Norfolk 4-H Rabbit Club

As promised, this week on 4-H Folklore we have Ariana’s story about her experience at the Norfolk 4-H Rabbit Club. Ariana learned tons about rabbits, and so did I from reading her story!
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Norfolk 4-H Rabbit Club
By Ariana Tersteege

Norfolk 4-H Rabbit Club is run by Wendy Lamb at her farm in Lindoch, ON. It is an agility/showmanship club for rabbits. We are taught how to properly do rabbit agility, showing of rabbits, grooming and cleaning rabbits and the welfare of rabbits. We have a club meeting once a month on a Thursday.

For agility, Wendy teaches us how to get our rabbits to go over jumps, through tunnels, and weave through pegs. She also teaches us how to keep our rabbits healthy. She has taught me that I must clean their cages once a week and feed them every day. She has also taught me which vegetables I can and cannot feed them. For example, I have learned that you cannot feed them anything from the cabbage family because it will create gas and rabbits are unable to release gas. Also it is good to treat your bunny to only a small amount of fruits and vegetables a day.

Wendy has also taught us about many breeds of rabbits, such as Holland Lop, Netherland Dwarf, Lionhead, and Flemish Giant. I have also learned many different colourings of rabbits such as blue chinchilla, otter, agouti, black steel, tortoiseshell, broken, Californian, castor, cinnamon, chocolate, cream, fawn, pearl, grey, lilac, orange, red, sable, sandy, seal, self group, shaded group, ticking, tortoise, and many more. During that process I have learned that my rabbit is a blue Holland Lop.

I have learned how to show my rabbit and about showmanship. We must bathe our rabbits, groom them, and trim their toe nails before showing them. If we accidently cut one of their nails too far, we have been taught to put the nail in baking soda to stop the bleeding. I have learned that you have to wear proper showing clothes and for showing a rabbit you have to wear a white top and black pants. To start the proper showing process, you must introduce yourself and your rabbit to the judge. To show you rabbit you have to describe each side of the rabbit, features and the condition they are in. For example: “My rabbit’s ears are nice and clean and free of debris. It is also not tattooed”. To end the showing, you repeat your introduction. You must also thank your judge or judges. I have also learned that you are judged out of a hundred points. Wendy’s daughter, Chrissy, has helped a lot of the members with their showmanship.

Wendy makes sure we do public speaking at every meeting. She makes it fun and easy to do. Wendy makes the club fun, yet we learn a lot about our rabbits and what to do with them. I think she is a very good leader because she knows the topic and she makes the club fun to attend. I have learned everything I know about rabbits from her. She is a good role model because she is a kind person and loves animals.

Ariana is a junior Norfolk 4-H member. She has been in 4-H for two years and has already completed 10 projects including Pie Please, Archery and Goat. 

4-H’r Holly Brown shares her story

Love comes in various forms. There’s companionship, friendship, romantic love and family bonds. Of course, there’s also the love that comes with caring for and nurturing animals.

The relationships people form with animals are unique and special. Animal ownership is a sometimes difficult, but always rewarding task. For many, owning an animal allows for better self understanding, and the various experiences one goes through with their animal fuels personal growth and maturation. This was definitely the case for 4-H Member, Holly Brown.

Holly is the oldest Member in the Haldimand 4-H Minature Horse Club. Last year, Holly took on a challenging task to set a good example for younger Members and inspire them to challenge themselves in 4-H. Instead of using her well-trained miniature gelding for the Club’s practice horse show, Holly choose to work with her completely untrained two year old filly. Read on to hear Holly’s account of this experience.

Enjoy!

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August 6, 2011 was the day of our annual Haldimand 4-H Miniature Horse Club practice show. This year since I’m the oldest Member in the Club, and have the most experience, I decided to use a different horse as my project horse. The last few years I’ve used our very quiet, well trained miniature gelding. He knows what he’s doing, he does it all and he’s wonderful. I didn’t think it was for myself, the oldest Member with the most experience to use a horse like him, so I decided to use my 2-year-old filly who has never done anything before I bought her and is just learning how to do showmanship. Her attention span is short, she’s young, spirited, and doesn’t like to listen; she has a mind of her own. O no what did I get myself into is what I asked myself after our first training session, But I was determined; I worked with her and her young fiest attitude. There were times, too many times, when I almost went running back to my little well behaved gelding, or I though about picking another horse out of my herd, I do have 12 to pick from, why did I pick her? But for some reason I couldn’t actually bring myself to use a different horse, just thought about it. I had faith in her.

August 6 came too fast; I was worried that we weren’t ready. All these young Members were watching me, looking up to me; they knew that they could learn fro me, what if I made a complete fool of myself? First class was mine, the senior showmanship class; all the young Members were at the sidelines watching. And then something clicked in my little filly and everything I had tried to teach her she actually did learn! She was wonderful, we did our pattern perfectly. Not one mistake, the best I had ever done with any horse. We did it, all my hard work had paid off. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. We received first place and the judge had wonderful comments for me. I’m so proud of my hard work with my feisty filly.

The above excerpt was written by Holly Brown. Holly is a senior 4-H Member in the Haldimand Association. She has been in 4-H for seven years and has completed 15 projects. Holly’s project interests are horses and rabbits.