This has been a rough year for us with 4h. With the lockdown going into place at the very beginning of the season and not knowing whether fair would happen or not, we were pretty “off” our usual level of focus . . . and more importantly, unable to get the high-quality strain of Buckeyes that we had reserved for our future breeding flock (due to travel restrictions). We had to settle for a craigslist find of questionable genetic quality.
So, with that being said, unfortunately Barefoot Girl didn’t place in any of her classes this year — a first for her. It was hard. She went in knowing mentally that that would probably be the outcome, but as she said afterwards, “I thought I was prepared, but now I don’t feel like I am.” That’s often the case, isn’t it?
We aren’t counting this as a failure though: the way we look at it, failure would have been not completing the year at all. She tried and did her best with what she had and that’s never a failure, which we have communicated to her in her discouragement this week. Plus, we learned some valuable things that we wouldn’t have learned had she taken another pair of “good birds;” such as what specific traits make a bird less desirable. That will turn into valuable knowledge as we begin our breeding program.
The week wasn’t a total loss though — we closed it with her first horse show (non-4h)! After a rough beginning from not knowing what to do, she ended up getting two sixth place ribbons . . . and more importantly, the knowledge that she can work through really difficult situations. Horses and kids have a lot to teach, if we’re paying attention.