Amanda Nolz

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August 3, 2009
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Equine education opportunities for kids and adults

A first grader walks up to a horse for the first time. Her parents, only an arm length away, proudly watch their child approach the large animal. They watch as their child stands in front of his new friend, and they hear a giggle as the horse nuzzles her soft nose against the child's small hand. Proud and confident, the parents watch while the interaction continues, as the small boy and his horse become a team.

This scene is not uncommon in the Youth Horsemanship Clinics taught by South Dakota State University (SDSU) Horse Unit Manager, Jen Eide, and the Equine Extension Specialist, Rebecca Bott, Ph.D., in cooperation with the Brookings Parks and Recreation Group. Students, grades first to third, must attend the course with a parent, while grades four to 12, can attend solo courses for additional riding lessons. This class teaches students and parents about horse colors and markings, horse health and vitals, horse safety, care, nutrition, parts of the horse and saddle, ground manners and introductory riding skills.

"While some kids elect to take swimming, softball or soccer through the Parks and Rec Program, the Horsemanship Clinics offer kids the chance to learn about and ride horses," said Bott, who earned her doctorate in animal reproduction from Colorado State University. "The clinics are great because they enhance learning about a fun topic while interacting in a social setting with other students and animals."

Bott said that families are invited to attend the final day of the two-week class, so that kids can show off their new horsemanship skills. She noted that several undergraduate students from SDSU help to put on these clinics, while serving as examples and role models for the young riders. These college students are also involved in the SDSU Horse Club on campus, where they host a youth horse activity day on campus each semester for kids to learn about horse safety, riding, driving and handling.

"The main mission of these horsemanship clinics is to give kids in the community the opportunity to learn about horses in a safe and fun environment," said Bott. "I think it's an eye-opening experience for some of these families when they realize how much responsibility there is to simply ride a horse, much less own and care for one on a daily basis. The partnership between the Brookings Parks and Recreation group and the SDSU Horse Unit began in 1990. This is a great example of government organizations partnering to provide opportunities that enrich the lives of people in our community."

A first grader walks up to a horse for the first time. Her parents, only an arm length away, proudly watch their child approach the large animal. They watch as their child stands in front of his new friend, and they hear a giggle as the horse nuzzles her soft nose against the child's small hand. Proud and confident, the parents watch while the interaction continues, as the small boy and his horse become a team.

This scene is not uncommon in the Youth Horsemanship Clinics taught by South Dakota State University (SDSU) Horse Unit Manager, Jen Eide, and the Equine Extension Specialist, Rebecca Bott, Ph.D., in cooperation with the Brookings Parks and Recreation Group. Students, grades first to third, must attend the course with a parent, while grades four to 12, can attend solo courses for additional riding lessons. This class teaches students and parents about horse colors and markings, horse health and vitals, horse safety, care, nutrition, parts of the horse and saddle, ground manners and introductory riding skills.

"While some kids elect to take swimming, softball or soccer through the Parks and Rec Program, the Horsemanship Clinics offer kids the chance to learn about and ride horses," said Bott, who earned her doctorate in animal reproduction from Colorado State University. "The clinics are great because they enhance learning about a fun topic while interacting in a social setting with other students and animals."

Bott said that families are invited to attend the final day of the two-week class, so that kids can show off their new horsemanship skills. She noted that several undergraduate students from SDSU help to put on these clinics, while serving as examples and role models for the young riders. These college students are also involved in the SDSU Horse Club on campus, where they host a youth horse activity day on campus each semester for kids to learn about horse safety, riding, driving and handling.

"The main mission of these horsemanship clinics is to give kids in the community the opportunity to learn about horses in a safe and fun environment," said Bott. "I think it's an eye-opening experience for some of these families when they realize how much responsibility there is to simply ride a horse, much less own and care for one on a daily basis. The partnership between the Brookings Parks and Recreation group and the SDSU Horse Unit began in 1990. This is a great example of government organizations partnering to provide opportunities that enrich the lives of people in our community."

A first grader walks up to a horse for the first time. Her parents, only an arm length away, proudly watch their child approach the large animal. They watch as their child stands in front of his new friend, and they hear a giggle as the horse nuzzles her soft nose against the child's small hand. Proud and confident, the parents watch while the interaction continues, as the small boy and his horse become a team.

This scene is not uncommon in the Youth Horsemanship Clinics taught by South Dakota State University (SDSU) Horse Unit Manager, Jen Eide, and the Equine Extension Specialist, Rebecca Bott, Ph.D., in cooperation with the Brookings Parks and Recreation Group. Students, grades first to third, must attend the course with a parent, while grades four to 12, can attend solo courses for additional riding lessons. This class teaches students and parents about horse colors and markings, horse health and vitals, horse safety, care, nutrition, parts of the horse and saddle, ground manners and introductory riding skills.

"While some kids elect to take swimming, softball or soccer through the Parks and Rec Program, the Horsemanship Clinics offer kids the chance to learn about and ride horses," said Bott, who earned her doctorate in animal reproduction from Colorado State University. "The clinics are great because they enhance learning about a fun topic while interacting in a social setting with other students and animals."

Bott said that families are invited to attend the final day of the two-week class, so that kids can show off their new horsemanship skills. She noted that several undergraduate students from SDSU help to put on these clinics, while serving as examples and role models for the young riders. These college students are also involved in the SDSU Horse Club on campus, where they host a youth horse activity day on campus each semester for kids to learn about horse safety, riding, driving and handling.

"The main mission of these horsemanship clinics is to give kids in the community the opportunity to learn about horses in a safe and fun environment," said Bott. "I think it's an eye-opening experience for some of these families when they realize how much responsibility there is to simply ride a horse, much less own and care for one on a daily basis. The partnership between the Brookings Parks and Recreation group and the SDSU Horse Unit began in 1990. This is a great example of government organizations partnering to provide opportunities that enrich the lives of people in our community."


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Tri-State Livestock News Updated Aug 14, 2012 03:45PM Published Aug 3, 2009 05:36PM Copyright 2009 Tri-State Livestock News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.