Ag Progress Days Equine Experience offers variety for horse lovers

University Park, Pa. -- With a variety of demonstrations, workshops and displays planned, the Equine Experience at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 16-18, is aimed at educating and entertaining horse lovers of all ages and experience levels, according to organizers.

The Equine Science team in the College of Agricultural Sciences coordinates the event, which annually offers a full schedule of training and breed clinics, demonstrations, informational displays and lectures.

This year, the Spring Mount Percheron six-horse hitch, owned by David and Linda Hershey, will be on hand all three days. "These outstanding animals will be hitched and driven once each day, plus once for a special performance during the Wednesday Evening Extravaganza," said Ann Macrina, research/teaching associate in the Department of Dairy and Animal Science.

"Also featured Wednesday evening, Rick Shaffer of R & S Paso Finos will demonstrate the amazing abilities of the Paso Fino breed," she said.

Macrina said trainer and author Mike Schaffer will demystify the hidden language of dressage in presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday. Other events include drill-team performances, the Extreme Cowboy Trail demonstration, miniature horses and demonstrations by 4-H members.

Penn State faculty, staff, students and invited trainers also will conduct handling demonstrations geared toward helping horse owners learn skills to more safely and confidently enjoy the use of their horses.

Breed demonstrations will feature Paso Finos, Gypsy Vanners, miniature horses, quarter horses and Appaloosas.

In addition to the riding and training demonstrations, a complete series of lectures will be presented in the Equine Learning Center. Topics will include pasture management and weed control, nutrition, equine massage 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. The 4-H Equine Skillathon, an opportunity for 4-H members to test their equine knowledge, will take place Thursday morning.

Penn State Equine Science faculty and staff will be available all three days at the Equine Arena and Equine Exhibit Building to answer questions and provide information.

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. 16; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 17; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 18. 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 July 05, 2011