The Bit N Spur 4-H Horse Club treated Camp Scott participants to a trot around the Historic Saddle Club Thursday, June 16, as part of an ongoing tradition between the two groups.
The Bit and Spur Club is a 4-H program designed to teach youth proper horse riding and care. Camp Scott is a summer program for developmentally disabled children and young adults. The Bit N Spur Club’s horse show exhibition for the Camp Scott youth has been around for the past 38 years. Oftentimes, entire generations of families have participated.
“It’s been an ongoing, every year, I’d call it a tradition between the two organizations,” 4-H parent Ben Treffer said. “...I can’t remember a year, besides COVID, of it not happening.”
His daughter Cali Treffer, 11, is the events president of the Bit N Spur Club. This is her third year participating in the Camp Scott showcase.
“It’s fun getting everything ready ... being a participant and getting it together, it’s really fun,” she said.
People are also reading…
Different 4-Hers were on different committees, such as assigning numbers for riders and contacting the press. Between the children and adults present, there were more than 100 people at the event.
At 6 p.m., the campers, riders and their families assembled for dinner. Members of local Kiwanis clubs brought main courses and drinks, while parents provided dessert and salads.
Around an hour later, they moved to the grandstands to witness or participate in various horseback exhibitions. These included an egg and spoon race, where riders tried to carry an egg on a spoon and not break it.
They also featured a ribbon race, where two riders tried to complete a half-circuit around the arena while not letting go of a green ribbon. Only two of the six pairs completed this game. The fastest had a time of just 36 seconds.
Afterward, the riders handed out ribbons to each of the Camp Scott campers and some of the other youth and parents cheering them on.
The Bit N Spur kids asked the campers if they would like to ride their horses toward the end of the evening. Many campers took up the offer. For some, it was their first time riding a horse.
“I think the campers really like to get close to the horses and ride some of the horses and be exposed to something that they aren’t typically exposed to. I think for our kids, it shows them that what they do as a project is special and other people like it and would be interested in it,” Ben Treffer said.
The main goal of the Bit N Spur club is to introduce safety, organizer Juanita Baker said. Every Thursday in the summer, and every other Thursday during the school year, students ages 8 to 18 come together to train with their horses. They learn how to ride and care for them, and, sometimes, listen to guest presenters.
“You can never learn enough about horses,” Baker said. “...Learning about horses is a lifetime job. It’s not just something that you take a few lessons and then you think you know everything there is to know.”
Thursday’s horse show allowed 4-H'ers to put their skills to the test and provide memorable experiences for the children of Camp Scott. Last year, Baker said, a storm prevented the campers from riding horses, but this year’s event featured calm skies and warm weather.
“This has been a very rewarding community service project for the Bit N Spur Club throughout the years,” she said.