The Ambassador Beat: Christie Annett

4-H Helped Me Become Who I Am Today

By Christie Annett

My name is Christie Annett, I am 21 years old from the Lambton 4-H Association. This has been a pretty busy year for me with 4-H; I am a member, youth leader, leader and a 2019 4-H Ambassador. I have been in 4-H since 2007 and after 12 years I have been reflecting on my time as a 4-H’er. I am beginning to realize the impact that it has had on my life.  4-H has not only been a place for me to make friends with similar interests but it has given me the tools I needed to be successful in life.

I credit 4-H with being the place that started me down the path to finding my career in working with horses. I come from a beef and cash crop farming background but have always been far more interested in horses. My mom signed me up for the horse club my first year in 4-H. This was the first time that I touched a horse! It was an extremely memorable year for me, I showed my first horse, watched the RCMP musical ride, and learned something new and exciting every meeting! I won top member and top project that year, along with some other awards. For me, this was the beginning of an unforgettable journey.

After that first year in 4-H I took it further and started riding and competing on my own. I’ve tried out a few different disciplines to see what I liked best like: Western pleasure, dressage, jumping, before I decided that barrel racing and gaming was for me. After graduating from high school, I decided to take riding one step further and completed the University of Guelph’s Performance Horse Handler Program. I now work at Canada’s largest standardbred horse breeding facility. My favourite job is foaling out horses. Bringing an animal into the world is something truly special that I am honoured to have an opportunity to do. At work we keep the horses until they are a year old. During that first year, it is my job to break and train the babies. This was a learning curve for me when I first began because I had never dealt with horses that young and green before. I often wonder what I would be doing in my life now if I was never given the opportunity to find and explore my passion at such a young age.

Last year, I knew I had enough knowledge to resurrect the 4-H Horse Club in Lambton County (the same club started me out on my journey). I wanted to share all of the knowledge and enthusiasm for both 4H and horses, my goal was to help kids explore their interest in horses, and maybe even inspire someone with my story. I also started a club because I know how important 4-H was for me in finding out what I wanted to do with my life and how important it was for me in general. All of the clubs I have completed whether it be life skills or agriculture, have taught me something different about myself. I hope that my club gets kids excited to learn more about horses and find out what horses and the horse industry can do for them. If it’s only a club that they’re in for a year, I hope that they find that they learn something new about themselves and have fun participating.

A Fantastic First Year With 4-H

Hello Everyone! My name is Robyn Cox and I’m the Communications Intern for 4-H Ontario. I’m a recent graduate of The University of Western Ontario’s Media and the Public Interest program and am looking forward to keeping you posted about the happenings at 4-H Ontario. Last week I got the opportunity to talk to Hallie Hulton, a young lady who just experienced her first year in a 4-H Horse Club. Talking to Hallie was a lot of fun. She was happy to share with me some of the great experiences she had with the club this year and it was inspiring to hear about the learning opportunities she took advantage of through 4-H.

A Fantastic First Year with 4-H
By Robyn Cox

Hallie Hulton is an articulate and energetic 10-year-old who just completed her first year in a 4-H club. Growing up on a horse farm, it is no surprise that Hallie wanted to participate in the Frontenac Horse Club this year. In her first year, Hallie has proven her showmanship prowess by racking up a number of winning marks with her beautiful horse, Lady. These include the Grand Champion Novice at the Metcalfe Regional Fair and the Frontenac Show, where she also garnered the award for Reserve Grand Champion overall.

Hallie and Lady's Achievements
Hallie and Lady proudly display their achievements

For Hallie it was the perfect timing to join the Horse Club; a mare on her farm had just given birth to a colt and her cousin, Kevin Hulton, was coaching the club alongside fellow volunteers Kathy Townsend and Marsha Pearse. Her background with horses made Hallie a great help to the friends she met in the club and the club gave her a golden opportunity to exercise her teamwork capabilities.

Hallie’s passion for animals is evident. Not only does she care for Lady but she also helps out with the six other horses, the family dog, and the five cats on the farm. As she puts it, “I love watching them grow up.”

Hallie’s pride and excitement shines through when she talks about all the different things she learned in the club: showmanship, feeding, care, and riding. While Hallie knew many of these things already her skill set and confidence grew with the club considerably. Also, her willingness to research at home and read books on horses allowed her to get the most out of her 4-H experience.

She is excited for another year in the club but in the meantime she continues to “Learn To Do By Doing”, in true 4-H fashion.