It has been quite chilly here at The Woods! One of the things I love about this campus is that we are small, so it doesn't take long to get to class even when it's cold outside. I can get all the way across campus in less than five minutes! Everything is close and the barns are located right next to campus, so we can walk there too.
This semester seems to be picking up speed. I'm getting used to my new schedule. Last semester I lived in the Cox Science and Language building, but now I have equestrian classes over at the barn, the communications class, along side my science courses.
I am branching out and taking a class in communications called Argumentation and Debate. It has been really fascinating so far. When I heard it was part of the honor's curriculum, I didn't think about it much, but I'm surprised at how much I enjoy it! It is very different from my typical science course load, and we get to talk about current issues and figure out the most effective way to create an argument in favor of one side. All of the bickering with my sisters growing up seems to have paid off... at least a little
Other than my riding class, I'm taking Stable Management and Practical Equine Anatomy and Conditioning in the Equestrian Department. I'm looking forward to the major projects in those classes.
For Stable Management we will design our own facility, whether it be a professional training barn or just a home stable. I think it will be fun to learn about all the different types of things you have to consider. We've started discussing the stall, and I cannot believe how many questions you have to ask in order to design a great stall!
In Practical Equine Anatomy and Conditioning, the major project is to design a conditioning program for a horse (one you own or one you want to own some day). We'll look at not just the actual exercises, but how to build up to a certain conditioning level. I'm excited to see which exercises condition which muscle groups of the horse, and also to learn what kind of diet is the most appropriate depending on age, discipline, and intended use.
Court Warming is coming up at The Woods! We will have events like Minute to Win it, writing letters to soldiers, and voting on the king and queen. The theme this year is Red White and Blue at WWU. I'm most excited for the campus party at Tucker, our dining hall, where they will serve All-American food! All of the events lead up to the basketball game on Saturday. It's a lot of fun because the whole campus really gets involved!
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!
It is our first week back at The Woods and I am really looking forward to all of my classes this semester! Over the break I did a lot of different things.
I worked a little bit at my old summer job as a dog kennel staff member. We play outside with the dogs for four hours total in a day, and I was lucky and had a puppy in my group! Her name is Nutella and all she wanted to do was run around and play, keeping the entire group active. She didn't quite have the coordination down, and she fell into a dip in the yard with a confused look on her face, but then decided it was a great place for a nap!
Every year my family goes skiing in Winter Park for the four days before Christmas. This year I hit the slopes with my dad. Since we aren't Colorado natives, we haven't skied for very long and mostly stick to greens (the easiest slopes). We stay at a condo and bring some friends. We also go tubing at night, which is really fun. I enjoyed getting out on the mountain, even though we did have a lot of freezing wind.
We have two major traditions on the ski trip. One is to watch What Women Want, which is hilarious and the other is to go to a pizza place in town. They have dollar bills all over the walls, ceilings, and tables that people decorate. It's fun to search the walls, and it's even better when you find things you recognize. Last year I added a William Woods dollar, and this year I found several with my sorority letters on them!
When I first got home I decided to donate my hair. I had 8 inches to donate (but it took another 1.5 to get it even). Everyone was surprised when I came back to school, but it's already starting to grow back out.
I hope your holiday season was relaxing and full of family and friends!
Last week we had some time off for Thanksgiving break. My family flew in to St. Louis and we spent the holiday with my grandparents. I helped make Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Then on Friday we went out into the shopping madness and bought Christmas gifts. I have a lot of wrapped boxes to take back home after finals because my parents couldn't fly with them. Some of them are for me which makes it really tempting to peek!
We also went to Ted Drewes, a frozen custard stand found only in St. Louis. My parents met in the city and often went on dates to the custard stand. It is one of our family favorite places to visit. When my dad drives out to see his family he often brings back cups of it on dry ice. If we visit St. Louis we always make a trip, even if it is freezing cold outside! We're a little addicted to it.
This semester is wrapping up very quickly. It is our last week of class and then next week we have final exams. I can't believe that we're almost halfway through the year! Last night I helped decorate my sorority with Christmas things. It was really fun and relaxing. I love the holiday season. Giving gifts is one of my favorite things to do and everyone seems just a little bit brighter this time of year.
With lots of assignments and tests to study for, everyone is busy with school work. There is a bit of a rush to finish up for the semester and get in a few more memories with seniors who graduate this month. This will be my last post of the semester. I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!