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4-H Equine Seminar Not Just Another Horse Camp for New Hampshire Youth

August 6, 2008

Professor Bill Berndtson with campers Shelby Colby, Chelsea Shuey, Colleen Wallace, Teyle Tsopas and Grace Kilroy.

Nine New Hampshire youth experienced a different kind of horse camp at UNH last week when Cooperative Extension 4-H camps offered Equine Seminar, an alternative to traditional horse camp.

Equine Seminar, an addition to the 4-H camps Teen Adventure 2008 Series, was the first session offered on the UNH campus. There was riding but the bulk of this camp was about the science of horses, learning about them and making deeper connections.

4-H camp staff worked with Extension’s 4-H animal science specialist Trent Schriefer as well as UNH faculty/staff Bill Berndston, Pam McPhee, Cindy Burke, Brenda Hess-McAskill and Sarah Hamilton to provide clinics on equine biomechanics, reproductive management, nutrition, stable management, therapeutic riding and equine assisted learning techniques.

“The time and knowledge that UNH equine faculty shared with our campers was phenomenal, what an opportunity for youth to have access to faculty and their expertise,” Schriefer said.

Field trips each afternoon took the group to the Myhre Equine Clinic in Rochester, which provided an opportunity to observe state-of-the-art equine medical technology including computer assisted tomography (C.A.T. scan), ultrasound, nuclear medicine and digital radiography.

Participants also visited a variety of working horses in action at Tuckaway Farm in Lee, Bear Brook Stables, Allenstown, the Dover Mounted Police Unit and the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales in Merrimack. Campers were treated to a day at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where they used scavenger hunts to find and critique horse-related art.

Campers also participated in the many recreational activities offered at UNH during the summer, including tennis courts, lacrosse field, track and swimming pool, thanks to the complimentary use of the Thompson School bus.

For more information on UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H camps, check out the web site at http://extension.unh.edu/4H/4HCamps.htm , or call 2-2132.

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