In this edition of hoofbeats we are in conversation with Julia Alebrand, BBRM student and summer intern at Schleese Saddlery. She is also on the organizing committee of a past and an upcoming Equine Industry Symposium. Had you already read the summary posted on U of G's website?
"The Equine Industry Symposium was held on February 10, 2018 with the theme of “Youth Engagement – recruitment, engagement, succession.” The Symposium was open to anyone involved in the equine industry, and featured seven speakers in the morning presenting on various aspects of youth engagement, followed by round table discussions in the afternoon where participants could work together to develop actionable items to address the topic of youth engagement. When reviewing the round table summaries, common issues and concerns become apparent. As long as there are horses, those with a particular affinity for the animal can sustain this with a recreational engagement. To go beyond this requires a much deeper immersion, a realization that might be the most notable outcome of this year's symposium. The issues are not confined to any one of the themes, and all have a bearing on the issue of recruiting and retaining young people. Their consistency speaks to need for the industry to have a clear sense of direction, organization, unity, and vision to provide young people a sense of security, continuity, future options and confidence that they are making a viable career choice. Youth also need a sense of belonging." (written by: Dr. Physick-Sheard and Dr. Merkies)
The organizing committee is preparing for the next Equine Industry Symposium in October, 2018 (date to be announced). We hope to meet even more passionate and committed horse lovers at this conference, as we discuss the theme of 'Professionalism in the Equine Industry'.
We also mentioned the exciting news from Ontario Equestrian, about "Rookie Rider" which allows children to learn the fundamentals of riding by testing their physical literacy skills on a barrel, prior to ever mounting a horse. We hope that you expect to find it as part of KidsZone, which provide children with a place to play and learn, and it will also provide a place for parents to observe a horse show and ask any questions they may have. KidsZone will provide the public with a gateway to understanding the equine industry.
Designed to provide a space for the public to learn about Equestrian Sport, the KidsZone is free to everyone. Caledon Equestrian Park has free parking, free admission, and the opportunity to understand what it means to be an equestrian.