Regardless of whether they finished first or last, horseback riders enjoyed their time competing and gaining experience during the 4-H Lake County Saddle Horse organization’s western shows at the Lake County Fair in Painesville Township. “It’s that experience they get out here and the education they’re learning in the show ring,” said Kenna Covert, president
Regardless of whether they finished first or last, horseback riders enjoyed their time competing and gaining experience during the 4-H Lake County Saddle Horse organization’s western shows at the Lake County Fair in Painesville Township.
“It’s that experience they get out here and the education they’re learning in the show ring,” said Kenna Covert, president of Lake County Saddle Horse.
The western shows started at 9 a.m. July 30 and kicked off with the 4-H Saddle Horse Novice Advanced Western show in the Plaisted Ring at the fairgrounds. The 4-H Saddle Horse Walk Trot western shows followed, which included first-, second- and third-year riders.
“Since it’s a western day, they have the western saddle with the horn and they have to generally ride one-handed,” Covert said. “It’s all based on how the horse goes. We have different classes and ones like egg and spoon where they have to balance an egg on a spoon, and walk and jog around without dropping their egg. We also have skill-based ones where they have to do patterns.”
A variety of horses and riders from 8 and 19 participated in the shows.
“They love the friendships they make here and the memories they’re making, and they love competing,” Covert said.
Among the riders was Kaylee Pridemore of Painesville who has been horseback riding for about six years.
“I’m glad we were able to have it this year. I missed it a lot,” said Kaylee, who plans to eventually be a horse trainer and to continue horseback riding. She encourages riders to keep doing what they’re doing and to never give up.
“It’ll pay off eventually,” Kaylee said.
MaKenna Sladky of Wickliffe was also among the riders. This year is her fifth and final year in 4-H.
“There’s an endless amount of possibilities or projects to do in 4-H. You could do photography, quilting, food and anything you want. It really rounds you as a person,” Sladky said.
Members of the Lake County Saddle Horse organization do not have to have a horse, Covert said.
“We’re about the education and teaching about how to ride horses,” Covert said. “We also do education for nutrition — what you feed your horse, what kind of hay there is and supplements.”
The organization also participates in community service, Covert said.
“We have to give back to the community and we also do fundraising to keep our program alive,” Covert said. “The smiles on these kids’ faces is definitely what it’s all about here.”
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