Lakeland College Vermilion hosted a Ranch Roping Clinic from February 10-12 for their second-year Equine students.
Throughout the weekend Adam Theissen taught basic horsemanship, cattle handling skills, and roping skills. Theissen is a horse trainer from Waldeck, Saskatchewan, but Instructor Ron Hoffman said he has spent his life in the cattle industry as well.
“Good horsemanship makes the job easier if you can teach your horse to work with you instead of doing everything yourself,” said Hoffman. “With this particular group of horses, the students started training and riding them as colts in September.
“Everyone did awesome. Whatever you do, keep working at it. If you go to a show and you’ve started a colt and do your best, the outcome doesn’t matter,”: said Theissen.
Hoffman said by learning the basics, the 14 students would be able to apply them to every type of horsemanship whether they go into English or Western, jumping or barrel racing, he said the horse kind of tends to operate the same way all the time. They worked to build confidence in their horses for these jobs, and Hoffman said because both the students and the horses were learning, it was less about getting the job done and about building their horses to be better and better.
Hayley Schmidt from Sonningdale, Saskatchewan said since Grade 7 she had always wanted to come to Lakeland College and chose the Equine program to get more experience.
“I taught myself to ride, so to have more leg and hand control was really helpful,” said Schmidt.
According to Hoffman, there is a good balance of academic courses and labs where the students get to spend time riding their horse. Throughout the year, the students and horses had shown much improvement, and the horses will go on to be sold at the Round-Up Sale on March 26.
“These horses have a really good foundation,” said Hoffman. “Whether going into the horse industry or using a horse in the cattle industry, these skills are marketable for the students.”