A selection committee of horse people, teachers, and horse advisory members that were unaffiliated with applicants reviewed and scored the 10 excellent entries that were submitted to recognize the 2014 Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year. Applicants were asked to write on the subject of “My Horse/Pony has Promoted the Delaware 4-H Horse Program By…” A scoring rubic was utilized by the committee that took into account meeting the essay requirements, ideas and content, grammar and spelling , sentimental and emotional value and age appropriateness.
The winning essay was submitted by Nicole Cannavo of the Hearts 4-Horses 4-H Club in Kent County. Here is just a short excerpt from her winning essay titled,” Not Just an Old Mare” which was written from the mare Lucy’s perspective.
Nicole’s winning essay follows.
Hi, my name is Lucy; I am a 20 year old mare, owned and loved by my little girl. I am not just an old mare; I am a proud Delaware State 4-H Horse Project member. Together my little girl and I help promote the Delaware 4-H Horse Program. We both love 4-H and have been active members of our club together for 5 years. I play a big role in my little girl’s 4-H life, where we do all kinds of fun things together.
One of the things I love to do is go to the Delaware 4-H Horse Show during the fair. I love all the attention and can’t wait to get in the ring. My little girl is always helping her fellow club members. One year we even did lead line with another little girl riding me with my girl leading. Because I am older, I know when I have a new rider on my back so I am always cautious, but it was fun to see a new little one showing at the 4-H show.
What I love about 4-H is that my little girl goes to her meetings and then comes home and tries out all the cool stuff she has learned on me. My little girl learned how to groom, be safe, and properly take care of me at 4-H. I get excited to see what she is going to try on me next. The kids in her club have come to our house and watched me get my teeth floated, have my feet trimmed and even get shots. Since I love the attention, I stand like a good old mare and let them do whatever they want to me in order to help teach the kids. My girls’ two year old nephew rode me by himself, so I took it nice and slow and he was completely safe. I love teaching new horse kids. I can tell if they are nervous or afraid to be around me. If they are riding me and do something wrong or I feel they are scared, I will stop or just walk softer. I guess it might be selfish but I love that my girl is in 4-H, it makes for more attention for me!!
Sometimes my little girl’s Mom will take us for a ride in the trailer. We love to trail ride together whenever we get a chance. The Delaware 4-H program has a trail ride every year at the Redden State Forest. I enjoy hanging out with the other horses and my little girl’s friends. It is a nice change of scenery and the kids all have fun. I take good care of my little girl and make sure I don’t spook because she takes good care of me. My little girl has taken pictures of me for the 4-H photo contest. She has had people come over and put sticky notes all over me with my body parts written on them for horse bowl practice. One year, we went to a farm and all the horses and I were dressed in funny looking outfits for what they called a 4-H Halloween costume party. It was embarrassing for me but all the kids had a great time. Lately my girl’s friends and she have been putting mud all over me and then brushing me off(which I don’t understand). They have also been practicing showmanship patterns with different kids in her club. I love watching my little girl have fun with her 4-H friends, and if they are playing with me, that’s even better.
It makes me proud to see my little girl become a responsible horsewoman which 4-H has played a large role in. The Delaware 4-H Horse program is an awesome program which, as an old mare, I am glad to be a part of. I get to teach and help not only my little girl but other kids as well. Together my girl and I have learned a lot through our years in the horse project of 4-H. The friendships, the learning and most importantly, the memories are what 4-H is about.
Nicole will be presented with a custom made model of her horse Lucy at the Kent County 4-H Achievement banquet in October generously created and donated by Peter Stone Model Horses. For more information on the Peter Stone Model Horse Company please visit http://www.stonehorses.com/
Please keep your eye out for the nomination form and topic for the 2015 Delaware 4-H Horse/Pony of the Year in the fall and your chance to have your own custom made model!