Horsemanship Curriculum Added to Kentucky Horseshoeing School Course

Responding to the current trends and needs in the horse industry, the Kentucky Horseshoeing School is placing a new emphasis on the fundamentals of horses and the industry. For all new incoming students, a course has been designed to ramp-up their knowledge and working skills about horses and the industry.

The new curriculum has been prepared by an experienced horseman and professional equestrian instructor, Wayne G. Hipsley, BSc, MSc of Lexington, KY. Serving as an adjunct instructor, Hipsley will deliver this course in a 25 hour time block which includes classroom and live horse labs. Hipsley and Mitch Taylor, CJF, AWCF, APF, the school’s Director of Education, have collaborated on the development of this course that lays an important framework of knowledge to assist the School’s students to be more successful in their horseshoeing career while evolving as horsemen and horsewomen.

Horses – Their Past, Their Science and Their Presence in Today’s Society is the title of the specialized course. It covers from the evolutionary development of the horse and its predecessors to the horse world of 2021, placing an emphasis on the structural development, conformation and gaits through selective breeding and differentiation. The fundamentals of equine science will be included to provide a more in depth base of knowledge to encompass the “whole horse” concept vs selective focus on just legs and hooves.

The motivating factor to take this creative initiative has come about through introductory pre-testing of the students. Hipsley has been teaching as an adjunct at the school for the past 6 years, and during this time has observed that many students come with a minimal base of general horse knowledge yet they are seeking the career path as a horseshoer. So, Hipsley and Taylor are working to advance the knowledge base for all incoming students.

Following this philosophy, Hipsley says, an example is the student must understand horse behavior and temperament as these traits become the foundation of safety training when working with horses. He believes it is imperative for students to understand and know how to react to the inherent risks associated with a horse’s reaction to its environment. These risks and handling horses will be introduced in new lab sessions to increase their awareness while giving them confidence to improve their management of horses in their future trimming and shoeing live horse sessions.

The curriculum will include a section dealing with welfare of the horse, to help the graduates to better understand the fundamentals of care and nutrition as it impacts upon of growth, development and the maturation of the skeletal system. The overall welfare of the horse will be emphasized from handling to care and management, teaching a philosophy of learning to ‘think’ like a horse to provide the best possible environment for the horse.

Taylor describes how the School has initiated the careers of many highly successful farriers in its 35 year history. He believes the educational need is due to lifestyle and societal changes in the backgrounds of many incoming students. He comments, “We want our students to be successful in their career as a horseshoer, and believe this new curriculum content will make a huge difference in reducing their challenges and Hipsley can make a positive contribution to this effort”.

With the combination of classroom lectures and labs, Hipsley will provide the students with the equivalent of 4 college credits in equine studies while focusing on aiding them to be successful in their quest toward their horseshoeing certification.

Hipsley’s hope is this course will help build a stronger base of knowledge to assure the ultimate success of the students in their path to becoming horseshoers and horsemen/horsewomen.

About – Wayne G Hipsley, BSc, MSc resides in Lexington, KY from where he offers his professional consulting and educational services. He has uniquely blended his academic training with his practical experiences in the horse industry to give him a wide base of knowledge on many aspects of the horse industry. He started his career working with and showing horses as a young man, eventually trading a saddle for an office. He became involved with breed association management where he was involved in pioneering many programs in place today before shifting his emphasis to academics and teaching equine studies. In addition to consulting and educational services, he is an internationally recognized horse judge and instructor for licensed horse show officials in many parts of the world. To cap his diversity as a professional equestrian, he provides a wide range of consulting and resource information to legal professionals. Teaching is his passion, and working with young people and adults who want to advance their knowledge base on horses drives his motivational spirit.

Wayne G Hipsley, BSc, MSc
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