MakenzieBy Makenzie Conklin

Guest Contributor

BOONE COUNTY – My years in the horse projects have not only increased my knowledge of horses, but also helped me gain confidence. My first year in 4-H I thought I was an expert on horses. I was very surprised when I joined horse bowl and saw that I did, in fact have, a lot to learn.

My second year in 4-H I was able to lease a horse. Previously I had only ridden lesson horses and ridding a new horse was a big change for me. Sienna and I struggled in the beginning, as I was a novice rider.

However, we were able to overcome this as she gradually earned my respect. That year I was able to learn how to show and I had a great time.

The next few years Sienna and I worked together to learn new things and work better together as a team. Being a part of the drill team helped.

We were able to practice weekly and work with others to make up our team. I rode as often as I could to become a better rider. I was able to improve my riding and communication skills with Sienna and we placed higher in shows.

This past year I decided to ride saddle seat. I had ridden English a few times but western was my main discipline, so I was very nervous to try it out. The saddle was much smaller than what I was used to.

Once I was in it though, the saddle felt natural and Sienna and I looked great. We performed well in our classes and I am very thankful that I decided to try saddle seat this year.

Being in the 4-H horse project I have been able to lease a wonderful horse the past few years. We have had rough moments but we’ve worked through it to create some amazing memories.

Participating in all of this has made me more interested in animals and their care. I plan to use this passion to study animals in biology when I go to college. I am glad that 4-H has helped to open my eyes to my true passions.

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