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Barbara Simonsma: A Lifelong Passion for Horses and 4H Leadership

Sara Stark

Range View 4H

Jul 2, 2024

Barbara Simonsma is the Range View 4-H horse project leader. She has ridden horses her whole life and her dad got her first horse when she was 6 and she was 10 when she joined the horse project. When her daughter joined when she was 12 she was one of the more involved parents and she became a leader in her daughter’s last year of 4-H. She has been the horse project leader since 1992. In Horse project, she tries to teach kids safety, fun, how to work as a team, things they need to know about their horse, but most importantly safety. She has learned over the years that Kids are like sponges; they just absorb information and they take everything you teach in and learn from it. Other than horse project, she was a leader for the 4-H Mountain Horse Project which is a horse camping trip up in the high mountains at Stone Cellar. She loves the people and the horses that are involved with the 4-H horse project. Her favorite activity would without a doubt be horse camping. Her favorite horse that she had was Sassy, a Palomino Quarter Horse, she was her ‘heart horse’. Sassy was foaled on her ranch in 1994, and she raised her from a baby, she only had one explosion ever, she was a super calm giant puppy dog. She has taken Sassy horse camping many times and Sassy hated being sweaty and would scratch on the trees and try to roll while tied up. Barbara’s last year at Mountain horse camp was 2016. Sassy and Barbara, due to injuries, pretty much ended their riding days. Unfortunately in 2022 Barbara’s heart horse Sassy passed away, she lived to be 28 years old. To this day, 32 years later, Barbara is still the horse project leader and it just goes to show how much she loves this program. Today I am lucky enough to have Barbara as my Range View 4-H Horse Project leader.

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