Is anyone here familiar with Ohio State University?
Because I'm not and have some questions.
A friend is visiting OSU next week to visit the school and meet with coaches for one of their obscure but highly-regarded sports teams. Her family is from Europe and, to put it mildly, don't understand much about US universities and NCAA athletics. As I'm the closest thing they know to a real American (and also because I'm responsible for putting Div 1 scholarship ideas in my friend's head), they've asked me to join them.
Any tips, tricks, recommendations, etc. are most welcome for OSU and Columbus. I've never been there myself and didn't know where it was. I have been to Cincinnati once but that's the extent of my Ohio experience.
Here's where it becomes horse-related. My friend would like to continue riding while in school. She's got decent basics from riding lesson horses, and has ambitions to continue to improve and learn.
Is there much of a horse community in the Columbus area/OSU? Is it easy/difficult to find horse access at OSU? Do you need a car? Does the school have facilities? Are there eventers in the area?
OSU is one of the top schools in that area for both English and Western IHSA teams. IIRC, they also have an equine science program with barn(s?) on site with a large # of horses.
Ohio is pretty horse friendly, I did attend a university in the Cleveland area for a year back in '03. Lots of H/J and QH shows from what I recall. It's close enough to KY/TN that I don't think finding events and event barns would be too big of an issue.
Well, the single most important thing is that you wear blue (adding touches of maize yellow would be an added bonus), and you managed to continually drop references to "how fantastic" Ann Arbor is, and "how lucky" OSU is to be in the same league as Michigan. If you can mention something about how you always thought the Wolverine was a particularly fantastic mascot, they'll just love you to pieces!
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GotSpots... that's wonderful advice!! (of course I'm a Michigander by genetics and brainwashing at an early age)
Unfortunately I'm not THAT close to Columbus (90 minutes west in Dayton). The recommendations on folks in the area are spot on IMHO, so there's not much I can add to that, except Laura's contact email is HorsSports@gmail.com. Plus, I don't spend much time in Columbus to answer the transportation type questions. I'm usually there twice/year -- Equine Affaire in April and QH Congress in October.
As for the eventing scene, however, there is plenty to keep you busy. There are are plenty of dressage and H/J shows to keep you busy. Rocky Fork Headly Hunt is in the Columbus area if you want to do some foxhunting to keep your cross country anxiety as bay. There are several mini trials in the area. Being in Columbus you're less than 2 hours away from Dayton/Cincy and NE both of which have several barns, professionals, clinics, mini trials, etc. For recognized events, you have Dayton (Greater Dayton and Gemwood) and NE Ohio (Stonegate, Winona and South Farm). Easy access to Indiana (IEA and Penny Oaks) and KY (too numerous to name). I think the drive from Columbus to Michigan has more state highway in it than interstate but I don't think it's a bad drive there either.
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Born and raised in Columbus so heres a few thoughts:
Definitely need a car. Plenty of transport on campus, and if she rode for the IHSA teams she could carpool. However, having a car would make things much for simple. Their IHSA teams work out a Sid Griffiths' facility in Hilliard, which is a good 30 minute drive from campus.
If shes looking to event, Nate Chambers and Ellie MacPhail are mostly the only game in town, plus they're very good at what they do. H/J is a much bigger scene in the central OH area
OMG. You are all crazy....:-P. *still getting used to this whole football thing, it's been a long time since I've been in the states for football season!*.
I'd look into the IHSA team especially if she is without transport. They are generally supportive of beginners too. If she's still new to the sport she'd probably rather not put in a ton of money/time/effort quite yet...
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Given Ohio State's history, it would be impossible to put football aside.
It's also the state capitol, so depending on what she's studying, there should be many, many opportunities for internships. It's also comprehensive with land grant functions as well as other university functions.
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Given Ohio State's history, it would be impossible to put football aside.
I know about Woody Hayes and the punch. I also know there is now the Woody Hayes Chair in National Security Studies, which I think is quite amusing, given how the beloved Coach Hayes dealt with the opposition.
I've been waiting for Indiana University to endow a chair for their own coaching hero Bobby Knight, but perhaps not this chair.
So I'm the aforementioned grad student at OSU. Here's some thoughts, although I'll start by saying "mostly ditto to everything above." Including the fact that Columbus has a VERY obsessive football culture but there's also a lot more to Columbus than football. I grew up near Washington DC and was a little "midwested out" after 6 years in Ann Arbor, Michigan (yes, at U of M. I swing both ways, blue AND red!) Fortunately, Columbus turns out to be much more cosmopolitan than I had previously imagined. It's the 15th largest metro area in the United States, which means it's not stunningly large but it's definitely a proper city with some culture and diversity. Cost of living here is incredibly low, and perhaps of interest to your friend, we have a good international airport with regular flights routed through DC, Chicago, and New York.
Having taught many Division I athletes over the years, it worries me a smidge that your friend thinks she'll have time for riding on top of her Division I sport. Between their sports and their schoolwork, student athletes have the equivalent of 60-to-80-hour work weeks. Many of these students are happy people and incredibly successful students, but they're busy as hell, tired as hell, and under intense surveillance from their coaches and athletic support staff. This is not limited to the "big name" teams--it's also true for smaller teams like synchronized swimming or rifle shooting. I'm not trying to burst her bubble, just cautioning her and the parents to ask some serious questions about how her riding would be received by her prospective coaches.
Putting that business aside, there's a very active horse community in Columbus. Lesson horses are much more plentiful for H/J than they are for dressage and eventing, so if she's not particular about what kind of English riding she's doing, then she should have nooooooooo problem finding riding lessons within a 30-to-40-minute drive. There's a strong presence of Western riders and trainers as well, if she has any interest in that. (We are, after all, the home of American Quarter Horse Congress in October and the OSU Western team has gone to IHSA national championships every year for the past 20 years.) I would be awfully surprised if your young friend's NCAA athletic schedule made it possible for her to make the OSU IHSA team lessons, and public transportation in this town won't get her to the parts of town where the barns are--so budget for a car + the cost of parking! If she'll be required to live in the dorms, ask a lot of questions about where she'll be permitted to park and how much time it'll take her to get to that car; that could put a serious squeeze on her already-limited time to ride.
If she's looking for lessons in *eventing* and she doesn't own a horse, that's going to be tricky in Columbus. There's only four or five trainers that even go on the "maybe list." Redtail Ridge is lovely and has a great unrecognized XC course, but keep in mind that Ellie and Nate go to Florida for the winter to compete and train (translation: they're gone for much of the OSU school year). On the other hand, there's plenty of local stuff to keep an eventer engaged: a good local hunt about 35 minutes' drive east of OSU campus, a series of 5 or 6 yearly hunter paces that are popular across the disciplines, and several good eventing clinics each year with big shots like Jimmy Wofford and Phillip Dutton, and there's tons of lower-level dressage/jumping/combined test shows.
There's some Polish presence in Columbus, but the main European cultural influences here are German and Italian. There's a good Polish joint in the North Market, and Babushka's Kitchen in Clintonville is also good. http://www.babushkafoods.com/babushk...new-clint.html
Columbus is a good food town. I personally think Katzinger's Delicatessen is overrated, but Jeni's Ice Creams is a must-taste for sure (www.jenis.com, and there's one inside the North Market if you want to hit that along with the North Market Polish joint. There's lots of great restaurants throughout town, especially in the Short North and Victorian Village. Some restaurants that get talked about in local and national press: Rigsby's Kitchen, The Refectory, Basi Italia, Kihachi (Japanese cuisine), Worthington Inn, Dragonfly, G. Michael's, and Sage American Bistro. If you want to eat something more homey, like where the locals might go, try Northstar Cafe, Surly Girl Saloon, Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace, or Schmidt's Sausage Haus.
Good luck! Welcome to the neighborhood!
Last edited by jn4jenny; Sep. 20, 2012 at 10:19 PM.
Yes, there are lots of great restaurants in Columbus. A broad price range too. Some of my old favorites:
Barcelona in German Village. Great inside and outside dining.
Shoku and Haiku for sushi
The Thurman Cafe is awesome for good burgers. Also in German Village.
Think about making a visit to the Wexner Center for the Arts, which is on campus and is pretty fantastic if you are into the art scene.
Another thing to think about is shopping. Columbus has excellent shopping malls, and in my experience, overseas visitors (albeit mostly from Asia), want to shop. Easton is a great choice if the weather is nice. It is an upscale outdoor mall with, again, more restaurant, fountains and great atmosphere.