The Percheron Horse Association of America Educational and Charitable fund recently had the
opportunity of co-sponsoring an educational clinic in Ashtabula, Ohio with Montana Silversmiths and
Cowboy Magic. We would like to share Kellie Rettinger’s thoughts and pictures from the clinic:
This year we at Whispery Pines Percherons, owned by Sam and Kellie Rettinger of Kingsville, Ohio, once
again had the honor of being part of a very wonderful event geared all towards 4-H and the continuing
education of children. This was the 4th annual Ashtabula County Horse Palooza Event which is a three-
day extravaganza of everything related to horses. It took place July 9-11. Our goal is always to offer our
4-H youth in Ashtabula and surrounding counties an educational opportunity with horses-an
opportunity they would not normally have the chance to receive, while still having so much fun! By
providing a hands-on experience for 40 students, we partnered with several local and some out of state
equine professionals, businesses, organizations, and individuals who also share a passion for the equine
This year we expanded our hands-on educational clinics to cover an array of Equine topics. Everything
from Equine Massage Therapy, Preparing your Horse for Show, Magnawave Therapy, Gaming Clinic,
Roping Clinic, Drive-a Draft Clinic, Draft Horse Driving, and a special Bridle-less Jumping performance,
plus so much more!
On Friday we focused on everything Draft Horse! First, in the barn Sam and I talked about how to
properly fit your horse for harness and why that is so important. Then we all went to the ring to
experience ground-driving. No matter what experience level or how old every child, they had the
opportunity to drive. Next up was cart driving, I cannot even begin to tell you the smiles and excitement
these children had! We drove horses for about 6 hours to make sure everyone had a chance.
We moved on after that to talk about a physical for your horse with our own personal veterinarian, Dr.
Melissa Milligan from Equine Specialty Hospital in Burton, OH. All participants had the opportunity to
take a temperature, feel digital pulses and listen to the horse's heartbeat. Keeping your horse healthy is
a big part of horse ownership, as Dr. Milligan pointed out.
Then later in the day we were able to give hayrides around the fairgrounds. The fair crowd was thrilled
to see this big, beautiful Percheron team out on the grounds pulling a wagon filled with happy kids.
There were also opportunities to receive prizes, shop at the tack swap and put in for amazing raffle
items. A weekend of fun, experience, knowledge, education and more fun! Two open horse shows took
place on Friday and Sunday. They were a gaming and a pleasure show. Saturday morning was an
This weekend event was run by all volunteers, 4-H advisors and parents. I cannot thank my sponsors
enough-PHAoA Educational and Charitable Fund, Cowboy Magic and Montana Silversmiths. Your
financial help was greatly appreciated.
Submitted by: Kellie Rettinger