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Hands on Horses Workshop

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February 11, 2019

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Amy Myers: Today we're talking about the Hands on Horses workshop. Hello, I'm Amy Myers and welcome to Farm and Family. Today we're speaking with Dr. Clay Cavinder, Mississippi State University Extension Equine Specialist.

Clay, first, what is the Hands on Horses program?

Clay Cavinder: This is a program that we started last year that is pretty simple. It is what the name says it is. It's a program that is designed to give people a hands-on approach of how to manage their horses either in a better way, or more efficient way, more productive way and is done so in a non-classroom setting. People get tired of reading out of a book or looking at information in a book or simply they learn better from seeing it live. This is a program where we're going to be in the barn, in front of the horses, with horses around us and actually applying the things, techniques and the principles that we're learning at the same time.

Amy Myers: Okay, there's a workshop coming up. What topics will be discussed at the workshop?

Clay Cavinder: The topics, we did this last year, this will be the second year we've done this. People might think that this is the same program, it's really not. It can evolve because of the fact that we do change the topics. We have things anywhere from proper body condition, scoring of horses, and why it's used in nutrition and proper nutrition for quality of hays, quality of feeds, supplementation variations. This year we're going to do some stuff on proper horsemanship for people who ride. Upcoming and current research practices and how it's being used to apply to the same principles that we're learning for other topics, more simplistic things. Lots of different things, even tack requirements, how saddle fit affects the horse and what variations of bits do, and what all that is used for. It can vary from more scientifically how to better feed the horse to more straightforward approach and tack fit and equine dentistry. I mean we've done a number of different things to be all encompassing really.

Amy Myers: Okay, so who comes to this workshop?

Clay Cavinder: The first one we did was a good sampling for the people that come to this. They can be anywhere as young as we had a 10 year old that was in our program last time into their 60's or 70's or whoever is still wanting to learn. We should all be in a mode to learn and no matter what our age level or our experience level, there's always something to be valued and learned from something like this. Our goal is to give a simplistic approach to new ideas and new ways of doing things. There's some basic stuff, there's also some more new and relevant type material exposed to the program.

Amy Myers: Right and these are new resources that make life easier for the horse owner and better and easier for the horse as well. Is there anything else you want to add about the Hands on Horses workshop?

Clay Cavinder: Sure, I think the people that come should know that they should dress appropriately as far as being in the barn, boots and pants are probably the most appropriate. This is going to be held in April, so the weather can vary here in Mississippi, it might be cool, it might be hot. Who knows? Just being prepared for the weather because we will be in the barn but going inside and outside may be some variation of weather too. Also, people might just think ... I had an email the other day about someone saying, "Should I bring my own horse?" No. We have our own horses that we'll use for the program that we have everything that they need. They just show up, we even feed them lunch. As long as they're prepared to be comfortable in terms of jackets and appropriate attire, I think that's probably a good start.

Amy Myers: Okay, so lunch will be provided. Of course, bring your sunglasses and your hats and everything because it might be bright outside as it's going to be in the spring. When and where will the Hands on Horses workshop be held?

Clay Cavinder: The one that we're doing here is in Startville on April 6th at our horse unit which is on South Farm. It's very easy to get to. It's just a little complicated in the beginning. The people that are coming I'm going to email them a map to get them directly there. We'll put up signs on the main road so they can get there. It's not difficult, but we'll give them the tools to get there pretty easily if they just email me when they are interested in coming.

Amy Myers: What dates?

Clay Cavinder: April, it's a Saturday, April 6th. It'll start at 8:30, we'll be done about 4:30. Like I said, we'll have lunch too.

Amy Myers: For more information or to sign up where should we go and how should we get that information?

Clay Cavinder: The easiest thing to do is just to email me directly and I'll send the people interested as much information as they want. They can call me too and we can talk about the different questions they have. My email is clay, C-L-A-Y, .cavinder,

Amy Myers: Today we've been speaking with Dr. Clay Cavinder, Mississippi State University Extension Equine Specialist. I'm Amy Myers and this has been Farm and Family. Have a great day.

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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