HOW THE NCEA IS ENCOURAGING COLLEGE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENTS TO ADD EQUESTRIAN PROGRAMS
HITS Horse Shows, September, 2017. www.facebook.com/hitsshows
2017 – 2018 NCEA RECRUITS
ST. JACQUES, TAYLOR
DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY
HARGRAVES, MARY KATHERINE
CAMP, MARY KATHERINE
UNIVERSITY OF SO CAROLINA
BRANDER, BILLI ROSE
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE MARTIN
CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLLEGE RIDING PROGRAM
You can never start thinking about college too early.
Academic programs, geographic location, tuition, cost of living and size of the student body are among the first facts to know in determining whether a college is a good fit for you. The population and character of the school’s surrounding town or city, can have a big impact on your happiness over the course of your college years. Focusing only on a school’s equestrian offerings can be a recipe for disaster.
With the big-picture inquiries answered, the next question is, “What kind of riding do I want to do during college?” There are so many schools with riding programs and so many ways to ride at school. The choices range from taking a weekly riding lesson as a physical education class to earning a scholarship to ride competitively on the school’s equestrian team.
When you’ve found a handful of schools that seem a good fit for your criteria, the next step is sussing the qualitative information you won’t find on the Internet. What does the school’s facility look like? What sense of camaraderie do the riders have? What is the coach’s teaching style?
Start thinking about colleges you could visit. Call ahead to schedule your visit. Visiting in Spring will give you a glimpse of the team at its peak, but it might be tougher to get quality time with a coach.
Consider attending a summer camp hosted by a college you’re interested in. This is a terrific way to evaluate a program’s teaching style and horsemanship approach.
Go to a show. Attending a collegiate competition as a spectator is one of the most underutilized methods of scouting an equestrian program.
Managing riding with the high-school grades and extracurricular activities necessary to earn college admittance is a great indicator that you’ll be able to handle a similar juggling act in college, but it’s important to find out about required time commitments.
You also want to find out if the school’s equestrian center is on or off campus. Some outsource their riding program to a private barn in the area. How will you get there, and how long will that take?
Competitions will consume much weekend time, cutting into studying. Find out how often the schools you are interested in compete.
The economic appeal of all collegiate riding programs is that you don’t have to own your own horse. However, there are still cost considerations.
How a school designates its equestrian program is the first determinant in the expenses involved. “Club” status generally means student fees pay for the program. However, several IHSA schools have varsity teams, and many of those clubs receive significant school funding, thus reducing the students’ expenses. “Varsity” status means the program is recognized and funded by the school’s athletic department. Lessons, shows and related travel expenses are covered by the school.
Scholarship opportunities of all sizes exist with equestrian teams. Talk to the coach to research the possibilities.
Riders who have been actively showing and having great success need to feel they’ve found a school whose team matches their level of competitiveness. Ask your prospective schools how many team members typically get to compete in the divisions in which you are interested.
Determining whether and how you will be one of the thousands of riders who join their school’s equestrian team is not for the faint of heart. But it’s likely that the rewards will justify your efforts, and participation will be a highlight of your higher-education experience.
– Kim F. Miller, Practical Horseman. http://practicalhorsemanmag.com/article/choose-the-right-college-riding-program-11564#sthash.gbxpqP4W.dpuf
EQUESTRIAN EDUCATION: CHOOSING THE RIGHT HORSE SCHOOL
The dream of getting paid for doing something they love is what attracts young people to the horse business. And what better way to start that career than with a solid education in equestrian studies.
by Ron Meredith, President, Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre
The increasing number of horsemanship programs makes choosing a school baffling. Let me offer this starting place: the single most important factor for the serious horseman to consider in comparing programs is total number of hours spent on horseback. More than a few schools offer curricula of horse-related activities, but only two or three hours per week on horseback. But horsemanship is a sport requiring unique physical and mental skills, and there’s only one way to develop those skills: on the back of a horse. A good school will pair students up with a variety of different horses over the duration of study; and to maximize individual attention, will maintain a teacher/student ratio, in riding class, of around 1/6 (one teacher for every six students).
Directly related to this is the matter of theory. The body of knowledge of the average amateur horseman is generally a patchwork of insights, tips, and hints gleaned from books, clinics, and the many disparate experiences of the show ring. But a school producing professional horse people must provide a unified central philosophy of horsemanship enabling students to organize and use their knowledge. To that end, a strong core of theory classes directly supporting the riding time is a must. Inquire into the nature of the theory classes, and how they support the riding time.
A well-rounded school must offer courses in practical skills such as Business Management; Teaching Techniques; Public Relations; Stable Management, Horse Health, or Facilities Maintenance courses. Whether you own your own facility, or manage someone else’s, advancement in the horse business depends on these real world skills. Additionally, a few schools offer studies in related fields such as farrier science, leather working, breeding, judging, and the like, which can be taken as a major or a minor. Here again, the more you know the greater your chance of earning a living in the horse industry.
The school should be accredited by one of the various accrediting agencies listed with the United States Department of Education such as the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). Accreditation with such an agency certifies, among other things, that the school’s program is sound and up to date; that the program is continually evaluated and improved; and that participants have reported gaining worthwhile benefits. Such accreditation is also a prerequisite to Federal student financial aid. A job placement service at the school, with an impressive record of placement is a must.
Finally, investigate the career records of some of the school’s graduates. Talk to some graduates, if possible. Ask how they felt about the school in general, and the instructors in particular. Was adequate attention paid to developing their skills? Have those skills enabled them to distinguish between innovations in the horse industry, and the many fads that come and go. The answers to these questions will prove a good indicator of whether you will be getting the most education for your money at any given school.
NEW 3’3” EQUITATION CLASS ANNOUNCED: NCEA JUNIOR HUNT SEAT MEDAL
Medal finalists will earn national visibility and increase their exposure for collegiate equestrian scholarships.
The NCEA announced the USEF approval to form a new national 3’3″ equitation class: the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal. Riders will experience the bracket style competition. The top 50 point earners on the East and West Coasts respectively, will be invited to compete at the finals to be held on the East Coast at HITS Culpeper, September 28 to October 2, 2016, and on the West Coast at HITS Thermal, Sunshine II, November 9 to 13, 2016.
Class specifications include:
• A minimum of eight fences, 3’3″ in height
• A Jumper or Hunter type course
• An Open Numerical Scoring System
• Flat work off with lateral movements
• Finals riders will compete head to head against the other finalists on the same horse
For more information go to ryegate.com.
BEST EQUESTRIAN COLLEGES
20 Schools for Students Who Want Horses to Be Part of Their College Experiences, By Eileen Cody
These institutions are recognized for their outstanding equine education programs, offering degrees in equine science, equine management and other specializations designed to prepare students for a career working with horses. Most of these colleges feature state-of-the-art equine facilities, and many also have competitive intercollegiate equestrian teams in various disciplines including hunter seat, western and dressage.
Alfred University; Alfred, New York
Alfred University’s equestrian studies program offers a minor that can be combined with any number of majors at the university. Equine theory classes in subjects such as equine science and course design as well as English and Western riding and draft horse driving are all taught out of the university’s Bromeley-Daggett Equestrian Center, a 400-acre facility just a few minutes from campus. AU also fully supports its varsity hunt seat and Western equestrian teams, which compete in Zone 2, Region 1 of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).
Berry College; Rome, Georgia
The animal science program at Berry College allows students to pursue their studies with an equine emphasis that includes various courses in equine science and management as well as opportunities for experiential learning at the college’s 185-acre Gunby Equine Center. The Berry College hunt seat and Western equestrian teams compete successfully in IHSA Zone 5, Region 2, regularly advancing to the national finals. http://www.berryvikings.com/sports/equest/index
Centenary College; Hackettstown, New Jersey
Possibly one of the most well-known equestrian colleges in the nation, Centenary College offers a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies with concentrations in riding instruction and training, equine business management, communication for the equine industry and equine science. Centenary also supports several equestrian teams, including an Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) dressage team, a hunter/jumper team and hunt seat and Western IHSA teams competing in Zone 3, Region 3. The Centenary College Equestrian Center is a sizable facility featuring three barns, three riding arenas and a hunt field. http://www.centenarycollege.edu/cms/en/equine-studies/
Colorado State University; Fort Collins, Colorado
Colorado State University has an extensive equine program, including a Bachelor of Science in Equine Science and several related graduate programs in animal sciences. CSU also offers opportunities for competition in several disciplines, with club teams in English riding, polo, ranch horse versatility and rodeo. The program is based out of the university’s B.W. Pickett Equine Center. Located just west of the main campus, the center features an equine reproduction laboratory, two indoor arenas, classrooms and conference rooms, several barns and acres of pasture and trails. http://ansci.agsci.colostate.edu/equine-science-program/
Emory & Henry College; Emory, Virginia
Acquired from Virginia Intermont College after the college’s closing in 2014, Intermont Equestrian at Emory & Henry College offers students the opportunity to pursue either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in equine studies as well as a minor in equine-assisted learning. The course selection encompasses a broad range of topics and disciplines. Emory & Henry also supports several top-rated equestrian teams including an IHSA hunt seat team and an IDA dressage team that have together earned almost20 national championships since 2001. The equine studies program and team are both housed in the college’s 120-acre riding center. http://www.ehc.edu/academics/programs/undergraduate-programs/natural-sciences-division/equine-studies-department/
Lake Erie College; Painesville, Ohio
Lake Erie College’s equine studies department offers a liberal-arts based program with majors in equestrian facility management, equestrian teacher/trainer and equine entrepreneurship with options for concentrations in therapeutic horsemanship and stud farm management. Lake Erie supports several competitive equestrian teams as well, including an IDA dressage team, an Intercollegiate Combined Training Association team and IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 6, Region 1. LEC’s 86-acre George H. Humphrey Equestrian Center is located five miles from campus. https://www.lec.edu/equestrian
Murray State University; Murray, Kentucky
Murray State University offers an Animal Science/Equine program, which allows students to choose an emphasis in food animals, equine management or equine science. Murray State’s equestrian teams include IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 5, Region 1 and dressage and ranch horse teams. The Murray State Equine Center is home to the university’s program and equestrian teams and features extensive riding and educational facilities as well as an in-house breeding program. http://www.murraystate.edu/Academics/CollegesDepartments/HutsonSchoolOfAgriculture/studentorganizations/equestrianteam.aspx
Penn State University; Park, Pennsylvania
Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences offers a minor in equine studies within the dairy and animal science program. The minor includes core courses in basic equine science as well as additional electives emphasizing topics such as management, genetics and breeding. The program also maintains a herd of Quarter Horses at the university’s equine facility that are used in classes and for breeding. Penn State’s IHSA hunt seat equestrian team competes in Zone 3, Region 1 and trains off campus at a privately owned farm. http://sites.psu.edu/pennstateeqteam/
Savannah College of Art and Design; Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design is the only art school in the country to also offer a degree in equestrian studies. SCAD’s equestrian program includes a Bachelor of Arts in equestrian studies as well as a minor, with theory and practical courses in equine science, management and riding. The program operates out of the college’s 80-acre Ronald C. Waranch Equestrian Center. SCAD also offers a highly competitive hunt seat equestrian team that competes in IHSA Zone 5, Region 3 and has brought home several IHSA and American National Riding Commission individual and team championships. http://www.scad.edu/academics/programs/equestrian-studies#programButtons
Skidmore College; Saratoga Springs, New York
Skidmore College does not offer an equine studies major or minor, but the college maintains an active equestrian program. Students take classes in several levels of hunt seat riding and dressage as part of the physical education program, and non-credit riding instruction is also available. The college also has a successful IHSA hunt seat equestrian team competing in Zone 2, Region 3 and an IDA dressage team. Skidmore’s Van Lennep Riding Center houses the educational and competition programs. http://www.skidmore.edu/academics/pe/teams/eqteam.bak/
St. Andrews University; Laurinburg, North Carolina
At St. Andrews University, equestrian students can pursue bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in equine business management, equine science, pre-veterinary, therapeutic horsemanship and therapeutic horsemanship business management. St. Andrews also offers several options for competition, including IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 4, Region 3, an IDA dressage team, and a hunter/jumper show team. The program operates out of the St. Andrews Equestrian Center, a 300-acre complex two miles from campus. https://www.sa.edu/equestrian
St. Lawrence University; Canton, New York
St. Lawrence University does not offer any equine-related degrees; however, the university’s IHSA hunt seat equestrian team is among the top programs in the country. Competing in Zone 2, Region 2 of the IHSA, the Saints have won several national titles. The team rides out of SLU’s Elsa Gunnison Appleton Riding Hall, an extensive equestrian facility on the edge of campus that has hosted a number of prestigious horse shows. The university’s riding program also offers riding instruction for non-competitive students. http://saintsathletics.com/index.aspx?path=riding
Stephens College; Columbia, Missouri
The equestrian department at Stephens College offers bachelor of science degrees in equestrian studies, a business-oriented equestrian degree, and equestrian science, which prepares students for veterinary studies. The college also offers minors in equestrian studies and animal science. Students ride and study hunt seat, saddle seat, Western riding, reining and driving and have opportunities to compete at schooling and rated horse shows through the college. The Stephens Equestrian Center is just a few minutes from the college’s residence halls. https://www.stephens.edu/academics/explore-by-school/sois/equestrian-studies/
Sweet Briar College; Sweet Briar, Virginia
The equestrian program at Sweet Briar College consists of several levels of education in hunter/jumper/equitation, training and schooling young horses, and hunter-oriented cross country. Students have the option to pursue an Equine Studies Certificate with a concentration in teaching and schooling or management in addition to their major. Riders can compete on Sweet Briar’s IHSA hunt seat team, which shows in Zone 4, Region 2, and the field, hunter or jumper show teams. Sweet Briar’s Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center is located on campus and features one of the largest indoor college arenas in the country. http://www.sbc.edu/riding/
University of Findlay; Findlay, Ohio
University of Findlay’s equestrian studies program offers associate’s degrees in both English and Western riding and training as well as bachelor of science programs in equine business management and English or Western equestrian studies. Students have several options for competitive riding, including IHSA hunt seat and Western equestrian teams competing in Zone 6, Region 1 and an IDA dressage team. Findlay’s campus includes two equestrian facilities: the 32-acre East Campus James L. Child Jr. Equestrian Complex, home of the English equestrian program, and the 150-acre South Campus, which houses the Western equestrian and pre-veterinary studies programs. https://www.findlay.edu/sciences/equestrianstudies/
University of Kentucky; Lexington, Kentucky
Located right in the heart of horse country, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture features an extensive equine studies program with a bachelor’s degree in equine science and management, an equine internship program and several research opportunities. The program also offers a horse racing club and competitive opportunities in saddle seat, IDA dressage, eventing, polo and IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 6, Region 3. UK’s Maine Chance Equine Campus includes a 100-acre equine education complex and an equine health research center. http://equine.ca.uky.edu/
University of Louisville; Louisville, Kentucky
The University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program within the College of Business offers bachelor of science and certificate degrees in equine business. The university’s Riding and Racing Club also encompasses IHSA hunt seat and Western teams competing in Zone 6, Region 3 and an Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association (ISSRA) team based out of the nearby Zubrod Stables. http://business.louisville.edu/equine/
University of Montana Western; Dillon, Montana
The Equine Studies Department at the University of Montana Western offers the nation’s only bachelor of science degree in natural horsemanship. The university also offers a bachelor of science degree in equine management and associate’s degrees in equine studies and natural horsemanship. Students wishing to compete can participate in the rodeo club or the university’s hunt seat and Western equestrian teams, which show in IHSA Zone 8, Region 3. The equine studies program is based out of the university’s Montana Center for Horsemanship, a natural horsemanship-based facility located less than two miles from campus. http://www.umwestern.edu/programs/equine-studies
University of New Hampshire; Durham, New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire equine program offers three bachelor of science degrees in equine industry management, therapeutic riding and equine science and an associate’s degree in equine management. The riding program is primarily focused in dressage and eventing, and students can show on the IDA dressage team or IHSA hunt seat team competing in Zone 1, Region 2. The Lon & Lutza Smith Equine Center is located within a 10-minute walk from the campus center and features a USEA-recognized combined training course and a limited amount of equine student housing. http://www.equine.unh.edu/
West Texas A&M University; Canyon, Texas
West Texas A&M University’s Agribusiness program offers a bachelor of science option in equine industry and business, a course of study integrating business with equine science and practical applications in the equine industry. Equestrian students can compete in intercollegiate horse judging, rodeo, and IHSA hunt seat and Western teams showing in Zone 7, Region 2. All are based at the West Texas A&M University Horse Center, an 80-acre equestrian facility just north of the university’s main campus. http://www.wtamu.edu/academics/equine-industry.aspx