Student Writing

My Horse Story

Written by Mackenzie Hintz

*This is Mackenzie’s 2023 4H Speech.

Honorable Judges, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Fellow 4H Members 

Hi, I am Mackenzie Hintz. 

Tonight, I will be speaking about my journey with horses in the past year and a half.  

I still remember the day Mom told me about renting a horse. It was the fall of 2021 and I had been at my grandma’s harvesting. Mom had just picked me up and we were on the way home when she told me about renting a horse named Wrangler. I was over the moon! I had wanted a horse ever since I was 3. I had taken occasional lessons but renting a horse, well that is almost like having one of your very own! We looked into it and then on September 1st, 2021, Wrangler was ours until June, or so we thought.  

The first time we went out to the farm, we had no problem catching Wrangler. It was all well and dandy until we attempted to saddle her all on our own. That did not go very well.  

I then started to take lessons on Wrangler. But unfortunately, that year there were a lot of forest fires, and Wrangler was not in particularly good shape. She was coughing a lot … so that is how I met Selena. 

Selena was 20, but she was a lot faster than Wrangler. I used Selena for about a month, but she gave both me and Mom a pretty good scare. That day, there were some other people riding in the arena with horses from off the farm. Selena and I were all good until one girl came way too close. Selena took off. She ran around galloping and bucking, and I thought I was gonna die. She was running and running and just when I thought I was about to fall off she started jumping straight up and down. That week, we had been practicing one rein stops, so Sandi was yelling at me, “One rein stop! One rein stop!” That is when we decided that Selena was not going to be a good fit for 4H.  

So, we had to start looking for a new horse. On November 29th, 2021, we got Cricket, and she literally changed my life. When we got Cricket, she was extremely fat, and she would not lope for anything.  

Over the 4H year I learned quite a bit with Cricket. She was, and still is, an exceptionally good first horse. One day, we were out at the downs and Cricket was incredibly lame. I had been trying to get her to lope on the right lead when Sandi came up and told me to get off. My ten-year-old brain thought that Cricket was gonna die, so I started bawling.  

But in the end, we were still able to finish the 4H year.  

In the spring, we also decided to go in the Northeast Riding Club (NERC). Over the summer I showed Cricket in Western Pleasure, Command, and Horsemanship classes. The first time I attended NERC, I got third place in one of my western classes, and I was extremely excited. The next time I went, I got first place in Pleasure and Horsemanship. I even ended up heading to provincials for the North East Riding Club. I placed second in Pleasure at provincials, and I also placed second in Horsemanship Patterns. I would have got Command class but Cricket broke trotting for one step while the judge was looking directly at me.  

After I showed her all summer, Cricket was tired. She turned out lame in late November of 2022. That is when we decided to look for a new horse. We did not want to get rid of Cricket because she had been such a good first horse. So, we started to look around to see if anyone wanted to rent her.  

Then on January 7th, 2023, I got Rhonda. Rhonda is a Bay mare. She is 8 years old, and she is a lot different than Cricket. Lately I have been working with Rhonda because I plan to show her this coming year.  

This is just the beginning of my horse story, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. 

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