Demonstrations, clinics highlight Equine Experience

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Three days of equine-related demonstrations and education planned for this year’s Ag Progress Days should have horse lovers kicking up their heels.

“We receive a great response on the variety of activities and horses we offer at the Equine Experience,” said Brian Egan, instructor in equine science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“From miniature horses all the way to draft horses, the event covers the gamut of the equine animal. The horse arena is always a popular destination at Ag Progress Days, and we’re looking forward to another successful event.”

Education always has been a pivotal part of the schedule, Egan noted, and this year is no exception.

Clinics

Several clinics on horsemanship skills, handling and training of young horses, and a special workshop on the training of miniature horses will take place at various times in the Equine Arena, located at the top of Main Street.

These sessions will be led by Chris Grant, assistant horse farm manager at Penn State; Ben Nolt, of Grantville, co-founder of the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association; and 4-H members.

In addition, Penn State Equine Science faculty and staff, as well as members of the Pennsylvania Equine Council, will be available in the Equine Exhibits Building throughout the expo to answer questions and provide information on horse breeds, care, training and tack, among other topics.

Draft horse hitch demonstrations by Spring Mount Percherons of Tyrone will take place daily, as will miniature horse performances by the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association Youth Ambassadors.

The Percherons and miniature horses also will take center stage during the “Salute to America” Evening Extravaganza, slated for Wednesday beginning at 6 p.m.

Joining them in the arena that night will be the Keystone Dressage and Combined Training Drill Team, the team’s second performance of the day.

Demonstrations

Egan said attendees also won’t want to miss demonstrations by Grey Horse Stable, of Gettysburg; Rick Shaffer, of Somerset, and his Paso Fino horses; Pennsylvania State Police Mounted Patrol; and the Centre County 4-H Drill Team.

The annual Penn State Equine Science Horse Quiz Bowl, in which youth contestants can test their equine knowledge against peers, is set for the last day.

A detailed schedule of Equine Experience events is available on the Ag Progress Days website at http://apd.psu.edu.

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