By Kelsey Condon, Junior 4H’er, Chestnut Ridge & Woodstock Equine 4H Clubs
During the first weekend of July, I attended the 2018 Maryland 4-H Horse Jamboree, hosted by Calvert County and held at the Patuxent River 4-H Center in Upper Marlboro. I had never been to Horse Jamboree, and was excited to pack my bags for what promised to be a fun, horsey-filled weekend!
When we arrived, we were given cabin assignments along with some pretty cool goodies, like a T-shirt and water bottle. The cabin was a big room filled with about 10 sets of bunkbeds. We bunked with some Carroll County 4-H’ers and we all claimed our spots (top bunk for me)! I brought a few projects to enter into the arts & crafts competition, and some other friends brought toy horses for the model horse competition.
The organizers kept us busy all weekend with exciting games, fun horsey-crafts, and some pretty stiff competitions. I was shocked to find out that I won the Reserve Grand Champion ribbon for the Horse Skill-A-Thon Competition. It’s a contest that tests your knowledge of all things equine, from breeds, to markings, to tack and parasites (gross)! During the weekend, public speaking competitions were also held. I didn’t participate, but my friend and fellow Baltimore County 4-H’er, Carolyn Melody received Intermediate Reserve Grand Champion for her demonstration called, “What’s Behind Those Blinders?” It was a speech all about a horse’s eye.
In addition to showcasing our horsey-knowledge, we also learned new things. We were taught how to take an X-ray of a horse’s leg and jaw, and learned about the parts of the hoof and skull. Later that afternoon, we all relaxed in the shade, eating watermelon, while watching a demonstration on driving horse-drawn carriages. Chase, a chestnut Morgan horse stole the show, and then fell asleep during the Q&A session.
The food was great and the outside movie on Saturday night was awesome, but the BEST part of the weekend happened Sunday morning when each team got their own REAL PONY to groom and decorate with glitter! We paraded our ponies around the ring for a pony fashion show, and got to enjoy everyone’s creativity.
I very much enjoyed Horse Jamboree, and I hope that there will be more campers from Baltimore County next year!