This semester I am taking an applied riding class! As a Biology Pre-Vet student, my primary courses are in the Biology Department but here at The Woods there is an integrated Equestrian portion for Pre-Vet students. I also decided to take on an Equestrian Science Minor, just so that I can take even more equestrian classes.
Last fall my Biology coursload was rather heavy, so I did not ride. Now I am trying out Dressage with Karen Pautz. I've ridden in two other riding classes at WWU, but this is my first time in the Dressage barn. Primarily a Hunter/Jumper, it has been interesting learning about the world of Dressage. It truly is the underlying basics for Hunter/Jumper, which I had been told before but didn't quite understand until I got on last week.
Karen Pautz is phenomenal. She has explained things to me that I already "knew" how to do, but I am learning how to do them better. So far I've ridden Aurea, a very willing Chestnut mare. It has been great, even with the freezing temperatures. We are lucky to have heating in our facilities so nobody gets too cold.
On the weekends I take tech lessons, which gives me more chances to practice with the help of someone from the ground. Each applied riding class has 1-2 teaching techs. These are students who are learning how to teach. They help in class and then you can ride with them on the weekends or you can take the opportunity to free ride on your own.
This semester I have two other classes in the Equestrian Studies Department. I am taking Practical Equine Anatomy and Condition as well as Stable Management. There are a lot of different classes for all the equestrian majors. Students take classes like Facility Management, Equine Health and First Aid, Origin of Modern Riding, and Equine Evaluation. There is also Horse Management Practicum (I&II). In that class you are responsible first for 1-3 horses, and then if you take it a second time for 5-8 horses, and you learn all about what it takes to keep horses happy and healthy in a professional environment.
I am very excited to be back at the barn, working with the horses and continuing on with my Mentor-Mentee project! I hope you are all staying warm!