William Woods University to host summer riding program

Participants in a previous Summer Riding Program ride in the indoor arena at William Woods University.
Participants in a previous Summer Riding Program ride in the indoor arena at William Woods University.

William Woods University will host its 23rd annual Summer Riding Program beginning Sunday, July 5. The program provides both beginning and advanced riders a competitive riding experience in hunter on the flat, hunt seat over fences, saddle seat and western riding disciplines.

Young riders and horse enthusiasts from all over the United States travel to attend this unique camp. The first session of the camp will take place July 5-10 for riders ages 14-18, with the second session July 12-17 for riders ages 10-13. Riders have the option to stay in on-campus residential halls or commute.

“We are fortunate to have WWU horses and faculty involved in the camp,” Jennie Petterson, chair of the equestrian studies division and summer riding program director, said.

“This provides world-class instruction on many accomplished horses. It is also a chance to learn more about the other disciplines offered during the program as well as meet equestrian enthusiasts from all over the country.”

In addition to one or two riding lessons a day, campers will participate in horse-related activities out of the saddle, such as show grooming, equine management techniques and lessons in other equine-related topics. Each session will include demonstrations and discussions on horse health, anatomy, nutrition, conformation and the responsibilities of horse ownership.

The highlight of the week is a horse show the campers will plan and ride in.  Participants will design and create the ribbons, announce the show, print show bills and serve as the entire show crew and judges.

“Riders will have the benefit of learning from unfamiliar instructors and horses,” Petterson said. “Every time you ride a new horse or take a lesson from someone new you have the opportunity to develop or reinforce your skills in a different way. It can be challenging to figure out unfamiliar horses and instructors in a week, but the payoff is well worth it.”

The riding program features instruction Woods equestrian faculty and outside professionals. Campers will receive special attention with the goal of improved riding.

“I love the close friendships that develop at camp and seeing those relationships grow as the years go by,” Petterson said. “It’s easy to fill the day with all things horses!”

For more information, contact Petterson at Jennie.Petterson@WilliamWoods.edu, 800.995.3159 or 573.592.4280.