Saturday, July 19, 2014

St. Andrews MBA Program Graduates its First Class

This May St. Andrews graduated its first class of students from the MBA program. I talked to Heather Lee who was a member of the graduating class and Rob Jacobs who is currently enrolled in the program. Heather serves as a Hunter Seat Riding Instructor and Event Manager for the St.Andrews Equestrian Program. I asked Heather about the skills she had learned or developed during her time in the program.
“The skills that I have been challenged to develop throughout the MBA program are those that aid in professional development and in critical thinking. Many classes, from beginning to end, use a case based method of study that took the theories and principles from the text books and applied them to real life. Each class gave a different area of focus that, in the end, allowed me to see the whole picture and how those pieces fit together. The final practicum classes gave me the opportunity to put those pieces together and to be able to apply the concepts covered in previous classes, in a professional, real life situation.”

Rob has spent two years at St. Andrews working as a Hunter Seat Coach, Assistant IHSA Coach and Education Coordinator, he had this to say about the program. “The MBA program that St. Andrews offers is unique and growing daily; the program has given me knowledge and practical experience which has already fostered my growth and career advancement.” When asked about the skills that he has developed he had this to say. “The most important skill I have taken away from the courses thus far is how to understand and work better with different personality types. Communication is a struggle for everyone but working to keep our lines of communication open and clear is vital to the success of any organization.”

Both Heather and Rob agreed that Human Behavior was their favorite class. Heather said, “My favorite class throughout the MBA program was the Human Behavior class. I think this is something that is over-looked in many companies, whether they are successful or unsuccessful. Learning more about the way different people think and interact is a crucial piece in being a manager, no matter the industry. This class put an emphasis on understanding the way different personality types are driven. I think this class has helped me to understand more about myself and the people I work with both in the classroom as a student and in the arena as an instructor.” Rob agreed, “This class taught me the most about myself and how I can better work with other personalities. Working in the equestrian field naturally lends itself to working with people who are strong willed and working with others requires skill and a tactful approach in order to be effective.”

I asked Rob what he felt was the value of the MBA program. “Besides coaching equine lessons, I enjoy teaching equine lectures to college students in an academic setting and having my Masters would make that possible in the future,” he said. “The greatest benefit of St. Andrews' MBA program is the practical knowledge that I receive which can and will be used immediately.”

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Equestrian Program Reviews - Dressage

Claire Pollard shared the adventures of the dressage team in her Equestrian Program Review as well as reporting on new horses for the program in 2013. Click here to learn more about the challenges of riding on the dressage team.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

NAEAA Conference June 2014 - (Neigh!)

The National Association of Equine Affiliated Academics (NAEAA – “neigh”) conference was in Louisville, KY this year and boy was it worth the trip! The conference itself always provides lots of ideas to bring home and share with colleagues as well as learning from speakers from the equine industry. This year the conference included 2 days of tours visiting some of Lexington’s beautiful horse farms.
My husband Len made the 9 hour drive with me leaving early on Tues. so I could attend the pre-conference workshop on tenure and promotion. Early Wed. morning we headed out in the bus to back track a little to Lexington which is 70 miles east of Louisville. Our day started at Midway College’s Equestrian center with their converted tobacco barn and riding facilities. One of the things that I really liked were the horse anatomy diagrams on the inside walls of the barn. This included internal organs, muscles and even one showing acupuncture points. Our next stop was Kentucky Equine Sports and Medicine Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC) which has state of the art pools, in ground treadmills, a salt water spa, hyperbaric chamber and a vibrating platform which promotes circulation and hoof growth this piece of equipment is the result of work done by NASA to help astronauts maintain muscle mass in space. I was really excited to hear about the KESMARC internship opportunities which sound like a great fit for our Biology and Equine students. Click here to visit the KESMARC site.
Our third stop of the day was Keeneland Race Course and Sale Facility. This was the equivalent of two stops as we learned about how the sales work, (how much money changes hands at the sales – scary!) and toured that facility. We then walked out to the race course to learn about their challenges of switching from dirt footing to PolyTrack and now back to dirt and how much has been done to improve the safety of the track for horses and in my opinion fairness of the track for bettors. We ate lunch in the beautiful grounds surrounding the track and then loaded back into the bus to head to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Our tour guide was the son of Dr. Rood and did a wonderful job of guiding us through the expansive equine hospital. We were particularly impressed with the podiatry unit where farriers design and create all kinds of amazing shoes to address multiple equine problems.
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope located in the KY Horse Park welcomed us into their new building and expansive indoor arena. We learned about their program through the National Guard for their members who are at risk. They also have an alternative school that meets at their center and incorporates the TH program into the curriculum. Their volunteer coordinator shared that they regularly work with 600 volunteers plus another couple of hundred that work special events throughout the year. Our final stop for the day was Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement which came about because of one man’s dream to provide retired racehorses with a life after the track. Michael Blowen retired as a film critic for the Boston Globe and made his dream a reality. The farm houses 120 horses many of which are stallions and is funded solely through donations. He is an engaging person to listen to as he feeds the horses carrots and tells their stories.
Will write more about the conference and the second day of farm tours in a later post. 

Midway College uses the barn walls to educate!

KESMARC Equine Swimming Pool

Building where the horses are prepared right before they are presented for sale at Keeneland

Keeneland racetrack and grandstand

Central KY Riding for Hope indoor arena

Rood & Riddle Podiatry Center

Old Friends Farm residents

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Equestrian Program Reviews - Hunter Seat

Jessica Story and Ellen Tobin reported on the first ever win at the IHSA Zone Finals for the Hunter Seat team. They included a brief bio of new coach Matt Arrigon. Read about the team's successes here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Equestrian Program Reviews - Western Team

Alyssa Lemme reported on the great success of the IHSA Western team for the 2012 - 2013 academic year. Regional and Zone Champions and Reserve Champions at the IHSA National Championships!
Click here to read Alyssa's report.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Equestrian Program Reviews - Ride-Like-A-Knight Therapeutic Horsemanship Program

Brooke Ellington and Hallie Myers reported on the Ride-Like-A-Knight Therapeutic Horsemanship program from 2012 - 2013. Their report included Special Olympics, horse updates, instructor mentoring and the benefits of volunteering in the RLAK program. Click here to read the report.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tentative Fall 2014 Schedule

Subject to additions and changes, this what we have so far.

Fall 2014
Tentative Schedule of Events

20           Rider Placement for new students
24           Barn Orientation for new students
25-29     Team practices for returning team members
29           Equine Fair – All students

1              Lesson begin
8              RALK lessons begin
12           Team tryouts
18-21     Special Olympics in Raleigh
26-28     Triangle Farm Show for boarders
26-27     Tournament of Champions

4              IHSA Hunter Seat at St. Andrews
8-12       CHA Instructor Certification Clinic at SAU
9-12       Fall Break
17-18     Riding Open House for High School Seniors
19           IHSA Hunter Seat UNC-Wilmington
25           IHSA Hunter Seat UNC-CH/Duke
25-26     IHSA Western at St. Andrews
26           Showing Under the Stars
29-Nov. 2 Path Conference

1-2          Triangle Farms Medal Finals Show
1-2          Hunter Seat Clinic with Bernie Traurig
4-9          Duke Classic AA Show
7-9          Equestrian Talent Search
8              Chamber of Commerce Oyster Roast
8-9          IHSA Western Martin Community College
15           IHSA Hunter Seat at St. Andrews
15           Open House
21           RLAK lessons end
22           IDA at St. Andrews
22           IHSA Hunter Seat at ECU
23           Showing Under the Stars – Holiday Edition
26-30     Thanksgiving break

5              Classes end
5              Riders Christmas Party
8-12       Exams