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4-H Pony Partners

Posted: September 28, 2011

In cooperation with 4-H Creating Community Networks, 4-H Pony Partners offers youth a chance to have a positive experience with horses.
Student demonstrating grooming techniques with Leader Amy O'Grady

Student demonstrating grooming techniques with Leader Amy O'Grady

This past spring 4-H Creating Community Networks began a new program called 4-H Pony Partners. This program is unique because if offers a chance for youth who have never been exposed to any kind of large animals before to interact with, and have a positive experience with horses.

This program goes over the basic fundamentals of equine study including grooming, leading, learning and comparing horse and human emotions, body parts of the horse, colors, breeds, and what horses eat and how it relates to our human diets.

Students also learn behavioral skills as they recognize that horses respond directly to their emotions and body language. The ability to interact safely with an animal larger than you, for a child, builds great self-assurance, trust, and is a lot of fun! Since horses naturally react to body language and noise levels, youth often find it challenging at first to interact with a pony. For some youth the focus might be to gain trust and self-confidence, for others it might be to learn self control or patience.

Like other 4-H programs, 4-H Pony Partners students also work on reading and writing skills as they develop a project book containing their equine study.

4-H Pony Partners is lead by riding instructor Amy O’Grady, who has been involved with 4-H since 1983. The program length is five to six, 1.5 hours sessions. The program is designed for ten to fifteen students per session. The program is very flexible and can adjust the schedule accordingly to accommodate the group of students.

For more information about 4-H Partners please email Katie Poppiti, Pony Partners Assistant at kap5055@psu.edu.