We are proud to be a supporter of the Elkhart County 4-H Saddle Club. As we are sure many of you can relate to, a lot of us here at Vet Poultry have strong ties to 4-H either through our own experiences or our childrens'. We have fond memories of showing livestock at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds. Given our love of 4-H, our close proximity to the fair (our store is less than a 10 minute drive from the fairgrounds), and our new equine product offerings, we knew that the Elkhart County 4-H Saddle Club would be the perfect club for us to support.
4-H is the nation's largest youth development organization with over 6 million young participants and over 25 million alumni throughout the United States. That's a pretty big impact. Elkhart County is one of 3,007 counties involved in 4-H throughout the country. Saddle Club is just one of the many clubs available through Elkhart County 4-H, but every club has the same goal of empowering youth to reach their full potential. Every club also holds the 4-H Pledge close to heart, with the pledge essentially being the driving force behind all club activities:
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
Saddle Club gives its members the chance to show their horse in a variety of events at the fair, from pleasure and halter to jumping and barrel racing, and everything in between. The club has only continued to grow over the years. While spectators may only see the week long show during the fair in July, those involved with Saddle Club know that the fair is only the icing on the cake. Elkhart County 4-H Saddle Club members are busy throughout the year. Horse Bowl and Hippology allows members to test their equine knowledge and compete against other clubs across the state. Horse Camp gives new members a chance to stay overnight at the fairgrounds with their friends while learning how to care for and show their horses. More experienced Saddle Club members get to participate in camp as youth leaders. Drill Team practices in the arena to compete and participate in parades. Open arena allows members to practice in the Saddle Club arena before shows. Saddle Club also offers educational clinics as well as various open shows (both before and after the fair) for its members to participate in. Most importantly, Saddle Club promotes responsibility not just through caring for and preparing an animal for fair, but by participating in work shifts, fundraising, and other club activities. Whatever you're interested in, if it involves horses, Saddle Club has something for you.
With all of the activities that the Elkhart County 4-H Saddle Club offers its members, it comes to no surprise that the club often relies on support from the community to run smoothly. We are happy to help provide some of that much-needed support. In additional to our donation, during the 2015 and 2016 Elkhart County 4-H Fair we provided free bottled water for Saddle Club members throughout the week.
The Saddle Club can always use help in the form of volunteers and sponsors. Even if you don't have a horse (or even a kid for that matter) 4-H clubs thrive with support from the community and there may be something you can do to help. Contact a Saddle Club adult leader by following the links below to see how you can help:
If you have a child who loves horses then Saddle Club might just be the perfect fit. If you don't have a horse, don't let that stop you! There are plenty of activities for youth in Saddle Club to participate in without a horse. You could even potentially lease a horse for fair through another Saddle Club member. Saddle Club provides a great, supportive community for your child to learn and grow with. Just stop by the Saddle Club barn at the fair and see for yourself!
Look for our name on 4-H Saddle Club exhibitor back numbers at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair!