4-H is supposed to be open to all and yet in NH we harbor and age-discrimination problem. We don’t allow kids under 12 to attend state contests. This is not acceptable to most of us leaders who know that without catching a youngster at a young age, we will lose them to other activities. That means lower entry-level competitors in the horse arena, which trickles down to less kids in the lesson programs and that trickles down to fewer horses needed. What does this mean to the NH horse community? A steady drop in participation in all of the horse activities that NH has always been abundant in. Camps, lessons, trail rides, equine science programs and more are all suffering because we cannot hook our young grassroots community on horses early enough. It’s time to stand up and be counted. Contact program director at UNH and let her know we would love to see the state contests opened up again so we can replenish the pool of young horse crazies that we love to work with! Update: June 2016, the woman who was responsible for this horrid ruling has now retired and we have rescinded the rule! This should help us recover a great youth program and reunite young kids and horses.
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