Fort Hood Sentinel
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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2015  06:50:47 PM

Hood Cavalry stables becomes classroom for youngsters, parents

Email   Print   Share By Andrew Pomykal, Sentinel Staff
August 13, 2009 | Leisure
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Curious eyes and soft noses eagerly sought out kids with carrots during a CYSS-sponsored visit with America’s First Team, the 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment stables recently. Andrew Pomykal, Sentinel Staff
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A horse detachment farrier demonstrates shoeing a steed for CYSS visitors and their Families. Andrew Pomykal, Sentinel Staff
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A worn pair of boots await skillful repair by talented Soldier craftsmen assigned to Fort Hood’s 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment. Andrew Pomykal, Sentinel Staff
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Beauty and the beast share a moment during a CYSS visit to the 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment stables recently. Andrew Pomykal, Sentinel Staff
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Army Family members Rachel Johnston, 3.5 yr-old Tucker, and Madeline, 22 months, enjoy the happenings at the stables. Youngsters interacted with horses and Soldiers assigned to the detachment. Andrew Pomykal, Sentinel Staff
Curious eyes sparkled on both sides of the corral as a group of youngsters aged 22-months to seven years were treated to a visit to the stables of America’s First Team, the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment recently.

Rendered obsolete by modern warfare, the cavalry remains steeped in American history. The history of the 1st Cavalry Division begins in 1833 when the Regiment was designated the 1st Regiment United States Dragoons, Shortly before the American Civil War, the unit was then designated as the 1st Cavalry Regiment. Re-designated as the 5th Cavalry in 1861, the unit participated in a number of famous Civil War engagements, including Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Wilderness and Appomattox.

Today, the detachment is mostly ceremonial, appearing at numerous public events annually. The unit is comprised of hand-picked Soldiers who are tasked with maintaining the animals and equipment belonging to the unit.

Annabel Cieply, a Child, Youth and School Services parent educator for Fort Hood takes special interest in the detachment, and bring those in her charge to visit the stables often.

The tour of the stables and other such activities yields great benefits to the youngsters, allowing them a different learning experience and exposure to other children to further their socialization, she said.

Nimble fingers offered chunks of carrots to the horses who strained to reach the tasty prize. Uneasy glances were followed by squeals of delight as the tots were able to feed the giant beasts.

It’s part of the Parents As Teachers, Heroes at Home Program meant to help parents focus on developmental aspects of their children in the earliest, and perhaps most crucial years of their lives.

“Parents are the most influential caregivers to young children, even with today’s busy lifestyles ... often with both parents working,” Cieply said. “This program is beneficial to the child prior to them entering school.”

“I highly recommend the program,” Rachel Johnston, a current mother of two and expecting another, said. “Activities like this expose children to all sorts of learning experiences.”

Another mom, Krista Wilson, brought her two children – Louise aged 3 and Gabriel, aged 7 months to view horses. Through CYSS, she also involves her youngsters in play groups and “anything else to stimulate little minds.”

Heroes at Home is a free service offered to Families wanting to address common parenting concerns and tap into resources of the Fort Hood community. For more information, call 553-3171 or visit CYSS Bldg. 283.
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