July 3, 2012
Keylee Sayler, AQHA’s international intern, and the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College horsemanship clinic team finish their first clinic in Hamar, Norway, with beautiful weather and great hospitality.
We have just finished up with our first camp in Hamar, Norway, at the Lykseth Ranch, and it was fantastic! The team from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College did a great job teaching the horsemanship camp, which was held for four days and consisted of 12 people. Not only did the college students have a wonderful time when teaching the clinics, but we also enjoyed learning about the Norwegian culture and the landscape. For instance, did you know that during the Norwegian summer, the sun never sets? The lowest it will get is to the horizon.
During the camp, the NEO horsemanship clinic team – Chelsie Huseman, Shannon Cunningham, Jackie Reed, Brittney Fund and Becca Gagan – broke each day up into riding sessions, classroom sessions and then at the end of the day, there would be a game. For fun during lunch, we all practiced our roping skills. The first day, we had beautiful weather and camp attendees learned more about:
- How to find the correct bit for their horse
- Equine nutrition
- Verbal and non-verbal cues
- Flexing and lateral movement
On the second day, the clinic attendees gained knowledge about showmanship, and then later on in the day, the camp attendees got a workout staying in two-point position with no stirrups. This exercise enables them to gain their balance horseback, which improves their horsemanship skills. Once everyone learned the correct body position, the next task was how to be correct and add finesse to a horsemanship pattern.
The third and fourth day, everyone learned how to maneuver their horse through trail obstacles and also how to stay correct and penalty-free in reining. Then to wrap it up, the NEO team had them run through all the patterns to try out and show off what they had learned.
When the NEO team was not teaching, we were able to try some delicious Norwegian food, which consisted of jam, goat cheese and, of course, their amazing chocolate. When the camp was done, the wonderful hosts also took the team to go see Icelandic ponies and even a driving competition.
Stayed tuned for the next adventure: Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College is now starting to travel to the Czech Republic, and I am off to meet with the University of Wyoming team in Denmark .
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AQHA Director of Online and Interactive Communications