We Can Ride 4-H Club (PEP)

The 4-H Proud Equestrians Program provides therapeutic horseback riding for people with disabilities in order to help improve balance, coordination, posture and muscle tone. The Berrien County 4-H PEP program is known as the We Can Ride 4-H Club. 

 4H-RideLOGO-2

What is the We Can Ride 4-H Cub?

We Can Ride 4-H Club started in 1979 and was the first NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) certified in 4-H therapeutic riding club in Michigan. Is is part of the Michigan State University Proud Equestrians Program.Instructors are both 4-H PEP and PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, formerly NARHA) certified to ensure their capabilities. 

Furthermore, the We Can Ride 4-H Club program offers members a unique opportunity in gaining knowledge in stable management and showmanship besides learning how to horseback ride. Stable management is the anatomy, care and grooming of the horse while showmanship teaches the art of safely leading and showing a horse from the ground. Both contributes vital knowledge and understanding of our equine counterparts. 

The We Can Ride 4-H Club offers riding sessions from May to August, with local club activity meetings throughout the year. We Can Ride 4-H Club offers various opportunities to youth as the clubs serves youth ages 5 - 19 years of age and up to 26 with youth with disabilities. Riding sessions are held at the Buchanan Westerners Riding Club in Buchanan, MI on Wednesday nights. 

We Can Ride 4-H Club - 2018 Brochure 

We Can Ride 4-H Club - 2018 Program Booklet 

 

Interested in joining?

The We Can Ride 4-H Club begins recruiting youth for its riding season starting in December - February of each year. Youth interested in joining the club are asked to submit a rider application no later than February 28 of each year. This helps the club align with making sure every youth has a horse and a team of volunteers ready to go prior to the first day of riding. Late applications will still be accepted, however an additional fee will be charged. Each application submitted will be date stamped which is used to determine placement of alternates if the club exceeds its capacity. 

Each year rider families are required to donate 30 hours of volunteer service for the first rider and an additional 20 hours for each rider thereafter. Hours can be accumulated on ride nights, Berrien County Youth Fair, fundraising participation, and various other club events.

The clubs fees for 2020 are $73.00 for the first rider and $48.00 for each additional family member. This fee covers not only club dues, but also the 4-H participation fees. 

Additionally, the We Can Ride 4-H Club offers two family and parent meetings throughout the year in order to keep families up to date on the latest club information. There are many parts to We Can Ride and these parent meetings are designed to keep making the various pieces of the club come together to in order for youth to enjoy and benefit. 

Mandatory Parent/Family Meetings 

March 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. - Berrien County MSU Extension Office 

 

Rider Application Packet 

Rider applications are to be completed and mailed to the Berrien County MSU Extension office at 1737 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 no later than February 28th. Checks submitted with packets need to be made out to We Can Ride 4-H Club with youth's name in the memo portion of the check. Please make sure all forms are submitted. Below is a downloadable packets for families wishing to join the club. 

Rider Packet Letter - 2020

Rider Packet Checklist 

Emergency Medical Treatment Form

Youth Media Release Form

Parent Form

Rider Physician Referral Form 

Down Syndrome Rider Evaluation Form

Consent & Liability Form 

4-H Online Enrollment Form 

Youth enrolling as riders over the age of 19, must contact the Berrien County MSU Extension Office at 269-927-5674 and submit a paper form for enrolling. 

4-H Online Youth Medical/Code of Conduct Form

Teacher Assessment Form

Speech Pathology Assessment Form

OT/PT Assessment Form

 

Teen Volunteer/ Teen Leader: 

Youth wishing to volunteer with the We Can Ride 4-H Club are considered Teen Leaders. Teen Leaders must be over 14 years of age as of January 1 of the riding year and not older than 19 years of age.  Teen Leaders assist riders as side walkers, leader walkers as well as in stable management. Teen Leaders must submit a 4-H enrollment form prior to the riding season. Teen Leaders are full-fledge members of the Berrien County 4-H program and are eligible for scholarships/awards. Teen Leaders through the We Can Ride 4-H Club are scholarshipped for their particpation fee. Please consult your local Club Coordinator on participation fee scholarship. Forms that must be filled out and submitted to the Berrien County MSU Extension Office include: 

4-H Online Enrollment Form 

4-H Online Youth Medical and Code of Conduct Authorization Form

 

Want to volunteer? 

We Can Ride 4-H Club is primarily a volunteer-run program and the majority of the horses used are volunteer owned. Anyone 14 years or older, with or without horse experience, may volunteer for We Can Ride either as a side walker, lead walker, tack trailer volunteer, committee member or stable management helper. All volunteers that are 19 years of and older must successfully complete the Volunteer Selection Process. 

Each year in March & April, We Can Ride hosts two orientation sessions for new families and volunteers. These orientations provide important training on policies and procedures, expectations, safety measures and introduction to the club. 

Volunteer Training Dates

April 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. - Buchanan Westerners - Buchanan, MI 

April 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. - Buchanan Westerners - Buchanan, MI

Volunteer Packets 

Each year new and returning volunteers need to submit their volunteer packets to the Berrien County MSU Extension Office, 1737 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022. Volunteer packets can be submitted during the volunteer training sessions. All forms must be filled out completely. New volunteers are required to go through the volunteer selection process and be approved prior to joining the club. Forms are listed below as follows:

Returning Volunteers - Adult ONLY

4-H Online Enrollment

For questions and issues contact the Berrien County MSU Extension Office at 269-927-5674. 

Interested Volunteers

Letter to New Interested Volunteers

                Getting Started - Go to MSU Extension Volunteer Central at https://msu.samaritan.com/custom/502

4-H Online Enrollment

Paper forms can be requested by contacting the Berrien County MSU Extension Office at 269-927-5674.

 

Interview

Interviews will be conducted during the volunteer training and will need to be completed prior to the first ride night. 

 

How can I Sponsor? 

We Can Ride 4-H Club operates on donations, gifts and fundraising efforts conducted by its members, families and volunteers. If you would like to sponsor the club or one of its events, please see below for more information: 

Sponsorship Flyer - 2020

 

Club Events & Activities 

We Can Ride 4-H Club Open Fun Show 

Date: TBD

Time: 9:00 a..m.  

Location: Buchanan Westerners Riding Club - Buchanan, MI 

2020 - Showbill - COMING SOON  

 

We Can Ride 4-H Club - Walk/Ride - A - Thon 

Date: TBD

Time: 8:00 a.m. 

Location: Scott Russ Forest - Dowagiac, MI 

2020 Pledge Letter and & Form - COMING SOON 

2020 Flyer - COMING SOON 

 

For Questions:

Berrien County MSU Extension Office 

1737 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Phone: 269-927-5674

Fax: 269-944-4128

 

2019 We Can Ride Chairs & Executive Board 

Charity Hackett Club Coordinator chackettwcr@gmail.com
Barb Lenhardt Treasurer barblenhard@aol.com
Sarah Hackett Secretary chackettwcr@gmail.com
Rachel Agens Stable Management Committee Chair rachelagens@gmail.com
Carly Case Showmanship Committee Chair eyeor371@netscape.net
Gidge Dunn  Instructor Committee Chair  psalm37n4and5@wildblue.net
Rose Narregan Volunteer Committee Chair rjnarregan@gmail.com
Carly Case Equine Committee Chair eyeor371@netscape.net
Rose Narregan Parent Committee Chair rjnarregan@gmail.com
Lindsay Nitz Equipment Committee Chair lw.sunsetridgestables@gmail.com
Karey Sebasty Fun Show Committee Chair kah_4@yahoo.com
Heather Morris Ride-A-Thon Committee Chair Hnbailey11@gmail.com
Taylor Krugh Fair Committee Chair Taykrugh15@me.com
Danielle Lamb Activities Committee Co-Chair - Parade danni.breeanne@gmail.com
Beccah Reava Activities Committee Co-Chair - Events/Activities rebeccahreava@gmail.com 

 

Resources:

  • Club Year Slideshows
    • COMING SOON 

 

Stay up to date on We Can Ride at: 

We Can Ride 4-H Club Facebook page:   We Can Ride 4-H Club