Tuesday October 8, 2013
A partnership between Louisville Metro Parks & Recreation, Equestrian Resources, and the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) will bring free youth equestrian programs to the South Louisville Community Center, 2911 Taylor Boulevard. KEEP’s “All About Horses” is open to youth ages 9 to 15. The program begins in November and runs through May.
The program meets on the first Wednesday of each month (except January) and will offer a variety of after-school activities including an “Introduction to the World of Horses” presentation, and one-hour sessions about horse equipment, breeds and colors, careers with horses, care and feeding, safety around horses, and much more. Monthly Saturday field trips are planned, and will include excursions to Churchill Downs, Keeneland Racecourse, and the Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse.
A pilot program was conducted during the 2013 Metro Parks Summer Camp season featuring six horse related activities including a mock Kentucky Derby for campers at Jefferson Memorial Forest, a Thoroughbred horse racing and blacksmith program at Trackside Training Center, a “Just My Size” program at Shawnee Park with Louisville’s giant Mounted Police horses and Chestnut Grove’s Miniature Horses, and other field trips.
As a result of the successful summer program, the decision was made to coordinate the after-school and weekend equestrian activities through the school year.
“We had 32 eager young teens this summer so excited about each program,” noted Mary Midkiff, President of Equestrian Resources. “They fell in love with horses. The group was divided equally between boys and girls ages 12-15. The Jefferson Memorial Forest program was for youngsters ages 8-11 and they loved making stick horses they used to compete in our mock horse races.”
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, which is providing the funding for this program, is a non-profit organization committed to promoting Kentucky’s horse industry and securing career opportunities with the horses of the Commonwealth. Additional support for equestrian programming comes from the Kentucky Horse Council and the United Professional Horsemen's Association.
Louisville Metro Parks & Recreation, which manages horse-related resources on some of its park land, will continue to work with KEEP and Equestrian Resources, Inc. to create and implement educational, inspiring horse-related programming in camps, recreational areas, forests and community centers throughout Louisville and surrounding areas. An important complementary theme will be the development of career-path activities that can train and qualify Louisville youth for gainful, fulfilling employment in Kentucky’s vast horse industry.
To register for the free “All About Horses” program at the South Louisville Community Center, call 502-574-3207, Monday through Saturday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general information about the equestrian programs contact Mary Midkiff at email@example.com.
For more information about KEEP: www.horseswork.com