“Visible Horse” Demonstration Uses WWU Saddlebred

William Woods University’s own grey horse was the star in a “Visible Horse” demonstration during the Missouri Equine Council’s 16th Annual Equine Education Celebration.

Painted so the crowd could “view” his insides, Worthy the horse helped teach equine anatomy to horse people from all over the country. Called “Anatomy in Motion: The Visible Horse with Susan Harris,” the presentation took place recently at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia, Mo.

Worthy was painted by Harris on both sides, using washable, non-toxic, hyper-allergenic paints and markers. One side was painted showing the bones in the horse’s body. The other side was painted to show the muscle anatomy.

During the demonstration Harris pointed out the function of both the bones and muscle groups. Worthy was then lunged by Laura Ward, WWU equestrian studies division chair, to show how the anatomy works in motion.

Worthy is a gray 13-year-old Saddlebred gelding, formally registered as Worthy Of. He was donated to the WWU equestrian program several years ago, and teaches students every day. Worthy Of is by Worthy Son and out of Touch of Grey, and although Harris does many of these presentations all across the country, he is the first Saddlebred that has been used in her demonstration.

Harris is an international teacher, clinician and author, who has trained, coached and competed in hunters, jumpers, dressage, eventing and western pleasure. She is a Senior Centered Riding Instructor, who apprenticed with the well-known Sally Swift.

She also is the author and illustrator of multiple books, including “Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement,” “US Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship,” “USPC Guides to Longeing, Bandaging, and Conformation,” as well as “Grooming to Win,” the textbook WWU uses for its Equine Care class.

The demonstration was very well-received by the audience, and Worthy was the star of the show.

For 16 years the Missouri Equine Council has produced this annual equine celebration for horse owners, in an effort to help them gather the latest information on horse healthcare, facility management, training and equestrian skills.