The 4-H Provincial Equine Advisory Committee (PEAC) is set to distribute its four-DVD horsemanship video set to all Alberta 4-H equine leaders.
“Two years ago an idea, which would change how members and leaders interacted and experienced the 4-H equine project was discussed, approved and set into motion for production,” says Janet Kerr, 4-H specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Stettler. “The goal of the project was to produce a video for 4-H equine project leaders that demonstrates the Alberta 4-H level one to seven mounted and dismounted assessments.”
The DVDs will be appropriate for all skill levels and, under the direct tutelage of renowned equine trainer Muffy Knox, demonstrate the accepted method for all assessments (both mounted and dismounted) in Western and English styles. The videos aim to familiarize 4-H equine project leaders with what is expected for each skill assessment and the steps required in achieving that skill.
“An exciting concept that was implemented into PEAC’s production was the use of 4-H members,” says Kerr. “I think it was a great opportunity for the members to participate in something that is going to benefit all 4-H equine members by fostering their skill development.”
The format sees participating members being presented with a task, which they are asked to complete using a series of skills. These skills are both performed and demonstrated under the eye of Knox.
“One of the top priorities of our PEAC group has been to standardize the presentation and evaluation of the 4-H equine program’s horsemanship skills for our 4-H members across the province,” says PEAC member Linda Gooch, who along with fellow member Dixie Crowson put in countless hours booking facilities, organizing riders, and editing footage. “We are very confident that this horsemanship video will be one of the most valuable teaching tools that we have to offer our 4-H leaders, instructors and members.”
The committee also thought it was vital that a key emphasis be placed on basic equestrian safety. “We really want to make leaders and members aware of the importance of safety when handling and riding, which is why every DVD starts out by explaining some specific “do’s” and “don’ts” for each subject area,” says Kerr.
In addition to be distributed provincially to the approximately 160 4-H clubs with horse projects, the video will also be distributed Canada-wide.
“Without the support of our sponsors, this video would never have come to pass,” adds Kerr. “PEAC would like to thank Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Equestrian Federation, American Youth Horse Council, CTV Lethbridge and Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack for their contributions to the project.”