Larry got 1st in his age division

How Miniature Horses have Affected My Life
By Larry Zieammermann
     Hello! My name is Larry Zieammermann. I am currently 11 years old and in the sixth grade at Marion Elementary School. I have worked with miniature horses since I was 5 years old. I have shown miniature horses at many different AMHA and 4H horse shows.
     Miniature horses have affected my life in many positive ways. First off working and showing horses gives me something to do in my spare time. I have to feed and water my horses twice daily. I also have to work with them to get them ready for showing at horse shows. This gives me a sense of responsibility. Sometimes its hard work but if I want to show my horses it is necessary work.
     Another way miniature horses has affected my life is giving me opportunities to meet new people. I have made several friends at horse shows. I am a member of AMHyA, and we do lots of fun activities together. We have a pizza party annually. We also get together every year to go out for ice cream at the State Fair horse show. My favorite thing we do together is the annual weekend get together. We stay in a hotel and see a movie. We even have a gift exchange. One time I got a nerf gun. It was awesome!
     Miniature horses have also helped me build friendships with people in my community. Over the past several years I have gotten two of my friends interested in showing miniature horses. They now both are looking into purchasing their own miniature horses. We have lots of fun going to horse shows together and our friendships have gotten stronger.
     That is how miniature horses have affected my life. It may be a perfect world when every 11 year old boy gets the opportunity to work with a miniature horse. How have they affected yours?
Cara's world show essay

Have you ever had a dream? I have a dream that started when I was a little girl but has grown and matured with me through the years. My dream combines my two favorite things- my horses and helping people. To understand how I plan to include my miniature horses in my future ,you will need to know a little more about what I have been up to the last 15 years.

I started riding horses when I was 3- a gigantic Quarter horse that was "a babysitter" horse but still way too big for me. When I was able to start 4-H I went to a showmanship clinic and the lady doing the clinic raised miniature horses. She took one look at me and my huge horse and loaned me a mini for the clinic. That was the beginning of my love for miniature horses. Shortly after that I got my first miniature and started showing miniature horses. I joined the Heartland Miniature Horse club and AMHyA. While I remained active in 4-H,Girl Scouts,FFA and school sports I found myself looking for ways to let others enjoy my horses ( I had several mini's ).

Through my 4-H leadership project I applied for a grant through the NCR-SARE Sustainable Agriculture Program and was awarded the grant. I used this to put on a "Mini-Fest" at a friends miniature horse farm. We invited the community both rural and urban kids and gave them a fun day of playing with the mini's - walking them and cart rides while educating them on how miniature horses could be a part of a sustainable farm and benefit the community. I was invited to give a presentation on my grant project called "Little Horses Big World" at the national small farm forum.
I more recently was accepted as a member of the Kansas Horse Action Team and in the last year I have managed to get miniature horse classes added to our 4-H district and State shows for the first time ever. Helping to perpetuate the miniature horse has been very rewarding. I am the project leader for our clubs horse project and all our kids now show mini's and our local fair has added mini classes. I think serving on the AMHyA youth Executive Council for the last three years has helped me not only get too know more people in the miniature horse world but also to want others to enjoy the miniature horse.

Because of these experiences I became aware that miniature horses could indeed be a part of my future rather than just a hobby. I began using my miniature horses for a special eduacation school in our hometown for youth to work with as well as taking them into nursing homes and the preschools. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a child's eyes light up when he pets a horse or brushes it or walks it. Mini's are so perfect for this due to their size and nature. The kids are not intimidated by their size and fall in love with them.

After doing extensive research I have located a program that will allow me to mix my love for horses and people. At Texas Technical Institute I can get my degree in social work and become certified in Therapeutic Horsemanship. I visited their program this past spring and it was amazing. I was the most impressed with their Sensory Trail where the kids can take the horses and experience the special sensory stations along the way.

My long term goal after receiving my degree in social work and certification in Therapeutic horsemanship is to open a therapeutic horsemanship center for person with disablities to come for rehabilitation and therapy. While I am sure there will be "big " horses involved I feel that miniature horses will be paramount in making my center a success.