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Our Newsletter


2013 Past Program Member Highlights

Ohio University Southern Equine Studies Program – Ironton, Ohio

by Bradie Chapman

The Ohio Horse Park, located in Ironton, Ohio, is the facility of the Equine Studies Associate of Applied Science Degree at Ohio University Southern (OUS). The Equine studies program began in the early 1990’s and has seen increased growth and improvements since its inception. The early program was more of a generalist approach with students given the opportunity for one program of courses. As the Equine Industry grew and changed, our faculty realized our program need to grow and reflect the changes of the current equine industry.

Our 180 acre facility features the main riding barn, two large outdoor arenas, a therapeutic riding center, and two indoor arenas. Twenty eight horses serve our university students, therapeutic riding participants, and community lesson riders. Our therapeutic riding center is a Professional Association of Horsemanship International Premier Center. The OHP offers boarding for student horses, a veterinary teaching clinic, a classroom, welcome center, and show arena. We host events not only for students and university functions, but also open up the facility for community members.

Our newly designed curriculum offers our students a choice of specialized degree options: riding instructor (including therapeutic riding), training, farm management, and pre-animal science. Our most popular track is the riding instructor track. Our numbers in this track have doubled in the two years we have offered it. This gives our graduates an opportunity to begin working for established teaching facilities or start their own business. With this goal, we felt our program would be stronger and improve our graduates’ employability by offering two certifications in riding instruction.

We have been a PATH, Intl Premier Center since 2008 and joined the Higher Education membership in 2010. We are one of only three universities who qualified for the highest level and can currently certify therapeutic riding instructors. This definitely was an added attraction to our students. Our numbers doubled the second year this was offered.

Our next goal was to become a CHA certified site and to offer certification to our students. Our program became a CHA accredited site and was approved in August as a college program and we have ten instructors in training who will participate in the certification in spring semester. With the addition of these two governing associations, our students are receiving their coursework with the guidelines of CHA and PATH to prepare them for certification. Our first class will go for their CHA certification in the spring of 2013.

Our students have many opportunities for hands-on learning experience throughout their time at OUS. In courses, our student’s role play in teaching situations, evaluate horse selection and movement, assess nutritional programs, among other activities. It is our hope that our students focus on an individual area, but that they are also well rounded equine professionals.

The Ohio Horse Park Center of Therapeutic Riding is located at the farm and offers our students the experience of a PATH Intl Premier Center. Our students help work in the office, act as side walkers and leaders, exercise horses, and teach in the program. Participants who benefit from our program include children, teens, and adults with challenges such as autism, developmental delay, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cardiovascular accident. We serve the community by working in collaboration with mental health and foster care agencies, the Veterans Administration, hospitals, local schools, and many other organizations.

Outside of the classroom the OHP offers community and therapeutic riding lessons that allow our students to get teaching hours with both individuals and groups while also receiving feedback from certified instructors. The teaching veterinary clinic, located on the grounds, is utilized by local horse owners and provides additional learning opportunities for our students on cases that would not necessarily be seen on our program horses and will help them in future positions.

The horses housed at the OHP are governed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This process helps us determine our husbandry program and the daily care of the equines here at the farm. The IACUC require documentation on all husbandry practices, which includes daily care, usage, and health care. With the IACUC program and PATH Intl site accreditation being in place, our process for CHA site accreditation was an easy transition since all three programs are looking for safe facilities for human and equine, recordkeeping and safe practices, and welfare of the horses. These programs also help our students prepare for the necessary recordkeeping that may be expected of them at their career.

Our students can also participate in extracurricular activities offered at the OHP. Our IHSA Western and Hunt Seat teams allow students to show in their respective division on the host college horses in horsemanship and equitation. This enhances their skills in team building, adaptability between horses, show management, and show ring etiquette. We also have a dressage team that competes in local schooling and USDF shows, riding our horses to compete. This provides our students with the opportunity to learn how to travel with horses, groom and prepare them for showing, and working as a team to be in the arena on time. We encourage all of our students to be on one or all of the teams for the experience that they will gain. We also have an Equine Student Ambassador program that allows students to help with promoting and recruiting for our program. This program builds social skills, office and organizational skills, and time management which can be used in their future employment for promotion.

Our program offers a variety of learning opportunities and experiences resulting in an Associates of Applied Science Degree along with national and international instructor certification for those pursuing the teaching track. Students who enroll in and successfully complete our program will have a broad variety of experiences while focusing on the specialty of their choice.

 

Garrod Farms Stables in Saratoga, California

by Vicky Bosworth

Garrod Farms was established in 1893 when our great grandparents emigrated from England. For most of the early years we were fruit farmers. There were orchards of apricots and prunes, and a few pears and peaches. Santa Clara County in California was known as the ‘Valley of Heart’s Delight’ and was at one time the 4th top agriculture-producing county in the nation. Now it is known as Silicon Valley and is the top Tech-producing county in the nation! By 1960, the 240 acre farm was not large enough to maintain a profitable fruit business, and while looking for new revenue, and a horse-crazy daughter the family got into the horse business with the purchase of 10 horses. Seeing the value of having certified instructors and a safety-oriented facility, we joined CHA in the early 1990’s.

Currently we have up to 65 horses on a rent string, which we use for hourly rentals and our lesson program. Our seven CHA certified instructors teach 21 group lessons each week, and somewhere between 40-60 private lessons weekly. The Riding School teaches over 15,000 student hours each year. Annually we host a CHA instructor certification clinic, evaluating instructors for equine facilities all over our valley. Our summer Day Camp program caters to 260 eager young horsey-kids, with a leadership piece embedded into the system. The campers are encouraged to return each year and earn the right to become one of the counselor’s assistants. The counselors all receive their CHA certification training before camp begins, and tell us every year how valuable it is—especially the reminders to keep safety first and foremost.

We board 200 horses of all ages and stages, from Arabians to Warmbloods. Our facility boasts 5 arenas, and 23 miles of trails. The property backs up to County Park and open space land so you can ride for hours. You can also find someone in our solar-lit covered arena most any time riding English or Western, dressage or reining, or just bareback and enjoying the day.

Garrod Farms is home to the Mt. Eden Vaulters, world-renown. They are the current National Champions and have competed in Europe and at the World Games multiple times, earning gold, silver, and bronze medals. Our vaulting program consists of six active teams, drop-in vaulting and recreational vaulting. Our teams have produced world-champion vaulters and USEF horses of the year. Emma Seely, head coach here and chairman of the FEI vaulting committee, is also the author of “Training for Vaulting Coaches” which is available at the CHA website store!

In 1972, we planted our first vineyard (all the orchards were removed after we started riding horses). Today we have 32 acres planted with 7 varieties of grapes, which we use to make our estate-grown and award-winning wines. The tasting room is right on our property and we love to share our wines and our love of the land with the public. Cooper-Garrod Vineyards is an active part of the Saratoga Community and an advocate and practitioner of organic, sustainable farming. We offer special rides through our vineyards and finishing up with a tasting and brunch in the wine-tasting room. 

Garrod Farms has remained in family ownership and operation since its beginning in 1893. We love to share our land, our wine, our horses and our stories. It is a thrill to watch the young riders become accomplished riders, and to have a group come up for an hour’s fun with a ride on our trails. Stop by!

About the author: Born and raised on the farm, Vicky has the auspicious honor of being the ‘horse-crazy child’ who by a circuitous route got the family into the horse business. She grew up cutting apricots, but quickly adjusted to life as a trail guide, horse-owner, and instructor. A CHA Clinic Instructor, she has been teaching for over 40 years; she also  manages the boarders as well as the Riding School. Her favorite riding school horse was ‘Jimmy’, a grade gelding with a big roman nose. One day towards the end of his 20+ years on the lesson string, he was saddled, but not used in the lesson. After he was unclipped to go back to the barn, he turned and walked down to the arena, got into the ‘line’ and began working with the class. When Vicky said “and trot”, sure enough, he began trotting! Vicky always feels lucky to know such great-hearted animals.


Unicorn Stables – Surrey, British Columbia

By Kimberly Couper

Located in the heart of Surrey, BC you will find a very magical place called Unicorn Stables that is situated on over 10 acres of land, surrounded by mountain /water views, and amazing riding trails. This place is called home to over 40+ horses including both lesson & full-board horses, along with recreational & competitive riders, all with one “thing” in common…The love of horses.

Just over two years-ago, now current owner, Tammie Blewett wasn’t sure if Unicorn Stables would even exist on the property, as the previous owner had it up for sale. Thankfully the Blewett family was fortunate enough to purchase the property and has transformed it into an amazing facility over the past 24 months. This was the place where Tammie had lived & worked for over 15 years, upon her arrival from England. It was all she knew and all she wanted, which allowed for her to dream big. Thanks to her wonderful husband and a great support team she can now say she is living the dream, and it shows. Every small inch of the property shows just how much heart, passion & love for not only horses, but for her riders’ development & education – it’s truly a unique place!

A CHA Accredited Site, Unicorn Stables offers everything from Summer Camps & Lessons to Clinics & Shows all year long. The moment you walk onto the property it has been described as “home”, by many riders & families that have visited. Unicorn is one of the only facilities nearby that allows the riders the opportunity to lease and compete, giving all families & individuals the opportunity to have horses in their everyday lives. “Seeing how horses impact each individual’s life is something I feel so fortunate to be able to provide to people”, says CHA Level 4 English Certified Instructor Tammie. Blewett who has three other certified instructors on the property, runs two locations, one in Surrey & another in Burnaby, and offers lessons to all ages & abilities.

Tammie’s coaching, training & every day to day life is 110% revolved around what’s best for not only each individual horse, but rider as well. The horses are very fortunate to live in their natural setting. During the spring & summer months the horses are out on one of our two large fields in their herd, and during the other months they are in large paddocks with a few friends. The horses are truly happy this way, and once the boarders get over the few “love-bites” they give each other there is no turning back. Our boarders realize how happy their horses are.. It’s really great to be able to board your horse at such a first class facility, where the horses are happy, healthy and loving life.

Unicorn has a large focus on promoting the education of all riders. It is also a large promoter of Pony Club, and provide their facility to host meetings in the lounge, and a place for the riders & horses to come and practice. The stable also offers their school horses for the use of this program, while providing discounts to the Pony Club members for all educational events, shows, etc. The BC Lower Mainland Region has about 300 members and 15 branches. Pony Club is for young people up to the age of 21 who want to learn more about horses, riding and horse care, which makes Unicorn the perfect candidate to host them.

 

Horsemanship is a tradition at Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana

By Doug Haberland

A northern-Indiana college prep boarding school for boys and girls, Culver Academies stables 94 horses which play an integral part in the school’s leadership/academic regimen through equitation classes, competitions and public performances. The equestrian program involves more than 130 students, many of whom are swinging a leg over a horse for the first time. Since 1897, Culver has been teaching students the qualities of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice by placing them in the saddle. These virtues have not only proven to develop good riders but, more importantly, good citizens.

Working one-on-one with a 1,500- pound animal, the Academies’ equestrian program teaches young people courage and sensitivity, as well as teamwork, attention to detail, and leadership. The program offers students the opportunity to acquire not only physical strength and ability, but also the broader qualities of patience, perseverance, grit, and courage – the true hallmarks of an equestrian.

“One cannot fake the formula of leadership with a horse,” said Ed Little, the Academies’ Director of Horsemanship Operations. “A fear factor is gradually turned into courage, which develops confidence. Soon control is worked into the process with time in the saddle.”

Students are exposed to polo, cross country riding, hunter/jumper, western, and rough riding. Culver’s girls and boys polo teams compete on a national level and several players have gone on to the collegiate ranks.

Culver provides comprehensive instruction in beginning, intermediate, and advanced equitation, as well as in stable management. The equine science curriculum includes an honors class in Equine Science and the Fine Arts curriculum offers an equine sculpting class. In addition, Culver’s horsemanship units – the Black Horse Troop (boys) and Equestriennes (girls) – have developed a national reputation for appearing in the Presidential Inaugural Parades.

The 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade marked the 16th appearance in the parade for the Black Horse Troop and the seventh for the Equestriennes. Culver first appeared in the 1913 and ’17 inaugurals of President Woodrow Wilson as the personal escort for Vice President Thomas Marshall, a former Indiana governor. Culver returned to Washington in 1957 for President Eisenhower’s second inaugural parade and has been represented at 14 of the last 15 parades.

“The Academies takes pride in its equestrian traditions created through history,” Little said. “Being flexible to change without losing tradition, while also maintaining a safe and productive program, can be a challenge.”

Culver riders also have appeared in the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade, the Holland (Mich.) Tulip Festival, and the Benton Harbor (Mich.) Blossomtime Festival. Members of the Black Horse Troop and Equestriennes also performed in the opening ceremonies of the September 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, the first time the international event had been held in the United States.

The Vaughn Equestrian Center is one of the finest stable/riding complexes in the country. In 2009, the renovated Jud Little Riding Hall and the new Vaughn Stables were dedicated, a $14 million project funded largely by alumni donations. For more information visit  www.culver.org/culverhorsemanship.

About the author: Doug Haberland is the Academies’ director of publications and the editor of Culver Alumni Magazine.

Unicorn Stables – Surrey, British Columbia

By Kimberly Couper

Located in the heart of Surrey, BC you will find a very magical place called Unicorn Stables that is situated on over 10 acres of land, surrounded by mountain /water views, and amazing riding trails. This place is called home to over 40+ horses including both lesson & full-board horses, along with recreational & competitive riders, all with one “thing” in common…The love of horses. 

Just over two years-ago, now current owner, Tammie Blewett wasn’t sure if Unicorn Stables would even exist on the property, as the previous owner had it up for sale. Thankfully the Blewett family was fortunate enough to purchase the property and has transformed it into an amazing facility over the past 24 months. This was the place where Tammie had lived & worked for over 15 years, upon her arrival from England. It was all she knew and all she wanted, which allowed for her to dream big. Thanks to her wonderful husband and a great support team she can now say she is living the dream, and it shows. Every small inch of the property shows just how much heart, passion & love for not only horses, but for her riders’ development & education – it’s truly a unique place!

A CHA Accredited Site, Unicorn Stables offers everything from Summer Camps & Lessons to Clinics & Shows all year long. The moment you walk onto the property it has been described as “home”, by many riders & families that have visited. Unicorn is one of the only facilities nearby that allows the riders the opportunity to lease and compete, giving all families & individuals the opportunity to have horses in their everyday lives. “Seeing how horses impact each individual’s life is something I feel so fortunate to be able to provide to people”, says CHA Level 4 English Certified Instructor Tammie. Blewett who has three other certified instructors on the property, runs two locations, one in Surrey & another in Burnaby, and offers lessons to all ages & abilities.

Tammie’s coaching, training & every day to day life is 110% revolved around what’s best for not only each individual horse, but rider as well. The horses are very fortunate to live in their natural setting. During the spring & summer months the horses are out on one of our two large fields in their herd, and during the other months they are in large paddocks with a few friends. The horses are truly happy this way, and once the boarders get over the few “love-bites” they give each other there is no turning back. Our boarders realize how happy their horses are.. It’s really great to be able to board your horse at such a first class facility, where the horses are happy, healthy and loving life. 

Unicorn has a large focus on promoting the education of all riders. It is also a large promoter of Pony Club, and provide their facility to host meetings in the lounge, and a place for the riders & horses to come and practice. The stable also offers their school horses for the use of this program, while providing discounts to the Pony Club members for all educational events, shows, etc. The BC Lower Mainland Region has about 300 members and 15 branches. Pony Club is for young people up to the age of 21 who want to learn more about horses, riding and horse care, which makes Unicorn the perfect candidate to host them.