GREENVILLE, IL. - Greenville University is launching an equestrian program for students who are horse enthusiasts and want to use their skills to help others.

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GU President Suzanne Davis initiated the program as she had a vision for it since returning to Greenville University 10 years ago.

“It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am passionate about horses and what they can teach us about life, responsibility, and leadership,” Davis says. “With the increasing mental health needs for our college population, growing programming in the sciences, and a dedicated mission to having our students serve, the timing is right for GU.”

The Equine Studies program will offer two concentrations for enrolled students: Equine Sciences and Equine Assisted Services.

Basic courses of Horsemanship and Riding 101 will be prerequisites for any student pursuing an equine studies minor. The two basic courses will also be open to any student as recreation credits to fulfill their general education requirements, whether or not they choose to minor in equine studies.

The equine sciences concentration will include pre-veterinary courses preparing students for careers in veterinary medicine, training, working with breeders, or other careers related to the health and care of large animals.

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Through the equine-assisted services concentration, students will participate in clinics to learn how to conduct riding lessons and receive preliminary exposure to using horses for therapy and emotional healing. Students in this concentration will also begin building their portfolio toward certification as a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. In the future, riding

camps and private lesson opportunities led by students will be open to the Greenville community and surrounding area.

Students enrolled in the Equine Studies program will have access to miles of trails, University-owned horses, and a Christ-like community where they will grow in their horsemanship skills and riding abilities.

Students will receive hands-on mentorship from Equestrian Program Director Elizabeth Bays. Bays holds several certifications, including Natural Horsemanship Training, Certified Riding Instruction, and Clinics & Personal Coaching. She has been working with horses and teaching people about horses for over 20 years. Bays applies her certification and experience in developing well-rounded students who excel in horsemanship and riding abilities.

The GU Equine Studies program officially begins in the fall of 2023 for full-time University students. Interested students can apply now for a $21,500 annual and renewable equestrian character and service scholarship.

The Greenville University Equestrian Center will be located on farmland near the intersection of Country Club Road and Irongate Trail in Greenville, Illinois.

For more information about the program, contact Elizabeth Bays at

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