CSU Team Exports Equine Expertise to Europe

About 75 aspiring European horseback riders will learn new skills from a Colorado State University Equine Sciences team during overseas youth horsemanship camps this summer.

A team of five CSU Equine Sciences representatives will lead youth horsemanship camps in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. Three weeklong camps are scheduled between July 22 and Aug. 7; the CSU team is leaving Colorado on July 19 to start the European horse adventure.

The Equine Sciences Program is cooperating with the American Quarter Horse Association to offer the camps for young European riders.

“We’re thrilled to showcase our program,” said Megan Grieve, Equine Sciences Program coordinator from Weld County, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the program in 2010. “These summer camps are a fantastic way to showcase CSU’s affiliation with grassroots programs like the AQHA, as well as our commitment to education and outreach – even abroad.”

As Miss Rodeo Colorado 2008, Grieve is no stranger to equine public relations. But exporting equine knowledge from the Fort Collins campus to Europe provides a special opportunity for the CSU team.

“In between camps, we’ll be doing some traveling and site-seeing. Much of it will be equine-related, like visiting the Spanish Riding School in Vienna,” Grieve said. “We’re very excited.”

The CSU group will use a blog (www.csuequine.wordpress.com), Twitter (www.twitter.com/csuequine) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/csuequinescience) to update CSU Equine Sciences fans about their work and adventures during the European horsemanship jaunt.

This summer marks the tenth year that the CSU Equine Sciences program has led youth horsemanship camps internationally.

The camps are modeled on Summer Youth Horsemanship Camps offered each year on the CSU campus. The 2011 summer sessions wrapped up in June.

The weeklong camps on campus annually attract more than 50 young riders of varying abilities, most of them from Colorado. Some bring their own horses; others use horses in the CSU stable.

Equine Sciences faculty, staff and counselors teach participants ages 10 to 15 a variety of riding and other horsemanship skills. Riding lessons address both English and Western disciplines; daily lectures and activities cover topics including safety, equine first aid, nutrition, tack and horse judging.

Participants handle a full range of chores – such as feeding, watering, grooming and stall-cleaning – during horse camp. Each camp ends with a riding demonstration for family members.

“Our Summer Youth Horsemanship Camps here at CSU really instill some great skills among the kids who participate, and the camps on campus give us a very good model for the camps we offer each summer in Europe. It’s just a great way to reach out and to provide solid skills and science-based knowledge to young riders here and abroad,” Grieve said.

Others on the CSU team traveling to Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are: Kate Auchmoody, a CSU Equine Sciences student entering her senior year; Alex Eason, a 2011 Equine Sciences graduate; Pam Harmeyer, a CSU Equine Sciences graduate entering her third year in CSU veterinary medicine; and Barb Pfeifer, also a 2011 Equine Sciences graduate.

Members of the CSU team were selected based on program involvement, horse experience, and outstanding leadership in class and during extra-curricular equine activities.

The summer experience also is an example of the unique international opportunities offered to motivated CSU students. The CSU Equine Sciences Program, in its 25th year, was the first in the United States to offer a four-year equine-science degree and remains one of the top programs of its kind in the nation, with nearly 400 students enrolled each year.

European camp specifics: The first CSU horsemanship camp will be July 22-25 in Wilhelmsburg, Austria; the second is scheduled July 29-31 in Makkinga, Netherlands; the final camp is set Aug. 4-7 in Frankfurt, Germany.