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New equine specialist joins MSU Extension
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s horse owners and riding enthusiasts have a new resource to assist them with issues related to pleasure and competitive equine activities.
Clay Cavinder, an associate professor in the Mississippi State University Department of Animal and Dairy Science, is the new Extension horse specialist. Before joining MSU on Jan. 1, he was on faculty at Texas A&M, where he earned his doctorate in 2006. Cavinder has conducted research related to equine reproductive issues.
“Dr. Cavinder brings a wealth of experience with horse judging and training that will be popular with our state’s riders and horse owners,” said John Blanton, professor and department head. “He is exceptional in his ability to communicate to a variety of skill levels and will be helpful in expanding youth education and activities in programs such as 4-H.”
Cavinder, a native of Oklahoma, said countless testimonies about the benefits of judging horses and other livestock influenced in his professional goals.
“The educational value of judging programs goes way beyond learning about conformation and performance,” he said. “Most importantly, judging provides quality life skills and lessons beyond the arena. Participants are able to make well-reasoned decisions and defend those decisions to others.”
Cavinder said another one of his goals is to improve communication between riders and their horses.
“We want to create a series of riding clinics around the state to teach training techniques that will make riding experiences more enjoyable both inside and outside the show arena,” he said. “These programs will be enhanced with additional information on specific topics, such as proper nutrition, care and management of all horses.”
For more information about the 4-H horse program or future clinics, contact the county Extension office or email Cavinder at firstname.lastname@example.org.