Utah Virtual Academy Students were given the opportunity to visit the Hilltop Hollow Horses facility in Logan, Utah. They were treated to piping hot cocoa and then pizza for lunch. While there they learned about communication and animal behavior. Each student was given the opportunity to work in pairs with a horse, they learned basic horse grooming skills, how to lead a horse, and how to train them to back up. It was all topped off by an opportunity to ride one of the horses.
Interestingly horse training has a lot to do with levels of pressure, ranging anywhere from a light touch on the coat, to pressing firmly on the bone in some cases. The ideal is to use the least amount of pressure possible to get the horse to comply. Positive reinforcement is also used as a reward. Students thoroughly enjoyed the outing and the progress made by some of them was amazing to see. Other students considered the career opportunities of working with larger animals, especially horses as a groomer, trainer, or caregiver.