4hers Will Learn About Barrel Racing, Pole Bending At Workshop


4-H Youth Development Agent Lani Hall is convinced peer tutoring is one of the best ways to help young barrel racers, goat tiers and pole benders improve their skills.

So, she has recruited one of the finest timed event competitors in the state, teenager Kelsey Lugjen of Florence, to teach local aspiring equestrians the nuances of the three events.

"Kelsey is one of the best and she's young like our 4-H members so that should help," Hall said.

The riding clinic Lugjen is to host will be held 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Friday, at the Payson Event Center. Hall says 16 Northern Gila County 4-H members, ages eight to 15-years will participate in the clinic.

The participants represent Pine, Payson and Young. During the daylong class, the 4-H members will hone their skills in all three of the events, which are part of most any gymkhana, high school rodeo or equestrian show.

In barrel racing, Lugjen will help tutor both the rider and horse on how to successfully maneuver in a cloverleaf pattern around three 50-gallon barrels.

Pole bending is also a timed event that features a horse and one mounted rider, running a weaving path around six poles arranged in a line.

Goat tying is a fast-paced event in which the object is to race to the end of the rodeo arena to where a goat is staked out on a 10' rope.

Contestants dismount their horse while it is sliding to a stop, and race to the goat, which must be flipped to its side, in order to tie together three of its legs with a piggin' string.

Hall said tomorrow's clinic could not have been staged had it not been for a donation from the Gila County Pioneers.

"We are very grateful to them."

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