by Sarah Holloway
Horse riding is a hobby that some Cameron University students enjoy. Other students wishing to join in the passion, though, have the opportunity to take a class that revolves around learning to ride and take care of horses.
The class is a fairly new course that the Department of Agriculture is developing and is known as General Horsemanship.
Dr. Frank White, assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture, said the class is open to any interested student wanting to take the course.
“There are no requirements or prerequisites for the General Horsemanship course,” he said. “I have students who have never ridden a horse before and students who have a lot of riding experience. I think each student has learned from the course so far.”
According to Dr. White, along with learning to ride, the class also covers subjects such as equine nutrition and reproduction.
“The class will cover basic riding and equine management including nutrition, reproduction, management and basic riding skills,” he said. “Students are required to catch, tie, saddle and ride different horses. Each student is matched with a horse appropriate for their skill level.”
Dr. White explained that the General Horsemanship class also takes field trips that are relevant to the material covered in class, to help the students better understand the equine industry. The students also learn how to apply the material to a real-life situation.
“We also take tours of equine industries in the area. We just took a tour of an equine embryo transfer company in Oklahoma and discussed the application of this technology to the equine industry,” Dr. White said.
The horsemanship class meets every Friday at the livestock arena located at the CU school farm.
Kelsy Haslam, a senior Animal Science major, enjoyed the fact that she had the opportunity to take a class that revolved around doing something that she truly enjoyed.
“I liked taking the horsemanship class because it allowed me to ride horses even while I was at school,” she said. “The semester I took the class I was always busy with work, so it gave me the opportunity to ride even with my busy schedule.”
Students who wish to learn more about horses and the equine industry, Dr. White explained, are encouraged to enroll in the horsemanship course.
“We strongly encourage all students, including non-Agriculture majors, to enroll in the course,” Dr. White said. “Any student who wants to learn more about horses, learn to ride or improve their riding skills is invited. “
Senior Animal Science majors Elaine Harder and David Williams help Dr. White teach the class, as they help train the students with the proper techniques and handling of the horses.
Harder explained the appeal and importance of the class.
“I think this class has really helped the students gain a broader perspective of horsemanship, since it covers different breeds and types of riding,” Harder said. “We get time in the saddle and the classroom, and get to go on cool trips. “
For more information about the General Horsemanship course, students can contact the Department of Agriculture at 580.581.2275.