By Lanette Campbell

There’s something magical about connecting with a beautiful horse and learning new things in the process. The Girl Scout Troop #7190, based out of the east Valley, recently visited Knight’s Ranch in Laveen, Ariz., to earn their horsemanship badge.

David Knight has owned and operated the ranch for 21 years and was happy to see the smiles on the youth’s faces while interacting with the horses. The camp was hosted by Arizona Black Rodeo Development Director Sharon “Tweetie” Fields.

Fields, who has been around horses since she was a teenager, said, “It’s a great feeling to see all the girls come out and take an interest in the horses.”

More than 30 girls even the younger troops known as Daisies and Brownies, ages 5-12 spent more than two hours with a hands-on experience discovering how to properly take care of a horse. They learned about horse feeding, health, grooming, cleaning up after horses, and putting on and taking off a bridle and saddle.

The day also offered a great opportunity to share about the heritage of the many people who contributed to the diverse western culture, including Black cowboys and cowgirls. The youth received coloring books featuring the contributions of Bill Pickett, Bass Reeves, Nat Love, Charlie Sampson, and Mary Fields aka Stage coach Mary who the first Black women start route mail courier contracted with U.S. Postal Department.

Since 1912, girls from across the county and around the world have been part of a movement known as Girl Scouts, which unites them to explore their environment and develop individually and as a group to make the world a better place. The original small circle of girls has grown to include nearly two million girl members and more than 50 million alums.

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