Advice on study abroad programs with equestrian component
I'm a rising sophomore in college who's considering doing a study abroad program, probably junior year. I was wondering if anyone at COTH has participated in a study abroad program that included riding.
My dream would be to be involved in a program where I could get dressage training alongside schoolwork. As a biology major/chemistry minor, I'd prefer to be able to take college classes in non-equestrian subjects alongside riding, as opposed to having an entirely horse-focused experience.
At the moment, I don't have any single region in mind, but going somewhere where I could get by knowing mostly English would definitely be a plus. Any thoughts/suggestions?
I studied abroad in Ireland at the University of Limerick (lo so many years ago, now ) and they had both good science classes (the reason I picked it) and a riding program. Being Irish, though, the program was eventing focused (as am I, so it worked), so while we did plenty of dressage there was also the requisite Jumping of Large (Sometimes Scary) Obstacles. It improved my riding 1000%!
Go to the University of Edinburgh and join the Equestrian Club. http://riding.eusu.ed.ac.uk/ website there. There are tons of riding opportunities whether you want lessons, hacks out, beach rides, polo, competition (it's a Combined Test - kind of like the IHSA but eventing w/ out XC!). Lessons are separated flat/jumping, the horses are generally much higher quality than we are used to in the States, and flat lessons get quite intense at the advanced level. The club is also extremely active socially with weekly club nights, themed pub crawls (Pub show jumping anyone?), pub quizzes (horse themed and not), race nights, etc.
There is also a polo club http://polo.eusu.ed.ac.uk/ linked here - less active & organized, but is a really nice and fun group from what little interaction I had. It's a fun way to try something unique and the polo grounds are much closer to the city centre than Kingsbarn, where the Eq club rides, is.
Let me know if you'd like to hear more about Edinburgh and I'll PM you with an email address (my box is currently full...). It's one of my favourite cities and I had the time of my life at university there. I "studied abroad", though it wasn't really abroad for me as I'm British, and then ended up transferring. Oh and Edinburgh Uni is very well known for science.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
I went to Trinity College, University of Dubin and they had a riding club that offered regular lessons very affordably (this was a while ago though). I didn't partake while I was there, so I don't have any details. They do have great academics and sciences though. Good luck. I had such a great experience that I transferred after my junior year abroad and got my degree there.