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What 4-H Has Done For Me


By Carrie Ross, Tipton County 4-H Horse Club

Some people may call it fate, but I call it being a part of something that makes you a better person. In other words – 4-H.   The 4 Hs stand for:  Heart, Health, Hands, and Heart.  All of these qualities are strongly emphasized in all 4H programs.  Another important skill in 4H is learning to accept that hard work is needed to be successful.  There are many ways to develop a “hard work” ethic.  I learned mine through the 4-H horse programs.  Here is my personal example: 

It is so hot outside that sweat is rolling down your face.  You tell yourself “just 5 more minutes” of practicing showmanship with my fabulous horse, who is so good that he can practically do all the maneuvers in his sleep.  It’s me who has to work very hard so I don’t make mistakes or miscue him.   When I think I have practiced enough, I take the lead rope off and go through a showmanship pattern.  My horse executes each maneuver perfectly by just working off my body.  It is then that I know I am ready for the show and myhard work has paid off. 

I continued to see how hard work paid off when I was named the Grand Champion at the state level.  I became one of fifty 4-Hers who were invited to represent Tennessee at the 4H Southern Regional Horse Championships.  This show highlights the top 4-Hers from the southeastern states.  At this level, when my horse and I were are placed in the top 10, I really saw how all of the blood, sweat, and tears were really worth it.

All of this 4-H training translates into other areas of life, too, such as school. It was not hard for me to accept the hard work necessary to be successful in school.  Hard work has paid off with my being able to maintain a 4.0 grade average for the past three years.  My 4-H training has also helped me to be successful in the Arlington High School Marching Band, which is not easy.  Marching band practice is hard work and many people drop out.  But my 4-H experiences have helped marching band become easy for me.

I hope I continue using everything I have learned through 4-H as I plan for my future.

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