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Girl Scouts Get Crazy ‘Bout Horses at the Colorado Classic Horse Show

Photos and editorial by Alice Hughes, event organizer and volunteer, Girl Scouts of Colorado

Girl Scouts of Colorado partnered once again with the Colorado Classic Horse Show to offer the 8th annual Crazy ‘Bout Horses event on April 5th, 2014 at the National Western Events Center in Denver, Colorado.  Nearly 150 Girl Scouts, ages 10-12, registered for the event and attended the 38th annual Colorado Classic Horse Show to learn about horse health, horse care and the horse show industry.

The Girl Scouts watched the horse show to learn about the Saddlebred, Morgan and Arabian breeds. After the show, the girls rotated through 10 educational stations with topics such as: horse behavior, horse health, safety around horses, grooming, horse shoeing, veterinary care, adopting wild mustangs, barn tours and a horse trivia game.

Horse trainer Nancy Goodwin and American Saddlebred gelding “I’m Hot, You’re Not” show Girl Scouts how to properly feed a horse a carrot and the “Safety Around Horses” station.

Kicking off the event, professional horse trainer Anne Judge-Wegener, rider of Thunder the Denver Broncos mascot, signed autographed photos and gave them to the Girl Scouts as she answered questions about riding Thunder at the Broncos games.

Presenter and trainer Nancy Goodwin from Finesse Farms from Erie, Colorado gave useful tips on safety around horses so that Girl Scouts could be prepared for future horse encounters. With the help of American Saddlebred gelding “I’m Hot, You’re Not” Nancy showed Girl Scouts how to safely work around horses, and proper safety equipment such as helmets and boots. But most popular with the girls was how to properly feed a horse a carrot.

At the veterinary station, veterinarian Scott Martell from Town & Country Clinic in Platteville, Colorado, explained to the Girl Scouts what a day in the life of a veterinarian looks like and how to become a vet. Girl Scouts asked interesting questions about how horses breathe, and what you need to do if a horse gets colic.

New this year to Crazy ‘Bout Horses was the Formative Haptics station where Girl Scouts used clay to attach tendons and ligaments to a model horse leg. This activity gave the girls a better understanding of how a horse’s leg works and the difference between tendons, ligaments and muscles.

“I learned that a horse’s front leg is more like a human arm and a horse’s back leg is more like our legs,” said Adrienne, 10, from Troop 4642 from Aurora, Colorado. “Horses are just so interesting and beautiful!”

“I love to ride horses, and they let you ride them,” said McKenzie, 9, from Troop 4642, from Aurora, Colorado. “Compared to other pets, you can do so much with them. They are very capable and I love them.”

At the veterinary station, veterinarian Scott Martell from Town & Country Clinic in Platteville, Colorado, explains to the Girl Scouts what a day in the life of a veterinarian looks like and how to become a vet.

A perennial favorite is the grooming station where troops get hands-on experience brushing a very furry white Shetland pony named Godzilla belonging to David and Cindy Vogels of Andover Farm.

“I love to pet horses,” said Sammy, 8, from Troop 4559, from Broomfield, Colorado. “They are so soft and gentle.”

Farrier Del Slaugh fired up his forge to show the Girl Scouts how he can transform a straight piece of steel into a fully functional horse show. Heating the steel up to an astonishing 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, Del shaped the red hot metal into a horse shoe shape, added a Fullering groove and nail holes. To the delight of the girls, each group got to take home a lucky horse shoe from the demonstration.

Breaking away from the main arena, Girl Scouts got a behind-the-scenes look at the horse show through a guided barn tour. The girls could see horses getting bathed and prepped for the show and could meet the horse trainers in person. The highlight of the tour was meeting the American Saddlebred Horse “Sharky” who starred in the American Girl Dolls book and movie “Saige Paints the Sky.”

“This is my first experience being around horses,” said Tabitha, 10, from Troop 64257 from Aurora, Colorado. “I really love horses and how some of them are so big and some are so small. I want to own a horse someday!”

“Horses are hard to ride because they can get scared easily,” said Cora, 10, from Troop 2551 from Aurora, Colorado. “But I love horses and how they take care of you.”

Cora and Tabitha learned about horse behavior and spent a long time petting a very soft and gentle Arabian mare named “Maid Marion.”

Morgan gelding “Tour de France” at the veterinary station serves as a live model for demonstrations.

After the event, girls could continue their education with a special take-home notebook filled with horse facts, fun activities and equine industry contact information. Girls could also win Breyer model horses at a special raffle.

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 800-GSUSA-4-U (212-852-8000) or visit

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