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Renfrew County 4H Miniature Horse Driving Club

Submitted by Tandra Drew
Renfrew 4-H - Renfrew County Miniature Horse Driving Club
(Posted October 21, 2018)

Renfrew County 4H Miniature Horse Driving Club

By: Tandra Drew


On April 18th, 2018, our club had our first meeting of the Renfrew County Miniature Horse Driving Club. This meeting was held at the McIntyres’ farm, Cedar Ridge Ranch. Our wonderful leaders for this club are Anna McIntyre, Erica Rice, and Sherry Lynn Callaghan White. We did our elections and the results were the following: our president was Autumn McIntyre, Vice-president Hailey, and Secretary was Nicole. We also talked about what would be happening in the club and the expectations, along with handing in any fees and paperwork needed by our 4H leaders.


Our following meetings consisted of many fun activities, learning opportunities, and hands on learning! We learned things such as different parts of a harness, how to harness a miniature horse, and how to hitch them to a wagon or cart. Our club also had hands on learning about proper harness fitting, braiding, and driving the minis to name a few! In-between meetings we also had to practice and use what we learned, with five hours of driving practice!


During one of our meetings we attended Joy’s Tack and Harness Shop in Mississippi Mills (Almonte), which is owned by Keith and Joy Drynan. While at the Drynans’ we got to see how halters and other leather tack such as harnesses and bridles are created and made. We as a 4-H group got to take part in making a mini show halter, which was later used as a prize during our driving clinic! Our club also, got the opportunity to learn about how to clean harnesses and other leather goods properly to maintain the best quality and give it the longest life possible. We as a group learned a lot and were very appreciative and thankful of the Drynans’ giving us their time to teach us all about what they do!


A few weeks later, at the McMullins’ family farm, we broke up into small groups and did several learning and educational stations. We interacted with the McMullins’ miniature horses as well during our stations. Our small groups of 4-H members went through a station of mane braiding, harness/harnessing station, and a showmanship station. These stations were supervised and taught by our Youth Leaders. We also did a judging activity before having a snack of assorted chips and juice, then discussing further meetings.


On July 15, 2018, our club got to attend a special clinic. Our club went to the Renfrew Fairgrounds for an all-day clinic hosted by special guests Wayne Byrne and his grandson Jordan. During this clinic we learned about driving, taught the basics and was given hands-on learning with either 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 with Wayne and/or Jordan. Many of us were new to driving miniatures and for some this was the first time we ever had the opportunity to do so. Our special guests were acclaimed horse people, so their knowledge and expertise was greatly appreciated by our club and our members as we all learned a lot, leaders included I think. At mid-day we stopped for lunch and had a barbecue of hamburgers and hotdogs, chips, drinks, and fruit which we all brought items to contribute for the day! It was an extremely hot day for our clinic, and our Youth Leader Chad Richmond, made sure our clinician Wayne stayed well hydrated throughout the day, and offered a place to sit as well in the shade. We thank them greatly for all their input, knowledge, pointers and giving us a great hands-on clinic! Also, during our clinic Wayne and some others had gathered some wonderful prizes to be given away; including the show halter our club help make at the Drynan’s! This was an added bonus to our wonderful day!


Over the last few months, we as a club got to have many great experiences, made new friendships and have learned a lot of information from great knowledgable people (hosts, leaders, special guests). Unfortunately, since things don’t last forever, on October 20, 2018, our club had our Achievement Day. Our club gathered at Chelsea and Curtis Black’s family farm as our home base for the day. Our day consisted of a 9km drive that took approximately two-and-a-half- hours with two wagons and one cart. All the members alternated and took turns driving either a wagon or a cart. Despite, the wet and cold start of the day while harnessing up the minis, we all had a wonderful time! When our group arrived back at The Black’s family farm (luckily the rain had stopped before we left), we all helped as a team with unharnessing, and getting everything put away as quickly as possible. As a treat, one mom, brought hot chocolate for everyone and timbits to help warm up after the cold chilly day! At the end of our achievement, everyone thanked the leaders for volunteering their time to educate us and their dedication.


So, on behalf of the Renfrew County Miniature Horse Club, I would again like to thank our wonderful leaders/youth leaders for their time; the Drynan’s for welcoming us into their tack and harness shop; Wayne Byrne and his grandson Jordan for an informative and educational driving clinic; the McMullins Family; the Black Family; and to those who leant our their miniature horses and equipment to those who did not have their own!


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