Bandits, Ruff Riders meet for Horsemanship Skills Clinic

Photos submitted to Times Observer Here you will see Katie Downs demonstrating the riding skill for level two of properly opening and closing a gate while mounted on her horse Shamrock. Katie completed both Horsemanship Skills Level 1 & Level 2 on Saturday and passed both levels with great skill and confidence. Now she is preparing to begin her practice of the Horsemanship Level 3 skills to eventually test and complete in the near future.

On December 9, the Sunset Bandits and the Sugar Grove Ruff Riders met at Becky Downs’ barn for a hands-on Horsemanship Skills Clinic.

Although it was bitter cold that morning, club members moved around enough to stay warm and learned a wealth of knowledge. Leaders Virginia Loizeaux, Nokomis Stanton, and Kelly Boisvert led the clinic and performed the testing for the members in attendance.

Horsemanship Skills are taught to help members safely ride and handle horses. They will also teach you skills for daily living. The Horseman skills Program includes 4 levels to complete and pass. Each level contains a handling and riding level to complete and demonstrate and master. A few examples for mastering Level one are demonstrating how to bridle your horse and to check and fit and make basic adjustments if needed. Another level one skill that would be demonstrated while riding your horse would be to jog or trot with control and proper position demonstrating a check and release of the horse. An example of a Level two skill would be proper ground-handling for walk, trot, stop, and turn on hindquarters, back and set up. An example of a level two skill while riding you horse would be to sidepass both directions a minimum of ten feet. Both of the levels as well as level three and four require members to have a positive attitude and to display true confidence.