It’s hard to believe, I know, but there are kids in Langley who really think that eggs are hatched in Safeway and that milk comes from a plastic jug. Even more shocking, there are children growing up in the Horse Capital of B.C. who have never met a horse.
A Langley kid who has never petted a pony is like a young Quebecker who hasn’t tasted poutine.
The Langley Horse and Farm Federation is determined to make things right.
On Saturday, April 28, the Langley Horse and Farm Federation and B.C. Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum invite Langley families to a Horse and Agriculture Education Session between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Admission for this event is by donation to the Museum, located at 9131 King Street in Fort Langley.
“We are aiming this event at the non-horse and non-agricultural communities, especially children and families. It’s time for kids to stop watching tv and sitting in front of a computer screen and to get out there and learn about real farming and animals, not Farmville. Kids can come to the museum and connect with real horses, real goats, real farmers and some incredible agricultural artifacts,” said Carla Robin.
There will be baby goats, and a horse shoeing demonstration. Kids will be able to cuddle miniature horses, or watch a team of massive Belgian draft horses, a giant breed that played an important role in developing farmland. There will also be lots of goodies they can take home and games to play.
The LHAFF received a community grant from the Township of Langley to organize the event to encourage the community as a whole to learn about and appreciate the importance of agriculture in Langley and the importance of Langley’s agricultural industry to the region.
“In addition to plowing and field work, horses provided much needed transportation. Come and see the many different carriages, buggies, carts and wagons that we have on display – all pulled by horses,” said Syd Pickerell, president of the B.C. Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum Association.
The LHAFF last year launched the popular “Pony Comes to School” program in Langley elementary schools to rave reviews at home and recognition in international magazines.
Carla also wants to change the elitist image of the horse community, and to showcase the many ways kids and adults can enjoy horses.
“People seem to think that everyone who has horses is rich and privileged, but that’s because they hear about the top 10 per cnt of the industry, which is mainly the hunters and show jumpers. The other 90 per cent of the horse community includes pleasure riders, trail riders, breeders, riding schools, Pony Clubs, therapeutic riding and other disciplines such as western, dressage, eventing, vaulting, driving and more.”
Carla believes that horses are one component of a way of life that many Langley residents can enjoy, whether they live in subdivisions or on acreages.
“The country roads, trails, and farmland in Langley provide a social benefit that has incredible value. As for the horses, well, what can I say, they are priceless.”
Anne Patterson is a Langley writer and horse owner. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.