monthly meetings to give our newest members the extra help they needed, so they wouldn't get lost in the masses.  We would like to reintroduce the program this year.  Monthly workshops that we have planned include: Quick release knots, grooming, anatomy, showmanship, tacking and untacking a horse, tack cleaning, bathing and a few surprises. Horseless horse members and potential buddies are encouraged to attend. Horseless Horse is designed to help allow kids who don't have an animal of their own a chance to participate in the horse project with minimal financial obligation.  They "share" an animal already going to the fair with another project member - no separate stall is required.  Because these members tend to be very beginners and have limited responsibility and knowledge about handling the animal, they are restricted to showing only Horseless Horse Showmanship and Horseless Horse walk/trot riding classes and no trail or speed premium classes.  Their "Buddy" is the experienced owner of the animal and is expected to be working with the Horseless Horse member throughout the year to teach them the basics on care, handling, showmanship, riding, safety, horse behavior and assist them with improving their ability to handle the animal safely and with confidence.  Matching up the Buddy with the Horseless Horse member is sometimes a challenge, but often it tends to be someone within your own club or at a boarding stable that is nearby.  The 4-H network tries to help match people.

Horse project members are to be primarily responsible for the care of their animal project (no other 4-H members train or manage their animal).  Within the horse project, family members can share an animal or you can "manage" an animal you lease or borrow from someone else (that sounds like you).  When you are either a traditional or a "managerial" member, you are responsible financially and physically for the care, maintenance and development of the project animal.  You are not restricted to any particular classes - your class entry is based on your abilities.  You would reserve a stall for your animal at the fair.  The purpose of the managerial option is to allow kids who can't own their own animal the opportunity to experience what it would be like to own one - handling, regular exercise & training, daily care or being financially responsible for boarding, etc. The 4-H network doesn't generally get involved with trying to find managerial animals for kids, however being involved in the project tends to bring those opportunities out in the open.