Ken Zywczyk is the lone male in a household of females. He has four daughters, and even his dogs, a pug named Anya and a bulldog named Millie, are females.

All of his daughters ride and compete on horses, keeping dad perpetually busy.

“It keeps them out of trouble,” he said of their horse hobby. “And it teaches them responsibility.”

At 14, Gabby is the oldest of the Zywczyk (pronounced zef-check) girls. Tess is 11, Ava is 8 and Camille is 5.

“When I was 5, I rode ponies and worked with a trainer,” Gabby said. “Tess got into it after she saw me doing it. She used to tack my horse up for me.”

“I wanted to compete and get out there and have fun,” Tess said.

The family moved to Wellington from Cleveland two years ago so the girls could train and ride with some of the best equestrians in the country. They met Shetland pony enthusiast Johnny Robb and the girls began riding on her ponies at Dance Hall Farm in Loxahatchee. They ride every weekday after school. Gabby is home-schooled and Tess and Ava attend Equestrian Trails Elementary in Wellington. Camille is in preschool.

All four showed in the Twin Rivers Saddle Club Horse Show in Indiantown on March 4 and 5.

Camille rode 5-year-old Pans Atomic Particle, also known as Yeager, in Leadline. It was Camille’s first show. She ended up with a blue ribbon, a trophy and a stuffed toy horse for her efforts.

Tess also showed on Yeager. She has been training on him for six months. The pair won the Pony Halter Championship and several first-place ribbons in halter classes. Tess and Yeager also won a walk-trot pleasure class.

Ava showed Master’s Bonnie Buddy, a 10-year-old Shetland pony. It was also Ava’s first show. She took third place in Halter and won a blue ribbon in a Leadline class. During the Leadline event, the ringmaster asked the riders to trot. Ava recently learned how to post and she got to try it out at the competition. Posting is when a rider moves his or her body in sync with the horse while at a trot, falling and rising with the natural rhythm of the horse’s gait instead of bouncing ungracefully up and down. Ava impressed the judges with her new skill and won first place.

Ava is the youngest sponsored rider at Dancehall Farm. She is sponsored by one of the top dressage riders in the country, Wellington resident Lisette Milner.

Gabby showed 6-year-old Tap Dance Kid. She won the Showmanship class and the Youth 14-17 Halter Championship. Gabby is the daredevil of the group. She has mastered the skill of leaping off horses when they startle.

“When horses spook, I think it’s fun,” she said. “It makes them fresh. I like going fast. It doesn’t hurt when I fall off anymore, I’m so used to it.”

The Twin Rivers show was a big success, but it’s only the beginning. The girls have big aspirations for the future.

“I want to be a professional rider,” Tess said.

“I want to go to Europe, buy horses and bring them back here to sell them,” Gabby said.

Dad Ken is also into riding. The 44-year-old, who is divorced from the girls’ mother and owns a company that sweeps parking lots, has hopes of his own equestrian career.

“I want to play polo,” he said. “I’m going to start taking lessons. I need to learn how to gallop.”

Ken hopes the girls will continue riding through their teen years and into adulthood. The busy father thinks riding has one big benefit.

“It keeps them away from boys,” he said.