WWU Students Train Young, Half-wild Horses
|1/23/2013||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
Seven William Woods University students had the unique opportunity to work with young, half-wild horses during a two-week intersession in January.
Rachel Horner, a junior at WWU, worked with Sparky, a 7-month-old Quarter horse, during the training class.
“I was interested in the class because I breed and train my own horses. And I wanted some more tools for training my foals,” she said. “I would take the class again because I learned so much about handling from it.”
In addition to Horner, students in the class were Danielle Beaver, Elissa Grossman, Anna Burman, Ashley Barnes, Hannah Podgorski and Kathleen McDaniel. They were each assigned a young horse to train.
Six of the fillies were leased from A and M farms in Sturgeon, Mo. Sarah Track, clinical instructor of saddle seat at WWU, provided her personal horse for the seventh filly. The ages of the fillies ranged from three coming yearlings, two coming 2 year olds, one coming 3 year old and one 3 year old.
Over the period of two weeks, students taught the fillies how to halter, lead, pick up their hooves, how to work on a lunge line and worked on desensitizing. By the end, all fillies wore bits and surcingles or saddles. The three year-old fillies were ridden at a walk, trot and canter, while the others were taught how to long line.
To work the fillies, students used Rowland Riding Arena. The arena, normally used for dressage and hunter/jumper classes during the semester, was converted into a training facility for young stock. Mike Wessel, barn manager at WWU, rented temporary stalls and a round pen to accommodate the class.
Bonnie Carr, director of academic advising at WWU, taught the class. Carr was pleased with the outcome of the class and the progression of the students, both human and equine.
“I saw all the students progress in their ability to work with and understand young horses and their behaviors and responses,” said Carr. “One of the students commented that this class will affect the way she deals with her own horses now.”
Due to the success of the class, Carr wants to hold another class for students to train young horses.
“We are tentatively planning to offer the class again in the evening during the short summer term in May.”