Learn to do by Doing

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Last Saturday we had all the 4H Clubs from the area to our home town for ‘Rally Day’. It is a day where the members learn to judge a variety of classes. They each judge 5 classes. This picture is of my daughter judging a class of geldings. (She is the smallest person in the middle of the picture.) She also had to judge a class of mares, cinches, steers and apples.
Judging helps us to: Learn, Evaluate, Make Decisions, Communicate and Develop Confidence!
In judging, the class is set out and numbered left to right, 1, 2, 3 and 4. If it is a class of animals, they are facing away from you. After looking the class over (and with horses you watch them walk out) it is time to start comparing and making decisions. It is important to get a look at the items/animals from all angles, front and back. The member then starts writing on the card. An example would be “I place this class of geldings 4,2,1,3. I place 4 over 2 because 4 has a better shoulder angle than 2. 4 has better muscling into his hock and straighter legs. I place 2 over 1 because 2 has a stronger topline…….” continuing on until getting to the end where she would write, “I place 3 last because he has pigeon toes.” The member should give 3 reasons for each placing and for the last placing give one reason. At the bottom of the card the member writes “These are my reasons for placing this class of geldings 4,2,1,3.”
Since being a parent and leader in 4H I have learnt all about writing judging cards. It is really great when a 9 year old learns to do this! It is all about getting an ‘eye’ for the ‘ideal’. Then training your eye to find that again and communicating reasons for this.
~Erika Fossen~

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