CHUGWATER –Eighth grader Megan Sagner is no stranger to riding horses for long distances on her family’s ranch in Chugwater. But that and taking what she learned from being on the horse-judging team gave her the inspiration for her FFA project this year. How a horse’s stride length matters when riding.
“I’ve competed in horse judging in FFA and 45 percent is considered perfect for a horse’s shoulder slope,” Sagner said. “I wanted to compare their stride length to see if they had that ideal shoulder slope,”
Turns out that the shoulder slope angle doesn’t correlate at all with the stride length. But why is the stride length important?
“A horse with a longer stride has a flowy ride and is more comfortable if you’re covering a lot of country than a horse with a short, choppy stride.” she explained.
Sagner received a fourth place at the FFA Nationals in Indianapolis, Ind. She was hoping to do better than her eighth place win last year with her project on if horse’s memory using different colored feed buckets.
“My favorite thing about nationals is meeting so many people that all have similar interests in agriculture and how they use ag differently than we do in Wyoming,” said Sagner.
She hopes to continue competing and credits her success to her family and the Ag teacher at Chugwater, Tyler Lay. Next year she thinks she wants to try something in the cattle industry. The horses she has used for her past two projects were pretty good at being experiments. “They really liked all the extra treats.”