On May 31, 2023

4-Hers gather in Rutland for clinic


It was everything equine for the 40 4-H’ers from Addison, Bennington and Rutland Counties who took part in the 2023 Rutland County 4-H Horse Clinic, May 19-21. No horse was required, just an interest in learning more about horsemanship and stable management.

 The clinic was held at the Vermont State Fairgrounds in Rutland. Members of the Horsepower 4-H Club, Silver Hooves 4-H Club, Shoreham; Trail Blazers 4-H Club and Tuff Riders 4-H Club, both from Rutland Town; and Young Explorers 4-H Club, Bennington, participated.

 Twenty-three 4-H’ers brought horses, which they stabled in the 4-H Horse Barn on the fairgrounds. They had two riding lessons on Saturday and one on Sunday where they practiced groundwork, jumping, gymkhana patterns and barrel racing. Their instructors were Stepheni Newton, Middlebury; Betsy Porter, Bethel; Jessica Rabidoux, Hinesburg; and Amanda Reynolds, Proctor. 

Instructors Breanna Johnson, Castleton and Stephanie Wissel, Fair Haven, and 4-H teen leader Luci Badillo, Rutland Town, worked with the 16 youths who attended without horses. This group worked with exhibition horses to learn how to muck out horse stalls, tack up horses, load and unload horses on a trailer and wrap the legs of a horse. Prior to the clinic they participated in workshops to make their own hobby horses, which they used for two lessons to practice the same skills as the mounted riders. Many participants joined in the day. 

 Mounted youth

 Rutland County:  Vi  Alexander and Alana Smith, both from Tinmouth; Olivia Bullock and Landon Bullock, Evelyn Canfield and Nora Dechen, all from Rutland Town; Anna Campopiano, Thea Chase and Grace Radican, all from Mount Holly; Kelsey Davis, Amie Thurston and Teigan Williams, all from Clarendon; Addie and Seanna Erickson, Florence; Lyla Jones, Whitehall, New York (Rutland County 4-H club member); Aubrie Kellogg, Fair Haven; Rose Ouimet, Castleton; Brie and Jenna Pikkarainen, East Wallingford; Alex Ryan; Chase Stone, Wallingford; Johanna Stone, West Rutland;  Charlotte Thompson, Ira

 Unmounted youth

Addison County: Iris Bassett, New Haven

Bennington County:  Sophia Zampini, Pownal

Rutland County: Jude Badillo, Lily and Milo Mazzabufi, Olyvia Rooney and Luci Stubbins, all from Rutland Town; Charlotte Bowen and Nieve Noonan, Fair Haven; Paisley Flanders and Julianna Gouchberg, both from Clarendon; Wes Griffin, Rutland City; Juju and Elliot Michael and Ashlynn Pikkarainen, all from East Wallingford; Cecelia Pearson, Mount Holly

 The clinic was organized by Tracey Stubbins, University of Vermont Extension 4-H educator for Rutland and Bennington Counties, and Kristen McLaughlin from Rutland Town, a 4-H volunteer and Horse Project Department Head. Scott Pikkarainen, East Wallingford, helped set up riding arenas and move equipment. 

 4-H volunteers who assisted with the event were Stephanie Bradley, Clarendon; Gail Campopiano and Beth Chase, both from Mount Holly; Alexa McLaughlin, Rutland Town; Mendi Michael and Amy Pikkarainen, both from East Wallingford; Sue Ouimet, Castleton; and Sherry Stubbins, Pittsford. 

To learn more about the 4-H horse program in Rutland and Bennington counties, contact Stubbins at tracey.stubbins@uvm.edu. For Addison County, contact Martha Seifert at martha.seifert@uvm.edu.

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