On the International Trail

2011 Wilhelmsburg, Austria

August 8, 2011

From working cow horse demonstrations to visiting the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Amy Heartfield, AQHA’s international intern, had the experience of a lifetime in Austria with the Colorado State University horsemanship clinic team.

Barb Pfeifer, from the Colorado State University horsemanship clinic team, pretended to be a cow for AQHA international director Gerold Dautzenberg during the working cow horse demonstration at Gerold’s Longview Ranch in Wilhelmsburg, Austria. Photo by Amy Heartfield.

By AQHA International Intern Amy Heartfield

Despite the cold and rainy weather, the camp had about 25 participants and all of them wanted to concentrate on the western style of riding.

The five girls from Colorado State University –Pam Harmeyer, Kate Auchmoody, Barb Pfeifer, Alexandra Eason, Megan Grieve — combined a variety of lectures with their riding schedule for the full horsemanship experience.

The days were divided as follows:

Day 1:

Concepts for riding: leg and hand placement and transitions. The lectures included anatomy and first aid taught by Pam Harmeyer. In the evening, there was a versatility cow horse demonstration taught by Alexandra Eason.

Day 2:

The CSU horsemanship clinic team continued to work on transitions, as well as learning about natural and artificial aids that control moving the hip, shoulders and ribs.  The lecture included horse behavior as well as bits and bitting, taught by Barb Pfeifer.

Day 3:

The participants worked on preparing for a horsemanship class. This included doing work with no stirrups in addition to working on two-tracking and simple lead changes.  That day’s lecture was taught by Kate Auchmoody and featured trailer safety.

Day 4:

The group worked on stopping and rollbacks, as well as leg yields and lead changes.

The beautiful Longview Ranch had two large covered arenas to accommodate the riders.  When the team members were not at the ranch, they spent time in Vienna, getting to see sights such as the Spanish Riding School, the Vienna Zoo and a plethora of museums and palaces.  When asked what their favorite thing about Austria was, the responses included: “Getting to be a ‘cow’ for the versatility demonstration” and “Making new friends and seeing new places.”

Austria was wonderful, the Colorado State horsemanship clinic team is traveling to Holland for a clinic, and I will be leaving for Italy to meet up with the University of Wisconsin River Falls team.

Auf Wiedersehen and Happy Trails!