August 8th was a great day for Tri-Lakes Chapter and the 12 kids who participated in our Youth Day Event. A big thank you goes to the Tim Brock, BC Stables of Fair Grove, who again allowed us to use their facilities for this event. The large arena and the indoor arena were available and used more than we expected. The plan was to hold all the riding fun games and educational games in the outdoor arena. However, Mother Nature made herself known by dropping by with a thunderstorm and some wind for a time, and everything was moved into the indoor arena. This in the big picture was great since it did not last long and left behind cool weather.
The kids were divided into two groups with the older more experienced riders and those who had attended past youth events in one group, and the newcomers and younger riders in the other group. All went through and educational session where we had members of the Easy Riders Drill Team of the Springfield area on hand to teach and demonstrate bridling and saddling but most important, horse psychology and horse behavior. The young ladies of the Easy Rider Drill Team were great teachers and very knowledgeable.
Riding games and safety training took place in the larger arena. One of the most popular sessions was called “What Would You Do?” The kids were assigned the job of packing their saddle bags from a large selection of items with things they thought they might need on a trail ride to be prepared for any mishap. As they rode around the arena with their packed saddle bags, they were stopped at stations where they were faced with a disaster scenario and were asked, “What would you Do?” They had to choose from their saddle bags to “fix” the problem scenario. The scenarios were all things that trail riders have most likely faced. The scenarios ranged from getting lost, ground bees, broken arms, tack disasters, etc. One of the kids was overheard saying, “This is the worst trail ride I have ever been on!”
Lunch was provided for all that attended and after lunch a Leave No Trace Awareness Training session was held. More riding took place after lunch.
Youth events are extremely important for our organization. The opportunity for kids to experience horses and trail riding is disappearing and holding this type of event hopefully will open some doors for youth to continue this activity as they take their life’s journey. The adults who brought these kids to this event are greatly appreciated. It is impossible for kids to attend these events without their adult sponsors and family. A big thank you also goes out to our Tri-Lakes members who helped with this day. It takes a lot of adult help to make this a safe and successful day.