Ag Progress Days offers new events for horse enthusiasts

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Ag Progress Days exposition, Aug. 14-16, will provide entertaining yet educational activities for horse lovers of all ages and experience levels, according to Ann Macrina, senior instructor in the Department of Animal Science.

The event's annual Equine Experience will offer a full schedule of training and breed clinics, demonstrations, informational displays and lectures.

"This year, Ken and Karen Sandoe, of Sunny Hill Farm, will present an eight-horse hitch of Belgian draft horses," said Macrina, who coordinates the Equine Experience events. "These 'gentle giants' will be hitched and driven once each day, plus once for a special performance during the Wednesday Evening Extravaganza."

"The Evening Extravaganza also will feature 'mini' versus 'giant' as youth volunteers with the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association demonstrate the amazing abilities of miniature horses." She said the miniature horses, always a hit with children, will be on display all three days.

Highlights of Wednesday's schedule also include Training from the Ground Up, a workshop by Ward Studebaker, well-known trainer and retired manager of the Penn State Horse Farm. In addition, Suzanne Myers, trainer and owner of Next Level Horsemanship, will demonstrate problem-solving solutions and will help riders understand their horse's language by using the round pen.

Ben Nolt, a certified riding instructor, horse trainer and clinician with more than 50 years of involvement with the horse industry, will present Horse Mastership Essentials on Tuesday and will be on hand all three days to answer questions.

Other events will feature drill-team performances, horseback racing games and Pennsylvania State Police Mounted Patrol demonstrations of crowd control using horses.

Penn State faculty, staff and students also will conduct handling demonstrations geared toward helping horse owners learn skills to work with their horses more safely and confidently.

Breed demonstrations will feature Paso Finos, Andalusians, Appaloosas and -- although not a horse breed -- llamas.

In addition to the riding and training demonstrations, a series of lectures will be presented in the Equine Learning Center. Topics will include pasture management and weed control, nutrition, equine massage, acupuncture and routine horse health-management skills every horse owner should know.

The Pennsylvania Equine Council's Learning Station will allow visitors to groom a horse, visit with council members and learn what issues are at the forefront of Pennsylvania's equine industry. New this year is the Penn State Equine Science Horse Quiz Bowl competition, which will take place on Thursday.

Penn State Equine Science faculty and staff will be available all three days at the Equine Arena and Equine Exhibits Building to answer questions and provide information. On Wednesday, an ask-the-experts booth will feature Ed Jedrzejewski, Penn State horse unit manager, who will answer questions about parasites from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Donna Foulk, equine extension educator, who will identify weeds from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 14; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 16. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website at http://apd.psu.edu. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogress.

Last Updated June 29, 2012