VITAL horsemanship skills are being passed on from an industry stalwart to students at Charles Sturt University.
The Wagga students have been involved in a program – in partnership with Sherro’s Stock Horse Stud principal Andrew Sheridan of Bethungra – that follows horses from conception to the show ring.
The first year equine students have not only learned valuable skills about the commercial horse industry but also picked up a swag of prizes at a recent show.
Winning ribbons at the Wagga Show came as just rewards for the students who had spent about two hours a day, six days a week preparing the yearling colts.
“My goal is to work in the horse industry,” said first year equine student Beth Doignault of Melbourne.
Miss Doignault said the preparation of the yearlings had helped her to gain confidence when working with horses.
Fellow student, Jarrod McKie from the Central Cost also found the program rewarding.
“We were required to teach the horses new things, starting with teaching it to lead as all the horses had barely been handled," he said.
"We had to teach the horse how to have its feet handled … be driven in long reins, free-jump over obstacles and to be led by someone riding another horse,” he said.
"We also had to ensure the horse was fed and had water every morning and afternoon, while making sure the horse was healthily gaining weight.”
Mr Sheridan took time out this week to catch up with the students and celebrate their successes. Meanwhile, his stallion Sherro’s Traditional Acres was represented at the holy grail of Australian campdrafting – the Warwick Gold Cup this week too.
He said it was vital students gain practical industry experience to set them up for their equine career.
"The results at the recent Wagga Show are a credit to students and staff at Charles Sturt University,” he said.
“Showing yearlings in hand can be very challenging and it is evident that a lot of work went into preparing all five yearlings."
Lecturer in equine science Hunter Doughty said the horses had been part of the CSU learning experience for some time.
"They were bred by students using artificial insemination in 2013,” he said. “Students also supervised their birth in 2014 and the weaning of the foals earlier this year," he said.
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