Now, you have heard about what we have done or are doing as an equestrian program here at Judson, but not much on whom we are. Today I would like to fix that and introduce you to the Judson College Equestrian Program.
The Equestrian Program at Judson is not large, but then what about Judson is? However, its small size is an advantage; it allows us to have a large range of opportunities that may not be available to larger programs.
The Equestrian program offers an academic minor in equine science, and two interdisciplinary majors: Equine Business Management and Equine- Facilitated Mental Health. Equine Business Management, Equine Disease Management and Equine Nutrition are all classes that are offered as part of the classroom portion of equine studies. These classes are taught either by Mrs. Jennifer Hoggle, or Dr. Doug Halbrooks.
Judson’s Equestrian Program also offers a number of “hands on” type classes where the students learn by participating and working with the horses. These classes include animal partnership, light horse training, and riding instructor classes. Animal Partnership is a class where students learn how to build relationships with horses and to form a partnership between them. The way we learn about the relationship between animals and humans, and begin to form one for ourselves is by doing a series of ground work exercises that teach the horse to have trust in us and vise-versa. This class also teaches us the important roles animals play in our lives. An example of this is when we take horses to a local nursing home; this allows us to see the significance that just getting to interact with a horse for a couple of minuets can have on someone’s life.
Riding instructor classes are where the student actually helps either Mrs. Jennifer or Mrs. Janice teach a riding class. This teaches the student how to teach and help others learn to ride, as well as, helps them to see things that they may need to work on in their own riding.
This brings us to the riding classes. Judson offers riding classes for all levels, from never having been on a horse before to advanced with a desire to compete on the team. The beginner classes learn the basics of working with horses which are:
This usually only takes a couple of lessons and once the students have mastered that, they move on to the basics of riding, which are:
- how to ask the horse to walk
- how to halt and,
- how to steer
The riding classes are structured to meet the needs of the riders in each class. Students in the advanced classes and on the team work to improve the skills they already have, as well as, working on more advanced concepts. Riders in these classes will likely already know some of these skills, but are lookingto improve them and learn skills they do not know. There are also classes offered for the riders who fall between these two levels.
One of the greatest things about Judson’s Equestrian Program is that it is offered at very few other colleges. Best of all anyone can take an equine or riding class. You do not have to be an equine major, minor, or on the team to participate. You may just want to learn to ride, have some free time in your schedule for another class, or just need an elective.