Finding Professional Help

Howard Cormier, Depew, Clinton G.  |  10/4/2004 4:24:55 AM

New horse owners can greatly benefit by finding professional assistance in training, riding and caring for horses. A number of professionals are available to assist in the development of both the horse and rider.

The first stop for any new horseman should be the county extension agent. Most county agents will have information about the production, care and handling of horses. Additionally the LSU AgCenter offers clinics and workshops. The 4-H program horse project teaches life skills for young people and scientific knowledge about horse production and care. Educational programs will help horsemen improve their knowledge and receive greater enjoyment from their horses.

The Internet and TV programming offer many opportunities to watch professional trainers teach their methods. Each of the major clinicians have websites with instructions on how to purchase their books, DVD's, and clinics. In addition, networks like RFD-TV and other channels offer many hours of equine instruction on a weekly basis. YouTube also has hours of instruction about many facets of horse training.

The breed associations on state and national levels offer assistance to horse owners in the form of materials and educational programs. Breed associations can also provide a list of horsemen in the area and assist in many other ways.

Most parishes have a riding club or stable where members share ideas and experiences. Riding clubs provide a congenial atmosphere in which members are willing to help new horsemen.

New horsemen need to develop relationships with a trainer, veterinarian, farrier, feed dealer and tack store. All can provide assistance and advice.  Every horse owner needs a support group to help improve skills and knowledge. By taking advantage of the available expertise, young horsemen can have exciting and rewarding experiences with their horses.

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