Posted on August 21, 2023 at 1:05 PM by Emily Saveraid
This year’s 4-H Hall of Fame inductees were instrumental members of the horse and pony community when growing up, raising their sons, and supporting 4-H exhibitors for well over 40 years.
The Des Moines County 4-H Horse Club was started in the early 80’s and these 4-H pioneers not only established the club, but also a riding session protocol for ALL potential horse and pony exhibitors. Riding sessions consisted of lessons on halter, showmanship, pleasure, poles, barrels, reigning, and trail. If they could not led the riding session themselves, they would bring in horse experts to provide the best training experience for each 4-H member. This protocol is still in place today!
During their time leading the 4-H Horse Club, Larry and Karen made sure that there was always an “extra” horse on their trailer just in case a member came to the riding session but was unable to bring their own horse that night.
Once son’s Shane and Monte graduated, Larry and Karen turned the reigns over to other horse enthusiasts, but Larry’s background with horses drew him back to the arena to help with the riding sessions each year. When Larry was no longer able to help with the riding sessions, you could see the couple at the fair watching and encouraging 4-H members and leaders. Larry was always willing to answer questions and encouraged anyone interested in learning more about horses. Not only did this couple educate youth in their riding skills, but Larry would train and teach young horses how to perform in the show ring as well. He continued to show at local horse shows until 2018 when he was injured. Larry was 76 years old when he hung up his reigns and stopped competing in the show ring for the last time.
It is with great pleasure to honor this year’s inductees to from Des Moines County…Karen and the late Larry Harshbarger.