KAREN GRIFFITHS’ HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Local 4-H’ers to compete at state fair

NOTHING COULD BE finer than watching your children grow up to be responsible, caring people.

In essence, the horse 4-H program is designed to help our young ones develop self-esteem and become contributing members of society — and it’s fun.

Striving to attain goals gives us all a sense of purpose; when achieved, a sense of accomplishment.

Local 4-H gals who earned the right to compete in September’s Intermediate Performance horse division at the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup are Haylie Newton, Holly Cozzolino, Cassidy Hodgin and Shianna Dankert.

The girls came back with more than a pocketful of cherished memories.

Placings

■ Dankert — White in showmanship, huntseat, trail, stockseat and bareback.

■ Hodgin — Blue in showmanship, blue in huntseat and trail, red in stockseat and bareback.

■ Cozzolino — Blue in showmanship, white in huntseat, blue in stockseat, blue in bareback.

■ Newton — Red in showmanship, white in huntseat, red in stockseat.

Interested in joining 4-H? Contact Judy Richmond at judyr@olypen.com or 360-683-4837.

Can’t afford your own horse? If your child has a keen interest, often a horse can be found to use.

Crisis

When tragedy struck my brother’s family in California last week, I wanted to be by his side posthaste.

Problem was, I didn’t have someone who could care for my five dogs and four horses at a moment’s notice and with an unknown time frame.

Usually, my mom or another family member steps in as caretaker, but they needed to be there, too.

The situation gave me pause. It’s easy to call on a friend to care for my animals for a night or two, but what about a longstanding emergency?

Do you have someone in line if such an emergency would crop up for you?

Where does one find such an important individual to trust with your beloved pets?

Outside of imposing on a few close friends, I still don’t know.

Each animal is an individual with its own quirks.

There’s an ebb and flow to its feeding schedule and idiosyncrasies to care for, and I didn’t have it written down.

Medical instructions, contact phone numbers or where and what kind of feed I buy — I didn’t have any of that written down.

I thought I had all my ducks in a row: In case of fire, I have supplies and means to immediately pack up all the animals and flee.

I try to keep enough supplies on the property so that if we have an extended electrical outage or an earthquake that leaves us with no roads to evacuate on, my animals don’t do without.

Now, I’m writing everything down and creating a plan so that at a moment’s notice, I can put a call in to one or two people who can step right into my feed and care routine.

So far I’m still in the writing-down mode; finding a responsible person for their care is going to take much more effort.

And as trite as it sounds, I also worry about asking someone to stay in my home before I clean it.

Hey, I live with five dogs (six, if you count the neighbor’s dog who hangs out with my dogs) who get the run of my tiny home.

They come and go as they please through their doggy door — and they please a lot!

I’d been trying to finish outdoor projects before the rainy season starts, which means I’d put off cleaning my home.

My tile floors were dirty, with wisps of dog hair in every nook and cranny.

The only item I tend to clean on a regular basis is my toilet. (I hate a dirty toilet!)

Unless I clean thoroughly, the dog odor in my house wreaks havoc on the senses of those without.

I don’t think I’ll ever be organized enough to have a good enough emergency plan in which someone can step in to care for my animals without a glitch, but having a horse- and critter-sitter checklist written out and someone to execute it is always a wise and prudent move.

Events

■ 10 a.m. Saturdays, Oct. 15, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10 — Freedom Farm Schooling Shows, 493 Spring Road in Port Angeles.

For class descriptions and details, visit www.freedomfarms.net. Contact Mary Gallagher at 360-457-4897 or freedomf@olypen.com.

■ 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 — Back Country Horsemen Buckhorn Range Chapter Meeting, Tri-Area Community Center, 10 West Valley Road, Chimacum. Contact Bob Hoyle at 360-531-2337 or bobhoyle@usa.net.

■ 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 — BCH Buckhorn Range Ride, Sleepy Hollow Trail. Contact Hoyle at 360-531-2337 or bobhoyle@usa.net.

■ Saturday, Oct. 22 — Spooky Clinic at Spirit Horse Ranch, 207 Mount Valley Lane in Port Angeles. Contact Dave or Becky Seibel at 360-670-1550 or spirithorseranch7@gmail.com.

■ 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 30 — PPHA-hosted Fall Schooling Show at Baker Stables, 164 Four Winds Road in Port Angeles. Two costume classes.

All first- and second-place winners will compete for the Best of the Best costume award. The champion winner will win $50 (sponsored by Stoney Hill Ranch).

Phone Sue Carver at 360-683-7538.

________

Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears every other Wednesday.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at kbg@olympus.net at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

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