The Way of Horses

April 5, 2017
The Way of Horses

The Way of Horses
By Eleanor Blazer
Copyright @ 2017


Encourage your child to join a gang--it can lead to success!
Youth join gangs to achieve a sense of community, self-esteem, recognition and moral code. 4-H provides all of these things, plus educational opportunities.
There are more than 6 million young people in the United States who are members of 4-H. These young adults are developing leadership skills, self-confidence, communication and public-speaking abilities while learning about their 4-H project.
In 1902 A.B. Graham started a rural youth program based in Ohio. In 1914 the United States Congress created the Cooperative Extension Service which adopted the boys’ and girls’ club.
The extension service saw the youth club as a way to introduce new agriculture technology to adults who may not embrace new ideas and techniques for managing a farm. The young adults would “experiment” with the new ideas and share the successes with adults and parents.
As America became more urban, 4-H evolved to include programs that were needed for youth who did not live on a farm. Science, technology, communications, shooting sports, photography, small engines, child development and many other projects are now offered, in addition to the animal projects.
Go to for a list of projects offered by 4-H.
It is no longer necessary to live on a farm and have access to animals in order to be a 4-H member. More than half of the 4-H members now come from large cities and their suburbs.
4-H clubs are run by the young members, with adults only stepping in when advice or guidance is needed. “Learning by doing” is 4-H’s educational philosophy. 4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.
If you have a young adult interested in joining a “gang” look into the great programs offered by 4-H. Go to to find the Cooperative Extension office in your area.

4‑H Pledge
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

 * Take the online course “Nutrition for Maximum Performance” taught by 4-H alumna Eleanor Blazer.  Earn certification or work toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Studies. Go to for more information.