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Girl Scouts earn their Horse Fan Badge at Colorado Classic Horse Show


Little girls seem to have a magical fascination with horses. What little girl hasn’t dreamed of owning her own Black Beauty?


Realizing that girls and horses are a natural fit, Girl Scouts – Mile Hi Council has partnered with the Colorado Classic Horse Show to create the Horse Fan Badge event. On Saturday, April 22 160 Junior Girl Scouts, ages 8-11, had the opportunity to get their horse fix and earn their Horse Fan Badge at the 30th annual Colorado Classic Horse Show in Denver, Colo.


“I signed up for this event because I just love everything about horses,” said Amanda Schmalz, 12, from Troop 1730 in Highlands Ranch.


Kicking off the event in true Girl Scout fashion was a western songs sing-along. Everyone was humming their favorite horsy tune, and a few girls were even brave enough to sing songs over the PA system. The girls watched the horse show and learned about the Morgan, Saddlebred and Arabian breeds while enthusiastically cheering on the class winners.


After the show, the Girl Scouts rotated through nine educational displays including: horse behavior, tack and equipment, grooming, horse shoeing, adopting wild mustangs, famous horses throughout history and barn tours.


Making the trip from Fort Collins were the equine science students from Colorado State University (CSU) to teach girls about horse health. Girls had a hands-on opportunity to listen to a horse’s heart rate with a stethoscope.

CSU Equine Science student Juli Williams

helps a Girl Scout listen to a horse's heart beat.


“I hope to give the girls a better understanding that a horse is not a lawn ornament, but that they have feelings and personalities,” said Juli Williams, a CSU equine science student.  “When a horse gets sick, a veterinarian can come and diagnose the problem, then prescribe a treatment to make a horse feel better.”


Another popular station was horse shoeing hosted by Farrier Del Slaugh. Del heated a piece of metal to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit in his forge then shaped it into a horseshoe with a few deft swings of his hammer.

Farrier Del Slaugh forges a horse shoe after

heating it to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit.


“I want to help broaden these girls’ horizons so that they can see what’s involved with owning a horse,” said Del. “They can get a perspective of what it was like for our ancestors to travel across the United States and having to make shoes for their horses. It’s essentially the same process today.”


“I really liked watching the farrier make a shoe,” said Julianna Burton, age 11, from Troop 2208 from Lafayette. “Most horse shoes that I’ve seen are already pre-made, so seeing the process from start to finish was really cool.”


“Julianna is an accomplished rider and horses are a great love of her life,” said mom Jenny Burton. “She’s learned so much today, but this event is also a good introduction for girls who’ve never been around horses before. This is a great event.”


At the grooming station hosted by Morgan trainers Mary Cockriel and Bob Kellert at The River’s Edge, Sarah Kidwell, 12, from Troop 1730 from Sheridan, quietly brushed a horse then gave him a big hug when she was done.

Girl Scouts practice brushing at the grooming station

much to the delight of Slightly Jaded, a Morgan gelding

used in the lesson program at The River's Edge.


“I adore horses,” said Sarah. “This is a special day that I will remember for a very long time.”

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