Green Chimneys 4-H Tradition with a Twist

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July 28, 2014


The decades-long tradition of Green Chimneys participating at the Putnam County 4-H Fair continued in late July and even offered a new opportunity for our children to share knowledge and skill. As customary the animal showmanship competitions focused on livestock providing Green Chimneys students the chance to present on sheep, llamas, pigs, pigs, cattle, etc. New this year was the addition of an equine-specific competition initially organized to teach young people how to lead a horse without riding, also known as horse in-hand. Competing against local group Tall Oaks Club, each presenter led a miniature horse wearing a halter or bridle through a series of maneuvers called a pattern. Each child was judged on how well s/he exhibits the animal to its best advantage with additional scores for grooming and presentation of both horse and handler.

NEWS_4-H_Fair_Joey-Air_July2014.jpgFor months 5 Green Chimneys students have dedicated afterschool hours in the horse barn to prepare for the new competition. For a boy like student Joey, presenting at the fair is big moment to demonstrate personal growth. Earlier in the year Joey was recognized by our farm staff for his dedication in helping care for the animals, and his 4-H presentation showed even more progress. In preparation, Joey worked with clinical and farm staff to address anxiety relating to public speaking. At the fair Joey was able to not only lead miniature Ari, he stood tall and presented all he knows while remaining calm. Joey even soothed his horse who was also a bit worried about the excitement of the fair. Not only was this Joey’s first time in a showmanship class with horses at the fair, it was Ari’s first time as well. Together they were able to work through their insecurities and shine.

And the hard work paid off! Joey won Excellent and Grand Champion ribbons in his class. Between showmanship competitions and class projects, Green Chimneys took home more than 70 ribbons, including 10 Grand Champions and 9 Reserve Grand Champions. A few students even participated at the more advanced senior showmanship level, and 5 class projects have been invited to participate at the New York State Fair! Congratulations to all of our students, we couldn’t be more proud!

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