June 13, 2016
Mississippi State University teaches exercises to develop a horse’s balance at the 2016 AQHA International Horsemanship Camp in Slovenia.
By Kelsey Stangebye, 2016 AQHA international intern
We had an #AQHAProud weekend for the 2016 AQHA International Horsemanship Camp at Castle Prestranek in Slovenia. The horsemanship camp was conducted by Mississippi State University; led by Dr. Clay Cavinder, an associate professor and Extension Horse Specialist for MSU, and assisted by MSU undergraduates Hannah Miller and Samantha Miller. We had an excellent horsemanship camp over a three-day period, in which, the instructors provided exercises that focused on gait transitions and training over ground poles. Additionally, the MSU instructors and I were so impressed with the members of the Slovenian Quarter Horse Association’s camaraderie and admiration for their Quarter Horses. We would like to thank the Slovenian Quarter Horse Association for their generous hospitality that they extended to us, and also for their awards presentation. (More to come on that below!)
Exercises to Develop a Balanced Horse
During the horsemanship camp in Slovenian, the MSU instructors explained how using ground poles and gait transitions can develop the horse’s balance, strength and self-carriage. Additionally, using ground poles and working on transitions is particularly helpful with training a horse that is heavy on the front end and/or hollow through their topline. The instructors explained that these exercises will also be beneficial for a rider to develop their rhythm and timing as they practice transitions and guiding their horse over ground poles. Ultimately, developing the horse’s balance will allow the rider to finesse their control over the horse’s body and prepare the horse for more advanced maneuvers; such as the lead change. Read the rest of this entry »