Britches & Boots plans fundraiser, elects new officers

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

by Maura Britt

September was a busy month for the Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club members as they returned to school, elected new officers and participated in a service project at Graz’n Acres Therapeutic Riding Center.

During our September meeting, club members participated in a scavenger hunt throughout the barn to find items such as a sweat scraper, curry comb and more. It was a fun way to review some of the information from the last meeting and work with new members.

In our business meeting, the club planned our next fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tractor Supply in Franklin. Please come visit with us and learn about our club, enjoy some baked goods, have a pony ride and participate in our yard sale. The bake sale and yard sale are rain or shine.

The yard sale is something new. The club is requesting a $25 donation for yard sale space with a table provided by the club. Sign up at Tractor Supply service desk by Friday, Oct. 5. The $25 donation to the club can be cash or check made to VCE Southampton County with Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club in the memo. The club will provide a receipt for your donation upon request. We are hoping to have some folks who would like to sell their crafts or horse stuff or other items. They would bring their own cash box and label their items with a price. What a great day to hunt for some bargains and support the Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club.

After planning the fundraiser, club members heard from the Election Committee, which presented its recommendations for various positions in the club. Club members voted. The Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club is proud to announce the 2018-2019 officers:

• Abby Boyce, president

• Blair Wright, vice president

• Fiona Kee, treasurer

• Joshua McPherson, secretary

Congratulations to our newly elected officers for 2018-2019 4-H year. The 4-H year runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. As a chartered club, the club members had to develop, discuss and vote on a constitution and bylaws that would govern the club. These are rules that club members follow to run our meetings and elect new officers.

After the club completed its business meeting, members had fun learning some knots that are used with horses and horseback riding. Abby Boyce presented the knots from her “Horseman’s Knots & How to Use Them” poster, which won second place at the fair.


On Sept. 29, the Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club visited Graz’n Acres Therapeutic Riding Center for a service project. We were greeted by director and lead instructor, Cyndi Raiford. Cyndi gave us a tour and described Graz’n Acres as a non-profit organization providing therapeutic equine assisted activities for children and adults with physical, intellectual and learning disabilities. All lessons are developed and tailored for each individual participant based on his or her diagnosis and specific goals. The goals may include improving fine and gross motor skills, socialization, memory skills, behavior and much more. Their specially trained horses and the environment provide a therapeutic benefit not provided in other settings. There is a driving program for participants who cannot be safely served in the mounted program.

The Driving Program is the first and only accredited driving program in the state and started in 2006. Graz’n Acres also offers instruction to adults that are interested in learning to drive. Driving offers many benefits found in their mounted program, to include improvements in fine and gross motor skills, balance, spatial awareness, concentration, confidence and self-esteem. In addition, Graz’n Acres provides an At-Risk Equine Facilitated Mental Health Activity, which is an unmounted program for students with emotional and behavior disorders. The equine activities are one-on-one or small group instruction with a focus on team work, problem solving, anger management, appropriate social behavior, communication skills and improving self-esteem and confidence. They work very closely with the local public school systems. For more information about Graz’n Acres, visit their website at

Come join the fun. Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club members enjoyed helping out at Graz’n Acres and visiting with their horses. To join 4-H, you can register online at, or call the Southampton County Extension Office at 653-2572.