- Summer Horsemanship School Program
The summer of 2013 marked the 41st consecutive year for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Summer Horsemanship School Program. In January, training began for the 9 college-aged students desiring the chance to become an instructor in the program. By May, a decision was made to hire 6 of the students as instructors. In an effort to fit all county requests for schools into the schedule, an additional 4 former instructors were hired. A total of 18 schools were taught in 18 different counties, reaching 270 youth riders and 46 adult riders, with approximately 216 adults watching. Participants at 17 of 18 schools were given a questionnaire to complete. A total of 221 evaluations resulted in the following:
- 76% “Definitely” enjoyed their horse more
- 72% “Definitely” felt more competent in working their horse
- 70% “Definitely” could do one or more advanced maneuvers that they were previously unable to do
- 68% “Definitely” learned more about how to move the horse’s hips and shoulders independently
- 66% “Definitely” could solve a problem they were having before the clinic
- 64% “Definitely” could make more informed decisions on when/how to ask their horse to perform a task
- 62% “Definitely” could ride with more confidence
Additional comments left by participants on the evaluations included the following:
- “I learned so much about solving unexpected problems!”
- “The program is great for all riders! The information was very well presented. Thank you for taking time with each participant.”
- “Thank you for not getting frustrated when I got stuff wrong and for answering my questions.”
- “I watched y’all show people that didn’t have a clue and they had a clue when they walked away. Great job!”
- “The program is put together well as far as the steps it goes thru. The program is excellent for beginner to advanced riders.”
- “This clinic helped me with what I needed and even showed me some new things I want to now work on and perfect.”
- “I watched all the kids improve in some area – which was our goal for hosting a clinic.”
- “Thanks for the help. I learned a lot.”
- “The trainers were very knowledgeable and courteous. I learned much. New rider – new horse, thus my learning is still new, but totally enjoyed the training and found it so helpful.”
The 2013 program costs were supplemented by sponsorships from Anderson Bean Boot Company and Purina Mills. Anderson Bean provided the instructors with boots and split the cost of the shirts and caps given to instructors with Purina Mills. In addition, monetary support was given by Anderson Bean to supplement the program, and Purina Mills supplied feed vouchers for the instructors’ horses. This support is greatly appreciated.
Over the past 41 years, a total of 1,362 schools have been conducted. Collectively, the program has reached 47,522 youth, parents, and volunteer leaders, and it represents 3,872 teaching days, for a total of 30,976 teaching hours. There have been 240 different college students (189 female, 51 male) who have served as instructors in the program.
Workshop Contact: Teri Antilley, Horse Program Specialist, at email@example.com.