Horsing around Wyoming

 


By one estimate, Wyoming is the “horsiest” state on the basis of human population, horse population, and geographic size. Jennifer Ann Ingwerson, who heads the University of Wyoming’s (UW) equine studies program, is set on bringing horse education to more people in Wyoming.

Ingwerson travels the state as a University of Wyoming Extension specialist, hosting clinics and teaching at the annual 4-H horse camp, where 4-H equine members learn showmanship and horsemanship.

Her work at the university includes academic teaching and coaching the Collegiate Horse Judging and Ranch Horse Versatility teams.

The Ranch Horse Versatility competition raises awareness and appreciation of the working stock horse with ranch trail, reining, ranch pleasure, and working cow horse events.

Members of the Collegiate Horse Judging Team enroll in the Advanced Equine Evaluation and Selection course. Ingwerson coaches students to evaluate horses on breed standards for conformation and performance.

For example, team members must know arm from elbow, pastern from poll and be able to recognize a trappy (choppy) or rope-walking stride (both undesirable). Competitive horse judging develops skills in observation, organization, and verbal communication.


Ingwerson said she has seen strong support for all equine activities from youth, parents, community members, as well as UW students and administrators. Still, she sees the need to build horse education in Wyoming and make it more widely available.

“We want to keep up the momentum,” she said.

 

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