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Not just horsing around – Osakis students shine at state competition

Paige Gabrielson poses with her 4-year-old gelding, Scottie, with whom she competed in Training Levels 5 and 6 at the 2016 Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show. She took home top honors in both divisions. (Contributed)1 / 3
Madisen Johanson competed in eighth grade gaming events at the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show. (Contributed)2 / 3
Paige Gabrielson competed with her horse, Bella in all 13th grade pleasure classes at the 2016 Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show. (Contributed)3 / 3

The Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show was held Sept. 16-19 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Representing Osakis was Paige Gabrielson, a 2015 Osakis High School graduate. Gabrielson showed her 4-year-old gelding Scottie in the Training Project.

Through the 4-H Horse Training Program, it is a step-by-step process that the youth takes an untrained horse and first start by gentling it, then teaching it to lead, lunge, ground drive, and then ride.

After teaching their horse to ride, they then have to teach it challenging maneuvers such as front and rear pivots, two tracking, backing, and lead changes (beginning at simple lead changes and progressing to flying lead changes).

This year, Gabrielson and Scottie competed in Training Levels 5 and 6. She took home top honors in both divisions.

Along with teaching the horse maneuvers, youth are required to complete the 4-H Training Book and Achievement Book. The rider is tested on their knowledge along with how to train and maneuver their horse.

Levels 1-5 are first tested at the county fair and can retest with others that qualify across the state of Minnesota in each Training Level at the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show. Level 6 can only be passed at the state level, in which very few youth ever receive this accomplishment.

Gabrielson was also given the opportunity to compete in all 13th grade pleasure classes including showmanship, western pleasure, trail, horsemanship, English pleasure and English equation with her horse, Bella.

She received the following placings: showmanship, seventh; western pleasure, seventh; trail, fourth; horsemanship, eighth; English pleasure, first; and English equitation, second.

Gabrielson also participated in the Speech and Demonstration Contest and received second place.

She was also recognized for receiving the American Youth Horse Council Student Leader of the Year Award. For this award, both a youth and an adult nominate a youth member for their work in actively promoting and inspiring the connection between youth and horses.

Gabrielson implemented Wish I Had a Horse Camp along with giving lessons and clinics throughout Douglas County and several other counties. She has applied and received six grants for improving Douglas County's Horse Project.

Gabrielson was also honored as a Top 10 Finalist for the Dan Patch Award for the past three years. This is based on learning, leading and service.

This was her final event as a 4-H member.

Madisen Johanson competed in eighth grade gaming events including barrels, jumping figure eight, key race, and poles, as well as showmanship, and western pleasure with her horse, Levi. She received 10th place in showmanship.

Madison Floden competed in 10th grade pleasure classes at the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show. She received the following placings: English pleasure, third; showmanship, third; western pleasure, first; and western horsemanship, third, with her horse, Rhinestone.

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