UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Equine Experience at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days is a summer destination for equestrians of all ages. During the three-day event, Aug. 10–12, visitors can attend demonstrations, interact with Penn State equine science faculty and staff, and learn more about horse health and care.
“We are excited to return in-person this year at Ag Progress Days,” said Danielle Smarsh, equine extension specialist and assistant professor of equine science in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “The Equine Experience will bring back some familiar faces into the arena for three full days of demonstrations, and the educational displays in the equine barn will be something you won’t want to miss.”
Located at the top of Main Street at the Ag Progress Days site, the Equine Arena and Equine Exhibits Building showcase the versatility of the horses and horse breeds as well as University displays and handouts about forage, pasture management and stable facilities.
Penn State equine science faculty and staff, and members of the Pennsylvania Equine Council, will be available in the Equine Exhibits Building throughout the three-day show to answer questions and provide information on equine-related topics.
This year’s arena demonstrations cover a range of topics for every interest and horsemanship level. The Keystone Dressage and Combined Drill Team will put their horses through their paces on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, visitors won’t want to miss the Mini Prix — these miniature horses are the definition of small but mighty.
Meet some of Penn State’s own quarter horses during handling and training demos. Members of the Pennsylvania State Police Mounted Patrol will be on site, too.
Rick Shaffer, of R&S Paso Fino Stables in Somerset, will return for two breed clinics and riding demonstrations on Wednesday. The Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association Youth Ambassadors miniature horse performances also will be held Wednesday.
Returning to the Equine Experience this year is Bear Hill Horse Logging. Based in Clearfield County, Bear Hill Horse Logging specializes in low-impact timber management, selective harvests and wetlands logging. The company does log-skidding demonstrations at events across the commonwealth to educate about horse logging and restorative forestry.
All three days, 4-H Team Horse Power will teach spectators how to harness horses and start the driving process. Team Horse Power also will host a demo on Thursday titled, “When is My Horse Understanding Me?”
To wrap up Ag Progress Days, 4-H teams will challenge their peers in an equine knowledge competition at the annual Penn State Equine Science Horse Quiz Bowl Thursday.
Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Aug. 10; 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Aug. 11; and 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Aug. 12. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogressdays, and Facebook users can find the event by searching @AgProgressDays.
–Amy Duke, Penn State University