The new policy, implemented in December 2011, states students are no longer allowed to train horses to jump over fences while riding, or “jump” at the Penn Hall Equestrian Center, without faculty or staff supervision. Students may jump outside of lessons when supervised by faculty or staff, even when riding their own horses.
Equestrian Riders Face New Requirements
The Department of Equestrian Studies Policies and Procedures Handbook says, “Riders who violate these rules and policies will be considered in violation of the Honor Principle of Wilson College, and will be handled by the WCGA/Judicial Process.”
Students Express Concern
Some students expressed concerns regarding the new policy.
“We are paying a lot of money to be here and the facilities will only make it worth it if we have access to them at their full potential,” states Colleen O’Reilly ‘12, a senior who boarded her horse on campus for four years. “I find it difficult to work on exercises we learn in lessons when we are limited to just ground poles,” says Carly Nelson ‘14.
Other students expressed concern over finding available supervising faculty and staff.
“I feel bad asking staff to come to the arena specifically to watch me jump,” says Kelsy Peterson ‘14. “I do not want them to feel obligated to watch me ride or have to work around my class schedule.”
Students offer suggestions to improve the policy
“I think that people should have to be tested, like the bareback or lounging tests,” suggests Michele Wright ‘14, a work-study employee at the stables and a student rider.
“I think that just having someone on staff at the barn as an emergency contact would be enough to have this rule put back in place,” adds Drill Team captain, Hannah DeMoss ‘13.
“I understand that people are not happy with the restrictions of the jumping policies but I needed to reassess our liability profile and that was my decision which I stand by,” says Director of Equestrian Studies, John Tukey, in a recent e-mail to riding students and faculty.
“Students must realize we have to protect the liability of the college,” says Tukey.