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PRINCETON — Calling all horse enthusiasts, the University of Illinois Extension units and area county Farm Bureaus are collaborating with Black Hawk East in organizing this year’s fall equine seminar series scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11 and Monday, Nov. 18.
Both sessions will be in the ag arena at Black Hawk East just east of Galva at 26230 Black Hawk Road.
Going on 15 years, the event draws in more than 50 horse enthusiasts who would like to learn how to get in better touch with their animal. The sessions are free to all 4-H and FFA members. Otherwise, the cost is $5.
Bureau County Farm Bureau manager Jill Frueh explained how this event has expanded over the years to include all horse owners, instead of just youth.
“The Illinois Farm Bureau has been a part of this seminar for approximately 10 years. The Equine Seminar Series originally started out with the U of I Extension focusing on youth. Then we got involved and brought in the aspect of having adults join,” Frueh said.
Experts within the equine industry will present various topics at each seminar. The series will kick off next week with a guest speaker from the Horseman’s Council of Illinois. Following a discussion, “Why Trail Ride? Can Any Horse be Trail Ridden?”, Ronald Rhoades will discuss how trail riding a horse helps round out and calm a horse’s mind. He will explain how obstacles are more in the mind of the rider than the horses as well as where to ride, how to encourage and develop horse trails, and how to have a great ride.
The second speaker for the evening is Bob Elwell. During his presentation, “Fitting a Saddle for Your Horse,” he will discuss how saddle shopping is more than just fitting a nice-looking saddle in your price range. As far as the horse is concerned, a saddle that doesn’t fit correctly can result in sore back muscles and a corresponding bad attitude to go with it.
Rounding out the seminar series on Nov. 18 will be Black Hawk East horse science instructor Drew Cotton discussing “What the Feed Tag Really Tells You (And What It Does Not).” He will address what the information means on a feed tag and if it’s really necessary. There may be some valuable information horse owners may be missing.
“The main thing we want to talk about is how reading and marketing of the feed tag is used to connect with feeding your horse. When the tag says things like ‘this product has 14 percent protein and 8 percent fat,’ what does that mean when adding feed to your horse’s diet,” explained Cotton. “The other thing are the ingredients left off the feed tag that we need to know about. The feed tag is just a sticker mandated by the federal government that need specific things on it, not necessarily things that our horses need.”
Concluding the series will be “Draft Horse Basics.”
Frueh emphasized that due to scheduling conflicts, meeting nights have been switched to Mondays, varying from last year’s seminar of Thursday night sessions. She anticipates the first hour of each session to be a discussion followed by an hour of demonstration. Check-in will begin at 6:15 p.m. prior to the start of the evening.
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