Equestrian Focus Day Open House a Massive Success

Wilson College held their annual Equestrian Studies Focus Day on Saturday, Nov. 22. The program gave potential students and their families an opportunity to attend information sessions about the college curriculum and equine-related majors, tour the campus and Penn Hall Equestrian Center, and see mounted demonstrations by current students and horses.

The response from the sixty-seven perspective students and families was positive. Potential student Elise Freeman said, “[I] really loved the demonstration and getting to see all the different horse and rider pairs.”

Mackenzie Harper, another prospective student recounted, “It was very informative. I enjoyed watching the demonstrations given by the students, and overall, the administrative staff and students presented a great program.”

Her mother agreed. Lynn Harper commented, “I really appreciated the smaller campus which made me feel confident about sending my child here. The diversity of the equine programs provide for a well-rounded graduate.”

Fifty-two non-mounted students helped the day run smoothly. They assisted with setting up, adjusting the arena between demonstrations, and managing the preparation for the demonstration horses. Stacy Sensenig ’17 said,  “[I liked that I] got the privilege of being a supervisor.”

Current Wilson students were pleased with how well everything went. Ann O’Shallie, head of the Equestrian Department, planned the open house meticulously down to the minute. Renee Bouch ’17 said, “The organization of everything made it run very smoothly.” She added that the pre-determined schedule made everything much easier for both horses and riders.

Debby Rifflard ’18 felt that attending the Equestrian Studies Focus Day was important for students interested in Wilson College.

“It is really important for new students to understand that no rider is perfect and this program works on improving your riding skills.” She said and added that students were able to see “what the school has to offer while not giving too much away.”

Twenty students performed mounted demonstrations including level-relevant examples of jumping and dressage lessons, Western riding, and performances by the Drill Team and Equine Facilitated Therapy program.

Julia Bernanke ’16 said, “I liked that we were able to showcase all the different disciplines along with the classes and instruction.” Rifflard shared similar feelings, “It is just the right amount of pressure to perform your best to help encourage others to join.”

For more information on the Equestrian Studies Focus Day and the Equestrian program, contact Ann O’Shallie at aoshallie@wilson.edu.

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