Youth embrace special skills with 4-H programs

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‘It’s looks awesome on a resume and I’ve learned so much’

BIBLE HILL – Mackenzie Spence has been asked some odd questions before, but one at the exhibition in Bible Hill this week took her by surprise.

“Is it a big dog,” one person asked the 16-year-old from Onslow as she groomed Isaac, a miniature horse owned by Ron Wallace.

Other questions often posed to the Truro North River 4-H Club member included how difficult is it to take care of that breed of horse.

“It’s just like working with a big horse. You have to maintain (grooming and obedience) the same way,” she replied.

In fact, answering 4-H questions never gets old for the teenager.

It’s one of the many things she enjoys about participating in 4-H events during the annual Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Bible Hill.

This week she took part in the showmanship and cart miniature horse classes. Although working with a smaller animal has its benefits, Mackenzie said there are also similar challenges as with working with large horses.

“It’s easier for me because I’m more comfortable with the smaller horse but they can get spooked and if he doesn’t want to do something, he won’t do it,” Mackenzie said about the animal’s personality, obedience and human-animal communication issues.

The teenager said it’s not only a love of animals that keeps her involved in 4-H.

“It’s looks awesome on a resume and I’ve learned so much, like public speaking and life skills like working with people I don’t know. You learn to clean up after yourself and you learn responsibility too.”

4-H members also learn patience. For example, judges notice everything and youth need to be prepared all the time, said Erica Sullivan, 14, of Hants County.

“It takes a lot of your time and when people touch him (Junior, her sheep) it makes holes and (indents) in his coat so I have to fix

that,” Erica explained.

That dedication to detail is one of the aspects of 4-H that Jared MacInnis appreciates. MacInnis remembers attending the Bible Hill exhibition as a young child and even then he admired young people with their animals.

“As an adult I appreciate the work ethic of the kids and the pride they take in their animals. As an adult you understand what it takes

to maintain and work with animals and on a farm and how it helps the economy but you don’t appreciate that as much as a child,” said MacInnis.

The exhibition takes place in Bible Hill until Saturday night and will continue to offer a variety of 4-H events for the public to enjoy.

Twitter: tdnMonique


BIBLE HILL – The following is the schedule for the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Bible Hill on Friday.

9 a.m. - Draft line classes/youth showman (MacMillan centre)     

9 a.m. – Shorthorn (Agridome)

10:30 a.m. – Hereford (Agridome)

Noon - Hinchey’s rides open (exhibition grounds)                         

Noon - Commercial yearling heifer class (Agridome)

1 p.m. - Young Simmental (   Agridome)   

1:15 p.m. - Belgian four-in-hand/driving competition (MacMillan centre)

1:30 p.m. - Maritime Reptile Zoo (industrial building stage)

1:45 p.m. - RAM rodeo barrel racing #1 (MacMillan centre)

2:45 p.m. - Blaikies Dodge Poles #1 (MacMillan centre)

3 p.m. - Mini musicians (industrial building stage)

3:45 p.m. - Percheron four-in-hand/driving competition (MacMillan centre)

4:15 p.m. - Clydesdale four-in-hand/driving competition (MacMillan centre)

4:30 p.m. - Maritime Reptile Zoo (industrial building stage)

4:30 p.m. - Miniature horses (MacMillan centre)

5 p.m. - Mini horse classes (MacMillan centre)

5 p.m. - Sheep shearing demonstration (Agridome)

6 p.m. - Little Moe’s (raceway centre field)

6:15 p.m. - Clarence’s Pony Barrels #1(MacMillan centre)

6:45 p.m. - Clarence’s Pony Poles #1 (MacMillan centre)

6:30 p.m. - John Simms (industrial building main stage)

7 p.m. - Demolition derby (raceway)

7 p.m. – Limousin (agridome)

7:15 p.m. - RAM rodeo barrel racing #2 (MacMillan centre)

8:15 p.m. - Blaikies Dodge poles #2 (MacMillan centre)

8:30 p.m. - Jim Richards (industrial building stage)

9:15 p.m. - Tug of war (MacMillan centre)



Organizations: 4-H Club, Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition

Geographic location: Bible Hill, Onslow, Truro North River Hants County

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