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EQUESTRIAN STUDIES PROGRAM
​​UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY OHIO

By Hannah Russell

       
    Imagine a place where you can ride 15 plus hours a week in a state of the art heated indoor riding facility with attached 300 plus stall barn.  Sounds perfect, right?  Well it gets better, not only can you ride and have access to many different horses; you also get college credit for doing what you love!  I’m sure by now you may think I’m lying, but I’m not, the place I’m talking about is the University of Findlay Western Farm.

          Founded in 1882 the University of Findlay provides almost 60 undergraduate programs including Equestrian studies, pharmacy, and physical therapy.  The University also offers eleven different graduate programs ranging from a master’s in business to a doctorate in pharmacy.  Findlay is home for over 3,500 students from all over the world.  One of the largest majors at the University of Findlay is Equestrian Studies. Findlay offers a choice to incoming freshman to major in either English or Western Equestrian studies.  Each program has its own facility, staff, and curriculum.

          Should the student choose to take the English equestrian route they are then given the option of a hunter-jumper or dressage focus.  Becca Spellman, a sophomore in the dressage program has nothing but positive things to say about her instructors, “working with Janet Harms is a million dollar experience.” A student in the hunter-jumper program, Grace Meagher, explains her experience as one that has, “given me the opportunities to grow and become a better rider every day.” English equestrian students aren’t the only ones enjoying the equine programs.

          The University of Findlay Western Farm is filled with horses and the students who love them.  As the students progresses through the program they are taught by people who not only make their living in the industry, but love to help teach.  Meri Sheffler, a sophomore and senior instructor, says she teaches because, “I like seeing the students learn skills from horses that they can use in the future. Horses teach people responsibility, confidence, and discipline, which are all important to have in the world today.” Students in the western program go through basic horsemanship, colt breaking, finishing green horses, and various other aspects to ready them for the training industry.  Emma Bates, a junior in the program took a few minutes and explained her experience to me. “I started at Findlay as a Pre-Vet major, but then I realized I would rather be riding horses than giving shots and stuff. I started in the western program in the fall of 2011 and have learned a lot since.  I’ve made a lot of great connections along the way as well.”

The University of Findlay is a well-renowned private college offering its students a variety of degrees to pursue. The classes are small and the professors get to know the students as more than a name. Findlay has a great draw to many students, whether it is the degree, the location, or because of sports, students call it home.


Courtesy Hannah Russell
www.Findlay.edu
© Reprint BHHLLC 2015