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Students take part in horsemanship camps

August 22, 2014

Throughout July, equine science students from the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences spent time in three European countries leading horsemanship camps as part of a grant provided by the American Quarter Horse Association.

One of the horses at the AQHA horsemanship camp at Five Star Ranch.Three students and faculty mentors travelled to Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands and worked with both youth riders as well as adults on general horsemanship skills including steering, confidence building and basic control. Each camp took place over three days and also included lectures and hands-on demonstrations.

A greater understanding

According the AQHA, these camps were established “to help foster an environment in which people around the world can learn more about horsemanship and horse training, while gaining a greater understanding of the American Quarter Horse breed.”

Students at the Five Star Ranch AQHA horsemanship camp.David Denniston, associate professor of equine science, was one of two faculty members who accompanied the students. “This program offers a tremendous benefit to our students who gain international experience that will be useful both in their education and in their professional careers beyond CSU,” said Denniston.

Real-world experience

John Snyder, an equine science instructor who accompanied the students throughout their entire trip, noted that “These camps really do show students how they can apply their studies outside of the classroom. This kind of real-world hands-on experience will be invaluable to them once they graduate from CSU.”  

Students at the Five Star Ranch AQHA horsemanship camp.The grant covers all of the students’ expenses to travel from the US to Europe and many of the other expenses, including housing and meals, are covered by the host countries. 

Johana Jarosova, now a sophomore in equine science, took part in one of the camps held in the Czech Republic in 2011 when she was still in high school. “I loved how easy going these students were, combining horsemanship skills with having fun, taking their time to explain and show us everything, and they were only couple of years older than I was by then,” said Jarosova. “I knew that once I graduated high-school, I wanted to be one of them.”

International partnerships

Camp participants enjoying the AQHA horsemanship camp at Five Star Ranch.The camps have helped CSU faculty members establish international partnerships and have led to exchanges in which students have come to CSU from European universities.  Additionally, the relationships formed with  these international hosts have generated several international internship experiences for other students. CSU was one of four universities that took part in 13 camps across nine European countries.  The University of Findlay Art Obrien, Sam Houston State University, and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls led camps in Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway among several other countries.