You Know You Grew Up in 4-H When …

You Know You Grew Up in 4-H When …

Growing up in a 4-H Club creates bonds and memories that last forever. Here are 10 signs you were a 4-H kid.

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By former AQHA intern Lauren Moore

4-H is a wonderful organization that thousands of kids, myself included, grew up in. The “Head, Heart, Hands, Health” mantra was burned into our brains, and club meetings were a part of our regular routine. 4-H prepared me for a seamless transition into AQHA.

Here are just a few signs that you grew up in 4-H.

  1.  You always smelled like some sort of animal. Whether it was pigs, steers, goats or horses, you could always tell when a 4-H kid walked into the room. 
  2. Every time there was a parade in town, you were in it. Every time. Fourth of July, homecoming, you name it. If you grew up in a town where they have parades for every random occasion, you knew your club would be building a float and joining the fun. 
  3. You did a bunch of community service. 4-H is a wonderful way to get kids out and make their community better. Whether it was building care packages for soldiers, making Valentine’s Day cards for nursing homes or cleaning up around town, there was always something to be done, and you were right there to do it. 
  4. You were always at a horse show. There were always shows going on when you were in 4-H, so you got a whole bunch of practice – and a whole bunch of time to hang out with your 4-H friends!
  5. You have green shirts for days. There were green shirts and clovers as far as the eye could see. If you had a designated drawer for your 4-H T-shirts, you know you were a 4-H kid.
  6. Your 4-H friends became more like family. When you’re around the same group of people as much as you are for 4-H, you’re bound to get close to them. Meetings, community service projects, horse shows and other activities gave you a second family. 
  7. You looked forward to the state 4-H horse show every year. It’s like a holiday to 4-H’ers. The state 4-H horse show was a time when you hung out with your horse and your friends all day, and the dance was the highlight of the summer. 
  8. You keep in close touch with your 4-H friends. Being in the barn and riding with the same people every day will create a close bond that lasts a lifetime. Actually, we’re pretty sure our horses were BFFs, too. 
  9. Your ribbons were your bedroom decoration. Don’t lie – all of us who showed or judged in 4-H had our ribbons hanging all around our room (maybe we still do!). It’s like an unspoken tradition. 
  10. You miss your days in 4-H and would go back in a heartbeat. This organization had a hand in making you who you are today. The community service, showing experience and connections you made are irreplaceable. Plus, who wouldn't want to go back and be a kid again?

We know the memories you made during your time in 4-H hold a special place in your heart, and while you might have aged out of your local 4-H Club, no matter where you are on your journey with your horse, there’s a place for you at AQHA. And one of the best parts about AQHA is there’s a place for every member of your family

Whether you are ready to start showing or just love sharing your passion for American Quarter Horses, AQHA is here to help you make the most of your horse lifestyle. Join the AQHA family today.