By Shelby Horton
Horsemanship is now being offered for the 2015 spring semester. The class starts April 7, and will be from to 6 to 8 p.m. each Tuesday in April.
The class will be at the Kansas State Fairgrounds Exhibition Center, across from the HCC Channel 12 building.
It costs $150 to join the class if the student brings his or her own horse; if not, the cost is $200, according to the instructor, Karen Baehler.
People in the county are paid to supply well-trained horses for the classes, as needed.
If a student brings in a horse, the student would have the option of boarding it at Baehler’s Cedar Ridge Ranch.
“This is a no-credit class — it’s just for fun,” Baehler said. “We also do a horse show and a barbeque during the last class.”
The class will be divided into beginners and advanced students. Baehler teaches the beginners while 91-year-old Jim Keever, a local horseman and veteran trainer, teaches the advanced group.
The class starts with the basics of saddling, bridling, and the early stages of riding.
“It’s amazing how much progress is made in such a short amount of time,” Baehler said
Students who attend the class are asked to wear either cowboy boots, or shoes with smooth soles. Tennis shoes with waffle soles are a “bad combination with stirrups” because they could become stuck.
Students also must meet a weight requirement. The student’s weight may not exceed more than 20 percent of the horse’s body weight.
Horses used in the class weigh 900 to 1,300 pounds, so the maximum rider weights would be 180 to 260 pounds