A partnership with Healing Strides of Virginia offers students riding, learning and
Ferrum, Va. (October 31, 2013) – Ferrum College has established a new equestrian club in partnership with Healing
Strides of Virginia, a therapeutic riding facility in Boones Mill. In addition to
weekly riding lessons, student club members will volunteer five hours a week at the
facility and have the opportunity to participate in horsemanship clinics through which
they can improve their horsemanship skills.
College president Jennifer Braaten is enthusiastic about the new club, which already
has fourteen students as active members. “When the opportunity came our way to collaborate
with Healing Strides and bring equestrian back as a club sport, we realized it could
be a win-win for both the College and for our students,” she said. “An equestrian
club is a perfect ‘fit’ for Ferrum. Many of our students are horse enthusiasts and
have expressed a desire for this type of activity. With this partnership, the time
was right.” Dr. Braaten also noted that the Ferrum College motto, ‘Not Self, But
Others,’ complements the mission of Healing Strides.
Equestrian club coach Margaret Johnson Cornwell ‘02, who competed as a Ferrum student
on the College’s former equestrian team, is equally excited. “The goals for this
riding program are to promote safety and develop good horsemanship skills for all
level of riders as well as develop the horses and riders as athletes,” she said. “The
great thing about a collegiate riding club such as Ferrum's is that we can offer riding
lessons for all levels of riders from beginners to the most advanced.”
Mrs. Cornwell also noted that as a club team, Ferrum students will be able to compete
in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association shows starting in fall 2014. “We are using
this current school year to develop the program and prepare the riders to begin competing
next fall,” she said.
Growing interest among students and faculty prompted the College to form the club.
Ferrum’s former equestrian activities included an equestrian academic minor and
an equestrian program in intercollegiate sports. Gail Summer, Interim Vice President
for Academic Affairs, noted that with the formation of the new club “some faculty
have expressed interest in exploring the potential of bringing back the equestrian
academic program after an absence of nearly 14 years,” leading to the possibility
that Ferrum’s equestrian offerings may be expanded in the future.
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About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college related
to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's
degree programs, at a cost well below the national average for private colleges. The
College celebrates its centennial in 2013.
In the photograph: Ferrum College Equestrian Club members (left to right) Mariah Roach, Club President
Alyssa Frittelli, and Hayley Wentzel.