They massage horses, don't they?


March 22, 1998|By Cynthia Kammann | Cynthia Kammann,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

OF COURSE, I know about massages for people. A good friend gave me a gift certificate to a masseuse for Christmas that I have yet to use. And I've heard of massage to calm crying babies, but Wednesday night was the first time I'd ever heard of massages for horses.

4-H leader Hope Weber was presenting to members at their regular meeting the features of clinics being organized for them, and this was one option. I laughed, but nobody else in the room even skipped a beat. They just began signing up their animals -- at $60 a pop, not counting transportation -- for the massage clinic.

The 4-H Club in Linthicum, known as the Highriders because of the club's equestrian focus, is 28 years old. Children ages 6 to 18 can join, with or without a horse. Charter members were eight families with children interested in horses. There are now 26 members. Recently, the Andover Equestrian Center, where many members board their horses, was closed for renovation. The club is trying to redefine the way it operates while hoping the center will soon reopen for shows, clinics and boarders.

Traditionally, the Highriders' schedule includes four shows in May, June, September and October. Horses and their riders compete in various divisions of each show, striving to accumulate points. This year, the county has offered the center for use during just one show, endangering what is the club's main fund-raiser. Club leaders are worried that they will lose participants to other events.

Highriders are signing up for clinics and shows at the Prince George's County Equestrian Center and the Howard County Equestrian Center. Highrider leaders Carol Kashner, Donna Umberger and Weber are setting up clinics at sites around Anne Arundel to compensate for loss of the Andover center. They will teach safety, riding and offer horse massages. Umberger said her horse is in her 20s and has arthritis, so while a massage is expensive, it's "a rare treat for her." A horse's aching muscles will cause the stride to be shorter. After a massage, a longer stride mean a smoother ride for a human aboard. Information about 4-H clubs: Sandra Mason, at 410-222-6755.

The Merediths to sing

Sheryl Roberts of Brooklyn Park, a member of Christian Bible Church, is spreading the word that all are welcome to enjoy the gospel singing group The Merediths. They will be performing today at the 10 a.m. service. The church is at the rear of the Arundel Village Shopping Center, 5517-B Ritchie Highway.

Bingo night

The Brooklyn Park community is sponsoring a bingo night for the school Friday at Roland Terrace Democratic Club on Matthew Avenue, off Church Street. The doors will open at 6: 15 p.m. The early bird bingo rounds will start at 7 p.m. The regular games begin at 7: 30 p.m. Hot dogs, pizza, chips, soda and baked goods will be sold and prizes donated by businesses will be raffled. For information, call Shelli Wenzel at 410-789-6067.

Pub Date: 3/22/98

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