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Wichita Falls Living Magazine

4-H Spotlight Alexander Mountain

Alexander Mountain, 13

Parents Names: Rodney and Jennifer Mountain

4-H Club: Wichita County Horse Club

Where do you live ?

Iowa Park, TX

How long have you been involved in 4-H programs and projects? 

4 years

What 4-H activities are you involved in? 

Equestrian events

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about participating in 4-H? 

My favorite part is getting to travel new places with my horse and try new things. The hardest thing is getting up really early for shows and having to get everything ready.

How has being a part of 4-H programs prepared you for your future/goals?

 It taught me to work hard. It also taught me to care for horses. I have also learned how to teach other kids.

Why is being in 4-H important to you? 

It is important because it gives me chances to go to shows, travel the state, and learn more about my horse.

What would you tell someone thinking about joining 4-H to persuade them to join?

 You get to work hard and play hard while learning new skills.

Where have you competed and what awards have you won? 

I have competed at the Wichita County Junior Livestock Show for four years. I won the junior grand champion buckle last year for western riding. I competed at the District 3 4-H competition in 2021 and 2022 and won the buckle for Western Riding Junior Grand Champion. I traveled to the state 4-H Competition in 2021 and won 9th place in Western Pleasure. I competed in the State Special Olympics Equestrian Competition in 2019 and 2022.

Other groups/organizations you're involved in?

I ride with the show team for Whispers of Hope Horse Farm and work as a barn volunteer and riding volunteer there. I have volunteered over 300 hours per year there the last 2 years and hope to do that again this year. I love helping to teach new challenged riders how to ride independently.

Who is your mentor?

Mary Elizabeth Pearce is my instructor. Kirsten Polk, Ella Dora, and Eliana Ward are all 4-H members who have also helped me to learn to do better at 4-H and Special Olympics equestrian events.

What to do you want to do when you grow up? or Where do you want to go to college and what will you study?

I don’t know what I want to be yet. I think I would like to study horses and work as a veterinarian.

Tell us a funny story about something that happened while caring for your animal or during a competition.

Just one week before the 2021 state 4-H competition I broke my arm. I was scared that I would not be allowed to compete, but I didn’t give up and I got a ribbon at the show. I learned to never give up.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Horses are my favorite, but I also like video games, Legos, and model trains. I started riding horses at Whispers of Hope Horse Farm when I was 7-years-old. I was in the challenged rider classes and was there for therapy. I loved riding my horse and was asked to go to my first show that year. I rode in the challenged rider class and had fun with my team. When I was 9-years-old I was old enough to help work at the barn and started volunteering too. Because I was at the barn and lots of the junior volunteers were in 4-H, I decided to join 4-H. Participating in 4-H events allowed me to do more things with my horse by myself. I got more confident working in the barn, I got better at riding, and I got better at showing because of 4-H shows and competitions. 

 I am a junior volunteer at Whispers of Hope now and I get to help teach other challenged riders. I’m learning to be supportive and patient when I teach other riders. My favorite volunteer job is working at summer camp and teaching horse anatomy. 

 I really like going to 4-H horse shows, Special Olympics, and other area horse shows.

Comments/Words of wisdom or advice:

Showing horses can be hard. Just keep trying and the next show will be better.

Winter 2023 Issue
Weekly Digital Issue