Learning the ropes at the Routt County Fair | SteamboatToday.com

Learning the ropes at the Routt County Fair

— Each year, young 4-H members bring their horses to the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden hoping to show off their animals and prove to the judges what they have learned through the program.

The members must show their horses, impress judges with the way they handle the animals in the arena and hopefully head home with a ribbon or two at the end of the day.

But either way it's a program that introduces young people to the skills and hard work needed to care for a horse.

For Morgan Yeiser and her horse Goldy, it was an eye-opening experience that has inspired her to come back again next year.

"Yeah, it was good," Morgan said after showing her horse Monday morning at the Hayden Fairgrounds.

Her mom Kathy couldn't agree more.

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"She used to be nervous around animals" Kathy said. "Even dogs."

But last year Morgan came up to her mom and said she would like to start working with horses. It was a special moment for Kathy who grew up riding and showing horses in 4-H events herself.

For Morgan, the programs have been about a lot more than just riding. She has had to learn to care for her animal, keep detailed records of veterinary visits and costs associated for caring for her horse.

Her favorite part was a three-day camp called the Expo where young 4-H members go through two days of clinics and one day of showings.

"I think that was my favorite part," Morgan said.

Kathy said Monday's events marked the completion of the 4-H requirements. The members had to complete a number of required projects including showing their animals at the Routt County Fair. The Open Horse Show on Sunday and the 4-H Western Horse Show on Monday will be followed by the English Horse Show and English Performance Classes Tuesday.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966