Local teen is the definition of a Texas Equine Ambassador
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Saving to buy her first horse for her 10th birthday, Olivia Hubert began her lifelong love of riding with her dear friend and partner, Glory, a grade Paint horse. Around that same time in 4th grade, Olivia began involvement with her local 4-H, a group both her mother and father had participated in, greatly encouraging Olivia to join herself.
“They told me how fun it was to raise animals and I was excited to see what it was all about,” Olivia said, eventually leading her down the path to becoming an active member in 4-H Montgomery County Horsemanship Club, and later an officer and state wide ambassador promoting the equine industry for Texas at the age of 14.
Olivia Hubert is a happy-go-lucky ambitious teenager studying at Conroe High School, applying herself completely for her passion in the Academy of Science and Health Professions. By entering high school already possessing leadership opportunities and work skills gained through her horses, freshman year marks an exciting milestone in Olivia’s journey and she is enthusiastic to see what doors will open over her high school career. “I started to ride horses when I was eight and now, I hope to do it forever.”
Exposed to horses so early on in childhood, Olivia’s life and experiences were greatly affected, inside and out. Olivia rescued her first horse Glory, from Habitat for Horses in Hitchcock, Texas, an organization with a mission to give homes to abandoned and adoptable horses, as well as educate handlers and horse lovers about their safety and well being. Having been abandoned, Glory was not easily adaptable and was the most difficult to train.
“She wasn’t perfect and I became a better rider because of the challenges I faced. Now we share a special bond; there is so much trust between us.”
Olivia is honored to be her rider and is most inspired by Glory’s strength to overcome her struggles and trust her current loving family. Hubert frequently now uses her at 4-H events, practice shows and trail riding.
On a normal day, Breeze, short for Gulf Breeze, is a calm-tempered Oldenburg, but turns into a fierce storm once it hits show time in the ring. Breeze shows her competitive spirit with Hubert during Hunter/Jumper events and equation. As a member of the United States Equestrian Federation, Olivia competes in the Greater Houston Hunter/Jumper Association events in Houston with Breeze.
“My mom is skeptical about the jumping events because it is dangerous and costly, but when I ride I feel like I am flying. There is nothing I love more than the thrill of the jump.”
The newest addition to the family, Grey C, is a Pony of America. Olivia enjoys riding Grey C and competes in POA breed shows held by the Texas Pony of America Club as well as 4-H. All three of her horses are used heavily for 4-H demonstrations and safety shows.
Horses aside, the animal loving Hubert family also cares for two heifers, a rabbit, three labs, a parakeet, a turtle and fish.
While extensively searching for additional opportunities to serve her community, Hubert discovered the application for state ambassadorship from the Texas 4-H club early Spring 2013. She submitted without delay and in June of 2013, she was chosen to be a Texas 4-H Equine Ambassador. Honored with this incredible responsibility and title, Olivia promotes the equine industry and her local 4-H throughout the community. Kicking-off her ambassadorship, she attended a four-day Equine Ambassador Camp in Gunshot, North Texas, to learn about the industry and ways she can excel as a leader. Hubert has now surpassed a consecutive five-year membership at the 4-H Montgomery County Horsemanship Club, and she also holds the position of 1st Vice President for the second year in a row.
As Vice President, she introduces speakers, informs the team about upcoming shows and announcements, as well as gives presentations regarding her experience and knowledge about the equine industry at local events. Over the summer, Hubert was sought out an opportunity to volunteer at Oscar Johnson Community Center during their youth summer camps. Over three days and numerous 45-minute sessions, Olivia introduced equine vocabulary, taught horse safety and grooming, demonstrated with her horses and offered interactive time with each student. To make the experience interesting, enriching and educational, Hubert incorporated several graphic diagrams to assist her lesson plan. “Being in 4-H has helped me gain more confidence speaking to crowds and continues to develop me into the leader I want to become.”
This past March, Olivia organized and directed a non-profit community service project at Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch offering Hippotherapy, an equine assisted therapy for children with disabilities and impairments. Olivia gathered volunteers and created stations along the therapy trail uniquely built to fit the needs of every child, enhancing and personalizing their experience. She desires to expand on the services and opportunities for attendees and plans to have this event in 2015 to continue as an annual program.
Along with representing her local county, Hubert has broadened her horizon by traveling to several counties in Texas promoting and sharing the benefits of involvement in the equine industry. She recently attended the Brazos County Fair and served at a National 4-H Council partner, Commodity Carnival giving students the experience of managing business risks associated with producing and bringing livestock to market as well as promoting 4-H.
Through service work for her 4-H, Hubert logged over forty service hours last year and plans to reach her goal of at least fifty hours this year. “I am grateful for my parents because they continue to encourage me to do the best for my club and making others around me happy and loved.”
Outside of 4-H, Olivia is dedicated to horse judging, horse shows, competitive jumping and teaching others about horses. She regularly rides and competes in Hunter and Jumper. Hunter involves both horse and her rider to be judged based on execution of the ride and proper etiquette, while Jumper is assessed on time, speed and lack of faults during a memorized jumping obstacle ride. Both these events are challenging and in order to properly train, Olivia practices with her horses and trainers at least five hours several times a week at Relentless Pursuit Farm.
“When it comes to riding and showing, I spend as much time getting as close to perfect as possible, hopefully it pays off with a 1st place ribbon in the end.”
“My goal as Ambassador is to teach other youth and adults the skills of being good stewards, producers and exhibitors of horses. There are so many wonderful programs for youth and young adults to be involved with while developing leadership skills, creating memories and making connections in the community. A typical meeting has approximately 50 members in attendance, but I won’t be satisfied until every seat is filled!”