Hosting a team or club is one way horse stables can give back to the community. It’s an opportunity to introduce new riders to horses and encourage youth to understand the importance of community involvement.
Corinne Severance of Meadow Hill Farm in Melrose, New York, was active in 4-H as a youth. Today, as the trainer and manager of her family’s stable, she serves as a 4-H club leader.
“We want to give our lesson kids and others the opportunity to learn more about horses,” she said. “We meet once a month during the school year and sometimes weekly during the summer.”
The club is active in county events such as horse shows and unmounted competitions such as horse bowl and public presentations. The group also learns about the importance of volunteering to help those in need. Severance’s 4-H club has collected food for the local pantry, participated in activities through Military Moms In Action, Towers to Tunnels and more. They have also cleaned a house that was built for a disabled veteran through the Gary Sinise Foundation.
“It’s a chance to show our kids the importance of making a difference in someone else’s life,” she said.
4-H is just one avenue for team coaching. Pony Club, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and breed youth clubs are among other organizations that offer opportunities for farm and stable owners and managers to get involved with team coaching.
Leading a team or club does require a commitment—horses, tack, facilities and time. Severance estimated that each meeting lasts at least two hours. She also attends monthly leaders' meetings and devotes time to planning events and meetings for her club members.
“It’s a way to stay involved with an organization we were a part of as kids while giving back to the community,” she said.