Huhugam Heritage Center Introduction to Horses Program
Gila River Indian News
The Huhugam Heritage Center’s closure, due to renovations, has pushed the staff to develop new forms of educational activities and programming. The Center is delving into new territory by partnering with the Koli Equestrian Center on a 4-day Introduction to Horses workshop series for the Community.
“I hope the experience stays with everyone after they leave because you never know when you’ll use the teachings,” said Michelle Pablo-Jackson, Events Coordinator at the Huhugam Heritage Center.
The workshop series is to be held on four Saturdays from July 13 concluding Aug. 3. The program is accepting participants ages six to adult. This programming is unique but promises to be an enjoyable experience for all who participate, shared Pablo-Jackson.
The free workshop series will consist of four topic areas. The first workshop will focus on the history, use, and presence of horses within the Community. The following Saturday workshops will shift to the anatomy of the horse, horse handling and appropriately interacting with a horse, and lastly horse branding.
Pablo-Jackson said the Huhugam has established a good partnership with Koli staff and horse trainers. The collaboration with Koli is what helped drive the development of the new program, which will also features interactive games and wagon rides.
Clifton “Chuck” Pablo, Koli Equestrian Center, serves as one of the instructors/wranglers for the workshops.
“It’s good therapy for everyone, young and old, to be out on a ride and think about things,” said Pablo.
However, he wants everyone to be cautious as horses are still animals. Also, participants shouldn’t take their gentle nature for granted. Pablo stressed for participants to listen to instructors and to obey their instructions.
Pablo-Jackson hopes the success of this pilot, more workshops will be provided for the Community especially when the weather cools off. She’s confident that the interest is there for more of these workshops throughout the Community which will continue until the Center reopens. The Huhugam Heritage Center is slated to open next year, January 24, 2020, officially.