With the the Area E (which includes Pinellas and Hillsborough counties) 4-H Horse Show coming up this weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, sisters CeCe and Shae McLeod prepared their horses Thursday at Silver Stirrup Stables in Pinellas Park.
CeCe, 12, will enter Merlin, a 17-year-old Arab-mustang cross, as her sister, Shae, 13, will enter Tardy, her 13-year-old foundation quarter horse. Their categories are riding, jumping and showmanship.
The girls spend several hours with their horses after school every day grooming, riding and feeding the animals, and cleaning their stalls.
Shae says her horse takes away all of her worries. "It calms you down, and you feel responsible for taking care of them," she said.
CeCe likes walking in the barn to the sound of Merlin's neigh. "He's my buddy," she said.