Equestrian Group Hosts April Trail Riding Clinic

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The Payson Horseman's Association, Inc. will sponsor a Steve Edwards clinic, "Trail Riding with Confidence," April 8 and 9 at Woolsey's Goat Camp.

The basics will be covered at the April 8 session. First-level trail riding will be done in an arena. Edwards will make sure your horse/mule is in a proper saddle and is properly bitted for trail riding.

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Steve Edwards has 33 years of experience educating and training equines and riders. He will give a clinic called "Trail Riding with Confidence" April 8 and 9 at Woolsey's Goat Camp.

You will learn to communicate effectively with your animal by improving halter manners. You will also learn how to pick up all your horse's/mule's feet, how to use a twitch and how to tack on a shoe if one comes off while riding.

You will learn proper trail etiquette. You will teach your animal speed control -- slow walk, fast walk and trot. You will learn how to keep your horse/mule in a proper place in relation to others on the trail -- i.e. you should always be two full lengths behind the animal in front of you when going up a hill and three full lengths behind when going down a hill.

The April 9 session will begin in the arena in the morning for a refresher and practice of the trail riding basics. The afternoon will be spent using the skills you have learned on the trail. Edwards will also show how to go through gates safely.

Fees for participants are $85 per day. Spectators/auditors fees are $25 per day. Spectators/ auditors will only be able to observe training in the arena. The clinic is limited to 10 animals and riders. To register, please call Pat Kolasinski at (928) 468-6509 or e-mail kolasin@localnet.com.

Edwards and his wife, Susan, own and operate Queen Valley Mule Ranch, Inc., which borders the beautiful, but very rough, Superstition Wilderness.

Clinics focus on safety and communication with your animal. Edwards has 33 years of experience in educating and training equines, riders and the general public. He has taught as an adjunct instructor of Equine Science for Pierce College in Los Angeles since 2002. He was instrumental in establishing the first Mule Training Apprenticeship Program in an American college. This program, which is a two-year, 16-credit program, enables a student to earn an associate's degree in mule training.

For more information about additional training for rides offered by Edwards, e-mail him at steve@muleranch.com or check his Web site at www.muleranch.com.

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