SEDA Sponsors USDF Youth Breeder’s Seminar

USDF Youth Breeder's Seminar Attendees 2018

SEDA Sponsors USDF Youth Breeder’s Seminar

By Nicole Miller

In mid-June, the USDF held a Youth Breeder’s Seminar which was generously hosted by Oak Hill Ranch. It’s a great honor to have such a fantastic opportunity available to youth, much less in our own back yard.

It’s always a pleasure to visit Oak Hill Ranch: the grounds are beautiful, the horses are lovely, and the people are friendly and welcoming. The dozen or so youth who attended were in for a treat – in spite of the typical June heat.

The purpose of the seminar is to familiarize youth with what is involved in breeding quality sport horses, as well as the management of the business itself. The Seminar started off in the evening with a pizza party (sponsored by SEDA) and a presentation by Oak Hill Ranch’s owner, Richard Freeman. The presentation outlined what a ‘year in the life of’ a breeding farm looks like. This included everything from planning the breeding pairs, delivering foals, handling the foals, starting young horses, maintaining the training of the riding horses, preparing sales information and videos … to all the regular maintenance which accompanies any sort of horse property: fencing, groundskeeping, landscaping and the like.

The Oak Hill operation is a business, but that does not mean that the family and staff don’t get attached to the horses. At one point, Mr Freeman got a bit choked up talking about their favorite stallion, Rambo. He was a very important part of Oak Hill for a long time and left his mark in the bloodlines of many horses in our area.

Following the main presentation, a professional horse handler imparted some of her wisdom from years in the business. She described the process for how to properly present a horse, as well as the need to have instilled good manners in the young horses before taking them to a show or breed inspection. She encouraged some of the youth in attendance to consider becoming a professional horse handler because there are not many young people coming up the ranks: it’s another way to make a living with horses!

I was not present for the rest of the weekend, but I do know that there was a breed inspection, farm tour, and lots of questions from the participants! (Hopefully one of our SEDA youth who attended will write up something about their experience!)

This was a great opportunity for anyone – but especially young people – to learn what is involved in breeding the quality horses we all want and enjoy. Thank you to Oak Hill Ranch and USDF for bringing this to our area.

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