Eden Robinson, the 12-year-old daughter of Joe Robinson and Angela Robinson, of Slaughter, became obsessed with horses at an early age.
Her parents, who also love horses, said she has been riding horses since before she could walk.
The Robinsons said their family has always had horses and cows, and Eden got her first horse when she was 4 years old.
Eden is the fourth generation to work the family farm on horseback.
Her mom said it’s in her blood.
“We use horses day to day to work the cattle, and Eden helps sort and pen the cattle on her horse,” her mom said. “She and her younger sister, Lily, move the herd by horseback during the winter months for grazing.”
Eden said she loves everything about horses.
“Horses are beautiful creatures, and they are much smarter than we give them credit for,” Eden said.
She has been a member of the 4-H Homeschool Club for three years.
Eden decided it was time for her to pick up additional skills by attending a class usually reserved for adults and teens.
With her horse, Sugar, Eden completed the master horseman class offered through the LSU AgCenter in March, becoming the youngest person to finish the class.
The master horseman course was developed through the LSU School of Animal Sciences and focuses on horse nutrition and health, safety, riding and teaching.
Participants have to have high skills and knowledge to enter the program, and LSU AgCenter extension agents select those who have the greatest leadership potential.
East Feliciana 4-H agent Leanna Cupit said Eden has just that.
“When you take a serious horseman like Eden and give them extensive education and training, you get a better, more competent horseman who can become better leaders, while passing on useful information to others,” Cupit said.
Eden said she took the course because she wants to know everything she can about horses, and she wants to push herself to the limit when it comes to learning about them.
Cupit said Eden aspired to become a veterinarian.
“I believe the program opened up a whole new world to Eden by helping her understand horses’ mental and emotional processes as prey animals, as well as the true dynamics of horsemanship and how they applied to performance horses,” Cupit said.
“I never could have gotten to where I am without the help of these special people: my mom and dad, my grandparents, Rocky and Paula Smith and Robbie and Deborah Robinson, Phil Scroggs, Kristen Mcgraw, Betty Ann Browning and Neely Walker,” Eden said. “They were always there when I needed them to help me.”
Eden will represent East Feliciana 4-H this summer at the district and state horse shows. She competes in halter classes, showmanship, barrels, poles and reining events.