Scott Purdum of Advantage Horsemanship will deliver the keynote speech at the April 7 Southern Piedmont Equine Extravaganza: Putting Science into Practice.  Purdum’s training creates willingness in the horse to work with and respect the handler. He teaches both the horse and handler how to work together to form a better relationship with each other. 

The conference, sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council, will be held at Virginia Tech’s Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center, located outside of Blackstone, Va. A grant from the Virginia Horse Industry Board is supporting the conference. 

Advantage Horsemanship, Purdum’s weekly TV program, can be seen on Rural TV on DISH Network (channel 232).  In addition to his TV program, he conducts clinics, speaks at conferences, and offers personalized training.  

Purdum will join other horse experts at the extravaganza to help owners build trusting relationships with their horses —whether it is listening to what the horses are saying, or preparing the best diet for them.  In the afternoon session, Purdum will demonstrate practical approaches to behavioral problems. 

Other speakers will present information on a variety of topics including grazing systems, nutrition, riding, training, and preventative medicine.

  •  Chris Teutsch, associate professor and forage specialist at Virginia Tech’s Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center, will discuss grazing systems for small acreage horse owners. 
  •  Marty Adams, equine nutritionist and horse feed manager for Southern States Cooperative, will show horse owners how to design a nutritional program.
  •  Theresa McManus of Keymon Farms will discuss the foundations of riding.  She has trained horses and riders for more than 30 years. While living in Spain, she developed a unique style, which stresses the balance and communication between horse and rider.  
  •  Deborah Crane, owner of Equine Sports Therapies, will demonstrate equine massage techniques in an outdoor hands-on session.  Her holistic approach may be considered by some to be a bit "out of the box."  Crane, a Reiki Master Practitioner, focuses on listening to the horse so she can understand and interpret the animal’s subtle, yet, significant communications.
  •  Dr. Brandy Phelps, a veterinarian from Jetersville, Va., will discuss emergency and preventative medicine for horses. She will conduct her session with a horse in an outdoor setting.

An advanced preregistration fee of $10 per adult will help offset the cost of meals and the speakers’ fees. There is no cost for those under the age of 18. Preregistrations must be postmarked by March 30.  Registration on the day of the event will be $15 for adults and $5 for youth. 

All paid participants over the age of 18 will receive a coupon for a free bag of horse feed, compliments of Southern States Cooperative. 

Registration will begin at 8 a.m., with the actual conference beginning at 8:30 a.m.  The Buffalo Creek Pony Club will provide lunch.  The conference will conclude at 3 p.m. 

For more information on this conference, visit the VFGC’s website or contact Margaret Kenny at or 434-292-5331.




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